The Pokémon cartoon has spent the last 10 years on Cartoon Network, but starting next month, it’s finding a new home on cable. As of Dec. 5, Disney XD will be the exclusive place to watch Pokémon episodes new and old, The Pokémon Company announced Thursday.
Disney XD will commemorate Pokémon’s move by airing its latest film, Volcanion and the Mechanical Marvel, that day. An hourlong preview of the Sun and Moon anime will also premiere alongside the film. The show won’t be on the regular schedule until 2017, however, but Disney XD plans to make Pokémon a staple of its programming ahead of Sun and Moon’s full debut.
As part of the channel changeover, Disney XD acquired the rights to the previous 19 seasons of the show. There are also 15 older Pokémon movies that the cable network can air going forward.
What’s most interesting about this change isn’t just that Cartoon Network (and its sister network Boomerang) aired the series longer than any other channel in the U.S. Before that, Pokémon was a staple of The WB in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. Now that it’s on Disney’s boy-focused XD network, Pokémon shares a home with Yo-Kai Watch. That show premiered last fall, alongside the launch of the first game in the U.S.
In Japan, Pokémon and Yo-Kai Watch are close competitors, with Yo-Kai Watch amassing wide popularity with younger fans just getting into monster-collecting. The gap is much larger in the U.S., where Pokémon maintains its stronghold. The highly anticipated Sun and Moon for Nintendo 3DS launch on Nov. 18 and have already become the biggest pre-order titles Nintendo has ever seen, the company recently revealed.