UltimateDisney.com | DVD Reviews Index | Disney TV Shows on DVD | Upcoming DVDs | Recent DVDs | Search UD

Darkwing Duck on DVD: Volume 1 Volume 2 NEW!

Darkwing Duck: Volume 1 DVD Review

Buy the Darkwing Duck: Volume 1 DVD from Amazon.com Darkwing Duck: Volume 1 (1991)
Show & DVD Details

Regular Producers: Russ Mooney, Tad Stones, Alan Zaslove

Regular Directors: Bob Shellhorn, Mike Svayko, Bob Treat, Mircea Mantta

Regular Writers: Tad Stones, John Behnke, Rob Humphrey, Jim Peterson, Doug Langdale, Dev Ross / Regular Story Editors: Kevin Crosby Hopps, Duane Capizzi, Tad Stones, Tom Minton

Voice Cast: Jim Cummings (Darkwing Duck, Negaduck, Herb Muddlefoot, Professor Moliarty), Terence McGovern (Launchpad McQuack), Christine Cavanaugh (Gosalyn Waddlemeyer-Mallard), Katie Leigh (Honker Muddlefoot), Dan Castellanata (Megavolt), Tino Insana (Dr. Reginald Bushroot), Michael Bell (Quackerjack), Rob Paulsen (Steelbeak), Susan Tolsky (Binky Muddlefoot), Danny Mann (J. Gander Hooter), Marcia Wallace (Clovis, Mrs. Cavanaugh), Mitzi McCall (Ammonia Pine), Michael Gough (Jambalaya Jake), Joey Camen (Stegmutt), Jack Angel (Liquidator), S. Scott Bullock (Tom Lockjaw), Tim Curry (Taurus Bulba), Hamilton Camp (Gizmoduck), Kath Soucie (Morgana McCawber)

Running Time: 613 Minutes (27 episodes) / Rating: Not Rated (TV-Y equivalent)
1.33:1 Fullscreen (Original Broadcast Ratio), Dolby Stereo (English, French)
Subtitles: English for Hearing Impaired
DVD Release Date: August 29, 2006
Original Airdates: September 8, 1991 - October 11, 1991
Three single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9s); Suggested Retail Price: $34.99
Cardboard box with three clear slim keepcases

Buy from Amazon.com

Page 1: Show Discussion, Disc 1, and Disc 2
Page 2: Disc 3, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

A star () indicates ten standout episodes from this Volume 1 collection.

Morgana's now on Darkwing's side in the two-part "Just Us Justice Ducks." Launchpad dons the Darkwing get-up in "Double Darkwings." Most people dread spider bites but they always seem to work out to a superhero's advantage.

DISC 3

19. "Days of Blunder" (22:44) (Originally aired October 1, 1991)
Thanks to Quackerjack, the public's opinion of Darkwing takes a big dive. Just when Drake's feeling most depressed, the sly jester slides in disguised as a psychiatrist, administering a personality test that persuades Darkwing that he's in the wrong line of work.

20. "Just Us Justice Ducks - Part 1" (22:44) (Originally aired October 2, 1991)
In the first half of a fantastic two-part episode,
Darkwing learns that his most evil enemies have banded together to form the Fearsome Five: Megavolt, Bushroot, Quackerjack, the Liquidator, and Negaduck.

21. "Just Us Justice Ducks - Part 2" (22:41) (Originally aired October 3, 1991)
Darkwing learns that in order to defeat this band of criminals, he must form a league of heros to match them. He reluctantly turns to Neptunia, Steggmutt, Morgana, and Gizmoduck (of "DuckTales" fame) for help.

22. "Double Darkwings" (22:43) (Originally aired October 4, 1991)
Jambalya Jakes turns Launchpad into a zombie, green with Darkwing envy.

23. "Aduckyphobia" (22:40) (Originally aired October 7, 1991)
Drake Mallard spends a day in Peter Parker's shoes with a spider bite turns him into a crime-fighting duck-spider hybrid.

In "When Aliens Collide," the Mallard gang is torn between two opposing invaders, both asserting their own independence. Two years before Spielberg brought us Jurassic Park, "Darkwing Duck" presented the same idea to the world. And not a single bonus feature to show for it! Humans don't exist in Darkwing's world, so when this guy shows up, he's regarded as an alien (and if the Superman parallels really hold up, he just might be one!)

24. "When Aliens Collide" (22:44) (Originally aired October 8, 1991)
St. Canard plays host to two feuding aliens. Gosalyn takes a liking to one of them but when it seems that she may have made the wrong choice, Darkwing fears it's too late.

25. "Jurassic Jumble" (22:38) (Originally aired October 9, 1991)
A scientist moves forward with his reckless plans to bring back dinosaurs and Darkwing must save the world from the consequences.

26. "Cleanliness is Next to Badliness" (22:41) (Originally aired October 10, 1991)
Steelbeak enlists the help of Ammonia Pine and her mean clean machine in order to finally scrub out Darkwing once and for all.

27. "Smarter Then a Speeding Bullet" (22:41) (Originally aired October 11, 1991)
An "alien" visits St. Canard to receive some super-hero training from Darkwing. As it turns out, Darkwing isn't the best teacher and this visitor is far from the best student.

Who else but NegaDuck could be behind a collaboration as terrifying as the Fearsome Five? Morgana and GizmoDuck make up two-fifths of the Justice Ducks in Disc 3's two-part saga.

VIDEO and AUDIO

Like the other animated box sets Disney has issued ("Gargoyles" aside), "Darkwing Duck" suffers from very shaky video on DVD. Some episodes turn out a little better than others, but problems persist throughout all. The picture is soft and grainy, showing perhaps more wear and tear than expected from a show its age. Colors sometimes look faded. A little younger than "Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers," it may fair slightly better in comparison, but the fact that no effort whatsoever has gone into restoring any of these shows for DVD is apparent. It's certainly watch-able, but the visual shortcomings are indeed quite noticeable. While unrestored video allows Disney to release these episodes in bulk at little cost (and thus making the chance of them being released at all much more likely), it's unfortunate that consumers must accept such poor quality and that the series is left victimized by age. Each episode is presented in its original 1.33:11 fullscreen aspect ratio.

There's nothing very special to say about the audio, but nothing much to complain about either. These animated action shows are filled with sound effects and tend to be fairly noisy on the whole, but the audio track itself is satisfactory. Sound is presented in Dolby Digital Stereo and sounds just as it would when viewed on TV.

Disc 1's main menu looks nice but doesn't move a muscle. The episode selection screens are also motionless but accompanied by an instrumental version of the show's theme.

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

Par for the course with this kind of show, "Darkwing Duck" isn't accompanied by bonus features of any kind on DVD. That's not a surprise, but it is unfortunate. While fewer bonuses help keep cost down and releases coming, there's plenty of material
that could have been included at little or even no cost. Hopefully Disney decides to treat fans to bonus features with future installments.

The main menu is a still 16x9 screen with instrumental music from the show playing in the background. The same is true for the episode selection menu, which presents three episode options on each of the three screens per disc. The discs are each housed in an individual slim-line case, all of which are inside a cardboard slipcover. The cover and disc art are all pretty snazzy even if they don't always match the disc's specific content.

The first disc opens with sneak previews for The Little Mermaid: Platinum Edition, Cars on DVD, Meet the Robinsons, and Disney Princess: Enchanted Tales - A Kingdom of Kindness. The main menu holds additional previews for the two upcoming Winnie the Pooh Disney Learning Adventure installments ("Good Day, Good Night" and "Time to Rhyme"), The Fox and the Hound: 25th Anniversary Edition, The Wild, "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse", and Air Buddies.

Get these @#&$^#! bombs off this @#&$^#! plane! He is the terror that flaps in the night.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

The DVD presentation of "Darkwing Duck" is disappointing. Poor video quality and a complete lack of bonus features are both known to leave a frown on the face on consumers. Fortunately, the show itself transcends such shabby treatment. These episodes aren't available anywhere else and aren't likely to re-emerge in better shape any time soon, so those looking to protest don't have much of an alternative. "Darkwing Duck" is a fun and captivating animated series and is highly recommended despite its thrifty home video presentation.

Buy Darkwing Duck: Volume One DVD from Amazon.com

Related Reviews:
Darkwing Duck: Volume 2 (1991) TaleSpin: Volume 1 (1990) Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: Volume 1 (1989)
DuckTales: Volume 1 (1987) Goof Troop: Volume 1 (1992) Quack Pack: Volume 1 (1996)
Gargoyles: The Complete First Season (1994-95) Gargoyles: Season 2, Volume 1 (1995-96)
Fantastic Four: The Complete 1994-95 Animated Television Series Spider-Man: The Venom Saga
Dinosaurs: The Complete First and Second Seasons (1991-92) Home Improvement: The Complete First Season (1991-92)
Tales From Avonlea: The "Complete" First Season (1990) Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Darkwing Duck on DVD: Volume 1 Volume 2 NEW!


Page 1: Show Discussion, Disc 1, and Disc 2
Page 2: Disc 3, Video/Audio, Bonus Features, Menus & Packaging, and Closing Thoughts

UltimateDisney.com | DVD Reviews Index | Disney TV Shows on DVD | Upcoming DVDs | Recent DVDs | Search UD

Reviewed August 30, 2006.