Oh, Mickey, Where Art Thou?

Recently, I read a post on the Toon Zone forums about members requesting what shows they would like to see airing on Hasbro’s fledgling cable/satellite channel The Hub (which debuted on 10-10-10 and as of this writing is 1 year and 4 months old). In this aforementioned thread, one member, a self-described “Classic television fan” requested that The Hub should air old-school Disney cartoons such Ducktales, Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin and even the classic Disney shorts starring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto and company with the reasoning that “Disney Channel isn’t airing them anymore, so why not bring them to The Hub?”.

I’ve read similar posts like this before with fans wanting Disney cartoons and Nicktoons to air on Boomerang and similar requests. Now, I think at this point that it’s obvious that you’re never, never, NEVER (and did I mention never?) going to see Disney cartoons on The Hub, and it should be equally obvious why this will never happen. Disney and Viacom are notoriously stingy when it comes to loaning out their properties; they don’t play ‘sharsies’. Exactly how would Disney benefit from loaning out shows featuring it’s trademark characters to a competing network so the competitor can make money off of them? And how would Hasbro benefit from their channel becoming a vessel for the competition? A “Disney Too” channel, if you will? Answer: They wouldn’t. Not in the least. Yeah, I know that The Hub has aired Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, which is a  Disney movie, and  I know that The Hub has aired Muppet movies, and the Muppets are also currently owned by Disney, but here’s the thing: Cartoon Network has also aired less celebrated Disney movies such as Operation Dumbo Drop and Angels in the Outfield. Movies and TV shows that aren’t directly associated with the Mouse House are OK, but anything with Mickey, Goofy, Minnie, Donald, Buzz, Woody, Belle, Ariel or any other characters that are synonymous with Disney, forget about it! That would be like promoting the competition. Disney would sooner sit on those cartoons than let one of it’s rivals get rich off of them. Sure, from a fan’s perspective, that would be great, but from a business perspective, that wouldn’t be a smart move. At all. Mickey’s head doubles as the studio’s trademark. Disney loaning out it’s trademark characters to The Hub would make as much sense as KFC letting Popeye’s have it’s secret recipe.

In response to others’ statements regarding this, the Fan goes on to type:

I think Disney should let them go and air elsewhere as opposed to them just sitting around collecting dust and not getting any air exposure. From a viewer standpiont, I could care less where they air as long as they air SOMEWHERE. I want to see them.

Ignoring the fact that saying “I could care less” is incorrect. The expression is “I couldn’t care less”, as in “I couldn’t possibly care any less than I do now”. Saying “I could care less” implies that you could care more, It’s the general attitude conveyed in the above statement that annoys me. First, this goes back to what I covered earlier; Disney wouldn’t benefit financially in the slightest by “letting their cartoons go and air elsewhere” as in on a channel that’s owned by one of their competitors, so doing so would be just plain stupid. Second, In my time on message boards, I’ve read this rhetoric several times. This attitude from so-called “fans” that they’re dissatisfied that their favorite shows aren’t airing on their favorite channels anymore, but they’re not so dissatisfied that they’d be willing to get up off of their duffs and actually do something about it. Yes, it is too bad that we can’t see Disney theatrical shorts on the Disney Channel anymore. I agree with that, but it’s not like Disney has completely washed it’s collective hands of the “classics”. There are DVDs currently available of the classic Disney shorts, as well as some of the Disney Afternoon shows. If you really want to see them again, buy the DVDs. Look for them on legal streaming sites such as iTunes or Amazon.com. Look for them on YouTube. That’s a much more reasonable course of action than just sitting on the couch waiting for the networks to come around to your way of thinking.

I understand fans wanting to complain about their favorite shows not airing on “their” channels anymore, but what I don’t understand are these “TV or nothing” fans or this bizarre sense of entitlement that many (not all of them, mind you, but some) seem to carry around with them like spoiled children, as if the networks owe them something. The networks don’t owe you these shows any more than they owe you an explanation as to why they’re not airing them anymore. Entertainment is a business, just like any other, and in order for a network to stay in business, it must keep moving forward. Networks don’t program for individuals, and they can’t endlessly loop their shows from 1 era for all eternity just because a small group of fans refuse to let go of the past. Your wanting to see the Disney shows isn’t Hasbro’s concern, and The Hub is no more obligated to provide you with old Disney cartoons than The Disney Channel is.

Anyway, you’re not at the mercy of TV. There are other resources out there. You just have to look for them. And to the people who reply with “Not everybody has a job and can buy DVDs”, My response to this is: Irrelevant. Alcoholics will do whatever they have to do in order to get a drink. Junkies will do whatever they have to do in order to get their fix. You just need to think of your favorite shows as your personal drink or drug. If you want them bad enough, you’ll do whatever you need to do in order to enjoy them, and if you’re not willing to do that, then it obviously doesn’t mean that much to you, so there’s no point in complaining about it. These people always seem to be the ones making the most noise about how dissatisfied they are, but at the same time, they don’t want to do anything that requires any sort of effort on their part. If you’re not willing to leave your “comfort zone” or compromise even a little to get what you want, then don’t go around calling yourselves “fans”, because a true fan would do whatever he or she needed to do in order to get their TV goodness, and if you’re not willing to muster any of your cash to buy DVDs or get up out of your chair to search the internet, then you obviously don’t want it bad enough, which makes you only a fair-weather fan, and as we know, close only counts in horseshoes.


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