8.4/101 Votes Alchetron
Theme music composer Mark Mueller
First episode date 18 September 1987
Developed by Jymn Magon
Opening theme "DuckTales"
Created by Carl Barks (comic books)
Voices of Hamilton Camp Peter Cullen Brian Cummings Miriam Flynn June Foray Joan Gerber Chuck McCann Terrence McGovern Tress MacNeille Hal Smith Russi Taylor Frank Welker Alan Young
Cast Alan Young, Russi Taylor, Terry McGovern, Chuck McCann
Networks Disney Channel, Toon Disney, Broadcast syndication
Characters Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad McQuack, Magica De Spell, Fenton Crackshell, Gyro Gearloose
DuckTales is an American animated television series produced by Walt Disney Television Animation. It premiered on September 18, 1987 and ended on November 28, 1990 with a total of four 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. The voice cast from the series reprised their roles for the film.
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- VHS releases
- UK, Australia and New Zealand releases
- US (Region 1)
- International (Region 2)
- Video on Demand
- Theatrical film
- Awards and nominations
- Video and computer games
- Carl Barks' Greatest DuckTales Stories
- 2011 revival
- Uncle Scrooge #392–399
- Television reboot
DuckTales is based on Uncle Scrooge and other Duck universe comic books, created by Carl Barks. The show follows the adventures of Scrooge McDuck and his three grandnephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Important secondary characters, that often take part in the adventures, include Scrooge's nephew Donald Duck, pilot Launchpad McQuack and butler Duckworth, the inventor Gyro Gearloose, and the nanny Mrs. Beakley and her granddaughter Webby. The most notable antagonists in the series are the Beagle Boys, the witch Magica De Spell, and the industrialist Flintheart Glomgold. In a typical story, the villains are after McDuck's fortune or his Number One Dime; another common theme is a race after some sort of treasure. Although some stories are original or based on Barks' comic book series, others are pastiches on classical stories or legends, including characters based on either fictional or historical persons. The series is known for its many references to popular culture, including Shakespeare, Jack the Ripper, Greek mythology, James Bond, Indiana Jones, and Sherlock Holmes.
One of the characters created for DuckTales, Launchpad McQuack, later became a major character in the series Darkwing Duck.
The popular theme song for DuckTales was written ("composed by" in the credits) by Mark Mueller, who also wrote the theme song for Disney's Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers.
On February 25, 2015, Disney XD announced it would be reviving the series for a 2017 premiere.
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The show features the adventures of Scrooge McDuck and his great-nephews. The nephews, who were originally living with their uncle Donald, are left in Scrooge's care when Donald joins the U.S. Navy.
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, the second-richest duck in the world, who always tries to devise plans to unseat Scrooge McDuck from his "Richest Duck in the World" title. A few of the stories also surround Scrooge's "Number One Dime", the first money Scrooge ever earned, which Scrooge considers to be the source of his 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.
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, TaleSpin, and Darkwing Duck.
A world broadcast premiere television movie (entitled "The Treasure 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's first season (1987–88) consisted of 65 episodes (the standard length for a Disney TV show, as well as the standard length of many first seasons of 1990s TV shows). The second season consisted only of two more five-part serials – "Time Is Money" and "Super DuckTales" – which premiered as television movie specials on November 24, 1988 and March 26, 1989 respectively, before being serialized into 10 episodes for reruns. This season is notable for containing the first appearances of Bubba the Caveduck and his pet triceratops Tootsie, as well as Fenton Crackshell and his alter ego Gizmoduck. The third season (fall 1989 – February 1990) included an additional 18 episodes. DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp was released in theaters on August 3, 1990. The fourth and final season consisted of seven episodes which premiered in the fall of 1990 (including three produced for season three but held back for airing, and four produced explicitly for season four), bringing the total to 100 episodes—making DuckTales one of the longest-running Disney shows in terms of number of episodes.
Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers was paired with DuckTales in an hour-long syndicated block during the 1989–90 television season. In the 1990–91 season, Disney expanded the idea even further, creating The Disney Afternoon, a two-hour long syndicated block of half-hour cartoons. DuckTales was one of the early flagship cartoons in the series. The show ran in the Disney Afternoon until 1992 but continued to run in syndication until late 1999.
On October 2, 1995, DuckTales began reruns on The Disney Channel as part of a two-hour programming block called "Block Party" which aired on weekdays in the late-afternoon/early-evening and which also included Darkwing Duck, TaleSpin, and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers.
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).
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 Wang Film Productions of Taiwan and Tokyo Movie Shinsha of Japan.
Many critics 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 show was successful enough to spawn a feature film, DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, and a spin-off series, Darkwing Duck (starring Launchpad McQuack as a main character).
The 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 pilot Launchpad McQuack and the loyal 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.
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. While the comics originally depicted Glomgold as a native of South Africa, his origin was changed to Scottish descent just like Scrooge. 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 either on his own or for Merlock.
10 VHS cassettes, containing two episodes each, were released in the United States.
In addition, the episode "Ducky Horror Picture Show" was released with the Goof Troop episode "FrankenGoof" on a VHS cassette entitled Monster Bash in 1994.
UK, Australia and New Zealand releases
10 VHS cassettes, each containing two or three episodes, were released in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
US (Region 1)
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has released some of the series on DVD; three volumes have been released in Region 1 thus far featuring the first 75 episodes of the series. The first was released on November 8, 2005 (containing episodes 1–27), the second on November 14, 2006 (containing episodes 28–51) and the third volume on November 13, 2007 (containing episodes 52–75). The sets were packaged in a box containing 3 slipcases, one for each disc. There is currently no word on a fourth and final DVD release containing the final 25 episodes.
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.
International (Region 2)
In the United Kingdom, Disney released one Region 2 volume in 2007, titled DuckTales First Collection. Despite the set being similar to the US version, the DVD contained only 20 episodes, while having 5 language tracks: English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. Other regional versions were distributed to other countries, but only going up to episode #20. On November 12, 2012, the UK received two further releases of Collection 2 and Collection 3, being a Region version of the 2nd and 3rd volumes from the US. Unlike the first release, these 3-disc sets include a Fastplay mode, and only four language tracks: English, Dutch, German and French, but subtitles have not been added.
There are currently no plans to release the rest of the series, or the seven episodes missing between the first two sets.
Video on Demand
Season One of DuckTales was released on Amazon Video in 2013 and was free for Amazon Prime members but as of February 28, 2014, DuckTales Season 1 is no longer accessible through Amazon Video or Amazon Prime accounts.
As of December 11, 2015, some episodes from Season 1 has been made available on Netflix in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. In Denmark, at least, only 20 episodes from season 1 are available on Netflix. The episodes available do follow the correct airdate order but some episodes are simply missing. For instance, the episodes on Netflix do not include a lot of Season 1 episodes, even though that they have indeed been dubbed into Danish. Amongst the episodes missing are the Five Part Miniseries, "Treasure of the Golden Sun", "Ducks of Aquatress", and "Top Ducks".
The entire series is currently available for purchase on Amazon Instant Video in Germany, with the episodes split into eight different seasons.
iTunes and Amazon Instant Video in the United States currently offer the entire series (with the exception of the episode "Sphinx for the Memories") for purchase in SD format, split into six volumes at $14.99 per volume.
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 musical scores were written by 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. "I would not play the score like a kid's show at all. If they went on an adventure I would play it serious like Raiders of the Lost Ark."
The DuckTales Theme was sung by Jeff Pescetto. There are four different versions of the theme song. The original version, serving as the show's opening theme, 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 third volume (which was released in a set with the other two volumes) in The Music of Disney: a Legacy in Song along with the full TaleSpin theme and in the November 2013 release of the Disney Classics collection. In addition, it is heard in the end credits of DuckTales: Remastered and is also released on its official soundtrack.
The full version contains a second verse, and it includes a guitar solo, which is performed with a wah-wah pedal to make it sound like 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.
The theme song has been widely regarded as one of the most memorable for a television program, with Dan Fletcher of TIME magazine noting its lasting impact despite being just a children's song: "Some of the lyrics might not make sense to those older than the age of 10 — we're not sure how life in Duckburg is like a hurricane, or exactly what a "duck blur" is — but the DuckTales song is still awesome."
DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp was released nationwide in the United States on August 3, 1990 by Walt Disney Pictures and DisneyToon Studios. 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. In 2013, WatchMojo.com ranked DuckTales as the #1 animated Disney series
Awards and nominations
Video and computer games
A DuckTales video game was developed by Capcom and released for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy in 1989. A sequel to the game, DuckTales 2, was released for NES and Game Boy in 1993. A Disney's Ducktales hand-held LCD game from Tiger Electronics was also released in 1990. A DuckTales was developed by Artefact Games and published by Disney Mobile and released for Mobile Phones on 2011 in Moscow.
A different platform game, DuckTales: The Quest for Gold, was released by Incredible Technologies for computers in 1990. DuckTales: Remastered, an HD remake of Capcom's original game, developed by WayForward Technologies, was released by Disney Interactive for PlayStation Network, Nintendo eShop and Steam on August 13, 2013. It was also released on September 11, 2013 for Xbox Live Arcade. A retail copy for PlayStation 3 was released on August 20, 2013 with a code to download the game and a DuckTales collector pin.
Various DuckTales items appear in the Toy Box of the Disney Infinity franchise. In 1.0, the Money Bin item and Scrooge and Beagle Boy townspeople appear in addition to the "Scrooge's Lucky Dime" power disc. In 2.0, Scrooge's pile of money and a Scrooge portrait are interior items in addition to the iOS-exclusive "Scrooge's Top Hat" power disc. In 3.0, a Launchpad McQuack townsperson was added.
Launchpad was selectable character for the mobile game titled Disney Snow Sports on 2007.
An app was released by Disney in the late summer/early fall of 2013 called DuckTales: Scrooge's Loot, where the player tries to get Scrooge back his money that was stolen by Flintheart Glomgold, Magica de Spell, and the Beagle Boys.
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.
Carl Barks' Greatest DuckTales Stories
On May 24 and July 19, 2006, Gemstone published a two-volume trade paperback, Carl Barks' 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.
On February 17, 2011, BOOM! Studios announced that a new DuckTales comic series would begin May 2011. The series was written by Warren Spector (author of the Epic Mickey videogame). It lasted for 6 issues, with the final two crossing over with Darkwing Duck.
Uncle Scrooge #392–399
Issues 392–399 of the Uncle Scrooge comic book published by BOOM Kids (later called Kaboom!) featured DuckTales comic book stories never before seen in the US, and were collected into two trade paperback volumes, "Uncle Scrooge in DuckTales: Like a Hurricane" on 2011-01-12 and "Uncle Scrooge in DuckTales: Messes Become Successes" on 2011-05-25.
A 4-part crossover story with Darkwing Duck, titled "Dangerous Currency", was also released with parts 1 and 3 for DuckTales #5 and #6, and parts 2 and 4 for Darkwing Duck #17 and #18.
The success of DuckTales led to the translation of the show into many languages. Featured together with Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers in a Sunday morning program titled Walt Disney Presents, the show premiered in the former Soviet Union in 1991, the first American cartoon shown in the region after the Cold War. One year later, Darkwing Duck was also added to this lineup. However, the show's theme song (written by Mark Mueller and originally sung by Jeff Pescetto) remained in English for a number of episodes. The first Russian version of the song was replaced midway through the series with an alternate rendition that contained completely different lyrics.
The series aired in India on Doordarshan, dubbed in Hindi. The title track was sung in Hindi by Chetan Shasital. The features were dubbed and the episodes has voice cast of Chetan Shasital, Javed Jaffery, Rakshanda Khan and others. In many countries, the theme song was performed by well-known singers (like in Finland, where it was sung by Pave Maijanen, or in Germany, where it was sung by Thomas Anders).
In Spanish speaking countries of Latin America, the series was called Pato aventuras (Duck Adventures). Scrooge McDuck is called "Rico McPato" and the nephews were translated as Hugo, Paco, and Luis, keeping the names of the translated vintage cartoons and comic books. In Spain, while the Latin American dub was used for the first broadcast, a high-quality local dub was produced afterwards, keeping the local "Gilito/Juanito/Jaimito/Jorgito" names for the characters. In Brazil, the series was called "Duck Tales: os Caçadores de Aventuras" (Duck Tales: the Adventure Hunters).
In Italy, the series was called Avventure di paperi.
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.
In Romania, the series was called Povești cu Mac-Mac (Stories with Mac-Mac). Only the episodes 1-65 were dubbed and aired. Scrooge McDuck was dubbed by a well-known actor, Gheorghe Dinică, until his death (only 5 episodes remained after his death). After Gheorghe Dinică's death, Valentin Uritescu dubbed Scrooge (episodes 50, 57, 60, 64, 65). Also, Angela Filipescu provided the voices of Huey, Dewey and Louie, Tamara Buciuceanu-Botez provides the voice of Ms. Beakley, Mihaela Mitrache was Webbigail along with the great master Cornel Vulpe as Duckworth. The series was broadcast at Prima TV and first aired at TVR1 in 1994 and the dubbing studio who provide the Romanian version is Ager Film. The intro song was performed by a winner from Mamaia Festival, Alin Cibian.
As of October 2015, the show was aired on Disney XD in the Netherlands and Scandinavia in addition to airing on Disney Channel in Germany and Latin America.
Disney XD announced that it is planning to reboot the original DuckTales TV series. The new reboot is scheduled to air sometime in 2017. Rob Renzetti, (My Life as a Teenage Robot) will serve as the Executive Producer, alongside Matt Youngberg, (Ben 10: Omniverse) as Producer and Developer, Francisco Angones, (Wander Over Yonder) as Story Editor and Co-Producer, and Sean Jimenez (Gravity Falls) as Art Director.
In May 2015, Terry McGovern (the original voice of Launchpad McQuack) stated on Facebook that the entire voice cast would be replaced, stating he felt "heartsick" at the news.
On July 20, 2016, a new look for Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby was announced for the reboot.
On March 2, 2017 Disney published a trailer for the new series.