Film review: Ducktales: The Movie - Treasure of the Lost Lamp

Published: Sunday, Aug. 5 1990 12:00 a.m. MDT

Could they have come up with a more complicated title? "DuckTales: The Movie — Treasure of the Lost Lamp."

We'll settle for "DuckTales."

Although, it might have been more accurately titled "Indiana Scrooge" or maybe "Raiders of the Lost Lamp."

In fact, the opening scenes of this first of several planned big-screen spinoffs from the popular children's TV series is very much a "Raiders of the Lost Ark" ripoff.

But Scrooge McDuck as Indiana Jones? That's very odd casting. Donald maybe. Mickey maybe. Even Goofy. But Scrooge?

Oh, well.

With its animation done on the cheap in France, "DuckTales" is no "Little Mermaid," to be sure. But it's really not that bad, either.

Going in with very low expectations after having seen the previews a couple of times, I was pleasantly surprised at how clever and funny the film is.

And it helps to have some first-rate voice talent like Alan Young as Scrooge, the hilarious Richard Libertini as a comic villain named Dijon and Christopher Lloyd as the chief bad guy, Merlock.

The story has Scrooge, along with nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie, and a niece called Webby, searching for the lost treasure of Collie Baba. They find it, only to have it stolen by a centuries-old bad guy named Merlock, who has the ability to change into various animals.

What Merlock is really after, however, is one item in the treasure, a magic lamp, which Webby has unknowingly retained. Before long they discover there's a genie inside, and he becomes an aide — except when someone evil has possession of the lamp.

Most of the laughs go to Libertini as Dijon, but screenwriter Alan Burnett has come up with some amusing situations and a few very funny one-liners that keep the show lively even when the action slows down. If the film were more consistent in this regard, it would be much better — but as it is it should well please the small fry.