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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Action > Satire > Disney’s Darkwing Duck – Volume Two

Disney’s Darkwing Duck – Volume Two


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Episodes: B



Finally, arriving on DVD one year after the First Volume is Disney’s Darkwing Duck: Volume 2.  As one of the many cartoons that defined this reviewer’s childhood, this is an exciting addition to any DVD collection.  Darkwing Duck came out at the height of Disney’s Animated Television Series venture.  In about a ten year span, arrays of great animated series were conjured up by the Disney Studio’s crack team of animators and writers.  Riding the coattails of Ducktales, whose last episode aired on March 11, 1990; Darkwing Duck filled the void that its Quack-tastic series counterpart left behind.


The series follows a crime fighting, self indulged, anthropomorphic duck named Darkwing Duck who makes it his mission to rid the city of Saint Canard of all crime big and small.  The only problem seems to be that Darkwing is a bumbling idiot who only seems to pull off his goals at the last second through sheer luck; think Batman crossed with Maxwell Smart.  The series is smart and funny, plain and simple.


A series that originally aired for four years between 1991 and 1995; it acted as a spoof to the already insanely popular Batman comic/movie/television franchise.  The series did very well for its time on ABC and just as well in syndication.  Darkwing Duck drew many elements from the series Ducktales including characters such as Launchpad McQuack and Gizmoduck; even its original superhero concept being derived from a single episode of Ducktales entitled Double-O-Duck.  For all intents and purposes this series was a satire of all superhero conventions that had ever existed and managed to execute its satirical nature extremely well.


Even beyond the satirical element of the series, which utilized classic comic elements like The Shadow and The Green Hornet, the series in actuality was just one part of the huge Disney Television Series universe.  Besides Darkwing Duck, Disney had series such as the aforementioned Ducktales as well as Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers, Tale Spin, and Goof Troop.  And whereas it was never quite clear if these animally inspired series were intertwined in the same fictional universe, a variety of elements from the different series flowed throughout each other.  Crossover elements were often blatant, but at the same time could be very clever and subtle.


From viewing this Volume 2 set this reviewer has found himself remembering many of his favorite cartoon episodes of all time.  Classic episodes such as the Rescue Rangers reference in Twitching Channels or the Frank Miller, Dark Knight references throughout the episode entitled Time and Punishment, which explores an alternate universe of Saint Canard, make this set so worth while it is scary.


The 27 ground breaking episodes on this 3 disc set include the following listed by episode number:


28. All's Fahrenheit in Love and War
29. Whiffle While You Work
30. Ghoul of My Dreams
31. Adopt-a-Con
32. Toys Czar Us
33. The Secret Origins of Darkwing Duck
34. Up, Up, and Awry
35. Life, the Negaverse, and Everything
36. Dry Hard
37. Heavy Mental
38. Disguise the Limit
39. Planet of the Capes
40. Darkwing Doubloon
41. It's a Wonderful Leaf
42. Twitching Channels
43. Dances with Bigfoot
44. Twin Beaks
45. The Incredible Bulk
46. My Valentine Ghoul
47. Dead Duck
48. A Duck by Any Other Name
49. Let's Get Respectable
50. In Like Blunt
51. Quack of Ages
52. Time and Punishment
53. Stressed to Kill
54. The Darkwing Squad



The technical features on this DVD set are nothing to write home to mother duck about, but it is nice to have these episodes at your finger tips none the less.  The picture is presented in its original 1.33 x 1 Full Screen aspect ratio and does not look all to great.  The picture quality often contains a blurry or faded feel, amongst the other issues such as color imbalance and a degree of graininess.  The Sound is also weak and unimpressive in its Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo format having a plethora of high/low errors along side its already distant sound quality.  The extras are sadly nonexistent for this set.  This reviewer personally would have greatly appreciated some extras such as commentaries, making ofs, and cast and crew interviews; but with potentially two more DVD box sets to come we can only pray the future holds more Darkwing-ing, swinging action and extras.


The series Darkwing Duck holds a masked place in this reviewer’s heart and mind.  Even the theme song (which had slight variations as the series went on) was amazing in its own right.  This set is highly recommended and though the picture, sound, and extras leave something to be desired, no one should turn down the fantastic action, adventure, comedy that this greatly written and animated series brings.  So when your DVD collection is in trouble don’t be afraid to call D.W.



-   Michael P Dougherty II


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