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Review: 'DuckTales Destination: Adventure' is a blast from the past

Posted Monday, June 4, 2018 at 4:08 PM Central

by John Couture

We live in a world that is constantly searching for the next property to reboot or remake with varying levels of success. Sometimes, it's just best to let sleeping dogs lie and leave us with our pleasant memories and not risk tarnishing the reputation of a brand with a few simple tweets.

Thankfully, DuckTales is a pretty safe bet when Disney decided to mine their past for more gold. You could say that they simply went back to Scrooge McDuck's vault of gold coins and made another withdrawal. And while the sense of nostalgia from the earlier incarnation of DuckTales is indeed there, we would be selling this version short if we just called it a lesser copy of the original.

No, it seems that the two decades that DuckTales spent in hibernation allowed it to grow and mutate into something even better than the original series. Again, I was a young teenager when the original series aired, so I wasn't exactly the target demographic for the show, but I clearly enjoyed the very late '80s/early '90s vibe that it naturally possessed.

With Destination: Adventure, Disney continues its trend of releasing episodes in volumes (usually about six episodes each) as opposed to one large complete season offering. It seems that properties targeted to younger kids get this treatment while the older programs come out in binge-friendly complete sets. As the parent of two toddlers, I can attest that this strategy works.

My kids don't really care yet about the continuity of a story arc across several episodes. They simply enjoy each episode as a disposable commodity that they can re-watch over and over again. Also, the six episodes have a running time of about two hours which matches their average attention span right now.

Destination: Adventure includes episodes 8-12 and episode 4. I have no clue how they determined which episodes to bundle together, but my kids didn't seem to care about the process much. They simply wanted to watch the episodes as many times as possible. The latest episode on the DVD just aired on May 18 on Disney XD, so the DVD feels fresh.

As I mentioned in my review for the first DuckTales DVD, the series continues to use Webby in a great way that was a bit lacking in the original series. Obviously, times have changed over the last 20 years, but it's refreshing to see Disney open up a property that had previously been earmarked as a "boy's cartoon" so that all children can relate to the show's heroes.

Not only is the main voice cast phenomenal, but Disney has tapped several big name players such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tara Strong, and Nia Vardalos among others to lend their voices to these six episodes. While they could have simply cast unknowns in these roles, it really speaks to the strength of the brand that they were able to go out and land such in-demand talent for DuckTales.

DuckTales is still finishing up the airing of season one on Disney XD, but has already been picked up for a second season. At this point, it's unclear if Disney will simply release the remaining unreleased episodes on the next DVD or if they will compile all of them into a complete season - or both. One thing is for certain, these volumes continue to have value-added content to ease the pain of the inevitable double-dip.

Destination: Adventure includes two never-before-on-DVD episodes from season four from the original run of DuckTales. While "New Gizmo-Kids on the Block" and "Ducky Mountain High" might seem like throwaway extras, they actually shed some light on the episodes on the DVD from the current series. It's a nice little nostalgic nod to us old-timers as well as a way to introduce the original series to the younger viewers.

DuckTales Destination: Adventure is now available on DVD.