It’s been a busy week this week in MIDWEST MARK’S side of town, but it hasn’t stopped me from keeping up with TV, merely stopping me from writing about it. Which doesn’t do me any good being a semi-professional author and all. But now that I have a moment to sit in front of my brand-new laptop and break in the keyboard a bit, allow me to pontificate on one of my favorite animated shows of all time.
I was watching MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE with my son the other day and was thinking out loud how much they butcher Donald Duck’s voice. Donald was always a bit annoying in the way that a feathered male version of FRAN DRESCHER with a head cold would be annoying, but they have really taken it to new heights these days with his voice as it is almost completely unintelligible. Why this is good for a kid’s show, I do not know.
From there, my wife pointed out that Donald was wearing swim trunks on the beach when he never wears pants otherwise. Which is a totally legitimate point. I demand to know why it’s perfectly fine to not wear pants when you’re a duck, but when you’re MIDWEST MARK getting the paper on a Sunday morning it gets a bunch of funny looks from the neighbors. I claim blatant discrimination just because I’m not a duck.
Anyway, the deep conversation on duck logic inevitably arrived at how awesome DUCK TALES was in the late 80’s. Clearly the pinnacle of Disney’s duck-based entertainment vehicles, it ran for 100 episodes over three-ish years and comprised some of my fondest cartoon memories of the time. Both curiously absent from MIDWEST MIKE’S top cartoons list and more than likely snubbed on the upcoming theme song list, DUCK TALES should be commended in both categories.
Jump inside for more!
Originally based on the comic book series, DUCK TALES followed the filthy rich one-percenter Scrooge McDuck and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie (amongst others) on both intercontinental and intergalactic adventure. There was literally every conceivable thing a kid could love featured in this show. Castles, mummies, robots, mad scientists, aliens, magic, ghosts, danger, excitement, and a giant diving board into a sea of coins (not to mention racecars, lasers and aeroplanes)… this show had it all. Think SCOOBY DOO without the stoners or musical interludes. It even spawned a couple of great spin-off cartoons such as DARKWING DUCK and one of the best NES games of all time.
It also had one of the catchiest and instantly recognizable theme songs in television history.
As a child, I had no idea what the hell the lyrics ever said. As an adult, I have Google to answer these questions for me:
“Life is like a hurricane here in Duckburg
Racecars, lasers, aeroplanes – it’s a duck blur
You might solve a mystery or rewrite history
Duck Tales, (Oo-oo!)
Tales of derring-do, bad and good luck tales
D-d-d-danger, watch behind you – there’s a stranger out to find you
What to do? Just grab onto some Duck Tales
Not pony tails or cotton tails but Duck Tales”
Note that Huey, Dewey and Louie aren’t wearing pants either. Disney clearly had some issues in the 80’s.
Fun fact of the day: Not only was DUCK TALES extremely popular here in the United States, but also had a large amount of success in syndication overseas. It was the first US cartoon to be shown in the Soviet Union after the Cold War and was reworked in Latin America so that Scrooge’s name was Rico and his nephews were Hugo, Paco and Luis. Other countries are so silly.
After a little bit of searching on the web, I am now the proud owner of them all on DVD (with exception of the last season that’s not out yet for some reason). I’m very happy to report that it stands the test of time both with me and my kids. It’s great to go back to a series like this 25 years later and appreciate much more of the pop-culture and historical references that would otherwise sail straight over your head at 5 years old. Much recommended if you can catch them on a blow-out sale like I did.
That’s all for now. As a bit of yin to this yang, I’ll be back tomorrow with some WALKING DEAD action.