Rick Ungar, creator of the 90s Fox Kids series Biker Mice From Mars (1993-1996), recently confirmed that Disney obtained the distribution rights in 2001 when Fox Kids and Fox Family were sold to Disney (which renamed the channel ABC Family and has since renamed it Freeform). Any residual issues were probably resolved when Disney bought 20th Century Fox in 2019.
After reaching out to him he confirmed to me that not only did Disney have access to the series, he doesn’t know why aren’t streaming it. It’s another in the long stream of sad reminders of how underutilized the Fox library is and how few nostalgia titles for Millennials Disney has released since Disney+ launched. With the exception of the Marvel series, Disney has completely ignored all the Fox Kids cartoons they obtained. It also wastes all the hard work the cast and crew put into these series. Today’s kids would almost certainly find mice on motorcycles irresistible!
After going through the Fox Family library I was surprised (and dismayed) to see that the series owned by DIC, Nelvana, and Warner Brothers were mostly available on Prime Video, Tubi, and Boomerang streaming app. Yet again hammering home how little Disney seems to care about their cartoons. It’s odd that Disney has such a small library and still can’t be bothered to prep and drop ~40 classic cartoons from ABC, Fox Kids, Jetix, and Toon Disney that they’ve sat on for 10-20 years.
It is believed that in addition to Biker Mice From Mars Disney could now choose to license and stream:
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1990-1991)
This show was so weird.
Peter Pan & the Pirates (1990-1991)
Considering Disney is releasing a new Peter Pan movie in 2021, you’d think they’d want the classic cartoon.
Little Shop (1991)
Another odd choice for a kid’s cartoon. I want it.
Eek! The Cat (1992-1997)
This would absolutely appeal to today’s kids.
Life with Louie (1994-1998)
Yet another gem with enough episodes and timeless stories to entertain kids all over again. Some DVDs were released in the UK in 2007.
The Tick (1994-1996)
UPDATE: August 22nd: The Tick is now on HULU…?
Prepare to be frustrated. The entire irreverent series is streaming on IMDBTV (owned by Amazon). Disney ownership is confirmed by Amazon listing the provider as “Fox.” The entire series is listed on YouTube by multiple accounts. Disney values its IP so little that they don’t even enforce the copyright on this. Why not? It’s a brilliant show that Disney+ would benefit from streaming…
Mad Jack the Pirate (1998-1999)
Never saw this series but it looks wacky.
NASCAR Racers (1999-2001)
This aired on Jetix, so the NASCAR licensing should be something they can work around if they wanted to stream it.
So there you have it. Disney owns about 10 Fox Kids cartoons that would all add a unique flavor to Disney+.
Request at help.disneyplus.com. Click Give Feedback. Request these titles. It’ silly to own things like this that have no pre-existing contracts and lock them away when Disney+ is always going to be in need of fresh content. Stock up the stuff you already own. Please?
Drew Ryan is a film, TV, and Disney geek. He has degrees in English, Student Personnel Administration, and Library & Information Science from Lawrence University, Concordia University-Wisconsin, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Interested in the minutia and licensing of streaming service content, he is always publishing lists, suggestions, and advocating for Disney’s missing library to be added to Disney+. Drew subscribes to Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, and Paramount+. You can find him waxing nostalgic over classic Disney Channel or geeking out over Marvel, CW shows, & Disney on Twitter.