Twilight Sparkle's Retro Media Library
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Twilight Sparkle's Retro Media Library

On April 18, 1983, the Walt Disney Company launched America's fifth premium cable network -- The Disney Channel. The first movie that originally aired on this channel was Tiger Town, and the first animated feature to air there was Alice in Wonderland (1951). Prior to December 1986, The Disney Channel aired programming for 16 then 18 hours daily, before operating 24 hours a day.

Several of Disney's 1940s films that often never got VHS releases in North America until the end of the century aired on The Disney Channel, such as Melody Time, Saludos Amigos, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, and Make Mine Music, all in their original theatrical versions.

There were also some instances when non-Disney movies aired on The Disney Channel. The Goonies was one of them. First known to air on June 6, 1992, The Goonies was presented as an extended version of itself, with all additional scenes included, and possibly no censorship whatsoever, unlike any broadcasts on over-the-air and basic cable television.

The Disney Channel's first official website (www.disneychannel.com) launched online on December 8, 1995.

Transition to basic cable

Starting on September 1, 1990, the Disney Channel gradually transitioned from a premium to a basic cable network. By January 1995, 12.6 million cable subscribers now had the channel, and by 1999, the channel was made available nationwide as a basic cable network.

Programming

Title Premiere date
(first known)
Ended
(or last aired)
Dumbo June 3, 1983
Alice in Wonderland January 1, 1984
Robin Hood June 2, 1985
Mary Poppins (original version) 1986 December 31, 1990
Pinocchio (1984 print) September 20, 1986
The Hoober-Bloob Highway April 6, 1987 November 13, 1993
The Lorax May 27, 1987 November 28, 1993
Sleeping Beauty October 3, 1987
Grinch Night October 23, 1987 October 31, 1992
Lady and the Tramp May 7, 1988
Pontoffel Pock and His Magic Piano May 18, 1988 August 28, 1993
The Grinch Grinches the Cat in the Hat June 16, 1988 September 26, 1993
Cinderella October 14, 1989
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope January 1, 1990 May 26, 1990
The Kidsongs TV Show (1987-1988) January 8, 1990 October 29, 1990
Barney & the Backyard Gang November 5, 1990 October 11, 1992
Ghostbusters II January 18, 1991
Bambi February 3, 1991
The Little Mermaid May 5, 1991
Peter Pan September 15, 1991
The Jungle Book May 9, 1992
The Goonies June 6, 1992 September 30, 1996
My Little Pony and My Little Pony Tales August 2, 1992 August 30, 1996
101 Dalmatians April 17, 1993
Ghostbusters October 7, 1993
Dr. Seuss on the Loose October 28, 1993 November 13, 1993
The Cat in the Hat February 15, 1994 March 2, 1994
Beauty and the Beast May 15, 1994 July 16, 1994
The Making of The Lion King June 16, 1994 September 18, 1996
Pinocchio (1992 print) January 1, 1995
Aladdin May 14, 1995 August 13, 1995
Pocahontas: The Legend Comes to Life June 21, 1995
The Making of The Hunchback of Notre Dame June 16, 1996 July 3, 1996
The Lion King September 8, 1996 August 15, 1998
Pocahontas April 6, 1997 October 11, 2017
The Aristocats July 12, 1997
Toy Story (original version) November 29, 1997 July 12, 2005
The Hunchback of Notre Dame March 14, 1998 March 25, 1999
Hercules February 27, 1999 October 13, 1999
Mulan February 12, 2000 October 22, 2000
A Bug's Life November 30, 2001 March 27, 2018
Toy Story 2 (original version) July 12, 2002 August 11, 2005
Hook July 4, 2003 February 15, 2004
The Lion King 1½ September 12, 2004 July 11, 2005
Mary Poppins (40th Anniversary Edition) December 26, 2004 December 2010
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone January 21, 2005 October 22, 2011
Aladdin (Platinum Edition) February 14, 2005 August 16, 2014
Monsters, Inc. (original version) February 18, 2005 October 13, 2005
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride May 29, 2005 February, 13, 2006
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets August 7, 2005 October 22, 2011
My Little Pony: A Very Minty Christmas December 5, 2005
Finding Nemo (original version) May 5, 2006 July 2012
The Incredibles February 1, 2008 September 22, 2019
Cars March 14, 2009 September 6, 2018
Ratatouille August 15, 2009 September 14, 2020
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs March 20, 2010
Ice Age August 5, 2010
WALL-E September 17, 2010 September 2, 2017
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York August 11, 2011
Toy Story 2 (2009 re-release) December 26, 2010 September 28, 2020
Toy Story (2009 re-release) February 13, 2011 June 30, 2019
Up September 9, 2011 September 21, 2020
Surf's Up December 31, 2011
The Lion King (Diamond Edition) February 11, 2012 June 8, 2019
Toy Story 3 August 3, 2012 November 21, 2020
Despicable Me December 31, 2012 August 10, 2021
Tangled January 4, 2013 August 27, 2021
Monsters, Inc. (2012 re-release) April 27, 2013 October 3, 2019
Ice Age: The Meltdown May 11, 2013 April 1, 2017
Cars 2 2013 September 6, 2018
Finding Nemo (2012 re-release) February 17, 2014 July 7, 2019
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs June 24, 2014
Brave September 5, 2014 December 9, 2018
Rio September 20, 2014
Hop September 27, 2014 March 30, 2018
Wreck-It Ralph October 3, 2014 July 28, 2020
The Smurfs November 8, 2014 May 7, 2018
Happy Feet Two December 11, 2014
Arthur Christmas December 21, 2014 December 23, 2019
Horton Hears a Who! May 9, 2015
Monsters University October 11, 2015 October 21, 2018
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs December 20, 2015 June 20, 2021
Frozen February 14, 2016 August 27, 2021
Big Hero 6 January 6, 2017 October 14, 2018
Inside Out October 1, 2017 July 22, 2018
The Good Dinosaur January 28, 2018 May 28, 2019
Zootopia March 25, 2018 July 31, 2020
Finding Dory August 19, 2018 October 6, 2019
Hotel Transylvania October 14, 2018 October 3, 2020
The Lego Movie November 25, 2018 November 26, 2018
Ice Age: Continental Drift December 14, 2018 December 15, 2018
Moana January 11, 2019 January 16, 2021
The Lorax January 13, 2019 April 25, 2020
Shrek (Universal Print) June 9, 2019 July 22, 2019
The Secret Life of Pets June 14, 2019 July 31, 2021
Hotel Transylvania 2 October 19, 2019 October 30, 2019
Smurfs: The Lost Village December 15, 2019 August 21, 2021
Sing December 27, 2019 September 18, 2021
Despicable Me 3 January 10, 2020 June 5, 2021
Coco July 10, 2020 July 11, 2020
Ferdinand September 11, 2020 present
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation September 18, 2020 present
My Little Pony: The Movie September 27, 2020 September 28, 2020
Minions December 11, 2020 present
The Grinch December 13, 2020 present
Rio 2 April 22, 2021 present
Ice Age: Collision Course June 18, 2021 present
Despicable Me 2 August 10, 2021 present
Toy Story 4 August 13, 2021 TBA

Original programming of animated television series on Disney Channel began on September 15, 2001.

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