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.

Since 1989, 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)
Mary Poppins (original version) 1986 December 31, 1990
The Hoober-Bloob Highway April 6, 1987 November 13, 1993
The Lorax May 27, 1987 November 28, 1993
Grinch Night October 23, 1987 October 31, 1992
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
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope January 1, 1990 May 26, 1990
The Kidsongs TV Show (1987-1988) 1990 1992
Barney & the Backyard Gang November 1990 October 1992
The Goonies June 6, 1992 September 30, 1996
My Little Pony and My Little Pony Tales August 2, 1992 August 30, 1996
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
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 February 27, 2005
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 July 8, 2014
Toy Story 2 (original version) July 12, 2002 August 11, 2005
Hook July 4, 2003 Fabruary 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
Finding Nemo (original version) May 5, 2006 March 10, 2008
The Incredibles February 1, 2008 present
Toy Story (2009 re-release) February 13, 2011 present
Toy Story 2 (2009 re-release) December 26, 2010 present
Up September 9, 2011 present
The Lion King (Diamond Edition) February 11, 2012 present
Toy Story 3 August 3, 2012 present
Monsters, Inc. (2012 re-release) April 27, 2013 present
Ratatouille November 18, 2013
WALL-E December 31, 2013 March 24, 2014
Ice Age: The Meltdown May 11, 2013 April 1, 2017
Finding Nemo (2012 re-release) February 17, 2014 August 19, 2018
Monsters University October 11, 2015 Present
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs December 20, 2015 Present
Frozen February 14, 2016 Present
Inside Out October 1, 2017 Present
The Good Dinosaur January 28, 2018 Present
Zootopia March 25, 2018 Present
Finding Dory August 19, 2018 Present
Hotel Transylvania October 14, 2018 Present
Moana January 11, 2019 Present
The Lorax January 13, 2019 Present
Shrek (Universal Print) June 9, 2019 Present
Hotel Transylvania 2 October 19, 2019 Present

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

Weblinks

Gallery

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.