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

DuckTales on DVD: Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3

DuckTales: Volume 2 DVD Review

Buy the DuckTales: Volume 2 DVD from Amazon.com DuckTales: Volume 2 (1987)
Show & DVD Details

Supervising Producer: Fred Wolf / Associate Producer: Tom Ruzicka

Regular Directors: Alan Zaslove, Terence Harrison, David Block, Steve Clark

Regular Writers: Jymn Magon, Bruce Talkington, Mark Zaslove, Ken Koonce, David Wiemers / Story Editors: Jymn Magon, Tedd Anasti, Patsy Cameron

Voice Cast: Alan Young (Scrooge McDuck), Russi Taylor (Huey, Dewey, Louie, Webby), Terry McGovern (Launchpad McQuack, Babyface Beagle), Hal Smith (Gyro Gearloose, Flintheart Glomgold), Joan Gerber (Mrs. Beakley, Glittering Goldie), Frank Welker (Assorted), Chuck McCann (Duckworth, Beagles), Brian Cummings (Doofus), Will Ryan (Dogface Pete, Weasel Henchman), Peter Cullen (Bankjob Beagle), Tony Anselmo (Donald Duck), Jim Cummings, June Foray (Magica De Spell, Ma Beagle), Tress MacNeille (Agnes the Harpie), Hamilton Camp (Grand Kishki), Patty Parris (Skittles), Jack Angel (Quackerbill), Phil Hartman (Sea Captain), Rene Auberjonois (Dr. Nogood)

Running Time: 546 Minutes (24 episodes) / Rating: Not Rated (TV-Y equivalent)
1.33:1 Fullscreen (Original Broadcast Ratio), Dolby Digital Mono 2.0 (English)
Subtitles: English for Hearing Impaired / DVD Release Date: November 14, 2006
Original Airdates: September 18, 1987 - November 23, 1987
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 () denotes ten standout episodes from this Volume 2 collection.

In "Back Out in the Outback", Webby shows that she sure knows how to make friends in the Land Down Under. Doofus and Launchpad are in intergalactic trouble in "The Right Duck." "DuckTales" does Cinderella, with Scrooge in the rags-to-riches role of "Scroogerello."

Disc 3

17. "Back Out in the Outback" (22:43) (Originally aired November 12, 1987)
Scrooge and company visit the Australian Outback.
Scrooge and Launchpad investigate the mysterious "willy wisps" that have been terrorizing Scrooge's sheep ranch. Meanwhile, Webby gets close to the local animal folk on her own.

18. "Raiders of the Lost Harp" (22:45) (Originally aired November 13, 1987)
Scrooge discovers the lost city of Troy, and with it, Helen of Troy's magic, fib-detecting harp. Upon hearing the news, Magica De Spell pursues the powerful instrument.

19. "The Right Duck" (22:45) (Originally aired November 16, 1987)
Launchpad applies to be an astronaut, but little does he know that the employers are looking for stupidity to test a fail-proof rocket. When Launchpad and Doofus get in the wrong ship, they soon find themselves in an alien prison and at the center of an intergalactic crisis.

20. "Scroogerello" (22:47) (Originally aired November 17, 1987)
Feeling under the weather, Scrooge dreams himself as the protagonist of the fairy tale of Cinderella, with Beagle Boys as his wicked stepbrothers, Glomgold as his evil stepfather, the nephews as lowly cellar helpers, Mrs. Beakley as his fairy godmother, and Goldie as the princess.

Mistaken for "Double-O-Duck", Launchpad is again in an unfamiliar world. Scrooge wants Lucky Charms and this leprechaun better give some to him! Scrooge's butler and the triplets must battle off alien vegetables in "Duckworth's Revolt."

21. "Double-O-Duck" (22:47) (Originally aired November 18, 1987)
When Launchpad is mistaken for a spy, he falls into the life of a secret agent, which naturally challenges his wits.

22. "Luck O' the Ducks" (22:46) (Originally aired November 19, 1987)
Scrooge's shipment of Irish linen actually holds a grabby leprechaun. The gang follows the little guy back to his home on the Emerald Isle, with Scrooge pursuing the golden caverns against a wee bit of opposition.

23. "Duckworth's Revolt" (22:45) (Originally aired November 20, 1987)
Shortly after Scrooge fires Duckworth, the butler and the triplets get abducted by extraterrestrial vegetables with attitude.

24. "Magica's Magic Mirror/Take Me Out of the Ballgame" (22:44) (Originally aired November 23, 1987)
This is the series' only episode composed of two quarter-hour stories. In the first, a mysterious lady pleas Scrooge to hold onto her magic mirror; her identity is little mystery based on her voice and mannerisms (and the title). In the second, Duckworth coaches the nephews in the Junior Woodchucks' championship baseball game against the Beagle Brats.

That is certainly not Magica De Spell that Scrooge is about to give his lucky dime to. Duckworth shows he's no mere butler by coaching the boys' Little League team.

VIDEO and AUDIO

All 24 episodes of the show are presented, of course, in their original 1.33:1 aspect ratio, matching the dimensions of most TVs (and just about all TVs when the show first aired). The video is again of a higher caliber than its Disney TV animation brethren.
It's not entirely clear if some work has been done to clean up what is arguably Disney's best and most popular cartoon or if somehow the episodes have just aged better. Either way, the picture is not perfect enough that you'll mistake this for anything but a 20-year-old television series. In other words, the show's origins have not been shrouded as has been done for some overly-restored vintage fare. There's still a modest amount of room for improvement, however. While the visuals aren't bad, there's definitely some noticeable wear in addition to the shortcomings inherent in mass TV 'toon production.

The primary audio offering presents the show in basic Dolby Digital Mono sound. The soundtrack is a bit muffled at times and it's always fairly limited in its scope. But that's probably just the way the series was designed and if you can adapt to the duck dialogue (which is never as garbled as vintage Donald), you probably will experience no aural challenge to enjoying the show, at least none that the included hearing-impaired-enhanced English subtitles track won't resolve. Though not mentioned on the package, a French Mono track is also included. More amusing than most, this dub offers a version of the theme that seems to call the show "Bean Soup."

The selection screens of DuckTales Volume 2 illustrate just how lazy DVD menu-makers can be. Disc 2's menus, including this Episode Selection page, opt for a desert motif.

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

Wow. The Disney Afternoon's original opening, show promos, the 1967 short Scrooge McDuck and Money, the cast-featuring 1987 short Goofy in Soccermania, and the Scrooge McDuck episode of "The Meat and Schnookums Show" are just a few of the many things you won't find here. Apparently, Disney has decided that all of its late '80s and early '90s cartoon series, no matter how popular they remain several years since being off the air, are not worthy of any extra effort on DVD. Thus, "DuckTales": Volume 2, like its predecessor and all other Disney-branded animated TV show box sets, is completely void of bonus materials. Maybe they're thinking of the volume sets as being part of one big release of the series at whole, and all of the bonus features will be found on the final disc of the final box. As much as you and I wish that was true, I doubt it. It would have been only too easy include something -- anything -- to raise the value of this box set and attract potential customers with something beyond the show. And yet, there's been nothing. No newly-recorded materials, no easily-accessible archival content. Nothing.

Between the hundreds of DVDs I've reviewed for this site and the hundreds more I've encountered in leisure viewing, I think I can safely proclaim "DuckTales" Volume 2 as the owner of the lamest menu screens I've ever seen from a name studio. They are stills presumably taken from the DVD that haven't even been cleaned up, set to stretches of the end credits music and reformatted to fill 16x9 screens. You or I could do better and it wouldn't take us long at all.

There are chapter stops, typically two per episode, plus the end credits as a fourth scene. Those hoping to quickly skip just the 1-minute opening theme from playing each time -- I pity the fools -- are out of luck, as the title sequence is part of a much longer first chapter on each episode.

Though there is no Sneak Peeks menu, Disc 1 still opens with the obligatory Disney previews. They advertise Peter Pan: Platinum Edition, Meet the Robinsons, Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: A Kingdom of Kindness, Cars, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Mickey Saves Santa and Other Mouseketales.

Scrooge consults his prized fib-detecting harp to find out if you read this review all the way through. If you did, then the triplets say, in the spirit of the West, "Thank y'all, pardner!"

CLOSING THOUGHTS

In terms of bang-for-buck and comprehensiveness, you can't dispute that a box set like "DuckTales": Volume 2 works out to be a very good deal for both established fans and potential ones. As such, the thrill of rediscovering a show that has long been off the air and finding that it is as good as you remember it (or heard it) to be would seem to outweigh the negative aspects of this release. So, if you can overlook the unnecessary lack of extras, the not fully satisfying picture and sound, and the handful of shortcomings inherent to episodic storytelling, you'll still be plenty delighted by the second DVD release devoted to "DuckTales."

More on the DVD / Buy from Amazon.com

Related Reviews:
DuckTales: Volume 1 DuckTales: Volume 3 Adventures of The Gummi Bears: Volume 1
Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: Volume 2 Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: Volume 1
Darkwing Duck: Volume 1 TaleSpin: Volume 1 Gargoyles: Season 1 Gargoyles: Season 2, Volume 1
Quack Pack: Volume 1 Funny Factory with Huey, Dewey & Louie (Volume 4) Goof Troop: Volume 1
National Treasure Alice in Wonderland: Masterpiece Edition Walt Disney Treasures: Disney Rarities
Growing Up with Winnie the Pooh: It's Playtime with Pooh Under the Umbrella Tree: Volume 3
Walt Disney Treasures: The Chronological Donald, Volume Two Cars Teacher's Pet Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Cheetah Flight of the Navigator Benji the Hunted Return to Oz The Little Mermaid
Five Mile Creek: The Complete First Season Tales From Avonlea: Season One
The Muppet Show: Season One Dinosaurs: The Complete First and Second Seasons

DuckTales on DVD: Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3

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

Reviewed February 13, 2007.