13. Quack Pack
Original series run: Sept. 3, 1996–Nov. 28, 1996
Plot: Huey, Dewey, and Louie are angsty teenagers who now live with their Uncle Donald — wait, did Uncle Scrooge die?! — who works as a cameraman alongside girlfriend Daisy, who is now a reporter with her own TV show.
Final verdict: Disney rarely does hip or cool well, and this adaption suffered from trying to transition Huey, Dewey, and Louie into cool teens.
Quack Pack intro:
Original series run: Sept. 4, 1993–Nov. 28, 1996
Plot: A spin-off of the short-lived Saturday morning cartoon Raw Toonage, this series followed the adventures of Bonkers D. Bobcat, a washed-up cartoon star turned Hollywood cop.
Final verdict: Bonkers was just plain annoying, and he lacked any of the appeal and charm of Roger Rabbit, the cartoon he was based on.
11. The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show
Original series run: Jan. 2–March 27, 1995
Plot: Shnookums and Meat are a not-so-smart cat and dog who constantly get into trouble when their owner is away.
The show was actually divided into three cartoon segments, which, along with “Shnookums and Meat,” also featured cartoon segments by “Pith Possum: Super-Dynamic Possum of Tomorrow” and “Tex Tinstar: The Best in the West.”
Final verdict: The show was Disney’s attempt to compete with edgier cartoons like Ren & Stimpy and Animaniacs. While the series was funny, it never really matched the humor of its original inspirations.
The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show intro:
10. Timon & Pumbaa
Original series run: Sept. 8, 1995–Sept. 24, 1999
Plot: The series followed the zany adventures of Timon and Pumbaa.
Final verdict: While the show was funny, it proved that there can be too much of a good thing.
Timon & Pumbaa intro:
Original series run: Sept. 5, 1994–Nov. 25, 1995
Plot: The series, which was set after the events of the direct-to-video sequel The Return of Jafar, followed the adventures of Aladdin, his fiancée Jasmine, and Genie as they battled monsters, sorcerers, and even Jafar.
The series also featured most of the original voice actors reprising their roles: Scott Weinger as Aladdin, Linda Larkin as Jasmine, and Gilbert Gottfried as Iago.
Final verdict: Aladdin actually transitioned quite nicely into an action-adventure series.
8. The Mighty Ducks
Original series run: Sept. 6, 1996–Jan. 17, 1997
Plot: A team of anthropomorphic alien ducks must fly around the galaxy to protect their hockey-themed home planet from invaders.
Final verdict: While the show might have been loosely (and I mean loosely) based on the popular live-action Mighty Ducks films, it actually managed to build its own distinct following — mainly because it was just really a strange show.
The Mighty Ducks intro:
7. Goof Troop
Original series run: Sept. 5, 1992–May 1993
Plot: Goofy, a widowed single father, moves with his son Max back to his hometown of Spoonerville, to live next door to used car salesman Pete and his family. (All of this much to Pete’s chagrin.)
Final verdict: The show was awesome, but mainly because it spun off the much-beloved A Goofy Movie.
Goof Troop intro:
6. Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers
Original series run: March 4, 1989–Nov. 19, 1990
Plot: Donald Duck’s archnemeses, Chip and Dale, who, along with their friends Gadget and Monterey Jack, open up a detective agency where there’s, duh, “no case too big, no case too small.”
Final verdict: The show was not only funny and action-packed, but also smartly written — as anyone who has seen the slightly subversive “The Case of the Cola Cult” episode can attest to.
Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers intro:
5. Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears
Original series run: Sept. 14, 1985–Feb. 22, 1991
Plot: The Gummi Bears are a clan of six anthropomorphic bears (aren’t they always?) who secretly live beneath a hollow tree known as Gummi-Glen in the medieval kingdom of Dunwy where they harvest berries for their Gummiberry Juice, a magical concoction that gives the Gummies the strength and ability to bounce to huge heights.
Final verdict: Wonderfully written, the series fit perfectly in with other ‘80s medieval fantasy-themed cartoons like He-Man and The Smurfs. Most importantly, the series was Disney’s first successful cartoon series and led to the creation of DuckTales and Rescue Rangers.
Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears intro:
Original series run: May 5, 1990–Aug. 8, 1991
Plot: Baloo the bear, and his sidekick Kit Cloudkicker, run an air cargo freight business out of the city of Cape Suzette, where they face danger not only from air pirates, but from wealthy businessman Shere Khan.
Final verdict: Baloo was a lovable character and the show, with its mix of action and mystery, was badass.
3. Darkwing Duck
Original series run: Sept. 6, 1991–Dec. 12, 1992
Plot: The series followed the comical action-adventures of egomaniac Darkwing Duck and his sidekick Launchpad McQuack (spun off from DuckTales), as they fight crime in the city of St. Canard.
Final verdict: The show was a perfect tongue-in-cheek parody of classic comic books.
Darkwing Duck intro:
Original series run: Oct. 24, 1994–Feb. 15, 1997
Plot: A millennium after being magically frozen in stone, the Gargoyles come back to life in modern-day New York.
Final verdict: The series was awesome, and a big departure from other Disney Afternoon shows with its dark and complex storylines, violence, Shakespearean themes, and love triangles.
Also, Demona might be the greatest antihero Disney has have ever created in any genre.
Plus, good news for fans of the series, Disney has put the first three seasons up on YouTube.
Original series run: Sept. 18, 1987–Nov. 28, 1990
Plot: Donald Duck joins the Navy and leaves his extremely rich Uncle Scrooge in charge of his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
Final verdict: Disney’s most successful animated series not only created The Disney Afternoon, but, as Todd VanDerWerff at the A.V. Club points out, it helped fuel other studios (like Warner Bros.) into reworking their properties to produce their own shows, like Tiny Toons and Batman: The Animated Series.
But, most important of all, it was an amazing show with an awesome theme song (which you’re probably singing right now).
Disney Afternoon intro:
- Shannon Miles, who is suspected of ambushing and killing a Harris County, Texas, sheriff's deputy, was arrested Saturday and charged with capital murder. ›
- For the first time in history, there are three major hurricanes in the Pacific east of the International Dateline at the same time. ›
- Oliver Sacks, the famed neurologist and author, died Sunday from cancer. He was 82. ›