Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday Treasures: Disney Ducks

I grew up with Disney.

Whether it was the films of my youth, such as "The Rescuers", "The Fox and the Hound", or "Escape to Witch Mountain", or those too-few-and-far-between-visits to Disneyland, Disney and its characters helped me populate my childhood with wonder, imagination, and fun.

As much as I loved Mickey, Goofy, and Jake the cat in "The Cat From Outer Space", the cast of characters that I loved the most (a love which I have carried into my adult life) are those wonderful, wonderful ducks.


Of course I love Donald Duck. Who doesn't? His uncontrollable temper and ability to turn the most mundane of situations into a gigantic, destruction-filled disaster still reduce me to a quivering mass of unstoppable laughter.

But what I truly love is Duckberg.

The late Carl Barks was a master story-teller and artist, and over the years, his duck stories in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories created a rich tapestry of connected tales and original characters, such as my personal favorite, Scrooge McDuck.

Barks was able to take cartoon ducks and, by paying attention to detail and story, weave tales that were full of cartoon silliness while being more than cartoon silliness (and I'm not knocking cartoon silliness here; I love this stuff).

The animated series "DuckTales" drew heavily from "Barksian" facts and characters.
Magica DeSpell, Flintheart Glomgold, and Gyro Gearloose are just a few of the characters you may remember from this show that made their first appearances in Barks' comics of the fifties and sixties (Lauchpad McQuack wasn't a Barks character, but I love 'im anyway). Though the show was aimed at children, I thoroughly enjoyed it despite the fact that it aired when I was in high school and "too old for that stuff".

Writer/artist Don Rosa (a fellow Louisville native whom I have had the pleasure of meeting a few times) is internationally known for his Disney Duck stories, most notably his 12-part "The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck", which takes nuggets of information and stories laid down by Barks and weaves them into the tapestry of Scrooge's life between 1877 and 1947 (this story is available in a collected edition, and I encourage you to check it out; not only is it just plain fun, but is an example of exceptional story-telling).

Watching the Donald Duck cartoon "Trick or Treat" is a Halloween tradition at my house. "DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of The Lost Lamp" is a movie I can sit down to watch with my children and know that we'll all be entertained. And of course, I'll always have those wonderful comic stories that started it all for me.

I've said it before, but you'll hear this a lot from me:

I love this stuff.

Thanks for reading my ranting,



  1. I LOVE Duck Tales! LOVE it! It was by far my favorite cartoon when I was little. I always dreamed of having my own room full of gold coins to swim in.

  2. Me too, Emily.
    If I could only have a money bin to swim through, life would be easier.

  3. Haha. Now I have the Duck Tales theme song echoing in my head.

  4. Not goblin tales or pony tales...

  5. Ah, the Cat from Outer Space also starring the guy from the Herbie movies. Hmm, second fiddle to a cat and a car (several times). Or maybe he was just such a good actor that he carried the cat and Herbie?

    Anyway, J currently loves the season 1 boxed set of Duck Tales. We've got to get the rest of these.

    We have found reprints of some old Disney Duck comics at a couple of the dollar stores around town. $1 for a small trade paperback size comic with at least the equivalent of 2 or 3 standard comics contained. J is enjoying reading those as well.

    Also, you know which Disney song might be even more brain-sticking than the Duck Tales one? Gummi Bears! Although, I have to admit, going on vacation this summer J was watching Duck Tales on a portable player and she kept pulling out the headphones during the theme song. All 3 of us were saying "Ah-woo-ooh" all week long cause of that. Not exactly sure how to spell that, but if you know the song I'm sure you know which part that represents ;-) and have probably become infected all over again.

  6. Gummi Beeeaaars...bouncin' here and there and everywhere...