With the heaters turned on and the hot water bottles and warm apparel resurfacing, it doesn’t take much to convince families to stay indoors this frosty winter.

As such, the Disney Channel (DStv channel 303) has decided to introduce the Disney Channel Family Block on Fridays.

The Oscar-winning animation Ratatouille launched the family programming on Friday at 5pm.

For those who missed it on the big screen, the plot revolves around an anthropomorphic rat named Remy (Patton Oswalt), who has a passion for cooking. Unfortunately, being a rat means that he isn’t welcome at Auguste Gusteau’s Parisian restaurant. Somehow, he manages to befriend Alfredo Linguini (Lou Romano) after unwittingly helping him salvage a soup dish he spilt. Meanwhile, Skinner (Ian Holm), a diminutive chef and owner of Auguste Gusteau’s restaurant, smells a rat (pun intended) with Linguini’s new cooking skills and, after learning that he is Gusteau’s son and the rightful heir to the restaurant, plots to retain his status and continue with his scheme to exploit Gusteau’s name by launching a range of microwavable meals.

But Skinner’s plan goes pear-shaped thanks to Remy’s intervention.

For those who missed Friday’s screening, Ratatouille airs again on June 29 and July 27.

The line-up includes Aladdin & The King of Thieves, which airs this Friday. The animation is centred on Aladdin (Scott Weinger) and Princess Jasmine (Linda Larkin) preparing for their wedding… only to have the ceremony interrupted by the infamous Forty Thieves, led by Cassim (John Rhys-Davies). Cassim is after a piece of treasure that is deemed the receptacle of a powerful oracle. And this leads Aladdin on an interesting journey where he learns a shocking truth.

Another must-see is The Return of Jafar, which is a spin-off from Aladdin. This time, Jafar, the resident villain, decides he wants to rule Agrabah and tries to get rid of all that stand in his way – Aladdin, Princess Jasmine, Genie, Abu, Carpet, the Sultan and Iago. This airs on June 22.

Keeping the teen brigade suitably impressed are: Den Brother (June 8), about Alex Pearson who, in an effort to impress his father and get a new car, has to improve his attitude by babysitting his little sister… only to end up the unofficial leader of her Bumble Bee troupe; Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure (June 15), about Sharpay Evans, a spoilt Paris Hilton-type, who, in realising her dreams to be a Broadway actress, learns some serious life lessons about being an adult in New York; Radio Rebel (July 6), about a shy 17-year-old and her alter ego as a podcast DJ; Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (July 13), which sees the Russo family – Alex (Selena Gomez), Justin (David Henrie), Max (Jake T Austin), and their parents Jerry (David DeLuise) and Theresa (Maria Canals Barrera) – roped into an adventure involving magical spells and wizards while en route to the Caribbean for a holiday; and, last, The Cheetah Girls: One World (July 20), where the Cheetah girls have a dance-off against Gita, a movie choreographer, and her back-up dancers – all vying to feature in a new Bollywood movie, Namaste Bombay.

By the way, Let it Shine is scheduled for August and The Lion King for September.

Given the feast of films, it will leave little room for family squabbles and, in so doing, more time for them to bond.


To celebrate the Disney Channel Family Movie Block, Tonight and Disney Channel, in conjunction with DStv, are giving away 5 DStv HD PVR 2P decoders with installation and one month free DStv premium subscription included.

This prize will include a hamper comprising films featured in the Disney Channel Family Movie Block.

To stand a chance to win, simply answer this easy question: When and at what time is the Disney Channel Family Movie Block?

E-mail the answer, along with your daytime contact details to: [email protected]

The competition closes at 5pm on Wednesday. Terms and conditions apply and the prize is subject to availability.

Terms and conditions:

• The prize includes only one month’s subscription but the balance of the subscription is for the winner’s account.

• DVDs included in the prize giveaway cannot be exchanged.

• The prize is not redeemable for cash, nor is it transferable.

• Tonight, Disney and DStv shall not be liable for any loss, damage or injury that may arise from acceptance of these prizes.

• The judges’ decision is final.

• This competition is not open to any employee of Independent Newspapers, immediate families of DStv or Disney and Disney-associated media employees and their immediate families.