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Darkwing Duck

Darkwing Duck is an Emmy-nominated American animated television series produced by The Walt Disney Company that ran from 1991-1995 on both the syndicated programming block The Disney Afternoon and Saturday mornings on ABC. It featured an eponymous superhero anthropomorphic duck with the alter ego of Drake Mallard (voiced by Jim Cummings).


The main characters were:


The success of DuckTales led to a spin-off series, Darkwing Duck, one year after the show had ended. Darkwing Duck was inspired by two episodes of DuckTales, entitled Double-O-Duck and The Masked Mallard. The original concept had Launchpad McQuack as the star.

While the show establishes its own conventions, it is largely regarded as an affectionate satire on superhero mythos and lore, some obvious, some subtle, and others quite witty. Darkwing's costume, gas gun, and flashy introductions are all direct references to pulp heroes such as the Sandman, Crimson Avenger, The Shadow, and The Green Hornet. The fictional city of St. Canard, Darkwing's rogues gallery, and the relative darkness of Darkwing as compared to other Disney heroes reflect Batman (or perhaps Zorro or The Green Hornet) influences. In addition, in the episode "Time and Punishment" Gosalyn is transported into a future clearly based upon that of Batman depicted in Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns", with Darkwing having become much more hardline and strict on crime, wearing a suit of armour and driving a tank. As well, the episode Tiff of the Titans, with the mysterious Darkwing and the straight-arrow Gizmoduck, played on the famous relationship between Batman and Superman. At one point in the episode, Darkwing asks, "Who needs super powers when you have a super mind?" while Gizmoduck remarks that he thinks Darkwing's crime-fighting style is "disreputable, disturbed, and possibly devious." In addition, there are Marvel Universe references such as the secret intelligence organization, S.H.U.S.H., a parody of Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D., and the episode Aduckyphobia shows Darkwing being bitten by a mutated spider and growing six arms. A few James Bond parodies exist as well, such as the villain Steelbeak, whose beak makes him similar to the Bond villain Jaws, and his personality and trappings are similar to Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld.

Although the show only premiered in 1991, Darkwing Duck was shown in the Disney Afternoon title sequence in 1990.

The character of Darkwing Duck appeared occasionally in the series Bonkers, and earlier Gosalyn appeared in the series Raw Toonage. In an episode of the Aladdin TV series, Genie changes his form from a French waiter into Darkwing Duck.

Darkwing Duck and Ducktales are directly connected by two characters crossing over into the world of Darkwing Duck. The first is Launchpad, Darkwing's sidekick, who is a longtime staple of DuckTales, and GizmoDuck, an armored hero who became a popular part of the DuckTales cast during the series' run. Also, in the episode "In Like Blunt", DuckTales villains Flintheart Glomgold, Magica De Spell, and The Beagle Boys make non-speaking cameo appearances.

The show was later referenced in a Pluto cartoon on Mickey Mouse Works as "Darkwing Dog". (The same treatment was given to Doug (called "Brand Spanking New Dog") and Mouse Works itself ("Pluto's Dog Works")).


Over three seasons there were a total of 91 episodes.

Hot Spells controversy

The episode Hot Spells has rarely been shown since its initial airing. The episode features a character named Beelzebub, who greatly resembles contemporary depictions of the devil. Gosalyn makes a deal with Beelzebub to receive magical powers in exchange for Darkwing's soul.

That a Disney-related show had any reference to Satan, and was even allowed to be aired, is highly unusual. The same "Devil" also appeared in the episode "Dead Duck," but most of that episode was evidently a dream sequence, and the devilish character whispered his name into Darkwing's ear, so the viewer was unable to hear it.

Broadcast history

The two-part episode Darkly Dawns the Duck originally aired as an hour-length TV special on September 7, 1991 as part of a larger TV special, "The Darkwing Duck Premiere and Back to School With the Mickey Mouse Club." The film served as the show's pilot.

Seasons 1 and 2 were aired simultaneously in the Autumn of 1991. Season 1 on syndication as part of The Disney Afternoon block of shows. Seasons 2 and 3 aired on Saturday mornings on ABC.

All episodes remained in syndicated reruns on The Disney Afternoon until 1995 and then returned to the line up from 1996 to 1997.

The series was last seen in the U.S. on Toon Disney, but due to bad scheduling and the addition of Jetix, it has vanished completely from the network. Along with a number of other shows, it was removed from schedules in November 2004. Toon Disney aired the Christmas episode featuring Bushroot on December 25, 2004. The show was last seen on Toon Disney in the United States on January 19, 2007 as part of the Toon Disney Wild Card Stack, and is currently airing on Toon Disney in Scandinavia.

Opening Introduction

There are six different versions of the Darkwing Duck introduction. The first two were aired on the Disney Channel when Darkwing Duck first premiered and featured alternate animation and a different version of the familiar theme song. The third version was used in syndication, and is actually the one they currently use today. The fourth is the version used on The Disney Afternoon, and is the same as the second version only cut for time. The fifth and sixth introductions were used on the ABC Saturday Morning airings, and contained mostly scenes from those episodes, starting with Darkwing tiptoeing up the Audubon Bay Bridge.

DVD and video

Four VHS tapes, each containing two episodes of Darkwing Duck, were released under the title Darkwing Duck: His Favorite Adventures in the United States on September 20, 1991 – "Darkly Dawns the Duck". However, most countries around the world only received releases of "Darkly Dawns the Duck" and "Justice Ducks Unite!". Each video came with two glow-in-the-Darkwing trading cards. Featured on the cards were, Darkwing, Launchpad, Gosalyn, Honker, Negaduck, Bushroot, Megavolt, and Taurus Bulba.

Rumors of a DVD release of the series started in early 2006, and in May the rumors were proven true. A 3-disc DVD box set entitled Darkwing Duck: Volume 1 was released on August 29, 2006. It includes 27 episodes, including the 2-part pilot "Darkly Dawns the Duck", which was presented in edited form as opposed to the uncut version's release on VHS.

The second volume DVD containing the next 27 episodes was released August 7, 2007.

Video games

There was a Darkwing Duck video game released by Capcom on the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Game Boy. Another game was also made for the TurboGrafx-16.

"Let's get dangerous" in other languages

The show was dubbed in several different languages for international distribution. As such, the catchphrase Let's get dangerous! had to be translated into a similarly catchy phrase for the target language. It often did not keep its literal sense, as a direct translation of the phrase was unlikely to hold the same impact.

Language Phrase Literal translation
Cantonese Chinese 等我搞破壞! Wait till I do some destruction!
Czech Kacer Darkwing! Darkwing Duck!
Danish Lad os så vove fjerene! Now let's risk our feathers!
Dutch Laten we lekker link gaan doen! Let's get really risky!
Finnish Ollaan vaarallisia! Let's be dangerous!
French Ça va craindre un max! It's gonna get scary big time!
German Zwo, Eins, Risiko! Two, one, danger!
Greek Ας γίνουμε επικίνδυνοι! Let's get dangerous!
Hindi Ho Jaye Khatron Se Takkar (हो जाए खतरों से टक्कर।) Let's tackle danger!
Indonesian Hadang bahaya Charge the danger!
Italian Dagli addosso, Duck! Go for it, Duck!
Japanese 危険が俺を呼んでるぜ! (Kiken ga ore o yonde iru ze!) Danger is calling me!
Korean 덤벼 보라고! Go ahead and attack me!
Mandarin Chinese 讓我搞破壞! Let me do some destruction!
Norwegian La oss bli farlige! Let's become dangerous!
Polish Oj, powieje grozą! Oh, it's gonna be dangerous!
Portuguese(Brazil) Vamos encarar o perigo! Let's face danger!
Portuguese(Portugal) Vamos correr perigo! Let's get dangerous!
Russian Ну-ка, от винта! Clear the propeller!
Spanish ¡Hay que entrar en acción! Let's get into action!
Swedish Nu blir vi farliga!/(Alternatively: Dags att bli farliga) Now we're getting dangerous!/Time to get dangerous!
Turkish Haydi, Tehlikeye atılalım! Let's get dangerous!

His other common introductory catchphrase was, "I am the terror that flaps in the night…!", usually followed by a somewhat strained metaphor, similar to the declarations of Batman.

See also


External links

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