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DuckTales is an animated series produced by The Walt Disney Company starring characters from the Scrooge McDuck universe as largely created by Carl Barks. The pilot episode first aired on September 11, 1987. The main stars of the series were Scrooge McDuck himself and his grandnephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. Huey, Dewey, and Louie are also the nephews of Donald Duck in many other cartoons, but Donald only shows up a few times in DuckTales. Duckburg was the show's setting.

Other characters from the comics include Gyro Gearloose, Gladstone Gander, Glittering Goldie O'Gilt, Magica De Spell, Flintheart Glomgold and the Beagle Boys.

The series also introduced many original characters, such as Launchpad McQuack, Mrs. Bentina Beakley, Webby Vanderquack, Doofus Drake, and Duckworth the Butler.

DuckTales was the most successful of Disney's early attempts to create high-quality animation for a TV animated series (earlier shows included The Wuzzles and The Gummi Bears in 1985). Disney invested a far greater amount of money into the TV series than had previously been spent on animated shows of the time. This was considered a risky move, because animated TV series were generally considered low-budget, throwaway investments for most of the history of TV cartoons up through the 1980s.

Many critics say that Disney's own animation studio had lost most of its luster during the period from Walt Disney's passing through the 1980s. However, the studio took a number of risks that paid off handsomely, and DuckTales was one of those risks that won big. The studio gambled on the idea that a larger investment into quality animation could be made back through syndication--a concept that worked well with live-action TV reruns, but which had only been used with inexpensive cartoon series that either recycled theatrical shorts from decades past or only featured limited, low-budget animation.

The 1987-1988 season of DuckTales consisted of 65 episodes (the standard length for a Disney TV show nowadays). The next season (1989-1990) included an additional 35 episodes (bringing the total to 100 episodes - making DuckTales the longest-running Disney show episode-wise; That's So Raven is the only other Disney show to achieve this). In the second season, Bubba the Caveduck and his pet triceratops, Tootsie, and Fenton Crackshell and his alter ego Gizmo Duck appeared.

The show was so successful it spawned a feature film, DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, and two spinoffs series: Darkwing Duck and Quack Pack. The success of DuckTales also paved the way for a new wave of high-quality animated TV series, including Disney's own The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in 1988.

The new for 1989 series Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers was paired with DuckTales in an hour-long syndicated show through the 1989-1990 television season. In the 1990-1991 season, Disney expanded the idea even further, to create The Disney Afternoon, a two-hour long syndicated block of half-hour cartoons. DuckTales was one of the early flagship cartoons in the series.

DuckTales inspired competing studios such as Warner Bros. to make their own investments in animation with Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs.

Huey, Dewey, and Louie all appeared in the drug prevention video Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue.

DuckTales was last seen on Toon Disney, a Disney-owned network that airs mostly animated cartoons. After the addition of JETIX in February 2004, the show left circulation along with a number of other shows, and as of 2005, it is not airing. It is unknown if it will ever return to the network, but Disney has recently announced that a 3-disc DVD set of DuckTales will be released on November 8, 2005.

Spin-off merchandise

DuckTales had two series of comic books. The first series was from Gladstone and ran for 13 issues from 1988 to 1990, and the second series was from Disney Comics and ran for 18 issues from 1990 to 1991. Disney also published a childrens' magazine based on the show, which also featured comic stories, one of which was the only story Don Rosa wrote without also illustrating. Subsequent comic stories were printed in the magazine Disney Adventures from 1990 to 1995.

The series also spawned two video games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, DuckTales and DuckTales 2, both by Capcom, as well as a computer game for the PC, Amiga and Commodore 64, called "Duck Tales - The Quest for Gold".

See also

* List of DuckTales episodes

External links

* Official web page at the Toon Disney Channel
* DuckTales at the Internet Movie Database
* Duck Tales on Big Cartoon Database


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