|From left to right: Dewey, Huey, Louie, and Scrooge McDuck as seen in the show's opening.|
|Created by||Carl Barks|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||100 (List of episodes)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Original channel||Broadcast syndication|
|Picture format||4:3 SDTV|
|Audio format||Mono (1987-1989)Stereo (1989-1990)|
|Original run||September 18, 1987 – November 28, 1990|
== DuckTales is an American animated television series produced by Walt Disney Television Animation. Based on Carl Barks' Uncle Scrooge comic book series, it premiered on September 18, 1987 and ended on November 28, 1990 with a total of 4 seasons and 100 episodes. An animated theatrical spin-off film based on the series, DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, was released widely in the United States on August 3, 1990. It was a critical and financial success, and the original cast from the series reprised their voice-over roles in the film.
Though Scrooge is the richest duck in the world, he constantly tries to find ways to increase his wealth. Many episodes involve protecting his wealth from villains who want to rob Scrooge of all his money. The prominent recurring antagonists in the show include the Beagle Boys and Magica De Spell who are always finding ways to rob and swindle Scrooge and his nephews. Scrooge's nemesis in the show is Flintheart Glomgold, who always tries to devise plans to dethrone Scrooge McDuck from his "Richest Duck in the World" title. A few of the stories also surround Scrooge's "Number One Dime" which is the source of Scrooge's good luck and wealth. Scrooge keeps the dime in a glass jar in his money vault, and constantly protects it from the villains on the show.
The show's second season saw the addition of characters Fenton Crackshell and Bubba Duck. Along with them came stories that generally shifted away from the globetrotting plots of the first season, and revolved primarily in the contemporary setting of Duckburg. Episodes would feature either Bubba or Fenton but rarely both.
Although Scrooge and his nephews were the show's main characters, some episodes focused on other characters like Launchpad or Gyro. Some members of Scrooge's extended family (The Duck Universe), like Gladstone Gander who had extremely good luck, were also seen in the series. Characters like Gladstone were often seen in the early Carl Barks comic book stories.
The series is notable for being the first Disney cartoon to be produced for syndication, and paving the way for future Disney cartoons, such as Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers and TaleSpin. DuckTales also spawned two spinoffs—Darkwing Duck and Quack Pack.
A world broadcast premiere television movie (entitled "The Treasures of the Golden Suns") first aired during the weekend of September 18–20, 1987 (date and time varied by market). Since then, it has been shown in the series' regular rotation as a five-part serial. A feature-length movie was released in theatres on August 3, 1990. The hundredth episode (which was also the series finale) aired on November 28, 1990.
The show was the most successful of Disney's early attempts to create high-quality animation for a TV animated series (earlier shows included The Wuzzles and Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears in 1985). Disney invested a far greater amount of money into the TV series than had previously been spent on animated shows of the time. This was considered a risky move, because animated TV series were generally considered low-budget investments for most of the history of TV cartoons up through the 1980s. Most of the DuckTales episodes were animated in Asia by companies such as Cuckoo's Nest Studios, Wang Film Productions of Taiwan, and Tokyo Movie Shinsha of Japan.
Many critics[who?] say that Disney's own animation studio had lost most of its luster during the period from Walt Disney's passing through the 1980s. However, the studio took a number of risks that paid off handsomely, and DuckTales was one of those risks that won big. The studio gambled on the idea that a larger investment into quality animation could be made back through syndication—a concept that worked well with live-action TV reruns, but which had only been used with inexpensive cartoon series that either recycled theatrical shorts from decades past or only featured limited, low-budget animation.
The 1987-1988 season of DuckTales consisted of 65 episodes (the standard length for a Disney TV show). Two more five-part serials - "Time Is Money" and "Super DuckTales" - premiered as television movie specials in November 1988 and March 1989, respectively. The rest of the second season (fall 1989 - winter 1989) included an additional 18 episodes. In the second season, Bubba the Caveduck and his pet triceratops, Tootsie, and Fenton Crackshell and his alter ego Gizmo Duck appeared. DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp was released in August 1990. In September 1990, The Disney Afternoon block started, including DuckTales. Seven final episodes premiered that fall (including three produced for season two but held back for airing, and four produced explicitly for season three), bringing the total to 100 episodes—making DuckTales one of the longest-running Disney shows in terms of number of episodes.
The show was successful enough to spawn a feature film, DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, and two spinoff series: Darkwing Duck and Quack Pack. The success of DuckTales also paved the way for a new wave of high-quality animated TV series, including Disney's own The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in 1988.
The 1989 series Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers was paired with DuckTales in an hour-long syndicated show through the 1989-1990 television season. In the 1990-1991 season, Disney expanded the idea even further, to create The Disney Afternoon, a two-hour long syndicated block of half-hour cartoons. DuckTales was one of the early flagship cartoons in the series.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie all appeared in the drug prevention video Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue. Scrooge and Launchpad appeared in Disney's short-lived animated series Raw Toonage (originally aired on CBS in 1992 and 1993).
DuckTales was last seen on Toon Disney, a Disney-owned network that aired mostly animated cartoons. After the addition of Jetix in February 2004, the show left circulation along with a number of other shows, and as of 2006. The Disney Channel reran the series in the late-1990s until their pre-teen lineup took over.
Main article: List of DuckTales charactersThe main characters of the series, who appear in almost every episode, are Scrooge McDuck and his grandnephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Scrooge McDuck is a serious businessman, the richest duck in the world, a tightwad who accumulated a fortune by being "smarter than the smarties, and tougher than the toughies". Despite his harsh business ethics, Scrooge is caring to his family. Huey, Dewey, and Louie are Scrooge's great-nephews, who are left in his care during the entire length of the series. Although fairly hyperactive, the nephews are also clever and intelligent.
The series also features a mix of established characters carried over from the comics, as well as new ones created for the show. Scrooge's household also consists of his butler, Duckworth; Mrs. Beakley, a nanny hired to look after Huey, Dewey and Louie; and Webby Vanderquack, the granddaughter of Mrs. Beakley.
Initially, recurring characters included the absent-minded inventor Gyro Gearloose, the heroic but not too bright pilot Launchpad McQuack and the loyal but somewhat foolish Doofus Drake. During the second season, Bubba, a caveduck from the past, and an accountant, Fenton Crackshell, who had the dual identity of Gizmoduck, were added to the cast.
Magica De Spell and three of the Beagle Boys.The show's primary villains consist of characters Magica De Spell, Flintheart Glomgold and the Beagle Boys. Although they are all financial threats to Scrooge in one way or another, they each have different motives: Magica wants Scrooge's Number One Dime to complete her magic spell, which will enable her to take over the world; Glomgold wants to replace Scrooge as the "Richest duck in the world"; and the Beagle Boys want to rob Scrooge of his fortune. New villains created for the show include Ma Beagle, mother of the Beagle Boys, and Poe De Spell, Magica's brother who has been transformed into a raven.
Other minor, but notable characters include Donald Duck, who left Huey, Dewey and Louie in Scrooge's care at the start of the series; Gladstone Gander, Scrooge's inexplicably lucky nephew; Scrooge's old flame, Glittering Goldie; Merlock, a powerful magician who served as the movie's main villain; and Dijon, a thief who worked for either Merlock or himself.
Main article: List of DuckTales episodes== DVD releases== As of 2009, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is in the process of releasing DuckTales on DVD. While three volumes have been released in Region 1 (North America), one volume has been released in Region 2 (United Kingdom).
The episodes are in the order that they originally aired (except for the five-part serial "Treasure of the Golden Suns," placed at the beginning of Volume 2). None of the DVD sets contain any special features.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release date|
|DuckTales: Volume 1||27||November 8, 2005|
|DuckTales: Volume 2||24||November 14, 2006|
|DuckTales: Volume 3||24||November 13, 2007|
|DuckTales: Volume 4||25||TBA|
-  Chile
-  Brazil
-  India
-  Spain
- TVE (1990–1999)
-  Sweden
-  Australia
- Channel 7 Australia (1989–99)
Main article: Duckburg== Music== The series theme song was written by Mark Mueller, an ASCAP award-winning pop music songwriter who also wrote the theme song to Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers. Episode background music was written by composer Ron Jones. In contrast to how other composers were creating a "patronizing" and "cute" score for the show, Jones says he composed the music with regard to the audience and its intelligence.
The DuckTales Theme was sung by Jeff Pescetto. There are four different versions of the theme song. The original version contained one verse, chorus, bridge, and then chorus. A shorter version of the opening theme was used in The Disney Afternoon lineup with the line, "Everyday they're out there making Duck Tales, woo-ooh," taken out. A full-length version of the theme song was released on the Disney Afternoon soundtrack. The full version contains a second verse, and it includes a guitar solo, which is performed with a wah-wah pedal while making duck-like noises. It also has a fadeout ending, unlike the other versions. There is also a rare extended version that was used in the read along cassettes in 1987. It has a sequence order of verse-chorus-bridge-chorus-instrumental break-chorus.
Main article: DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost LampDuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp was released wide in the United States on August 3, 1990 by Walt Disney Pictures. The film follows Scrooge McDuck and his nephews as they try to defeat the evil warlock Merlock from taking over the legendary magic lamp.
In January 2009, IGN listed Ducktales as the 18th best show in the Top 100 Best Animated TV Shows.
DuckTales had two series of comic books. The first series was published by Gladstone Publishing and ran for 13 issues from 1988 to 1990, and the second series was published by Disney Comics and ran for 18 issues from 1990 to 1991. Disney also published a children's magazine based on the show, which also featured comic stories, one of which was the only story written by Don Rosa without any illustrations by him. Subsequent comic stories were also printed in the magazine Disney Adventures from 1990 to 1996.
On August 29, 2007, Disney released a trade paperback of Scrooge's Quest and later The Gold Odyssey.
|Ducktales: Scrooge's Quest|
|Ducktales Volume 2 #1-7|
|Ducktales: The Gold Odyssey|
|Ducktales Volume 2 #9-15|
|Walt Disney Treasures|
|Trade Title||Issue Reprinted|
|Disney Comics: 75 Years of Innovation (2006)||Ducktales Volume 1 #4|
|Uncle Scrooge: A Little Something Special (2008)||Ducktales Volume 1 #7|
Issues 392-395 of the Uncle Scrooge comics will feature DuckTales comic book stories never before seen in the US.
On May 24 and July 19, 2006, Gemstone published a two-volume trade paperback, Carl Barks's Greatest Ducktales Stories. The trades contain reprints of stories written by Carl Barks which were specifically adapted into television episodes of Ducktales.
Both volumes start out with an introduction and compare the original comic story with its Ducktales episode counterpart. Volume 1 also includes a two page article delving into details on the adapting the show from the comic series.
|Four Color #456||Back To The Klondike|
|Uncle Scrooge #13||Land Beneath The Ground (The episode was titled "Earthquack")|
|Uncle Scrooge #65||Micro Ducks From Outer Space|
|Uncle Scrooge #9||Lemming With The Locket (The episode was titled "Scrooge's Pet")|
|Uncle Scrooge #14||Lost Crown Of Genghis Khan|
|Uncle Scrooge #29||Hound Of Whiskervilles (The episode was titled "The Curse of Castle McDuck")|
|Uncle Scrooge #58||The Giant Robot Robbers (The episode was titled "Robot Robbers")|
|Uncle Scrooge #12||The Golden Fleecing|
|Uncle Scrooge #3||The Horseradish Story (The episode was titled "Down and Out in Duckburg")|
|Uncle Scrooge #41||The Status Seeker|
|Uncle Scrooge #38||The Unsafe Safe (The episode was titled "The Unbreakable Bin")|
|Uncle Scrooge #6||Tralla La (The episode was titled "The Land of Tra-La-La")|
The success of DuckTales led to the translation of the show into many languages. DuckTales was the first American animated TV series to be officially broadcast in syndication in the former Soviet Union. Featured together with Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers in a Sunday evening program titled Walt Disney Presents, the show premiered in 1991.
The show's theme song (written by Mark Mueller and originally sung by Jeff Pescetto), however, remained in English for a number of episodes. The first Russian version of the song was replaced mid-way through the series with an alternate rendition that contained completely different lyrics. Similarly, the German and Swedish version changed the lyrics of the theme into local language halfway through the series. The series aired in India, dubbed in Hindi.
In Hungary the term "DuckTales generation" (Kacsamesék generáció) refers to the people who were born in the early to mid-1980s, because the death of József Antall, the first democratically-elected Prime Minister of Hungary was announced during a DuckTales episode in 1993. This was the generation's first encounter with politics.