11 August 2007
The terror that flaps in the night
For Christmas, Sara gave me a set of Disney's Darkwing Duck cartoons on DVD (Yay! Thanks, Sara!). Darkwing Duck is my favorite cartoon of all time. I watched it when it ran on The Disney Afternoon in the early 1990s, and my whole family loved it. Unlike many silly or saccharine cartoon shows, Darkwing Duck has dark comedy with an edge, featuring humor of the gallows or even (occasionally) potty variety (several IMDB reviewers commented, and rightly, "I can't believe Disney did this-- and got away with it in an afternoon cartoon!"). The basic set-up is something of a satire of Batman: the main character has no supernatural abilities, but relies on handy technical gadgets and a modicum of crime-solving know-how to capture a variety of villains. There are puns, sight gags, inside jokes, running jokes, and a general hilarity related to the characters and the situations in which they find themselves. The alliterative and articulate masked mallard fights crime in the Gotham-like city of St. Canard and encounters evil-doers of both the mutant and simply psychopathic variety. In addition to Darkwing Duck (and his civilian alter ego, suburbanite Drake Mallard), series regulars include goofy pilot sidekick Launchpad McQuack (crossing over from an earlier Disney Afternoon series, Duck Tales), adopted daughter Gosalyn, and the Mallard family's utterly boring and predictable next-door neighbors, the Muddlefoots.
See as many episodes of this cartoon as you possibly can. Someday, you may need to know about vampire potatoes or that "the cows are not what they seem".
[Notice: Darkwing Duck, his image, and anything else pertaining to him, are property of DISNEY. Please buy only legally licensed Darkwing Duck paraphernalia (not that I've seen a big market for illegally licensed Darkwing Duck items, but still). Speaking of which, why doesn't Disney do more to market Darkwing, rather than that lame other duck, Donald, or even that mouse?]