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Darkwing Duck: Volume 2 DVD Review

Buy the Darkwing Duck: Volume 2DVD from Amazon.com Darkwing Duck: Volume 2 (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), Marcia Wallace (Clovis, Mrs. Cavanaugh), Jack Angel (Liquidator), Hamilton Camp (Gizmoduck), Kath Soucie (Morgana McCawber)

Running Time: 612 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 7, 2007
Original Airdates: October 14, 1991 - November 21, 1991
Three single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9s); Suggested Retail Price: $34.99
Cardboard box with three clear slim keepcases

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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 2 collection.

Darkwing convinces the Grim Reaper (voiced by Frollo himself, Tony Jay) to give him one more hour in limbo to defeat Megavolt. With Launchpad being mistaken as Darkwing Duck, the real Darkwing experiments with new looks for himself, including this 007-influenced ensemble. Darkwing's kinder, gentler look (complete with ballet moves) baffles crooks like this Beagle Boy.

DISC 3

46. My Valentine Ghoul (22:44) (Originally aired November 11, 1991)
Darkwing has trouble trusting Morgana now that she’s abandoned her life of crime. Negaduck uses the rift between the two to lure Morgana to his side.

47. Dead Duck (22:43) (Originally aired November 12, 1991)
After getting into an accident, Darkwing finds that he’s dead. Megavolt runs rampant now that St. Canard has no crime fighter, and DW must stop him before his time in limbo is up.

48. A Duck by Any Other Name (22:41) (Originally aired November 13, 1991)
A news reporter mistakes Launchpad as Darkwing Duck’s secret identity. As Launchpad’s fame rises, DW considers changing his own superhero persona.

49. Let's Get Respectable (22:41) (Originally aired November 14, 1991)
The citizens of St. Canard find Darkwing’s vigilante style too oppressive, so DW alters his image to be kinder and gentler. This brings up his popularity, but Negaduck decides to take advantage of the new Darkwing for his own schemes.

Despite Darkwing being a big fan of James B– er, Derek Blunt, the sophisticated spy barely gives him the time of day. Darkwing makes a valiant and daring attempt to slay a dragon. Darkwing Duck accompanied by the Darkwing Squad, his not-so-polished group of trainees.

50. In Like Blunt (22:42) (Originally aired November 15, 1991)
Several agents go missing, so Darkwing is recruited with famous secret agent Derek Blunt. DW and Blunt have vastly different approaches on how to solve a crime, however.

51. Quack of Ages (22:44) (Originally aired November 18, 1991)
When yo-yos outsell Quackerjack’s toy products, he travels back in time to when the first yo-yo was created, determined to destroy it. Darkwing and Launchpad follow, but face a challenge when Quackerjack appoints himself as the king’s advisor.

52. Time and Punishment (22:43) (Originally aired November 19, 1991)
Gosalyn accidentally travels decades into the future via a machine Megatron and Quackerjack have created. She soon sees that her actions have caused the future Darkwing’s perception of justice to be severely altered.

53. Stressed to Kill (22:44) (Originally aired November 20, 1991)
Megatron and Quackerjack come up with a relaxatron that makes everyone act like carefree zombies. When Darkwing gets hit by this machine, Gosalyn and Launchpad try to get him back to his alert self before the villains wreck more havoc.

54. The Darkwing Squad (22:42) (Originally aired November 21, 1991)
The S.H.U.S.H. organization hires Darkwing to train new assistants, but Grizzlikoff is less than enthused. Steelbeak uses Grizzlikoff’s loathing of Darkwing to lure him to the F.O.W.L. organization.

Two of the most villains most prominent in this Volume 2 DVD: Quackerjack and Megavolt. Morgana and Darkwing share a romantic dinner together... at least, as romantic as it can get in a graveyard.

VIDEO and AUDIO

Darkwing Duck's second volume arrives with the same erratic picture quality as the first. A shocking amount of aliasing is present, and is the most jarring factor.
Other flaws, while not as distracting, still come in abundance. Sharpness levels are inconsistent; some episodes look soft, almost as if gauze were smeared over the camera lens, while other episodes are overly enhanced and filled with ringing. Speckles, dirt, and hairs pop up on occasion, as well. It's glaringly obvious that no effort was put into properly remastering these episodes for DVD. While this volume as a whole is watchable, it's still disappointing to see such disregard emerge from a high-profile studio like Disney.

The audio is about as satisfactory as an early 90s animated series can be. Speech is clear, but tends to be somewhat low. In contrast, the score is occasionally rather shrill.

Disc One's main menu consists of Darkwing launching a sneak attack upon a rubber bouncy horse. Disc Two's main menu has Bushroot showcasing Darkwing's amazing floating abilities. Disc Three's main menu gives Tuskernini four pupils, but that won't stop Darkwing Duck.

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

Unsurprisingly, this set contains no bonus material whatsoever. While Disney obviously must have wanted to produce this and other animated series' DVDs as cheaply as possible, there are still features that could have been included.
Disney Afternoon intros and interstitials would have been most welcome, and it's hard to believe that no on-camera interviews or behind the scenes footage exists from the show's production. Galleries of concept art, sketches, and backgrounds would also be easily attainable. Such things would require little effort from Disney and would help boost these sets up in terms of quality.

Unlike Volume 1, all of this set's menus are presented in 4x3, which is inconsistent but at least spares widescreen TV owners from some settings-toggling. Each main menu is static and features characters in somewhat random poses cut out directly from episode screencaps. The theme song sans vocals accompanies the menus. In a nice touch, each episode is divided into five chapters, with the opening intro and closing credits given their own chapters. Each disc is housed in a clear slimline case with artwork depicting an episode contained on that particular disc. The back of each case contains a listing of the episodes in question. All three cases are housed in a cardboard slipcover.

The first disc opens with sneak previews for The Jungle Book: Platinum Edition, Meet the Robinsons' DVD release, Little Einsteins: Rocket’s Firebird Rescue, and a promo for Disney Movie Rewards. The main menu holds additional previews for the DVD releases of Return to Never Land and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.

In the future, Darkwing's dictator attitude scares off all the supervillains. With no one else left to confront, he attempts to save others from the vilest villain of all: cholesterol. Darkwing rises to his greatest challenge, yet: becoming Ordinary Guy.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

The second volume of "Darkwing Duck" has come to DVD, and it does nothing to improve upon the quality of the first release. Picture and sound are serviceable but still disappointing, and the lack of bonus material is simply frustrating. The episodes presented here, though, are solid entertainment. Considering the show is no longer in syndication, this release comes as recommended despite its faults.

Buy Darkwing Duck: Volume Two on DVD / Buy Darkwing Duck: Volume One on DVD

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Related Reviews:
Darkwing Duck: Volume 1 (1991) • The Tick vs. Season One (1994-95) • The Tick vs. Season Two (1995-96)
DuckTales: Volume 1 (1987) • DuckTales: Volume 2 (1987) • Goof Troop: Volume 1 (1992) • Quack Pack: Volume 1 (1996)
TaleSpin: Volume 1 (1990) • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: Volume 1 (1989) • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: Volume 2 (1989-90)
Gargoyles: The Complete First Season (1994-95) • Gargoyles: Season 2, Volume 1 (1995-96) • Spider-Man: The Venom Saga (1995-96)
Fantastic Four: The Complete 1994-95 Animated Television SeriesSpace Ghost & Dino Boy: The Complete Series (1966-67)
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) • The Rocketeer (1991)
The Muppet Christmas Carol: Kermit's 50th Anniversary Edition (1992) • Newsies (1992) • Aladdin: Platinum Edition (1992)
Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure BeginsThe Muppet Show: Season 2 (1976-77)

Darkwing Duck on DVD: Volume 1Volume 2

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

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Reviewed August 17, 2007.