Disney Network, consisting of Disney Junior (Astro Ch 613), Disney XD (Astro Ch 617) and Disney Channel (Astro Ch 615), has some new shows for you.
During a visit to the Disney Channel office in Burbank, California, we were given an overview of the channels’ programmes and some of the upcoming series.
More fun for kids on Disney Junior
Nancy Kanter, executive vice president, Original Programming and general manager of Disney Junior, says the channel provides young audiences with life lessons.
“Doc McStuffins is about a little girl who wants to grow up to be a doctor just like her mum. Along the way, she motivates young children down a path to science and medicine. It also carries a great message about hygiene and the importance to take care of yourself,” Kanter said.
Similarly, Kanter cited that Miles From Tomorrowland allows young children to think about the role they want to play in shaping the future. The show is meant to get kids excited, interested and engaged in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Kanter revealed they are working on a spin-off of the beloved Disney film The Lion King, titled The Lion Guard. Its central character is Kion, Simba’s second-born cub who is destined to take up the mantle of the Lion Guard, the protector of the Pride Lands. It is scheduled to premiere next year.
Another animation scheduled for next year is Elena Of Avalon, which features the titular 16-year-old princess who is connected to Sofia from Sofia The First.
The series basically explores how Elena, the first Latina princess in the Disney family, learns to be the best leader she could possibly be.
In 2017, get ready for Mickey And The Roadster Racers. Using CG animation and live-action footage, the adventure programme sees Mickey Mouse and his friends – each with his own personalised vehicle – go on racing adventures around the world.
Adventure is out there on Disney XD
Marc Buhaj, vice president, programming and general manager, of Disney XD, said that the channel is not only meant for boys.
As proof, come Nov 8, Disney XD is premiering Star Vs The Forces Of Evil in which the central role is a 14-year-old girl named Star Butterfly. She is a teen princess from another dimension, sent to live with the Diaz family on Earth. Together with Marco Diaz, Star navigates through the complicated world of high school while having on dimension-hopping adventures.
Another show Buhaj is excited about is a live-action series callled Gamer’s Guide starring Cameron Boyce, last seen in Descendants. “It’s about a 15-year-old professional videogamer who has a thumb injury. He has to go back to school and live a normal life.”
Watch out for two animated series: Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy (2015) and a quirky series which mixes 2D animation with live-action clips titled Pickle And Peanut (2016).
Pickle and Peanut are two teenagers (erm, in the shape of a peanut and a pickle) who live in a small town. They are in the last year of high school and have hatched a plan to have as much fun as possible before entering the responsible life of a young adult.
Talents behind the show are Noah Z Jones (Fish Hooks) and Joel Trussell (Yo Gabba Gabba!).
Duck Tales – a series popular in the 1990s – is making a return in 2017. Buhaj said: “We want to do a new take on Duck Tales where the adventures will span the globe. What we are really excited about is exploring the three generations of male ducks – Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck and then also the nephews.”
Disney Channel moves with the times
Aimed at kids aged from six to 14, and their families, Disney Channel features original series and movies. And sometimes, a series based on a movie.
For example on Nov 29, Descendants Wicked World premieres at 11am. It is described as an animated short-form series that picks up right after the final scene of the movie Descendants.
Sean Cocchia, executive vice president, Business Operations and general manager for Disney Channels Worldwide also showcased Tangled, the series.
“The (2010) movie is about Rapunzel being rescued and reunited with her family. What our series does is, it explores what happens afterwards. What happens to a girl who has spent 18 years up in a tower by herself and now is in charge of a massive kingdom? How do you deal with that?
“And the person who saved Rapunzel from the tower, Flynn Rider. He has spent his life on the road, stealing stuff and causing mischief, he has to figure out what it’s going to be like to live in a home. And how to be mature and a leader.”
Cocchia said that the writers have figured out the series’ story for the next four years. Tangled the series is set to premiere in 2017, with Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi reprising their (voice) roles as Rapunzel and Eugene (aka Flynn Rider).