These days, it is not uncommon for people to make special videos in which they take scenes from popular cartoons and set them to various songs. Thanks to YouTube, many such videos, more commonly known as AMVs (anime music videos), have been posted, and while they are mostly made by amateurs, there was a time when a major company made videos that were not referred to as AMVs, but which still combined classic animated footage with popular songs. The company in question was Disney, which in the 1980s, created their own series of music videos called D-TV in response to the increasing popularity of MTV. While this series has not been seen for over a decade, it is still a fine example of how successful a combination of cartoon footage and rock music could be.
Simply put, each D-TV video had a specific song playing to footage from several Disney cartoons. Familiar Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy could be seen, as well as one-shot characters and those from such classic Disney movies as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, and The Sword in the Stone. As for the music used, they mostly consisted of songs from the 1950s and 1960s, with 1980s music, classical songs, and even some Disney tunes used on occasion. The animation tended to match the songs in some way, and the result was a delightful blend of memorable cartoons and music that people have grown to love.
A lot of the D-TV songs were shown in between programs on the Disney Channel starting in 1984. It helped that at the time, the network was commercial free. The series was so popular that a trio of specials aired on NBC in the mid-1980s, and each one had a series of songs related to a specific theme. A pair of Valentine specials, D-TV Valentine and D-TV Doggone Valentine, consisted of love songs, while my personal favorite special, D-TV Monster Hits, featured songs and cartoons that were suitable for Halloween. I had the latter special taped off of TV, complete with the original commercials, but sadly, I lost the tape many years ago.
Also during the 1980s, a number of VHS tapes featuring D-TV songs were released, and each tape contained a collection of songs based on a single theme, such as one featuring golden oldies and another consisting of rhythm and blues music. The tapes are out-of-print and can be hard to find these days. As for the D-TV series, it stopped airing by the end of the 1990s, by which time the Disney Channel had been airing commercials for a while. The chances of the series being released on DVD are quite slim on account of music licensing issues, which is a shame for those who enjoyed the blend of classic Disney cartoons and beloved pop songs.
I was mostly exposed to D-TV from renting D-TV videos from the video store as a child, and I loved them. It was fun seeing all of the wonderful animated footage being shown from various cartoons, while at the same time, the music was catchy and memorable. It helped that it is the same type of music that is commonly played on oldies stations to this day, and even at a young age, I was enjoying 1950s and 1960s music a lot. D-TV was a great series, and I wish that it could still be shown to today’s young audience, as what passes for entertainment aimed at kids nowadays is inferior to what I was exposed to during my youth. I hear that Disney has brought back the series with a new name, Re-Micks, but so far, the cartoon footage has been set to more current tunes instead of older songs. Children should be allowed to watch the classic D-TV series to hear and love the music that my parents grew up with, and maybe they will feel, as I do, that the music of today cannot compare to the great music of days gone by.
If D-TV served as the inspiration for some people to make their own AMVs, it would not surprise me one bit, as it was a superb combination of classic animated footage and popular music. Those who want to see some D-TV videos could try and look for the tapes online, but they have become quite hard to find. Luckily, a variety of D-TV videos can be found on YouTube, so those who were exposed to the series can relive the memories of seeing them when they were younger, while potential new fans may agree that this is how what is essentially a professional AMV should be made. Any way you see these shorts, do so now, and I am sure that you too will agree that Disney cartoons and classic rock songs are a match made in heaven.