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DVD Review: Darkwing Duck, Volume 2

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Oh, to be nine years old again. When rewatching Darkwing Duck, a Disney-fied version of a Batman-like comic book hero, I felt so disappointed. Here I am, all of 24 years old and unable to enjoy Darkwing Duck. I guess that’s what happens when you get older.

I don’t imagine Darkwing was ever intended to be an ageless piece, though. Released two years after the 1989 Batman film hit theatres and around the same time as Batman: The Animated Series, Darkwing Duck was and still is a safer, G-rated alternative to the more popular vigilante crime fighter. Darkwing manages to be quotable enough for kids (“I am the terror that flaps in the night…”) and short enough for any adult who’s left watching the show.

I did have memories flood back when watching some of the more tolerable episodes like "Whiffle While You Work", an episode about a deranged toymaker who tries to destroy a video game called Whiffle Boy. The game just happens to be a DW favorite. This episode and all the others lack any subtle hit of the type of humor that is required of animated movies to keep adults entertained, meaning Darkwing really is all for the kids.

And the kids have plenty to work with on this DVD set. Darkwing Duck, Volume 2 features 612 minutes (that’s more than 10 hours) of Darkwing action. With nine episodes on each of the three discs included in the set, getting kids to dig in for a while is as simple as hitting the Play All Episodes selection. Those nine episodes will go fast for most nine-year-olds, especially since the release comes during a Renaissance in the superhero genre.

Like most other genre pieces, Darkwing Duck too has a colorful group of villains who are unfortunately as underutilized as the supporting cast in The Simpsons Movie. Megavolt, Bushroot, Tuskerninni, and many others add some spice to DW’s repetitive gags. The size of the set again comes in handy because, chances are you will hit a good villain episode a few times per disc. Yes, in 27 episodes, you are bound to find something good, even if you have to find that child inside.

Special Features: None to speak of unless you want to switch to a French audio track. It does make the show a little more interesting.

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About Daniel J. Stasiewski