Monday morn, wake up time,
Get to work and stand in line
What would make you feel real fine?
One Saturday Morning!
cartoon block of the 1990s to be created by Disney.
In 1997, The Disney Afternoon
was running its last leg, and Disney
had just bought out ABC
. Peter Hastings, a former writer of Animaniacs
and Pinky and the Brain
, had just moved to them from Warner Bros.
out of his frustration with the Executive Meddling
happening to the latter cartoon, so he was put in charge of coming up with a new Saturday morning block for ABC. The idea he came up with (as seen in the block's intro sequence) was that the weekdays are represented as buildings, and the building for Saturday is a special one, where it is like "five hours of summer once a week", according to the theme song (ironically, most of the cartoons created for the block would tend to take place at school). It was called Disney's One Saturday Morning (the "one" being the building's address number).
One Saturday Morning was the name of not only the block, but also a two-hour live action hosting show whose hosts, and format, were tweaked from season to season. This was where episodes of three of the block's most prominently featured shows (newcomers Recess
and Pepper Ann
, and Disney's Retooled
version of Doug
) were presented. It was also home to many interstitial segments shown between the programs, listed below. The hosts and interstitials disappeared from the block in late 2000.
In spite of being filled with more E/I content than any of the other Saturday morning blocks (and pointing it out by having some guy say "Illuminating Television" over each show's intro sequence), One Saturday Morning was a very popular block, managing to stay on ABC for five years. In its third season, a companion block was added in the form of Disney's One Too, which ran on UPN
as a replacement for their own "Kids" block (in spite of being a corporate sibling to a competitor
, though it might have been sold off to Disney in order to get the Viacom/CBS merger approved at the time) on both weekday afternoons and Sunday mornings. (The weekday block was originally going to be called Whomptastic, but they probably changed it to the more fitting name probably because it would not make sense to name a block after the Recess
-made Unusual Euphemism
for "suck".) Like The Disney Afternoon
before it, One Saturday Morning also garnered its own soundtrack album of musical highlights from the shows (but confusingly, it was only released on cassette, and unlike its predecessor, it has never been made available on iTunes. Copies of this cassette are extremely rare).
Three of its shows became feature films: Doug's 1st Movie
(originally intended for a Direct-to-Video
release), which, while doing well in the box office, bombed with critics; Recess: School's Out
, which was by far the most successful movie of the three; and Teacher's Pet
(the only show from 2000-2003 to get a movie), which bombed in the box office and did well with critics.
One Saturday Morning aired its final broadcast on September 7, 2002, after which it was replaced by ABC Kids, which started off pretty strong, but quickly degenerated into nothing but Disney Channel
reruns which aired with a very odd "film" effect over them (and were laughable in actual E/I content) and butchered
versions of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
many times pre-empted by some station groups with actual educational shows. That eventually got the axe in Fall 2011 when Disney decided to move its kids' shows exclusively to its then-numerous cable networks, and was replaced with a block of E/I programs called Litton's Weekend Adventure
, run by Litton Entertainment instead of Disney. Most of the Litton shows are of the animal show variety, or have a No Budget
feel, though thankfully the infamous "Litton look" of their earlier cheaper efforts is gone; Litton also began to control CBS's Saturday morning block at the start of the 2013-14 season, and in the Fall 2014 season, they took over The CW's block (ironically under the name One Magnificent Morning
Meanwhile, most of the shows featured on the block went into syndicated reruns on the Disney Channel
and Toon Disney
, until the latter channel having since been replaced with Disney XD
. Sabrina: The Animated Series
was also rerun on DiC
's CBS Saturday morning blocks from 2007 until early 2011. 101 Dalmatians: The Series
was reran on Disney Channel
, but at 4:00 AM (as part of Disney Junior
(for whatever reason, as it's not a preschool show at all) for a short time in early 2011). Recess
was rerun on Disney XD
for a short time in October 2011. It's not the same anymore.
Apparently, Disney has not removed its site yet, and it hasn't been updated since 2003. Check it out here
Shows that ran on One Saturday Morning (and One Too):
- 101 Dalmatians: The Series (Thirteen episodes would premiere on ABC, while the rest would be syndicated)
- Disney's Doug (which had already been running for a season before that)
- Pepper Ann
- Recess (the only show to appear throughout the entirety of the block's run)
- Jungle Cubs
- The Bugs Bunny and Tweety Show (because their contract didn't expire yet, though, at the time, it was already on its last legs, as Looney Tunes cartoons were getting more exposure on The WB and on Cartoon Network, especially on Cartoon Network, where 90% of the cartoons shown were uncut and uncensored)
- The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh reruns (only to fill up their "edutainment" requirement)
- Schoolhouse Rock (again, to fill out their "edutainment" requirement, though, after awhile, those got phased out)
- Science Court (Not owned by Disney), retooled the following season as Squigglevision
- Hercules: The Series
- House of Mouse
- Sabrina: The Animated Series (Created by DiC with some production by Buena Vista)
- The Weekenders
- Teacher's Pet
- Buzz Lightyear of Star Command
- Lloyd in Space
- Mary Kate and Ashley in Action! (Created by DiC)
- Teamo Supremo
- Lizzie McGuire (Reruns only)
- Even Stevens (Reruns only)
- Digimon Frontier (One Too only)
Interstitial segments from the block's first three seasons included:
- Mrs Mungers Class - Conversations between the titular teacher and her students are presented as Flash-animated yearbook photos.
- Tube Dwellers - The continuing adventure of two guys named Bob working in your TV.
- Manny the Uncanny - Starring Paul Rugg.
- Genie's Great Minds Think for Themselves - The Genie from Aladdin presents facts about inventors and other notable historical figures. Notably, Robin Williams voices the character once again.
- How Much Stuff Could an Elephant Crush? - Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Find Out Why - Hosted by Timon and Pumbaa, these segments involved Pumbaa asking Timon a question, starting as "Timon, ever wonder why/how/what___?" (Usually, "Why do we sneeze?" "How is thunder caused?"), with Timon answering something outlandish to the question. Pumbaa then explains about the said subject. A few of these were released on the special edition DVD of The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride.
Tropes present include:
- Artifact Title: To an extent. "One Saturday Morning" was not only based on fact, but it was also the address of the building where the hosting interstitials took place. In September 2000, those segments were dropped and didn't have any hosting at all.
- Channel Hop: Because The Weekenders, Teacher's Pet, Lloyd in Space, and Teamo Supremo were renewed before the switch to ABC Kids, new episodes of the shows would end up being aired on Toon Disney.
- Conspicuous CG: The intro, and even over fifteen years later, it is awesome!
- Expy / Follow the Leader: Centerville for Mrs. Munger's Class.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: The earwormy theme song borrows a tune from an Appalachian folk-song called "That's What You Do With Baby", which suggests unkind things to do "with Baby" if Baby doesn't settle down.
- Irony: The theme song states the block is "Five hours of summer once a week". Almost all of the shows are about school.
- This got worse during the actual summer months. No they did not change the theme.
- Novelization: No, seriously. At least three chapter books were published containing adaptations of episodes of Recess, Pepper Ann, and Doug, as well as some of the interstitials.
- One Steve Limit: Averted in Tube Dwellers; both of the characters are named Bob.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "FIND! OUT! WHY!!!!!!!"
- Retool: In September 2000. The short segements and hosting interstitials were dropped, a different and shorter version of the theme tune replaced the original (Also replacing the visuals; this time having characters from The Weekenders (Replaced with the characters from Teamo Supremo in 2002), Recess, and Teacher's Pet interacting with live-action kids in a live-action field (Characters from Lloyd in Space were added in 2001)), and the "one" in the logo changed design.
- 65-Episode Cartoon: All their shows prior to 2000, when most of the shows from 2000-2002 ended with thirty-nine episodes or less. Almost averted with Recess, as ABC wanted to order more episodes after the initial sixty-five, but Disney declined.
- Theme Naming: "One Saturday Morning" is the name of the fictional address, and based on fact.
- Totally Radical: Somewhat.
- Wolverine Publicity: Recess was their number-one show, to the point where they would always advertise it more than the other shows...even after it ended production.