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The Big Three Join Streaming Wars

A Look at Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney’s Streaming Services

This past week saw a lot of big news regarding the ongoing streaming wars. First, Disney entered the fight with their new streaming service, Disney+. Hot on the heels of that, Nickelodeon announced their own long-term deal with Netflix. With Cartoon Network slated to join HBO Max’s lineup at launch next year, the message is clear. The Big Three have joined the streaming wars.

For an entire generation of kids, the Big Three of Animation were the ones who made the best cartoons on TV. As a result, the news of the trio joining the streaming wars was big news on social media. As a fan of shows made by all three of these entities, I couldn’t resist giving my two cents. So, I’ll be giving my thoughts and opinions on each company, their streaming service, and how I think they’ll do.

Nickelodeon and Netflix

When I was a kid, Nickelodeon seemed like the best place to watch cartoons; or rather, Nicktoons. They had so many great shows, like Spongebob, Fairly Oddparents, Rugrats, and of course, Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon looked like a cartoon giant, but then they started focusing more on their sitcoms. After that, I lost interest. However, this deal with Netflix could breathe new life into the Nicktoons.

Unlike the other Big Three of Cartoons, Nickelodeon’s not using an in-house streaming service. Instead, they’re formally teaming up with Netflix, which is the best possible move they can make. Firstly, Netflix’s still the top dog in the streaming business, and with Disney+ up and HBO Max to come next year, they want to stay that way. By relying on the lineup of Nicktoons beloved by millions as kids, they’ll be able to compete with Warner and Disney’s bigger library of cartoons. Both Nick and Netflix will win.

Cartoon Network and HBO Max

I didn’t start watching Cartoon Network until later in my childhood. However, once I started, I couldn’t stop watching. They’ve been churning out good cartoons for the last twenty plus years. As a result, I kept coming back to Cartoon Network long after I left Nickelodeon. In fact, I credit shows like Adventure Time and Regular Show for keeping me interested in cartoons. It feels natural that Warner would put them on their roster for HBO Max.

Next to Disney, Cartoon Network has access to the biggest library of cartoons, and one that’s not limited to their original shows. As part of Warner, CN can use the works of Hanna Barbera and Looney Tunes. Technically, Adult Swim also falls under Cartoon Network. While its currently unknown if they’ll bring any shows, Rick and Morty’s confirmed to join HBO Max. In other words, Cartoon Network’s got a lot to bring to streaming. However, given how much the subscription for HBO Max is said to be, this may cause them suffer.

Disney and Disney+

The last of the Big Three that I got into, I didn’t start watching Disney cartoons in earnest until Phineas and Ferb. My timing couldn’t have been better. The 2010’s saw Disney create its fair share of great cartoons; several of which I’ve written about. From the looks of things, they plan on heading into 2020 with even more great cartoons.

Disney’s library of cartoon shows is as impressive as their films, and that extends to the new Disney+. I haven’t seen much of it yet, but it seems they got most of the classic Disney Afternoon block on there, so that’s a big win. I actually went on Twitter and found Darkwing Duck to be trending! In addition to their original content, Disney+ has shows from properties that Disney owns, like Marvel, Fox, and Star Wars. All of these hit shows, in addition to how a subscritption only $6.99 a month, make for a tough combination to beat.

Which of the Big Three Will Come Out on Top?

Given everything that we know, I think it’s too soon to tell which of the Big Three will win the streaming wars. They each have really good cartoons that they bring to their respective streaming service. It may not seem like much, but since the millenials are now adults with money to spend, the cartoons they watched as kids could be a big factor in their companies’ success. As much as I love all three, I think the one that may come out on top will be Cartoon Network.

While HBO Max will be far more expensive than Netflix or Disney+, it partially justifies this given how much content they have planned. Regarding Cartoon Network, though, I think they’ve done the best job at consistently making good cartoons. Their famous line of “Cartoon Cartoons” lasted from 1996 to 2009 with the finale to Ed Edd n’ Eddy. In fact, Ed Edd n’ Eddy lasted for more than ten years. That’s superhuman by cartoon standards. In addition, the channel’s unbelievably successful cartoons this past decade. Regular Show became their first property to have an official movie since the end of Ed Edd n’ Eddy; Adventure Time spawned a generation-spanning fanbase; and need I say more about Steven Universe?

Given everything I’ve seen, and despite the high price of HBO Max, I think that Cartoon Network may come out on top in the Streaming Wars. However, I personally don’t mind who wins, as its the fans who win in the end. The Big Three are giving us a chance to see the shows we loved as a kid again, and maybe give us hope for reboots. That’s enough to make me happy, and I hope it’s enough for others out there. Besides, I’ve learned to stay out of this stuff.

Do you agree with my choice? Which of the Big Three did you enjoy the most growing up? Who do you think will win the streaming wars? Let me know in the comments down below.

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