OPTUS VISION has suffered acutely from a lack of general interest and
general entertainment channels. A solid diet of sport and movies, with one
nobbled together "documentary" channel, the Turner package of CNN and TNT, the
SkyNews feed and some esoteric exotica, hardly add up to a rich and worthwhile
offering. With the advent of the Disney channel, Optus Vision goes some way to
broadening its base.
The Disney Channel, which kicks off with the TV premiere of Aladdin at 6.30
pm on Saturday, June 8, is much more than an endless collection of old Disney
material. The programming ranges from old TV series such as Zorro and Tarzan
through series for tiny tots like Fraggle Rock, The Muppet Babies and Pooh's
Corner, to the classic Disney productions including Dumbo and That Darn Cat.
The channel will also run middle-of-the-road music specials on people and
groups such as Cliff Richard, the Little River Band, Jason Donovan, Julie
Andrews and Wet Wet Wet. There will also be documentaries and a range of
entertainment specials on people such as Jack Lemmon, Aretha Franklin and Audrey
It is indicative of the channel's diversity that the schedule for Sunday June
9 includes a profile of Clint Eastwood, movie-length versions of The Wind in
the Willows and Alice in Wonderland and episodes of The Muppet Show, Dumbo's
Circus and Chip N Dale.
Inevitably, the great Disney characters - Donald Duck and his extended
family, Mickey Mouse and his family - will loom large but, in essence, this is
the general entertainment channel that Optus Vision has so desperately needed.