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The Pokémon Company International and Disney XD announced an exclusive deal this week to make the channel the American home for its animated content. Disney XD will air the 20th season of the Pokémon animated series, Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon, and a new feature-length animated film in December. The network also has the option to air episodes from the previous 15 seasons of the show, as well as the past 15 movies.
The new series will debut in early 2017 on Disney XD, and feature all-new, never-before-seen Pokémon characters. The cartoon series has been extremely popular in the United States for decades, and has previously appeared on The WB, Cartoon Network, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Video before this most recent exclusive deal with Disney XD.
Pokémon is the English abbreviated form for the name Japanese anime series Pocket Monsters, or Poketto Monsutā. The cartoon is based on the Pokémon video game series. The animated series is split up into five chronologically sequential series in Japan, and often the same way in other parts of the world, to match the video games they derive from. For example, the original series, the Advanced Generation series, the Diamond & Pearl series, the Best Wishes! series, the XY series, and the current Sun & Moon series.
“During our 20-year celebration, fans’ appetite for Pokémon is at an all-time high, and The Pokémon Company International is thrilled to join forces with Disney XD as the new home for Pokémon animation in the U.S.,” Emily Arons, senior vice president at The Pokémon Company International, said in a statement. “Disney XD is the perfect way to deliver Pokémon animation to kids and fans across the country on its multiple platforms.”
The feature-length animated film Pokémon the Movie: Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel will premiere on Disney XD December 5th. Fans who tune in for the new movie will also be treated that night to an advanced look at the first two episodes of the new season, slated for air in the United States in early 2017.