In a summer that’s already jammed packed with reboots (i.e., Paramount’s already beached movie version of Baywatch, Universal Pictures’ rapidly unraveling Mummy, as well as Sony’s still-eagerly-anticipated Spider-Man: Homecoming), how can Disney XD make its “DuckTales” reboot stand out from the crowd? By staging a programming event.
Mind you, given that the Disney Channel already had a pretty impressive programming event in the works for “Descendants 2” (i.e., to make sure that this Disney Channel Original Movie reaches the largest possible audience when it debuts on July 21st at 8 p.m., “Descendants 2” will have a simultaneous premiere on five networks within the Disney / ABC Television Group. To be specific: On ABC, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Freeform and Lifetime as well as each of these network’s branded digital platforms) … Well, the folks at Disney XD knew that they needed to do something different with their “DuckTales” reboot.
Which is why they decided to replicate one of the more famous programming events of the past 25 years. Which was when the Cartoon Network commemorated The Iron Giant‘s debut on that cable channel by repeatedly airing this Brad Bird film. From 7 p.m. on July 2, 2002 straight through to 7 p.m. on July 3rd of that same year, that’s all you could see on Cartoon Network. The Iron Giant, over & over again.
Some industry insiders today say that it was this specific programming event that ultimately led to the animation community revisiting & then reassessing this Warner Bros. release (which – when it was initially released to theaters back on July 31, 1999 – was hobbled by this amazingly inept promotional effort that that studio had mounted. As a direct result, this Brad Bird film only earned $23 million during its initial domestic run. Which – given The Iron Giant‘s $70 million production costs – led many in Hollywood to quickly write this animated feature off as a dud).
Nowadays, this Warner Brothers Feature Animation production is considered to be a modern classic. But that only really came about because someone at the Cartoon Network (who already thought that The Iron Giant was really special) tried to get the rest of the world to notice this Brad Bird film too by repeatedly broadcasting it over & over again on that cable channel over a single 24-hour period.
Well, someone pretty high up at Disney XD must feel that this “DuckTales” reboot is really special as well. Which is why – on Saturday, August 12th beginning at midnight ET/ PT – they’ll be presenting the hour-long TV movie that Disney XD is using to relaunch this much-loved animated series for 24 consecutive hours.
And then when this new animated comedy-adventure officially debuts on that cable channel as a series, Disney XD is doubling down on this multiple airing concept. Which is why – on Saturday, September 23rd – two new episodes of "DuckTales" will air at 7 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m., 8 p.m., & 10:30 p.m. ET / PT.
And – as is the de rigueur in today’s multiple viewing device world – each of these “DuckTales” episodes will be available on the Disney XD app and Disney XD VOD on those same dates.
To give folks a taste of what lies ahead, Disney XD also made the opening titles of this new animated series available for viewing earlier today. It features a slightly reimaging version of the “DuckTales” theme song that Emmy Award-winner Mark Mueller wrote for this Walt Disney Television Animation production back in the 1980s with Felicia Barton providing the vocals and Michael “Smidi” Smith & Dominic Lewis produced this track.