Ducktales DVD Collection 1 (D)
Jon F. Turner - Dec 7 2008 JTurner82@aol.com
"Quack"-tastic Disney serial with lots of action and adventure.
While a lot has been made about Disney's history as a company, its animated features, and the controversial corporation we know today, there is little in the way of documents about their animated television series. However, on these cyber boards abroad the internet, a loyal, enthusiastic band of fans hold many of the Mouse House's TV animated shows close to their hearts--namely DUCKTALES.
Premiering on airwaves in 1987, DUCKTALES follows the adventures of Scrooge McDuck, a miserly multimillionaire with, to say the least, a heart of gold. He's accompanied by (who else?) Donald's mischevious nephews Hewy, Dewey, and Louie as well as Scrooge's niece, Webbigail Vanderquack (or Webby for short). Also along for the ride is Launchpad McQuack, a lunkish pilot with an unfortunate schtick for crashing airplanes. Each episode lands these mallards into all kinds of wild situations, including treasure hunts, magical mixups, and valuable lessons for young and old at heart.
What's fun about this show is that it doesn't just speak down to its juvenile audience, but provides imaginative excitement, action, mystery, and even a bit of charm to keep even grown-ups interested. Anime buffs might also want to take note that the artistic visuals were provided by Japan-based Tokyo Movie Shinsha. While the actual animation and backgrounds are nowhere near up to the level of Disney animated features (hey, this is a TV production, what did you expect?) the overall quality of the artwork is leaps and bounds above that which we tend to get with most Saturday Morning cartoon fare. Of course, it helps, too, that the cast of characters are a likeable, well-defined bunch of quackers (even the typical bad guys--ranging from the batty enchantress Magica DeSpell to the bumbling Beagle Boys to the nasty opposite of Scrooge McDuck, Flintheart Glomgold--have a bit of appeal to them, too!), and this is largely in part due to the top-notch voice work. Alan Young, in particular, simply IS Scrooge McDuck; his distinguishable Scottish accent and attitude really defines the character as a whole.
Fans have been clamoring for the release of this classic TV show on DVD for many years. Now, however, Disney has released a three-disc set of DUCKTALES--finally. Like most fans, I do have issues with this first volume--the lack of bonus features is disappointing, for one, and I find it baffling that Disney would neglect to include the four-part pilot episode which began the show on this edition. However, the mere fact that this show ever got released to DVD at all more than makes up for it. For a 1980's produced show, the visuals are surprisingly good and the sound, although mono, is adequately presented. Hopefully this release will prompt Disney to bring out more of its popular animated TV shows to the new digital medium.