I still watch Ducktales... just read me gush on about it

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kenisu3000
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06 Feb 2009, 4:59 am

OK, so I haven't watched it consecutively since I was crazy for it during my childhood, but the DVD releases in recent years have sparked a fandom revival in me, after a 20-year hiatus.

I would imagine Ducktales needs no introduction, but just to be on the safe side, I'll offer a summary: It was a Disney cartoon series which ran from 1987 to 1990 (also seeing the release of one movie), and it starred Scrooge McDuck, a wealthy anthropomorphic duck who made his residence in Duckburg, along with his prized money bin. His nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie come to live with him in the first episode after their uncle Donald joins the Navy, and together with the family butler Duckworth (who despite his name, is an anthropomorphic dog) and other quirky characters such as Launchpad the clumsy pilot and Mrs. Beakley and her granddaughter Webigail, the gang has countless adventures in searching for treasure in order to amass more wealth for Scrooge's bin.

One may find it kind of awkward to be posting love for a children's show amongst all the grown-up discussion on this forum, but I'm finally going to be bold and daring, and put my interests out for everyone to see. Besides, it's one of those shows where, if you just give it a chance, you realize the whole thing is a vintage masterpiece the likes of which you just don't see on children's programming nowadays. The scriptwriting is often genius (barring the occasional cheesy pun - and even those are surprisingly few for an 80's cartoon), the animation is gorgeous, and the musical score (composed by Ron Jones - who, for modern-day reference, is the same gifted composer for Family Guy's score) is so fantastic that it's an all-out tragedy that no soundtrack CDs have ever been released of it. And it's mainly this incredible music that has tipped the scales for me and caused me to become interested once again in this relic from my past. Even when I was only six, I recognized that the background score stood out in a crowd. There were two or three pieces of music that fell into the "suspense/action" category which I used to rewind the scene for on my VHS tapes back in those days, and play the scene over and over again. All for the love of those songs. I think I must have drove my parents insane. :)
Nowadays, however, I've grown to also appreciate the finer, slower pieces just as much, and possibly even more. It's my belief that Ron Jones's score single-handedly carried the story of each episode along - even though film music is, unfortunately, just one of those things that viewers tend to notice the least in any given production. It's somewhere in their subconscious, but they never quite realize it. But if you look at most of the movies and shows that fans just go nuts for, you'll notice a trend: they all have notably spectacular music. Think about it - Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park... even video games like Final Fantasy are known for having incredible music. And yet, people sometimes don't even register that it's the score that gets them pumped for the good action scenes, or makes them cry in the heartfelt death scenes. I could never understand why I'm able to pick up on something that gets so horrendously ignored in film culture, and which gets the short end of the stick when the soundtrack comes out (just look at the back of most pop films' CDs... more often than not, you'll see about ten or eleven vocal songs performed by pop artists - and some of these tunes weren't even featured in the movie - and only maybe one or two "selections from the score," if they're even present).
I ought to stop talking about the music now, but before I do, I'd like to say this: if you happen to have any of the Ducktales DVDs, pop one in, put an episode on "play," and just close your eyes and listen to the audio. Try your best to tune out the sound effects and voices, and just pay attention to the music. Even if you're not that much into instrumental music, you'll at least see what I mean, and why I'm so in love with it.

With that in mind, and if your patience with me hasn't petered out yet, I'd love to talk about my favorite episode in the entire series. It's called Nothing to Fear, and it's on volume 3 of the DVD sets.
In this episode, Magica DeSpell casts a spell on Scrooge and his loved ones, so that all their worst fears are brought to reality. A storm cloud hovers over the mansion (the physical manifestation of the spell at work), and one by one, horrible things keep happening to the household. A villain from a video game breaks out of the TV set and chases Huey, Dewey, and Louie down the hall, the limo transforms into a giant black panther and stalks Duckworth, and a hapless Doofus, choosing this inopportune time for a visit, is confronted by a banana monster and the school bully. The whole thing is littered with hilarious gags and quips from Scrooge (to lighten the mood for the kids watching, I guess), and in some cases is actually surprisingly scary, if only for the nostalgia factor (that banana monster, as ridiculous as it sounds, scared the living daylights out of me when I was little). Later, the nephews are confronted by a doppelganger of Scrooge which tells them he doesn't want them in his life anymore, and at the same time, the real Scrooge encounters doppelgangers of his nephews, who deliver the same message. The real nephews go outside with their bags packed, but the real Scrooge runs out to stop them, and that's when they catch on to what's going on. Magica comes along and demands Scrooge's Number-One Dime, or else they'll have to live in fear the rest of their lives, and for a demonstration, she conjures up all the terrors from earlier in the episode. Scrooge tells the nephews that they all must face their fears, or keep running to the end of their days. So they step forward (and, once again, I have to plug the music here), and one by one, tell their fears to buzz off. Magica is also driven away, and Scrooge and the boys turn around, relieved, to find the dark cloud departed and a rainbow hanging over the mansion.

The reason why this is my favorite episode is because the symbolism, as simply as it is presented, is beautiful. I personally am a slave to fear, and have spent the majority of my life running. I would love nothing greater than to look my personal demons in the eye and tell them, on no uncertain terms, that they are no longer welcome in my life. And I want to breathe that sigh of relief, and turn and find that rainbow hanging over me. These are things that naturally, we all want to do, but fear has always taken center stage in my life, and I want it to go away once and for all. It keeps me from college, it keeps me from getting a job or a driver's license (or for that matter, a girlfriend), the list goes on. This episode has special meaning to me.

So who else has seen and enjoys Ducktales, and what is your favorite episode and why?
(Sorry for such a long post... I guess I really have been holding it all in.)



Last edited by kenisu3000 on 06 Feb 2009, 5:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

ford_prefects_kid
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06 Feb 2009, 5:11 am

Ducktales! Woo-hoo!

It really is the best series that disney ever made. And that's not a fangirl comment- it's just the most well-made children's show I can think of. It was clever, entertaining, unformulaic, very creative, had distinctive characters...

My best friend and I almost bought the DVD releases, but the reviews on amazon said the transfer quality was just shockingly poor for such a well-animated program- even naming action sequences where you could see the blurring.



kenisu3000
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06 Feb 2009, 5:34 am

I don't know really anything about DVD transfer quality, but I haven't noticed anything absolutely horrid about the DVDs, nor any notable "blurring." And believe me, I'm as crazy for the animation and picture quality as I am the music, so I would at least catch something wrong, if it was there. However, on the flip side, again, I don't know much about DVD transfers, so things could probably be staring me in the face and I wouldn't know it.
If it's one complaint I have about the DVDs, is that they cut out the eyecatchers... that is, the little blips just before and just after the commercial breaks that say "Disney's Ducktales will be back in a moment" and "Now back to Disney's Ducktales." I only have my childhood memroies to go by when it comes to that aspect of the series, but I do remember they existed, and there were even short fanfares composed for them - and I know these were part of the actual show because in some episodes on the DVDs, it fades to black, then when it fades back in again, you can hear the last note of the eyecatcher fanfare echoing for a split second after it fades back in. I want it complete, darn it!



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06 Feb 2009, 11:33 am

Hooray!! DUCKTALES!! ! :cheers:

(Sorry .. waaayy too long for me to read. But I wanted to show my support. lol!!)



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06 Feb 2009, 12:00 pm

I used to watch it all the time when I was about 7 or 8 years old.



hotaru
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07 Feb 2009, 12:52 pm

Now that takes me back.

I watched Darkwing Duck more than all the other Disney cartoons...

When there's trouble, you call DW!! ! :lol:


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07 Feb 2009, 3:51 pm

If only I had a number 1 dime.


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TheEvolutionOfLife
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10 Feb 2009, 1:54 pm

The doubleganger episodes of DuckTales < "Corrected" and Darkwing Duck were both good.


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kenisu3000
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11 Feb 2009, 2:42 pm

Yeah, nobody can ever agree on whether it's Ducktales, Duck Tales, DuckTales, or in some cases I've even seen Duck Tails.
The funny thing is, I look back on the shows I've been obsessed with over the years, and nearly all of them have titles that the fans can't totally agree on how to spell/write. (FraggleRock vs. Fraggle Rock, DragonBall vs. Dragon Ball, etc.)



TheEvolutionOfLife
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12 Feb 2009, 4:44 am

100% DuckTales mate, it says so on the splash screens.


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12 Feb 2009, 4:15 pm

Launchpad McQuack


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17 Feb 2009, 6:36 pm

I use to watch Ducktales all the time when it was on the air. I liked that show. I don't think they show reruns of this show anymore though. If they did and if they were on a good time for me I would still watch.



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17 Feb 2009, 6:37 pm

Dokken wrote:
Launchpad McQuack


Gizmoduck so pwns Launchpad!


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TheEvolutionOfLife
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18 Feb 2009, 4:23 am

Redrocket wrote:
I use to watch Ducktales all the time when it was on the air. I liked that show. I don't think they show reruns of this show anymore though. If they did and if they were on a good time for me I would still watch.


They did last year on CineMagic.


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19 Feb 2009, 2:16 am

This is one of my all-time favorite shows, hands down.

In fact, Uncle Scrooge is one of my inspirations in life. Whenever a new figure or statue of him or something comes out, my room-mate points it out to me, and I go GA GA over it!

I currently own an Uncle Scrooge plush toy, and an Uncle Scrooge PVC.



I also love The Real Ghostbusters, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, MASK, Darkwing Duck, TailSpin, COPS( and I mean the classic cartoon, not that idiotic reality TV show), just to name a few.....



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03 Sep 2009, 1:52 pm

Awesome thread. I absolutely love Ducktales. It is THE best of the Disney cartoon, especially once Gizmoduck is in the series. He's great. I just love when he tricks Burger into giving him the dimes, and doesn't give him his order.lolNot to mention all those ideas he had to try to get the dimes from the Beagle Boys, the tooth fairy, new neighbor, Bermuda Beage. And of course, the phone company, that dime is only a heartbeat away, and the bank, what could possibly be more important than me, the customer! And suggesting to store the money in mayonnaise jars buried in the back yard.