The Disney Channel launched nationally as a premium channel in 1983. It broadcasts original first-run television shows, theatrically released and original made-for-cable movies, and select other third-party programming. The majority of Disney Channel’s content is aimed at kids aged 9 to 16, and Disney Junior programs are targeted at children 8 years old and under.
Nickelodeon, which is often just called Nick for short, is an American basic cable and satellite television network launched in 1977. It was the first cable channel for children and is primarily aimed at children and adolescents aged 2 to 17. So how do these channels compare after all these years of broadcasting? That’s what we’ll find out, in this episode of The Infographics Show: DISNEY VS NICKELODEON.
It’s been roughly 90 years since The Walt Disney Company created Mickey Mouse, the comedic animal cartoon character and the mascot of Disney. The company was listed as one of the strongest, most powerful brands in the world in 2017, by consulting firm Brand Finance. At the time, it’s brand was valued at more than 34 billion dollars.
The Channel has over 100 Disney branded TV channels, broadcasts are available in over 30 languages, and shows reach 163 countries…Nickelodeon experienced modest success in the early 1980’s, but it wasn’t actually until the mid 1980’s that things really took off. After airing commercials in 1983, the network embarked on a major campaign to promote itself as an entertainment channel devoted to the interests of children. Very soon after, Nickelodeon’s ratings rose and programs such as the kids’ game show Double Dare saw Nickelodeon become the top-rated American children’s television station. As of January 2016, the channel was available to around 92 million households, which is nearly 80% of all households in the United States that have a television.
Both Disney and Nickelodeon are known for nurturing young talent and have acted as a platform for many young actors who’ve the gone on to be super stars…Before Miley Cyrus was a world famous pop star, she played a character in Disney Channel’s The Suite Life With Zack And Cody. And Hollywood A-lister Ryan Reynolds, started his career in a Canadian soap opera called Hillside, which Nickelodeon released in the US as a show called Fifteen.
So how do these 2 channels compare when it comes to the shows they’ve been broadcasting all these years? We’ve taken a look at some of the viewer voting lists as well as rankings on websites such as TV guide dot com, to bring you our top 5 best of all time, for both Disney and Nickelodeon. Let’s take a look.
At number 5 is In a Heartbeat, a Disney medical genre series that follows the lives of several teenagers who volunteer as part-time EMTs, while going to school and trying to maintain their lives as normal teenagers. The cast includes stars such as Shawn Ashmore and Lauren Collins and, though it only lasted a single season, the heart racing drama and great performances by the actors, made a career in medicine look super-hip.
For Nickelodeon it’s The legend of Korra at number 5 – You can’t go wrong with a vibrant story, strong characters, and stunning animation. Set in a fictional universe where some people can manipulate water, earth, fire, or air, the fight scenes are some of best animations that have ever been created. With some cool villains and a tough female lead, this Nickelodeon show ranks well.
Disney’s Gravity Falls is at number 4. Another animated piece, this show follows the adventures of Dipper Pines, voiced by Jason Ritter, and his twin sister Mabel, voiced by Kristen Schaal. It was based on a short film and popular opinion tells us it’s one of Disney’s best. It won two Primetime Emmys and was nominated for a Peabody Award.
For the Nick fans out there it’s Avatar – The Last Airbender, at number 4. An animated blend of comedy and action, all the characters have good depth, and main character Aang is extremely lovable. This series was commercially successful and was praised for its art direction, cultural references, humor, characters, and themes. It won Annie Awards, Genesis Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a Peabody Award.
At number 3 is the Disney Channel’s, That’s So Raven. This supernatural sitcom stars Raven Baxter who can see glimpses of the future. Watch her scheme as she enlists the help of best friends Eddie and Chelsea, to change life’s little outcomes. After its four-season run, the show spun off into another original series. One from the archives and definitely worth a watch.
Doug is at number 3 for Nickelodeon. This animated series created by Jim Jinkins, focuses on the early adolescent life of Douglas “Doug” Funnie, who experiences common predicaments while attending school in his hometown of Bluffington. Doug’s imagination is iconic and he’s a sweet, likeable kid with a big heart. The series premiered in 1991 as the channel’s first original animated content alongside Rugrats and The Ren & Stimpy Show.
Disney’s Even Stevens is at 2. This show introduced the world to Shia LaBeouf, who plays Louis Stevens, an underachieving middle school student, who struggles to get along with his sister, played by Christy Carlson Romano. The show aired on Disney for three seasons with 65 episodes, from June 2000 to June 2003, and it had a two-hour Disney Channel Original Movie finale.
Hey Arnold is Nickelodeon’s number 2. This show centers on a fourth grader named Arnold, who lives with his grandparents in the city. It explores issues such as alcoholism, addiction, and mental health, as well as Arnold’s natural adolescence experiences, that we can all relate to. Characters in Hey Arnold have a lot of depth and good back-stories, and though the show deals with real life problems, it still manages to remain hilariously funny.
And at number 1 for Disney is Lizzie McGuire. Enter the world where this 13 year old and her best friends Miranda and Gordo experience the ups and downs in the life of a middle schooler. This was a true Disney success, earning two Emmy nominations, a WGA award, and a BAFTA. It is also the only Disney series to have a theatrical movie spin-off. And it guest stars Aaron Carter, who famously became Duff’s boyfriend.
And for Nickelodeon it’s Rugrats at number 1. The animated classic focuses on a group of toddlers, and their day-to-day lives; how everyday common experiences, become adventures in a babies’ imagination. It’s considered one of the most important shows in the history of programs on Nickelodeon. It has very memorable characters that balance one another and great voice actors. The critically acclaimed series demonstrated that life as a Rugrat can be as treacherous, adventurous, and crazy as anything in the adult world.
So, that’s our assessment of Disney vs Nickelodeon. It’s not so much a competition, but an opportunity to explore the great shows both these channels have brought to life.
We’ve looked at the classics here today, but which of the 2 channels do you prefer and what are your favorite shows? Let us know in the comments. Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!