In Defense of Jetix

Was Jetix really all that bad?
January 16, 2018

I've been surfing on RetroJunk, and a lot of articles say that Jetix is terrible and Disney should get rid of it. (This was before they did get rid of Jetix, by the way.) I'm going to tell these Junkers(yes, I'm calling RetroJunk users Junkers now) why Jetix was actually fairly decent, even if I never got Toon Disney or Jetix on my providers. I mean, it did take up WAY too much airtime on Toon Disney, but it's not horrible. This will require some backstory.

This is- or should I say, was- Fox Kids. The majority of 90s kids immediately gush when they see this logo, saying it's the greatest thing since sliced bread or toilet paper. In my opinion, if I were alive during the 90s, I would have watched Zoog Disney instead.

But anyway, back to Fox Kids. For the 1990s, it was a powerhouse among programming blocks, back before decent kids blocks on network television were not completely dead. With programming like Power Rangers and X-Men, it helped Fox become one of the titans of television, along with the Simpsons and the X-Files. In 1998, however, Fox and Saban(which had recently merged with Fox Kids to become Fox Kids Worldwide) decided to make a television channel to compete with the likes of Nickelodeon: Fox Family.

It desperately wanted to be Nickelodeon without suffering copyright problems from Nickelodeon and it's owner, the all powerful copyright god Viacom. So instead, it looked like it's Canadian equivalent, YTV. Also that year, Disney launched Toon Disney.

Toon Disney was Disney's answer to Cartoon Network, airing both contemporary and classic Disney shows, as well as shows from its then-current subsidiary, DiC(oh, get your mind out of the gutter), after Zoog, Playhouse, and Vault Disney took over Disney Channel proper.

In 2001, Fox Family Worldwide(formerly Fox Kids Worldwide) was struggling. Declining ratings, bad decisions(Boyz and Girlz Channels... really?), no more westerns, being forced to air the 700 Club, etc. etc. So, that's why they decided to sell themselves... to Disney. And Fox leased their Saturday morning lineup... to 4Kids.

The horror! The unadulterated, TV-Y7 horror!
So anyway, the US Fox Kids was gone, its programming either moved to ABC Kids or the recently renamed ABC Family as part of the then unnamed ABC Family Action Block. However, Fox Kids was still around in other countries as a 24/7 channel. And you say your childhood was good. So, in 2004, Disney and Fox decided to merge the action block and the channels to the new name of Jetix, which was decided by... FOCUS GROUPS. Hey, at least they're focus groups of children. According to Wikipedia, "Many of the children picked the name as it implied action and adventure, and the company was able to use the name internationally due to its ambiguity." And so, Valentines Day 2004, Jetix launched it's tidal wave of action and adventure in the US on both Toon Disney and ABC Family with... a trading card game. Hey, it's cooler than it sounds... I think.

The ABC Family block ended in 2006, but the Toon Disney block lived on, as did the channels. A lot of the stuff they aired was aired on Fox Kids as well. It brought in views for Toon Disney. New Power Rangers! Then, in 2008, Disney increased it's Jetix share to 96%, with intent to purchase the next 4%. And so, in 2009, almost exactly five years after it's US launch, Jetix- and Toon Disney- became Disney XD.

Somebody thought this was a good thing to name a network.

In conclusion, Jetix was an amazing underdog of kids TV, not the spawn of Satan everyone thinks/thought it was. Disney XD has actually cemented it's place as a proper replacement for both Jetix and Toon Disney, showing almost exclusively cartoons, some action, some comedy, with the only real live-action stuff now being movies... kind of like Cartoon Network nowadays, except this one aired both- not one, both Willy Wonka movies. No, really. So before you go, remember: Jetix may be dead, but it lives on in our hearts.
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