DuckTales

Small Screen Specials, Series and Direct-To-Video
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DuckTales

Post by Ben » February 11th, 2010, 8:18 am

Lo and behold - we didn't have a thread for this, it seems!

Probably my favorite of the Disney TV shows - apart from the one off magic that was Wuzzles - and mainly because of the influence from the Barks comics, which was a nice touch and the closest those stories would come to the screen, DuckTales was also actually really, really nicely animated. Like Eisner said back in the day, "we can't have Disney animation going to television and look like c**p", and so those initial three shows - Wuzzles, Gummi Bears and DuckTales - were given attention and fairly lavish budgets for TV.

The result is an action-adventure show that still stands up today, and the spin-off feature was a lot of fun too, spawning the genesis of the DisneyToon Studio. It's high time the final episodes were released to DVD (only three volumes so far, out of a possible four or five) and I wouldn't also say no to a collection of the TV movie compilations (Treasure Of The Golden Suns, Time Is Money) with the feature film lumped in too.

But why the sudden trip down DuckTales lane? Because, my friends, I have come across perhaps the simplest but absolutely hysterically hilarious thing I have or will possibly ever come across on YouTube.

Click on the link, close your eyes and make sure to play right to the end, as you listen to "Sir Ian McKellen" and his rendition of the DuckTales theme song:





In one word, this is sheer brilliance. :)

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Post by eddievalient » February 11th, 2010, 10:31 am

The Ducktales movie is one of my all time favorite Disney films and when I talk about tv shows that get turned into movies, I always cite Ducktales as an example of how to do it properly. It's a shame that it flopped, 'cause there were supposed to be more Ducktales movies and a Rescue Rangers movie (which likely would have led to movies for Tale Spin and Darkwing Duck too).
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Post by James » February 11th, 2010, 10:38 am

Wow! Nice!

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Post by Meson » February 11th, 2010, 10:39 pm

Ducktales was one of the reasons why the 1980s and 1990s were great decades of animation. I still randomly sing lyrics of that damn addictive theme song.
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Post by Randall » February 11th, 2010, 10:52 pm

That.... is pretty funny. Nice job, "Ian"! His Popeye is pretty good, too.

As for DuckTales, it was a pleasure writing reviews to the 3 volumes (one more would complete it, I think; they just need to finish off the final season). I adore the Barks stories, and DuckTales is a worthy adaptation.

(And anyone who loves Barks really needs to read the Rosa stories too. Brilliant. I also loved his Three Caballeros comic sequel.)

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Post by Foxtale » February 15th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Lolz at the link.

I loved Ducktales, that was such a wonderful show. Great now I want to go watch it. ;D

I know this is changing the topic but I would LOVE to get Muppet Babies on DVD. It's a shame that hasn't been released yet. (I used to watch Ducktales and Muppet Babies all the time, hence my train of thought :P ).
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Post by eddievalient » February 16th, 2010, 9:10 am

Muppet Babies will never see any official dvd release, I'm afraid. The show used a lot of different film and tv clips and the cost involved with clearing all those clips for a dvd release would be such that in order to make a profit, the dvds would have to be ridiculously expensive. Too bad.
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Post by Foxtale » February 16th, 2010, 11:44 pm

That is sad. :(

How were they able to use those clips for the episodes in the first place?
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Post by James » February 17th, 2010, 12:52 am

The cost to broadcast over free TV was probably much less than the cost to sell the clips on DVD collections.

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Post by Foxtale » February 17th, 2010, 9:04 am

Is that just because it was on tv or also because we are talking about many years ago? Just curious. (I'm a noob and love to learn. ;) ).
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Post by James » February 17th, 2010, 9:17 am

Think of it this way -- which would you intuitively think would cost more:

a) buying the rights to a clip that would air maybe four times total on TV, or
b) buying the rights to a clip to sell on a DVD that would be sold to thousands of members of the public for the next several years?

I would assume (b) would cost much, much more and that is probably the issue here as Eddie points out. There was a similar issue with the Muppet Show actually.

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Post by eddievalient » February 17th, 2010, 12:06 pm

Which is why, I think, Disney is taking so long to release the final two seasons. The first season had several segments cut, but the second and third seasons were delayed so that Disney could make sure to clear everything. I think I read somewhere that season 4 is supposed to be released this year. Fingers crossed.
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Post by Randall » February 17th, 2010, 12:28 pm

Yes, Season 4 is supposed to be out around June, last I heard.

In regards to song clips on TV shows, those rights are typically negotiated for DVD release up front these days. But in the days before DVD, no one thought to include the DVD rights when dealing with the music owners. And that causes all sorts of headaches now, delaying or butchering many a DVD release (Ally McBeal, WKRP, and others).

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Post by Foxtale » February 17th, 2010, 1:41 pm

Thanks James. :D

It just really sucks. I mean the only way you can actually watch the things you love then sometimes is from a recording. I feel like that encourages pirating more, sadly (or for someone like me that means I won't end up getting the episodes again). I can't stand when things have segments or pieces missing for reasons like that. It really stinks. It makes sense but I wish it wasn't like that.
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Post by Ben » February 18th, 2010, 9:21 am

Actually, the problem was that no-one thought to be releasing entire series on VHS, not DVD.

VHS was never a good carrier for full series (hence many "best ofs"), and programs like Muppet Babies and others of the time didn't have those rights in place to use source music or clips. They would have gotten blanket TV rights - no show ever plays just four times, and Muppet Babies is still on TV in syndication somewhere in the world - but the closest thing to DVD back then was LD, and releasing all but the smallest number of episodes was all that could be done.

However...I don't believe that's the issue surround Muppet Babies' debut on DVD. I have three or four official Jim Henson Company VHS tapes with around four episodes a pop on them. They're all intact, too, which means home video rights were sought and secured. "Home video" means "home video", and DVD is still "home video" as far as contractual agreements are concerned, but it could be that there is some confusion over this.

More likely is that the state of copyright ownership of the actual brand, characters and the episodes themselves are at a dispute. As we know, the Henson Co, being independent, signed with multiple distributors and had so much product out with so many different companies, often with even more deals in place for overseas releases. It's my guess that the ownership of Muppet Babies is in a state of confusion as to who owns the title, who owns the characters and who owns the episodes.

It could be Disney, since they own the names and likenesses of Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, et al, or it could be the Henson Co, who retained some property rights after selling the Muppets brand to Disney. If so, there's a number of delays right there...if not, and if it's Henson themselves that own it all, then their problem is finding a distributor that will pay for remasterings and distribution.

But, basically, considering LD and VHS were in full effect, and that syndication would have certainly been in the deal, the licensing of the clips must have been given some kind of cover in regards to future use. The clips were so short anyway that over the course of a series, even if someone did have to pay for them, it wouldn't amount to a great deal in order to get the show out. I just think there's a lot more to the Muppet Babies jumble than is the case.

:)

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