When you think of Toon Disney, you likely think of little more than Disney shows. After all, since the network’s inception, it has been famed for airing shows such as Chip and Dale’s Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, Talespin, and Ducktales. In 2004, they expanded their horizons with the creation of Jetix, an action adventure block featuring hit shows such as Power Rangers, Gargoyles, and Digimon. Now, the network takes it one step further by delving into animation libraries from other animation companies, including 4Kids Entertainment and Kids WB. Let’s see what “new” shows Jetix has in store for its fall season.
Many were surprised when Jetix announced Jackie Chan Adventures, a WB show, for the Jetix block a while back. It seems that Disney has just started to form a relationship with the rival company, because we have three WB shows making their Jetix debut when the fall season hits.
Batman: The Animated Series is widely regarded as one of the greatest animated shows of all time. Follow billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne as he dons his alter ego as Batman and goes out to defend the city from a huge gallery of villains, including the tragic Mr. Freeze, the gentlemanly Penguin, and of course, the maniacal Joker. It’s popularity over the years stems from the dark, mature storylines and three-dimensional characters that everyone could warm up to. In fact, this series was the start of what is known as the DCAU (DC Animated Universe), in which many other series are in the same continuity of, up and and including Justice League Unlimited. And on September 30th, Batman makes his debut on Toon Disney.
Batman isn’t the only WB superhero crashing the Jetix block this fall. Make way for Superman: The Animated Series. As a baby, Kal-El was sent to Earth moments before his home planet of Krypton was destroyed. On Earth, he’s raised by a loving Kansas couple. Eventually, he comes to develop his super powers and becomes the savior of the weak as Superman. While not quite as popular or groundbreaking as Batman: The Animated Series was, Superman: TAS continues to hold up to the popular shows of today. Little wonder it premieres alongside Batman on September 30th.
Over the years, Jetix has deviated from their “all action, all the time” formula they seemed to have going from the start. Need proof? How’s Pinky and the Brain sound? Yes, the popular WB animated comedy is coming to Jetix on October 1st. For those of you not familiar with this classic cartoon, Pinky and the Brain is the story of two genetically altered lab mice. Pinky is an oblivious dimwit, and the Brain, true to his name, is extremely intelligent. In every episode, the two mice attempt to take over the world, and every time it goes awry. Pinky and the Brain originally aired as a recurring segment on the show Animaniacs, but it proved to be so popular that it got it’s own spinoff show in 1995. The show continues to be popular and often quoted in various circles.
Don’t think that reruns of classic shows are all Jetix has to offer. They also have…well, reruns of currently running shows. From 4Kids Entertainment, the producers of such hits as Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comes Chaotic. Based on a Danish trading card game, Chaotic is the story of Tom Majors and his best friend Kaz Kalinkas, who spend most of their free time playing a trading called game called, you guessed it, Chaotic. Kaz continually tells Tom that Chaotic is actually a real place, and when a skeptical Tom is sucked into this amazing world, he sees it for himself! Together, he, Kaz, and a slew of other friends actually use their cards to transform into various monsters from the card game and duke it on in a number of different arenas. Outside of the game, they can travel to the outer world of Perim and scan new monsters and locations for use in battle. The show currently airs on 4Kids TV on Saturday or Sunday mornings, depending where you live. They’re hoping that the show becomes a smash hit for the company, likely the reason they gave Disney airing rights to the show. It starts October 1st.
Finally, we have the only brand new series for the fall season: Digimon Data Squad. The fifth series in the phenomenally popular Digimon franchise chronicles the adventures of Marcus and his Digimon partner Agumon as they and their teammates of the mysterious DATS organization battle against wayward digital monsters who have somehow found their way into the human world. Digimon was a runaway hit when it first premiered on Fox Kids back in 1999, continuing all the way up until Fox Kids was sold off. The series has aired on Jetix since its inception, and has lasted longer than most other series on the block. The fifth series started airing in Japan early last year after a two-year hiatus between it and the last series, and finally makes its debut on Jetix (guess when) October 1st.
Many people find that Jetix doesn’t contain many good shows. But even though the vast majority of the programming is reruns, and will continue to be in the fall, many also find that this is the best lineup the network has ever had and will be tuning in purely out of nostalgia for most of the shows mentioned above. The question is, with Jetix expanding its horizons to include WB and 4Kids Entertainment shows, what does the future hold for the network? Jetix seems to be turning into a melting pot of animated series from various networks, and there’s really no telling just what show they may pick up next. One thing’s for sure, people will be waiting in fevered anticipation, but until the next new show is announced, check out the new fall season with a special preview of Batman and Superman on September 30th, followed by the full premiere of all shows on October 1st, only on Jetix.