The score for DuckTales is a phenomenal, beautiful masterpiece.
Composed by the remarkably talented Ron Jones of Family Guy and Star Trek: The Next Generation fame, DuckTales is rich with personality and recurring leitmotif, and so unique overall that you would be sorely hard-pressed to find any other children's cartoon that can match the level of care that went into this show's background music. There's just so much color and emotion to be had: the adventurous and heroic main theme from "Treasure of the Golden Suns", the mysterious Valley of the Golden Suns motif, the charming Launchpad theme, the triumphant Superman-esque music for Gizmoduck, the hopeful and heartwarming main theme from "Time is Money"... and the list goes on.
Fortunately, recent events are beaming a light on fans' hopes. WayForward has released DuckTales: Remastered, an updated remake of the video game, and although it still features no music from the show outside of the theme song, the presence of the show's very own voice actors and a fleshed-out story (often involving characters and situations pulled directly from different TV episodes, such as "Earth Quack") will intrigue players. People playing this new version of the game will find themselves interested in the TV show once more, and look into the prospect of rewatching it as adults, which will create a greater demand for the yet-to-be-released DVD volume 4, and in turn a greater demand for a music release. The game has the potential to create a new market for DuckTales, and possibly even revive the series. The time is now to act on our dreams and make sure the background music makes it to CD.
Saturday morning cartoons as a genre are notorious for "just throwing something together" when it comes time to produce the music, creating a score devoid of effort, melody or real heart, and that's why the DuckTales score is vastly unlike most other cartoon soundtracks. Unfortunately, for the longest time, fans of the series have figured asking for a release of their beloved music would be a hopeless endeavor. If Disney thought they wouldn't make enough money from the Disney Afternoon DVDs to merit finishing up releasing the TV series itself (which there IS substantial demand for), how much more hopeless would it be to see an even more niche "special interest" release, like a music collection CD! However, licensing is a great possibility through third-party record labels like Intrada (who holds a Disney license and has been doing a miraculous job of bringing neglected Disney scores to the public), so it's time to make sure our voices are heard.
If a CD release of this must own musical score is not possible, we as fans would be ok with an iTunes release.
So, why is it important that the full musical score for DuckTales is made available?
- It's a work of culture, from a number of Scottish-based themes to Navy fanfare, from traditional Arabian music to "Ride of the Valkyries", to say nothing of the TRUCKLOAD of Jazz influence.
- It introduced kids to high adventure themes. It was like children were given their very own version of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- It can even be tearjerking: Who can forget the heartwarming strings as Scrooge embraces his nephews in "Nothing to Fear" after both parties realize they're still loved by the other, or the gentle piano strains as Bubba Duck realizes how badly he misses "Skooge" after returning to his own time.
- Art is always the sort of thing that should be put on display for others to enjoy, and as Jones used his own memories of his childhood exploits in the forest behind his home as inspiration, DuckTales brims with heartfelt art.
- There are at least two cues we as fans have never heard in full, because each time they were used in the cartoon, they were edited. A CD release is a perfect opportunity to showcase what wound up on the cutting-room floor. But that's just talking about cues that partially made it to the final cut - just think of whatever number of cues went COMPLETELY unused!
For more information on the DuckTales soundtrack, please see this website, a fan's humble attempt to list all the different music cues from the first 75 episodes of DuckTales.
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