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Tag Archives: Disney Afternoon

March 15

March 15, 1991 – The Rescue Rangers Raceway Opens in Disneyland

On March 15, 1991, the Rescue Rangers Raceway opened in Disneyland. As part of a promotion for the Disney Afternoon programming block, the attraction Fantasyland Autopia was redesigned to feature the characters from the hit show Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers in the form of cutouts and, sometimes, characters to meet-and-greet near the show if crowds were low. The attraction returned to its original Autopia form on November 10, 1991.

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April 20

April 20, 1992 – The Animated Series Goof Troop Premieres on The Disney Channel

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“Report to the Goof Troop, and we’ll always stick together, we’re the Goof Troop, best of friends forever.”

On April 20, 1992, the animated series Goof Troop premiered on The Disney Channel as part of the Disney Afternoon. Following in the steps of its predecessors Ducktales and Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, the show features classic Disney characters Goofy and Pegleg Pete in a modern setting. The series went on to be syndicated in September of that year, and ran until August 30, 1996. The series was created by Peter Montgomery, and starred Bill Farmer as Goofy, Jim Cummings as Pete, Dana Hill as Max, Rob Paulsen as P.J., April Winchell as Peg, Nancy Cartwright as Pistol, and Frank Welker as Waffles and Chainsaw.

The first episode, “Axed by Edition,” begins with P.J. freaking out about his math final. Pete has high expectations for P.J., as he refuses to let him fail. P.J. calls out to his best friend Max, who offers to help make P.J. a math genius. Max then rigs a device that will give P.J. his favorite candy bar if he answers correctly, but will also egg him in the face if he answers incorrectly. By morning, P.J. is exhausted and terrified of eggs. He and Max arrive at school for the test, but P.J. seems close to insane, and isn’t sure if he got anything right. Thinking that P.J. only has one day left before his father grounds him for life for flunking, he and Max decide to plan the perfect day, where P.J. can live his life to the fullest. They come up with an extensive list, and plan to skip school to accomplish this. Max helps P.J. look as though he is ill, although Pete believes the illness to the point where he calls the ambulance.

Pete lies in the hospital, terrified that they believe he's really sick

Pete lies in the hospital, terrified that they believe he’s really sick

As Max heads to the hospital to retrieve his pal, Pete nervously listens to the list of tests the doctors wish to run on him. Max manages to distract the doctors and sneak P.J. out. The doctors finally realize that Pete was faking, and inform his father, complete with the wish list P.J. and Max had put together. Pete misunderstands and thinks P.J. is dying, and runs out to beg for forgiveness. Max and P.J. only have three hours to complete his wish list, unaware that they are being followed by Pete. Max and P.J. manage to finish the list, albeit in a truncated manner. Max is able to distract Pete while P.J. finishes his thrill rides in the nearby amusement park, and when the pair finally arrive home, Pete welcomes him with open arms, worried that P.J. is dying. He then gets a call from the doctor to find that P.J. has been faking being sick, and grounds him for life. That night, Pete’s wife Peg brings home P.J. report card, revealing that he got an A in math. Unfortunately, Pete wants to celebrate with everything P.J. wanted to do, which he now finds torturous.

September 10

September 10, 1990 – The Two Hour Programming Block The Disney Afternoon Premieres

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“There’s so much to do, get it ready just for you, everybody’s busy bringing you a Disney afternoon!”

On September 10, 1990, the two-hour programming block The Disney Afternoon premiered. Overall, the block began with four separate series: Duck Tales, The Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, and Tale Spin. Gummi Bears had already premiered on NBC in 1985 and was very successful; Ducktales had also premiered on NBC in 1987, and was quickly syndicated, along with Chip ‘n’ Dale. Tale Spin was the only program in the block that had premiered on The Disney Channel, and became syndicated once it joined the Disney Afternoon block. The block ran from 1990 until 1997, with several line-up changes every year, with new shows including Darkwing Duck, Goof Troop, Bonkers, Aladdin, Gargoyles, Quack Pack, The Lion King’s Timon & Pumbaa, Mighty Ducks, and The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show. The popularity of the shows in the block led to an attraction in Disneyland, and several pieces of media, including a soundtrack album.

September 8

September 8, 1995 – The Animated Series The Lion King’s Timon & Pumbaa Premieres on The Disney Afternoon

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“Here’s your grub: I hope you choke. Augh! I mean, I’m Timon and I’ll be your waiter!”

On September 8, 1995, the animated series The Lion King’s Timon & Pumbaa premiered as part of the Disney Afternoon programming block. Based on the characters from the hit 1994 animated feature film, the show was about their adventures in various settings. The show ran for three seasons, with 85 full episodes. The show starred Nathan Lane, Kevin Schon, and Quinton Flynn as Timon (split in various episodes), and Ernie Sabella as Pumbaa.

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The first half episode, “Boara Boara,” begins with Timon and Pumbaa being washed up on the shore of an island, although they were hoping to end up in a snowy place for a ski vacation. They decide to make the best of it and enjoy the beach. Unfortunately, they aren’t alone, as a tribe in the island has decided to take Pumbaa to make them their meal. Timon panics when he can’t find his friend, while Pumbaa is being served up to the king of the tribe. The King, however, beats his henchmen when they realize that Pumbaa resembles their god. Timon braves through the jungle to find his friend, and is irritated to find his friend being revered. When he attempts to take Pumbaa away, the tribe captures Timon and takes him to the volcano as a sacrifice, although Timon mistakes it as them making him King. When they reach the top of the volcano, Timon is thrown into the lava, and barely manages to make it out alive, and begs the tribe to keep him alive, offering to do anything. The anything he ends up doing though is serving Pumbaa hand and foot. After a while, Pumbaa is asked to make fire for the tribe, but is soon revealed as an imposter. Timon and Pumbaa attempt to escape, when they decide instead to distract the tribe with a samba. In the end, the tribe members decide to leave, and Timon and Pumbaa head back to the beach, where they discover that developers have taken over.

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The second half, “Saskatchewan Catch,” begins with Timon and Pumbaa bug hunting in a forest for the best-tasting bug in the universe: the Saskatchewan Sky-High Beetle. Timon is just about to catch it when he falls from his perch and lands on a branch. A flying squirrel falls from a height and hits Timon, and the two fall to the ground. Pumbaa then states that Timon has fallen sixteen times, and maybe they could use some help. Pumbaa suggests that they get the help of the flying squirrel, and Timon tries to butter her up to help her. She promises to help them, only if they help her get the affections of another flying squirrel. Timon sets to work in getting the male squirrel’s attention, but to no avail. They are finally able to capture the male squirrel, and they trick him into having dinner with the female squirrel. He is taken with her on first sight, and the romance between them begins to bloom. However, Timon disagrees with the male’s take on love, as the male squirrel wants to give up all of his freedom to be with woman. In the end, although they get the lovers together, they are unable to get the bugs that they wanted, as the squirrels fly off into the night together.

April 6

April 6, 1991 – The Animated Series Darkwing Duck Premieres on the Disney Channel

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“I am the terror that flaps in the night!”

On April 6, 1991, the original animated series Darkwing Duck premiered on the Disney Channel, after a sneak peek on March 31. The first episode, “Darkly Dawns the Duck,” was an hour-long special that also served as the series pilot. The series itself was a spin-off from the DuckTales series, and the first original series to be a genre parody. The show proved to be highly popular, and began syndication on September 7, 1991. Overall, the series had three seasons with 91 episodes. It was created by Tad Stones, and starred Jim Cummings as Darkwing Duck/Drake Mallard, Terry McGovern as Launchpad McQuack, and Christine Cavanaugh as Gosalyn Waddlemeyer.

“Darkly Dawns the Duck” begins in the city of St. Canard, where Darkwing is dropping off some criminals at the police station. He hopes to receive media attention for his good deeds, but no one knows anything about him. He arrives back at his hideout the next morning and decides to cook his breakfast before he goes to sleep. His routine of getting his breakfast also acts as a workout, which he handles with ease, save for the milk. He declares that “there’s not a street punk in this city that isn’t afraid of Darkwing Duck,” before he heads off to sleep, although he wishes he could get a shot at a real big-time criminal. As he laments, big-time criminal Taurus Bulba is chastising his henchmen for questioning his plan. It is soon revealed that Bulba is actually in prison, but has a fancy lair setup that disappears with the press of a button when the warden stops by.

As Darkwing searches for danger, a suspicious condor flies past him carrying a trunk

As Darkwing searches for danger, a suspicious condor flies past him carrying a trunk

Darkwing spends the next night at the top of his lair, scouring the city for any wrongdoing, when he sees a condor flying by with a trunk. Thinking this is suspicious, he quickly gets on his motorcycle and follows the condor. Bulba’s henchmen are quickly at work catching a nearby train that has something guarded by military guards. As they prepare to take off with the weapon, Darkwing arrives on the scene. He recognizes the henchmen as belonging to Bulba, and gets excited that this could be his chance to hit the big time. He appears in front of them in a cloud of smoke and knocks the guards unconscious, but stops for a photo op. The carriage containing the weapon flies off, with Darkwing attached, and he is disconnected from the carriage by the condor. Darkwing falls into a nearby barn, and is quickly attacked by Launchpad McQuack, who mistakes Darkwing as a thief. When he does recognize Darkwing, he admits that he’s the hero’s greatest fan, which pleases Darkwing immensely. Launchpad then helps Darkwing chase after the carriage in one of Launchpad’s planes, but the condor is there once again to drop Darkwing to his death.

As Darkwing plummets, Launchpad quickly takes the plane over to catch him. Both are pursued by the condor, and as Launchpad tries to take some evasive measures, the plane crashes, leaving the enemy to get away. When Launchpad asks what happens next, Darkwing angrily proclaims that he works alone, and never wants to see Launchpad ever again. The next day in the prison, Bulba finds the weapon available for him, but is unable to use it as he doesn’t know the arming code. The creator, Professor Waddlemeyer, died in an “accident” the year prior, so Bulba orders his henchmen to get his granddaughter from the St. Canard Orphanage. Bulba’s main henchman, Hammerhead, goes to the orphanage claiming to be a friend of the family, and takes Waddlemeyer’s granddaughter Gosalyn for a walk. She vents to him about how she isn’t a problem child, but no one wants to adopt her, but one day she’ll meet someone who understands her. Hammerhead is touched by Gosalyn’s story, but then attempts to kidnap her. She is then is taken by Darkwing as he drives by on his motorcycle, although she at first doesn’t believe he’s a hero. As they speed around town, joined by Launchpad, Darkwing tries to take Gosalyn to the safety of the police station, only to find that the police are firing at him. Gosalyn grabs a newspaper and finds an article accusing Darkwing of stealing a train. As they drive off a pier into the ocean, Launchpad loses Darkwing and Gosalyn, but the two are safely in Darkwing’s lair.

Gosalyn stands amazed at the size of Darkwing's lair, hidden in the city's bridge

Gosalyn stands amazed at the size of Darkwing’s lair, hidden in the city’s bridge

Gosalyn is amazed at Darkwing’s hideout, and asks if she can stay with him. He refuses, but she threatens to tell people where his hideout is. Bulba finds out the bad news from Hammerhead, and plans on drawing Darkwing out to get the girl. Bulba then makes his escape from the prison in a flying ship, and decides that it’s finally time to meet Darkwing Duck. Meanwhile, in his hideout, Darkwing deals with Gosalyn, as she starts messing with things she shouldn’t be. She sets off his breakfast training session, and is able to handle it better than Darkwing. She lectures him on safety, but he just thinks he’s adorable. She then asks if he’ll ever take off his mask, but he refuses. He lets her sleep in his bed, and explains to her why Bulba wants her, but she just gets upset when recalling her grandfather. When Darkwing remarks on how much spirit she has, she lights up and gives him a kiss on the cheek, as that’s what her grandfather used to say about her. She then asks Darkwing to sing her a lullaby, and she teaches him the lullabye her grandfather used to sing her. He continues the song, lulling her to sleep. Later, he realizes that the lyrics to Gosalyn’s lullaby is the arming code, although she doesn’t realize it herself.

A light shines through the window, alerting Darkwing. The light is actually signaling morse code, with the message: “Taurus Bulba, the criminal genius, recognizing the error of his ways, is offering to surrender himself, but only to Darkwing Duck.” Darkwing quickly recognizes the code, and Gosalyn wakes up at his excitement. Gosalyn is suspicious of the message, and starts mocking Darkwing. Angered, he says that once he captures Bulba, Gosalyn will go back to the orphanage, greatly upsetting her. He heads out of his hideout, unaware that Bulba’s condor was watching to find where Darkwing’s hideout is, and Bulba sends his men to go get Gosalyn. Darkwing meets up with Bulba, and Bulba starts mocking him, asking why he should surrender to Darkwing. The police are D to the scene and capture Darkwing, while he panics that Bulba is going to get Gosalyn. When the henchmen arrive to take Gosalyn, she defends herself with Darkwing’s breakfast training set, but she is soon captured by Bulba’s condor.

Just when things look hopeless for Darkwing, Launchpad appears and saves the day

Just when things look hopeless for Darkwing, Launchpad appears and saves the day

Darkwing is sitting in jail, lamenting his fate, and worried about Gosalyn. When he feels he has nothing left, Launchpad breaks into the prison by accident and helps him escape, although he admits he was coming by to bail Darkwing out. The two make their way to Bulba’s hideout in Launchpad’s secret weapon: the Thunderquack, a flying machine that looks like Darkwing. Darkwing, appreciative, calls Launchpad his sidekick. They reach the airship and narrowly dodge the Bulba’s attack. They create a hole in the ship, and Darkwing breaks in, looking for Gosalyn. It looks like Darkwing is outnumbered, and the two are taken hostage. Bulba threatens to kill Gosalyn unless Darkwing tells him the code. Darkwing enters the code from the lullaby, and the machine is armed. Bulba uses the machine to steal gold bars from the federal gold depository, and decides to kill Gosalyn, but Launchpad is able to save the girl. Darkwing then destroys the machine, and Bulba’s airship is sent crashing into the ocean. Bulba attempts to kill Darkwing, and the machine explodes, with Gosalyn and Launchpad watching in terror.

Back at the orphanage, Gosalyn sits in her room, depressed, not wanting to meet any prospective parents. When she hears the voice of a Drake Mallard, she recognizes it immediately and runs out to find him in the main office. She tackles him with a hug, and he tells her that he now needs a secret identity, as he has an adopted daughter to take care of, with Launchpad to help him out. Launchpad, true to form, accidentally reverses the car into the wall of the orphanage.

October 24

October 24, 1994 – The Animated Series Gargoyles Premieres in Disney Afternoon

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“One thousand years ago, superstition and the sword rules. It was a time of darkness. It was a world of fear. It was the age of gargoyles.”

On October 24, 1994, the animated series Gargoyles premiered on television in the Disney Afternoon programming block. The series was about a clan of nocturnal creatures known as gargoyles, who turn to stone during the day. After being betrayed, members of the clan are cursed to stay in stone until the castle “rises above the clouds.” In present day, the gargoyles are reawakened when the castle they live is taken to New York and reconstructed atop a billionaire’s skyscraper. The six remaining gargoyles try to adjust to life in modern New York, aided by NYPD detective Elisa Maza, and come into conflict with David Xanatos. 3 seasons, with 78 episodes, aired overall, with the first two seasons airing in the Disney Afternoon, and the third and final season airing on ABC’s One Saturday Morning. The cast included Keith David as Goliath, Edward Asner as Hudson, Salli Richardson as Elisa Maza, Jonathan Frakes as David Xanatos, Marina Sirtis as Demona, and Bill Fagerbakke as Broadway.