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Disney Junior to replace SOAPNet in Cable Lineup

As we attempt to raise our Disney Son, who turns 7 this summer, we continue to experience the challenge of finding television shows that are appropriate for a child his age (or younger). You would think that between Disney XD and the Disney Channel there would always be something, but often the options are either unacceptable or not aimed at his demographic.

Now that Disney has announced a new cable channel aimed squarely at pre-school aged kids, future generations won’t have that same issue. Disney Junior will start as a website and that new name of Playschool Disney and then will morph into a full cable channel when it replaces SOAPnet.

Disney Junior’s animated and live action programming will blend Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and characters kids love deeply with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills.

“The launch of Disney Junior in the U.S. is the next step in our global preschool strategy, which began 10 years ago with the premiere of our first dedicated preschool channel in the UK,” said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group.

But why get rid of SOAPnet? “The decision to ultimately transition SOAPnet to accomplish this was not arrived at lightly,” said Sweeney. “SOAPnet was created in 2000 to give daytime viewers the ability to watch time-shifted soaps, before multiplatform viewing and DVRs were part of our vocabulary. But today, as technology and our businesses evolve, it makes more sense to align this distribution with a preschool channel that builds on the core strengths of our company.”

I guess that means we can write off the return of ABC Soap Opera days at DHS.

I’m not sure Disney Junior is a stronger brand than Playhouse Disney. But it does convey that the channel will be more than just play, which I guess is a step in the right direction. I wonder if the yearly Playhouse Disney Live tours will be rebranded too.

For more details check out the press release below the jump;

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Zorro Seasons I & II, now on Walt Disney Treasures DVD

zorro1 zorro2

This week Walt Disney Studios released Walt Disney Treasures DVDs featuring the complete first and second season of Zorro. All 78 episodes of the Disney TV classic are included on two new six-disc sets housed in collectible Zorro black, numbered unique tin cases. Both debut Walt Disney Treasures sets are hosted by noted film historian, author and critic Leonard Maltin. Additionally each limited edition, individually numbered volume includes a Zorro pin, an authenticity certificate, exclusive lithograph and comes in a unique, collectible black tin.

From 1957 to 1959, Disney’s Zorro was one of the most popular series on television starring Guy Williams, Henry Calvin, and Gene Sheldon. The show helped transform the literary character Don Diego de la Vega into the ultimate iconic, beloved swashbuckling masked hero of the time. Even if you weren’t alive when Zorro first aired it’s likely you caught it when it was re-aired on the Disney Channel in 1983 and re-colorizing the episodes in the 1990s or any of the other channels it has appeared on over the years. After the series conclusion, the Zorro adventures lived on from 1960 to 1961 on Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color in the form of a four-episode anthology series of hour-long Zorro specials, all of which are also included in Walt Disney Treasures Wave IX.

Bonus Features:

Zorro: The Complete First Season

Zorro: El Bandido – Part 1 of a 2-part story shown as a 1-hour-special on the Disneyland television show (original air date: October 30, 1960)

Zorro: Adios El Cuchillo – Part 2 of a 2-part story shown as a 1-hour-special on the Disneyland television show (original air date: November 6, 1960)

Zorro: The Complete Second Season

Zorro: The Postponed Wedding – A 1-hour special that originally aired on the Disneyland television show (original air date: January 1, 1961)

Zorro: Auld Acquaintance – A 1-hour special that originally aired on the Disneyland television show (original air date: April 2, 1961)

As a lifelong Disney fan, I was weened on a digest of Zorro reruns and still get excited when that theme music comes on. If you are raising your own Disney mouselet, you will certainly want to own both of these Zorro DVD sets and introduce them to the masked bandit.


If you follow below the jump, there are some video clips of what you’ll find on the discs.

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Win a Guitar from Phineas and Ferb creators

To celebrate the recent release of the soundtrack for the hit show, Phineas and Ferb, Walt Disney Records is giving away a Fender Stratocaster (Squire) with custom hand illustration from the show artists. Phineas and Ferb is an example of one of the Disney XD… Read More »Win a Guitar from Phineas and Ferb creators

Disney’s Project Green Sends It On

If there’s something you can’t miss, it’s the biggest Disney collaboration of its actors/singers, ever. A behind the scenes teaser clip of the new song “Send It On” released August 6 brings together Miley, Demi, Selena, and the Jonas Bros to the same stage –… Read More »Disney’s Project Green Sends It On

Disney launches Disney Living YouTube Channel

Disney Consumer Products just launched its own Youtube channel — Disney Living. But don’t look for Mickey Mouse Cartoons or Movie Trailers, instead the new channel will highlight whats coming from the designers in Burbank.

Disney Living will give Disney fans an inside scoop on the coolest and newest Disney products for all ages. I like the fact that it will feature original programming that will takes viewers behind the scenes, offers tips and sneak peeks on new fashions, home décor, toys, food and much more. Feels a lot like the spirit of the original Disney Channel.

Up first is a video fashion show featuring back to school styles. Highlighted are designs inspired by the Jonas Brothers and Wizards of Waverly Place.

Below the cut is one more video featuring the street wear inspired Bloc28 series:

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Princess Protection Program on DVD, so soon


I sat down to watch my DVR’d version of Disney Channel’s “Princess Protection Program” with my 6 year old son tonight with low expectations of it keeping our attention. But I need not have worried. PPP is a great movie in the classic Disney mold that we both enjoyed watching all the way through. In the 60s or 70s PPP would have been released to theaters, albeit with slightly better actors in the villain role, it is that good.

Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez, the two actors who are asked to carry this film, have both been labeled as Disney’s hope for the future when Miley Cyrus finally moves on to her next thing. Gomez had the more meaty roll and really carried the film, a good sign for future work from her. Lovato definitely had the poise required to be a princess, but lacks the acting chops of Anne Hathaway in the Princess Diaries, but the fact that she compares at all says something.

Once you get past the films main conceit, the existence of, and need for, a Princess Protection Agency, the plot flows naturally from there. The adventure comedy is about two very different girls – a princess from a small kingdom and a small town girl who, when fate brings them together, must team up to help the would-be queen pass for a regular teen. Lots of great lessons are included in the film, but they mostly avoid hitting you over the head with them. Always a bonus.

As is Disney’s habit these days, they’ve already released a DVD with extra features you don’t get on The Disney Channel just 4 days after the movie’s cable debut.

The full press release is below the cut:

Update: I had the actors reversed as to which was the princess Rosie. That’s what I get for writing so late at night. It’s fixed now

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