Glossy Time Capsules #11
The Disney Channel Magazine
Price: Free for Disney Channel subscribers
I own exactly one issue of this magazine, which I only bought (at an estate sale or something) because it had Robin Hood on the cover.
However, perusing the list and photos of other issues, I'm beginning to desire more of these. Look at those covers! Pollyanna! Anne Shirley! Mary Poppins! Road to Avonlea! MISS BLISS!
We never had The Disney Channel growing up. It was presumably a Rich Kid Thing, and either I didn't know any kids of that status, or the ones I did know were too modest to mention that they got this premium channel.
The good news, for this deprived 80's child who didn't even have basic cable until the age of 17, was that a lot of the Disney movies debuting over there made their way onto regular ol' broadcast TV within a year or two, giving the rest of us a chance to enjoy them. As for those movies and shows that didn't cross the great divide, well, there was always the local video store or the public library, or... total obscurity.
Yes, sadly, there must have been a lot that didn't cross over, because looking at what was offered on The Disney Channel in good old 1985, I'm seeing a lot of unfamiliar faces....
The Red Balloon, sure, I know that one. It was one of those easily-accessible VHSes in the 80s that happened to also be rated G. Parents and teachers loved it.
I've lived my entire life, however, never hearing about nor seeing The Boatniks (1970), Sea Urchins (TV, 1980), The Golden Seal (1983), or Little Dragons....
Two Karate-Trained friends, a gang of Motorcycle Toughs, and a Trendy Grandfather!?!? Say no more! Movie over, all problems solved forever!!!
Xenophobia leads to attempted murder.... hmmm, where have we seen that before...? :(
A gang of young vandals -- my oh my! Well, at least they're only out to destroy a boat, not shoot someone's plane out of the sky.
Wow, The Disney Channel did seem to love showing movies that included "gangs." In Escapade In Florence, it's a gang of international art thieves.
TDC seemed to love thieves, too. In The Moon-Spinners, it's a jewel thief...
There also seemed to be an affinity for movies about heists in foreign lands.
Although you could occasionally have a good "antique art" mystery right at home...
But then, of course, there was the ULTIMATE Disney movie about gangs (of merry men) AND jewel thieves IN foreign lands (well, England)!! And that was none other than....
HECK YEAH ROBIN HOOD!
And, when all that got to be too much, you had Five Mile Creek, an Australian TV series about, um, coach drivers?
Nicole Kidman, though!
Meanwhile, in preschool programming...
Circus life... under the big top wor-orld....
SO MUCH TO SEE
NO TIME TO WASTE
And while you weren't able to see this on the Disney Channel (apparently?) you could certainly buy it on VHS and own it FOREVER...
Strangely, that's nearly it for ads in this magazine, although of course they would like us to buy some Disney merchandise, so long as we're here....
But why, in a legit Disney magazine, does Mickey Mouse look like a knockoff toy from a foreign land?
Is his face secretly filled with stolen jewels? Is this all part of an elaborate heist? Does it involve gangs? I really hope it does.
Which had, it seems, recently aired on The Disney Channel.
Ray Norman of Virginia even deigned to write in to announce that he's happy nothing "adult" was left out of the broadcast. No superimposed seashells on any mermaid breasts, thank you very much.
* * *
So... what else did The Disney Channel Magazine offer its readers?
Why, articles, of course!
I do love a good coloring contest.
Look, more (arguably) fun activities!
GEE I WONDER WHAT IT WILL BE WHEN I FINISH DOTTING?
And finally, a little peek into what was in store for viewers in July, 1985:
ABANDON YOUR TV AND RUN LIKE MAD FOR A THEATER NEAR YOUUUUU!