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‘DuckTales: The Movie’

By Richard Harrington
Washington Post Staff Writer
August 07, 1990


Bob Hathcock
General audience

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"DuckTales: The Movie -- Treasure of the Lost Lamp" is Saturday morning animation transported to your neighborhood theater, though happily absent the hard-sell kiddie commercials. Based on the popular syndicated series, "DuckTales: The Movie" somewhat skillfully stretches a 20-minute episode into a 73-minute feature likely to enchant anyone up to the age of 7 or 8 (and, more likely, satisfy retailers perenially eager for fresh kidvid).

As this tale unwinds, amateur archaeologist and self-styled "tight-waddle jillionaire" Scrooge McDuck is deep in Indiana Jones territory looking for the long-lost treasure of Collie Baba (intriguingly, Scrooge's burry voice is supplied by Alan "Mr. Ed" Young, sounding very much like Sean Connery as Dr. Henry Jones). Although their adventures are not hare-raising -- no Bugs Bunny cameo -- Scrooge, nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie and niece Webby and pilot Launchpad McQuack manage to overcome assorted obstacles and survive various challenges before discovering said treasure, only to lose it to the evil sorcerer Merlock (the ubiquitous Christopher Lloyd) and his bumbling helper Dijon (Richard Libertini).

The ducks, however, end up with a battered and (wouldn't you know) magic lamp that comes with a wise-guy genie (comedian Rip Taylor). Turns out Merlock is really after the lamp, and the rest of the film involves fairly predictable plot twists and reversals of fortunes for McDuck and Merlock.

"DuckTales: The Movie" is the first feature from the new Disney Movietoons division. The animation, from a new French Disney division, is better than standard television fare and far better than the recent "Jetsons: The Movie," though not as good as Disney's "Little Mermaid" or Don Bluth's "All Dogs Go to Heaven." The idea behind Movietoons is to revive the wackier style of Disney's animated shorts and comic books from the '30s and '40s, but those cartoons' zaniness derived from being directed, at least partly, at adults as well as children. "DuckTales" is aimed strictly at those born in the '80s, and it plays accordingly.

"DuckTales: The Movie — Treasure of the Lost Lamp" is rated G and is absolutely inoffensive.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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