For those of you who either lived under a rock your whole life or are depressingly young DuckTales was a 1987 cartoon produced by Disney and based on their massively popular Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck comics. Now to talk about the two books, especially Uncle Scrooge, would take a while and they do deserve their own entry but to summarize both those books were, and still are, an international power houses with a fan base in just about everywhere in many different languages. This has been the case for decades. You may not be very familiar with it (They’re probably bigger sellers in other countries) but trust me when I say they’re a big deal.
So anyway DuckTales was based on these two comics, more or less, and features of the adventures of Scrooge McDuck, the richest duck in the world, and his three grandnephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. It’s something of a comedy adventure; kind of like Indiana Jones meets classic Disney shorts (Now that Indiana Jones is owned by Disney this may become more of a literal truth). Lasting for three seasons the most important thing to remember about this show is that it changed the way cartoons were made at the time. Before this show the quality of syndicated cartoons weren’t usually very good as companies were just looking to make a quick buck without spending a lot of their own money. Disney wanted to change that and made a few attempts to create higher quality animation for the syndicated market (including Adventures of the Gummi Bears). DuckTales was their first huge gambit as the budget for the show was unreasonably high for what it was. It paid off big time as the show was a huge and remained in syndication for years and even resulted in a major motion picture, DuckTales The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (which weirdly starred two actors that have portrayed Uncle Fester for the Addams Family at some point; Rip Taylor and Christopher Lloyd). Afterwards many companies started increasing their syndicated cartoon budget (Including Disney, spawning the “Disney Afternoon” block) making way for a huge roster of awesome shows during the 90s (and also terrible shows too, but whatever).
More on DuckTales after the jump.
|Six seconds before Scrooge steals their allowances and calls them chumps|
|Also voiced by Frank Welker|
So the show lasted three seasons and eventually got itself a movie which was essentially a longer, more expensive version of the TV show. But I guess it didn’t do all that great, or at least below Disney’s expectations, since the wing that produced the film, MovieToons, only did one other flick (A Goofy Movie) before being shut down. Still it managed to spawn a spin-off show in Darkwing Duck, which was awesome, and a dubious spin-off in Quack Pack which I to this day argue cannot be a proper spin-off for many reasons (and also it was terrible).
|F@#$ yes, Gizmoduck!|
But hey, it still works. And you can’t beat that theme song.
I love this show; can't say enough good things about it. For more info on DuckTales click here. The Saturday Morning Cartoon Show airs every Saturday morning at 9am EST on 89.1 FM, with a live webcast and podcast available here.