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PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2010 11:21 pm 
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Hey guys. In case you don't know, I'm the administratoron Animation Revelation, a message board dedicated to the notion that cartoons can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It's a little less n00b filled than your average board, and most of the people who joined are members in their late teens-early twenties who aren't major dolts. We partake in this notion so much that we have two blogs, one for recent reviews, and another for various features.

Obviously Disney's theatrical animation, as well as Pixar's recent works, are one strong bit of support for the reason that I still watch cartoons today, as the stories, music, and characters introduced to us in films such as The Lion King, Peter Pan, and Monsters Inc are solid enough for me to return to them time and time again. But these, as well as the handful or so of good live-action films, aren't the only reason why I still come back to Disney.

In the mid-80's, Disney's animation department formed a television department who, together, made some of the most memorable animated series of the past 25 years, and continue to make programs to this date. In 1990, Disney formed a syndicated block to contain and introduce some of these memorable series. This block was entitled The Disney Afternoon, and for a while, became the place to watch high quality television animation.

As the block turns 20 this September, as does The Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Disney's first big animated series, turns 25, I am planning to write a feature article on my blog celebrating the impact and quality of the programs that aired on this block.

I make this thread asking you, Disney fans around the world, to help me in this article by telling me if you are familiar with some of these series and have any particular favorite episodes, characters, or factors regarding these series. As to not give you too much too handle in one sitting, I'll update this thread once every few days and update the show to write about in question.

The first show I'd like to mention is the aforementioned Gummi Bears.

Image

Released in 1985 on NBC and wrapping up in 1990, The Adventures of the Gummi Bears was the first of Disney's televised animated series to debut and became a part of the block's first season, from 1990 to 1991. As soon as Darkwing Duck premired on the block, Gummi Bears was taken off, and remained in repeats on the Disney Channel for a period of time, and was one of the first programs to air on Toon Disney.

The show was memorable for it's classic theme song and large cast of characters, each of which having a distinct, likable personality. Another key factor towards the show's success is the strong sense of mythology regarding the powers of the bear's Gummiberry juice, in both how it's made as well as the varied power it contains.

And to help start things off, here is the show's theme song, which may hopefully send a few of you down nostalgia lane.


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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 3:41 am 
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These shows were most of my first interactions with Disney anything as a child, save for maybe the animated films. My all time favs would be Gummi Bears, Ducktales and maybe Darkwing Duck. I love Gargoyles too. That is why I was originally so happy when they started to come out on DVD. But then literally for all of these shows that they started to releases, they stopped with one more release till the entire shows would be out to own.

I hope you keep writing these post about these shows, they were the start of the best era of tv animation out there. It was because of these original shows that Warner started making Batman a Tiny Toons and Animaniacs. I wish cartoons were this good again and I really wish they put EVERY episode out on DVD.

Again, I mentioned this in the thread about saving the Disney Treasures, would people help me and support me getting petitions and letter writing campaigns going to keep the Disney Treasures going and get these shows finished being released? I can't do it if it's just me.

I don't know about all of you, but once I start having kids, I'd rather raise them on these shows then the crap they try to pass off as Saturday Morning cartoons today. Are you with me?!

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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 12:26 am 
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These were some of my childhood davorites, as well. I lvoed the block, kept up with the shows they aired on the Disney Channel when I had it for preview access, and caught as much of them as I could when I got Toon Disney.

I don't want to post too much on what my favorites were, because I'll be writing about all of these, but as for Gummi Bears, I've been watching some of it today. In an age full of adventure cartoons, Gummi was a little more clever than series such as The Smurfs, as it contained characters built with more dimensions in more clever settings and stories. I like the combination of medieval decorations with new-age technology set back to look more primitive.

The Gummis are each interesting, but the humans are also good characters. Cavin and Calla's interactions with the Gummis are integral parts of the show, and both have their own plights to make them stand out. As for the Gummis, I think Sunni and Cubbi, the youths, are my favorites; Sunni is an adorable young girl, while Cubbi ends up being the main part of many of the stories. Surprisingly, I don't find either character too annoying.

What do you guys think of this show?


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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 2:45 am 
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gummi bears would probably be one of my favourite cartoons from disney. i considered them to be "cousins" of care bears, which i also loved.
i think zummi was my favourite, though gusto [? the blue one whose name didnt rhyme with gummi] was also well liked, as was cubbi.
i would love to get into colleting their toys, but its hard to think what each would have come with. i do have zummi somewhere, but hes missing his shirt i think. i actually discovered an old video tape of their show which i taped off the tv. i was so gutted when i went to watch it and found it had been taped over. might start hunting out the dvds.

as for other cartoons, i loved tailspin and ducktales. never got into darkwing duck. later on, i discovered pepper ann, recess etc.

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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 2:05 pm 
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milojthatch wrote:
Again, I mentioned this in the thread about saving the Disney Treasures, would people help me and support me getting petitions and letter writing campaigns going to keep the Disney Treasures going and get these shows finished being released? I can't do it if it's just me.


I think you should go a head with it. but Im not sure if it should be one group for both or 2 seprate groups.

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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 2:30 pm 
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Used to watch Ducktales every day after school and loved it! My daughter watches the DVDs now.


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 9:41 pm 
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The Disney Afternoon shows all reached Holland at one point or another (usually with a delay of a year or two), in dubbed form of course, but that's what made them appealing to us. Many Dutch fans, although watching the feature films made by Disney in their original English, still will not watch the shows in any other language but Dutch. But we did have good dubs which complimented the shows, which were among the finest Disney ever put on tv --and among the finest *any* company put on tv, ever.

It's sad that these kinds of tv shows aren't being made anymore. Like on most terrains, Disney seems to has, once again, lost its touch. Nowadays, Disney tv cartoons look like cheap imitations of the Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network series. With series like Brandy and Mr. Whiskers and Dave the Barbarian, you can't tell the difference anymore. The Disney Afternoon shows were unique to Disney, and that's why they're so fondly remembered. And they're still fun to watch, even now, when I'm in my mid-twenties. Some of them have ages less well than the others (Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers and Goof Troop), but most of them are as interesting to me as they were back when I was a little kid --or even *more* interesting, in the case of Gargoyles.

The problem with Dutch tv was that some Disney shows were aired (almost) completely, while some others would be aired only in half (or less). At least, that's my experience, but when Gummi Bears first started airing, I was only just born, so it's possible the entire show has aired. I owned some videotapes of the show, but lost inetrest as I grew older. My interest in the series was renewed when I rediscovered it again a few years ago, this time on YouTube, where you can find the entire series. Watching it in chronological order, it turned out that there were a lot of bigger back-stories running through the seperate episodes, which made it even more intruiging to me. (Like the storylines with the Old Gummies.) I also quickly got accustomed to the original voices.

It's really a great show. I'm still not through all of it, but I'm already excited to finally be able to see the finale, which I have never seen before. I just like the characters so much. There's so much character development going, which you don't see in many modern shows anymore. I especially like how Gruffy comes to like Calla a lot, while he initially disliked all contact with humans. Also, I love his relationship with Cubbi and Sunni: he always pretends to be so harsh and rigid, but you can tell he really loves them and is a father figure to them. Gruffy is definitly my favorite character.

For tv standards, Gummi Bears had high-quality animation, and it was animated in a style that suits Disney, unline (like I mentioned) today's Disney products which simply ape the other comapnies' shows. The series really shows a commitment and a creativity behind it, that we don't see in Disney tv anymore. You can tell by watching the effort that was put into it. And that's what made it the adventurous, humorous favorite of many that it still is today.


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 11:36 pm 
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Gruffi is such a strong character. To me, it seems like each of the Gummis have their own baggage after the years of isolation from the human world they've spent, and Gruffi chooses to embrace his hostile side, which is why he's so harsh to the Gummis and unwilling to accept Calvin and Calla as a part of the clan. I like how he softens up to the others as the show goes along while still being his own, cynical self.

I don't think it would be wrong to compare Gruffi and Calla's relationship to Grumpy and Snow White's, to use a Disney connection; at first, the bitter males seems hard to please, as much as the caring females do, but near the end, it becomes apparent that the grumps really do wish the best for the girls.

Gummi Bears is a show that holds up better than I would have thought. It's not my favorite of the block, that would be Gargoyles, but we wouldn't have that without GB. There is such a huge world in Gummi Bears to explore that I can't help but think that maybe 65 episodes weren't enough.


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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 3:25 am 
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Goliath wrote:
For tv standards, Gummi Bears had high-quality animation, and it was animated in a style that suits Disney, unline (like I mentioned) today's Disney products which simply ape the other comapnies' shows. The series really shows a commitment and a creativity behind it, that we don't see in Disney tv anymore. You can tell by watching the effort that was put into it. And that's what made it the adventurous, humorous favorite of many that it still is today.



Avaitor wrote:
Gummi Bears is a show that holds up better than I would have thought. It's not my favorite of the block, that would be Gargoyles, but we wouldn't have that without GB. There is such a huge world in Gummi Bears to explore that I can't help but think that maybe 65 episodes weren't enough.



I agree with both of you! I think the original Disney cartoons of the 80's and 90's were some of the finest cartoon shows on tv. They set the standard that one would expect from Disney Animation and I bet if he were alive, would make Walt proud. I think that "Ducktales" was not the only show from that era that should have hit the 100 episode mark. "Gummi Bears" in mind is on the list of shows that could of made that mark and had the 100th show be just as good as the first show.

I think somewhere in the last decade, Disney started to loose it's grip. We talk about their animated films all the time how they were not as good as the films in the 90's for the most part, but the same problem was going on with their tv animation too, maybe in a lot of was it was even worse!

I noticed that somewhere in the last decade I stopped caring about tv cartoons. And it's not because I "grew up" and got into other things. I very much enjoy watch cartoons, but I will admit I'm something of an animation snob and rather watch the best. That seems to be missing these days.

The last great Saturday morning cartoon in my mind was not even Disney. It was "The Spectacular Spider-Man" which surprise, surprise was under the direction of Greg Weisman, who is also behind "Gargoyles." I'm really starting to feel bad for this guy, I mean he gives us amazing cartoons and the studios cancel his shows just as they are getting good!

Maybe Disney should do to tv cartoons what they seem to be doing to theatrical animated films, letting Pixar do it. Can you imagine if Pixar started making Saturday Morning cartoons? I may start caring bout them again. Maybe they should, and then let Greg Weisman do his thing and maybe, just maybe, we might find that golden age of tv cartoons again. One can dream anyway.

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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 10:52 am 
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Ah, Spectacular Spider-Man. As a big fan of the comics and the character, this show was practically a wet dream to me. Spidey was treated as well as Bruce Timm's take on Batman, given the serious plots and clever dialogue he deserved. It's a damn shame that it won't get another season, because the two we got were incredible.

Greg has a new job coming soon, as well. He's gonig to be the story editor for Warner's Young Justice, based off of the DC comic of the same name, and you can expect more of the same from him.

If you like his work, have you seen any of W.I.T.C.H.? I think it's one of the few good Disney TV products from the aughts, especially when he became the story editor of season 2. Ignore the seemingly girly atmosphere, because W.I.T.C.H. has two cleverly serialized stories during it's course that'll give you more sword and sorcery that Gummi Bears and Gargoyles gave you a craving for.


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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 1:05 pm 
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Good observation on the similarities between Gruffi-Calla and Grumpy-Snow White. I was thinking the exact same thing!

The only problem I have with Gummi Bears, is that there is little variation in the villains. It's almost always Duke Ightorn. While he is a good villain, a little but more variation would have made the show even better. I doubt they could have made more than 65 episodes work. Even as it is now, the show has a fair deal of 'filler' episodes. So although the show's good, it's not perfect --but what show *is*?

What do you think of the theme song in Dutch? It was sung by Robert Long, who was famous in The Netherlands for his theater work. He passed away a few years ago.

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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 2:57 pm 
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Gummi Bears is my favorite Disney Afternoon cartoon. To me, I prefer to think of it as more of a Saturday Morning cartoon since all of its original run was on NBC & ABC on Saturday mornings and it only aired in repeats on Disney Afternoon. I never actually watched it on Disney Afternoons. Some younger people's first introduction to the Gummi Bears might have been on the Disney Afternoons, though.


I have a Death of the Disney Afternoon DVDs? thread here:
http://www.dvdizzy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=22823

I'd really like to see the remaining episodes get on DVD. The "finale" two parter "King Igthorn" would be great to see again.


Last edited by Ioz on Sun May 30, 2010 3:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 3:00 pm 
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Heh, that was pretty cool. I'm used to hearing these songs in English, but I could get used to hearing this as well.

I have to agree about the lack of villains. Duke Ightorn is a character I like, because he reminds me of Captain Hook, to reference Disney again, but with the great rogue galleries we got in DuckTales and Darkwing Duck, it's disappointing to have mostly one villain throughtout.

Speaking of Captain Hook, I should share this with you guys.

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Skip up to about 7 minutes and you'll see a hiliarious bit with him and Don Karnage, my favorite TaleSpin character. I'd really like to find the episodes of this show with Scrooge and Sebastian to see if they're as entertaining as the bits with Don in this show.


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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Coming back to the theme song: is it just me or don't they make songs like this anymore? I mean, not only Gummi Bears, but Darkwing Duck, Duck Tales, Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers etc., all of those Disney Afternoon shows, had memorable theme songs. Where do you see this kind of effort nowadays? Am I just an old fart with a bad case of nostalgia-fever? Or do I have a point here?


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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 8:04 pm 
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Goliath wrote:
Coming back to the theme song: is it just me or don't they make songs like this anymore? I mean, not only Gummi Bears, but Darkwing Duck, Duck Tales, Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers etc., all of those Disney Afternoon shows, had memorable theme songs. Where do you see this kind of effort nowadays? Am I just an old fart with a bad case of nostalgia-fever? Or do I have a point here?


I agree with you. I think theme songs have really been lacking these days.


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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 10:16 pm 
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Alright, I've finally finished my Gummi Bears article. Some more favorite episodes included the pilot, "The World According to Gusto", and "He Who Laughes" last, on the top of my head.

We can still talk about Gummi Bears if you guys want, especially if you want to talk about the article, but I'm going to try to shift the conversation over now to DuckTales.

Image

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frGLMtGsotc

Here's the theme song, still one of my favorites of all time.


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 2:19 am 
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ahh, ducktales! another great show. always wished i could have my very own money bin, though on reflection it would probably hurt like heck diving into a pile of coins. a money bin of paper money, on the other hand...

i dont remember much of the show, sadly. i did see seasons 1-3 at a store yesterday, but didnt get them as i dont know if the whole series would be on those discs. i might get them next time.

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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 10:48 am 
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I remember watching DuckTales on Toon Disney. I wish that Disney would bring back Toon Disney but that's never going to happen.


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 6:59 pm 
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Ah, I'm coming into this late, but I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these shows! To comment on Gummi Bears and DuckTales: I so loved Gummi Bears, and I have fond memories of waking up super early on Saturdays as a kid to watch Wuzzles and Gummi Bears (on different stations, Wuzzles being the super early one for me, at like 6 am, though I'd wake up at like 5:30 or 5 and catch some other stuff too that wasn't as good I'm sure). I used to record stuff like crazy too, and I had a lot of those shows recorded. Wish I still did. Didn't have good reception at the time though, as I think it was during our "no cable TV" period when my parents were trying to save money that way. Anywho, yeah, still have a crush on Calla, Gusto is awesome, and I don't think I ever got to see all of the later episodes with the Barbic Gummies. I don't recall if any of those made it onto the DVD release, but man, I would love to own those and finally get to make sure I saw them all. Of course, I have the existing DVD release... Gummi Bears is probably my second fave Disney afternoon show, though to me it will always be a Saturday morning show. I don't believe they even showed it as part of the D.A. in my area.

But, DuckTales, that will always be my fave. Even if later shows appeared more interesting to me because of their original qualities, like the way they reused the cast of one of my favorite films, the Jungle Book, for TaleSpin with a complete different setting and set up, or the whole Darkwing Duck thing that actually incorporated elements of Duck Tales and created so many new Disney characters, etc...

DuckTales was an incredible discovery for me, because when it first aired, I was at the height of my Disney comic book collecting, waaay into the Gladstone reprints of Carl Barks stuff, and Scrooge was becoming my top favorite Disney character. Then, I stayed home sick from school one day, and it just happened to be the day DuckTales premiered, to my complete surprise, showing the premiere "movie" in its entirety. As I said, I was way into video taping back then, and I quickly got a tape and caught the entire thing, though I missed the opening theme. So happy to have that all on DVD now though, thanks to the second volume release. Yeah, I will always adore DuckTales, and thinking about it almost makes me miss the Scrooge plush I recently sold to Disneyboy20022, ha. I was always annoyed on visits to Disney World (which probably happened for me the most during the Disney Afternoon years) that even when they had a Disney Afternoon stage show, there was no really great D.A. merchandise. They did have this great Disney Afternoon poster at the entrance that I've gotta get someday. Not an uncommon image, a cluster of D.A. character on a white background. Possibly the same as the D.A. soundtrack CD has (I'd have to go and look at it), which is a CD I love.

Anyway, I basically loved everything about DuckTales, but I will nit-pick and say that, while I understand why Donald wasn't made a regular, I never liked that, nor did I ever like the change of Scrooge's clothing colors. That's one thing I loved about Sport Goofy: Soccermania, though I hated Scrooge's voice in that one. Really needs a DVD release too...

I also thought, though I loved Gizmo Duck and his premiere movie, "Super DuckTales", I did always feel the show went downhill after that... They even jumped the shark when they added Bubba (typical Cousin Oliver), though I don't recall if that was before or after Gizmo Duck. I honestly think that new episodes that were as good as the past episodes would have kept fans watching without the addition of such gimmicks. Gizmo Duck could have been a completely different show, and should have been.


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 7:20 pm 
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I have bookmarked your article for reading at a later point, when I can give it my full attention.

Now over to Duck Tales. This has always been one of my favorite (Disney) tv shows ever since I was little, and it's still good entertainment nowadays. Again, a lot of the credit goes to the strong Dutch voice cast, although the English cast wasn't bad either. The song has become somewhat of an institution in The Netherlands, and to my surprise, 'our' version gets a *lot* of compliments and enthusiastic reviews on YouTube. Like I said before: they just don't do theme songs like that anymore.

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Duck Tales was based on the classic Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comics of the 1940s, '50s and '60s, done by Carl Barks (also the creator of Scrooge and many other inhabitants of Duckburg). I think most Americans would associate Scrooge and his nephews with this show, while Europeans would think first of all of the comics. The comics disappeared in the US in the 1970s and 1980s, only to reappear i9n 1987 for a decade or so in very limited numbers and luxurous publications. Disney comics never went away in Europe and are still highly popular today, with new comics being created every week. Barks' comics are still being reprinted in comics books and magazines.

While a lot of the episodes were original stories, also a lot of them were adaptations of Barks' stories. Although he wasn't involved in the project, Barks' name was sometimes mentioned in the credits. I didn't like the adaptations of his work very much, because Disney had altered much too many things about them, and they were unnecessary changes. Barks was a very gifted storyteller, whose stories are miles above the average (Disney) comic's standards. Why mess with something that good? First, Donald (who played a large part in the comics) had to be replaced by other characters, like Launchpad and Felton. And then they changed so many things from Barks' stories that I got annoyed with it. I especially hate how they turned Scrooge and Goldie's icy relationship into a sappy romantic soap opera-esque storyline.

I think the animation quality of the series was very high. I'm still impressed with the quality of the pilot movie 'Treasure of the Golden Suns'. That's still my favorite. I like the fluid character movement; the detailed backgrounds; the warm colors. Another aspect that needs mentioning is the music. While the music of Gummi Bears was good, this is again a big step forwards. Sometimes I just like to watch an episode and only pay attention to the music score. I can really enjoy that. It all works together in perfect harmony: the animation, the music and of course the adventurous stories.

The second season is a huge letdown compared to the first one. The animation quality is much lower, and the stories aren't that good anymore either. The episodes focus far too much on the new characters Bubba and Gizmoduck. Of course it's okay to introduce new characters (that's what Barks did all the time), but they shouldn't get the lion's share of each episode. The balance was lost. Also, in the second season almost all the action was confined to Duckburg, while I was a fan of the adventure stories that took place all over the world.


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