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DuckTales on DVD: Volume 1Volume 2Volume 3

DuckTales: Volume 3 DVD Review

Buy the DuckTales: Volume 3 DVD from Amazon.com DuckTales: Volume 3 (1987-89)
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), Peter Cullen (Bankjob Beagle), Tony Anselmo (Donald Duck), Jim Cummings, June Foray (Magica De Spell, Ma Beagle), Hamilton Camp (Fenton Crackshell/Gizmoduck), Kathleen Freeman (Mrs. Crackshell)

Running Time: 546 Minutes (24 episodes) / Rating: Not Rated (TV-Y equivalent)
1.33:1 Fullscreen (Original Broadcast Ratio), Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 (English)
Subtitles: English for Hearing Impaired / DVD Release Date: November 13, 2007
Original Airdates: November 24, 1987 - March 26, 1989
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 () denotes ten standout episodes from this Volume 2 collection.

Bubba leads the class in a rousing musical number that puts Troy and Gabriella’s antics to shame. Only in Duckburg can people hide behind a portrait and convince officials that that’s who they really are. Flintheart does not take kindly to the company he resorts to scheming with (the Beagle Boys).

Disc 3

17. Time is Money, Part 3: Bubba Trubba (22:36) (Originally aired November 25, 1988)
Scrooge and the gang arrive back home, but have accidentally taken a prehistoric cave duck named Bubba back. They must cope with Bubba’s antics while Gyro fixes the time machine.

18. Time is Money, Part 4: Ducks on the Lam (22:51) (Originally aired November 25, 1988)
Bubba accidentally leads the Beagle Boys into Scrooge’s money bin. Flintheart, in cahoots with them, poses as Scrooge and takes over all of his bank accounts and properties.

19. Time is Money, Part 5: Ali Bubba’s Cave (22:50) (Originally aired November 25, 1988)
Flintheart and the Beagle Boys take over Scrooge’s diamond mine, the last piece of property he owns that hadn’t yet been stolen by then. Bubba is sent back to the past but returns to the present to aid Scrooge and the others.

20. Super DuckTales, Part 1: Liquid Assets (22:51) (Originally aired March 26, 1989)
The Beagle Boys alter City Hall’s construction plans so that a highway runs right across Scrooge’s money bin. Scrooge is forced to move it elsewhere, a job made none-too-simple by his overly zealous new accountant, Fenton Crackshell. Note: While Toon Disney has edited out the scene where Scrooge tries to shoot Fenton during a job interview, the scene remains uncut here on the DVD.

Fenton tries to get his mother to celebrate his new job with him, but her idea of celebrating involves watching trashy television within a trashy environment. If Mrs. Beakley offers you desert, you take it. Scrooge recreates a Dr. Strangelove scene as he rides his money bin back to earth.

21. Super DuckTales, Part 2: Frozen Assets (22:50) (Originally aired March 26, 1989)
Fenton accidentally uses Scrooge’s lucky dime and must get it back from the Beagle Boys. Scrooge hires Gyro to create a robotic guard for his money bin, but the results are disastrous.

22. Super DuckTales, Part 3: Full Metal Duck (22:51) (Originally aired March 26, 1989)
Fenton, under the guise of Gizmoduck, gains popularity throughout all of Duckburg. This catches the Beagle Boys’ attention, and they create a remote that controls his suit to do their bidding.

23. Super DuckTales, Part 4: The Billionaire Beagle Boys Club (22:50) (Originally aired March 26, 1989)
With Gizmoduck under their control, the Beagle Boys use him to steal Scrooge’s money bin. They use their newfound riches to take over all of Duckburg, including the mansion.

24. Super DuckTales, Part 5: Money to Burn (22:47) (Originally aired March 26, 1989)
Alien robots steal Scrooge’s money bin, so he and the rest of the gang take off into space to get it back before it’s melted to create new robots.

The boys are wowed by Gizmoduck, not knowing he's the same person they wanted to murder the day before. Bubba and his pet Tootsie are amused at Launchpad's clumsiness.

VIDEO and AUDIO

Like the previous two volumes, this third "DuckTales" release presents the episodes in their original 1.33:1 ratio with wildly erratic quality. These seem to be transferred from a tape source as tracking lines are ever-present throughout the volumes. Because of that, sharpness always comes across as hazy, even with all the edge enhancement found. Print flaws vary from episode to episode. Some are downright distracting with their excessive speckles and hairs, while others are reasonably clean. Colors also differ in quality, but most of the time they come across somewhat harshly and with unbalanced contrast. It's obvious no clean up work was done to these episodes at all.

The Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks fare a bit better. While no restoration seems to have been done on them, either, they at least come across a bit cleaner than the picture. Dialogue usually is fine, though sometimes too low to be intelligible. Sound effects are rather flat, though the music ends up being pretty clear, if a bit too loud in comparison to the dialogue. It's all listenable enough, even if it's overall kind of dull.

Disc 1's Main Menu recalls the glad time when the boys were inexplicably hungry for Mrs. Beakley’s cooking in the middle of Magica’s futuristic suburb. Scrooge and the boys share a moment near a large sign that calls himself Joe in this main menu from Disc 3. Disc 3's Episode Selection menus demonstrate how the TV movies are presented as episodes.

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

Unsurprisingly, there are no supplements whatsoever. No behind-the-scenes footage, no sit-down interviews, no television bumpers or interstitials, nothing. With only one volume left to complete the series, it's painfully apparant that Disney has no intention of treating this show to even a light snack's worth of supplemental material. Considering how famous the show is and how it changed Disney's television distribution, one would think it'd be entitled to more respect than this.

The menus are done in the similar style of the previous two volumes, only this time formatted in 1.33:1. The main menu of each disc features the characters seemingly cut out of direct episode screencaps and placed on random backgrounds as the end credits score plays. This same score appears on the Episode Selections menus, as well. Each disc comes housed in a clear slimline case that features artwork pertaining to that disc's episodes. All three come in a cardboard slipcover that matches the previous volumes, perhaps a little too well (Huey, Dewey, and Louie on the front cover are carried over from the Volume One art).

Disc one starts off with trailers for 101 Dalmatians: Platinum Edition, Wall-E, The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, and a promo for Disney Movie Rewards. All these can be found under "Sneak Peeks" along with trailers for Return to Never Land: Pixie Powered Edition, Underdog, High School Musical 2: Extended Edition, and Wish Gone Amiss.

Scrooge's new overly generous persona has scared Louie out of this shot. Scrooge McDuck and Gyro Gearloose pay only mild attention to the giant robot about to destroy them.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

"DuckTales" is a show diverse enough to avoid staleness, and with its myriad of subjects, manages to remain timeless, as well. The DVD package as a whole is quite mediocre. Picture quality is all over the place, audio is passable, and supplements are non-existent. It's a shame that lesser shows have been given much more care on DVD than this one has ever received. Despite the repeated disappointments, this set is still the best way to see the show for the time being and earns a recommendation on the strength on the series itself.

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DuckTales on DVD: Volume 1Volume 2Volume 3

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Reviewed November 16, 2007.