A Look At The Disney Channel

Via: TV With Thinus

This week, I’m sequestered in lovely Western New York; a quiet part of the country where not a lot happens in the winter because of the snow. So that’s a pefect excuse to stay warm indoors with some TV, and while there is a lot a Top Gear on BBC America, there is also the four kid’s cable channels: The Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and newcomer, The Hub.

So using this extended time off, I figured I would write an overview of the four channels. Today, it’s the turn of the Disney Channel.

Started by Ron Miller back in the 80s the channel is unique in that it carries no  commercial advertising whatsoever. Although you should not construe this a as no advertising whatsoever, as the channel still has breaks where shows from other Disney channels, Disney films and misc. things are presented to the viewer.

The range of animation is a bit more limited than it used to be. As of right now, besides the pre-school shows, Phineas and Ferb and Fish Hooks take up the majority of the animation aimed at older kids. However, where the Disney Channel excels is that it can draw upon the vast, vast, vast library of the Disney Company and it regularly broadcasts movies that are rarely seen anywhere else, such as Snow White, Aladdin and pretty much all the Pixar films.

A direct comparison with its competitors is a bit unfair though, as Disney recently nixed Toon Disney in favour of starting a new channel aimed at boys, hence Disney XD and its own share of animated programming (namely Kick Buttowski).

Overall, the Disney Channel isn’t perfect, but it isn’t completely horrible either. It would just be nice to see more time for animation and less for mind-numbing kidcoms that burn through their child stars at a faster rate than I go through delicious Tim Hortons coffee.

Remember, It’s Not Your Idea, It’s Your Interpretation of It

Yesterday, over on the  Cartoon Brew Biz section, I read an announcement that the Disney Channel has ordered a pilot for broadcast in 2012 tentatively called Zombies and Cheerleaders.  Now I’m not so sure about yourself, but when I read that title, the first thing that popped into my head was this:

Yes, it’s the Zombies Vs Cheerleaders comic by Stephen Frank et al at Moonstone Books. Similar topic, very similar title.

On the surface they look much the same, however each composition is/will be hugely different. The TV show is described as follows:

The story follows Zed Necrodopolis, a typical high school student with one small caveat; he happens to be a zombie. Despite a high-tech wristwatch designed to curb any appetite he may have for his classmates, he and his zombie friends remain unpopular with the school’s most influential group, the pom-pom wielding cheerleaders. Never one to back down from a challenge, Zed sets out to improve zombie student body relations and win the attention of Addison, the cheerleading squad’s newest member.

In contrast, the comic is described as:

Morbid or funny, and sometimes morbidly funny, top talent bring eclectic tales of Zombies vs Cheerleaders in this best-selling anthology series. Based on the hit sketch card series from 5FINITY Productions, read the exciting stories of the two things everyone loves: zombies and cheerleaders!

So while they appear similar on the surface, featuring zombies and cheerleaders, they differ greatly when it comes down to actual content.

This is something to be very aware of if you are writing or creating your own material. You can’t copyright ideas, only exceedingly similar interpretations. This is why we continue to see new versions of Alice in Wonderland despite the fact that the Disney version is the de facto story as far as the masses are concerned.

So don’t be afraid to use someone else’s idea for something personal you’re working on, just so long as it’s different or heads in another direction. 🙂

Has the Rise of the Children’s Networks Contributed to Obesity in Kids?

It’s something I want you to dwell on for right now (I’ll do a full post in a wee bit), but does the fact that there are three networks broadcasting children’s TV shows 24/7 (for the most part) form a contributing factor when it comes to childhood obesity?

I’m not talking about the content or the advertising (although that has long earned the wrath of concerned citizens) I’m talking solely about the fact that children nowadays have unmetered access to content aimed at them.

What are your thoughts? Would limiting the hours of operation of children’s channels make a difference?