Disney (Wednes)Day: DuckTales

Who knew there was a DuckTales movie?! I know I didn’t! This film, released in 1990, carries the byline “Treasure of the Lost Lamp” so you can maybe probably guess what this is about. In my opinion, it is kinda Aladdin (which is still to come) meets Indiana Jones meets the DuckTales. Whew, those are a lot of meets.

I really liked the DuckTales as a kid though I mostly read them as comics and it is weird for me, since most if them seem to have different names in the original rather than my translated Germanised version. But, let’s start at the beginning.

Scrooge McDuck (whom I only know as Dagobert McDuck) and a Launchpad McQuack together with the there Huey, Dewey and Louie (Tick, Trick and Track to me) with Webby are in an airplane traveling through what looks like the Grand Canyon but is supposed to be the middle east. Hoakay, movie, whatever. This whole scene is rather similar to Star Wars: Episode 1 where young Anakin is doing the race.

After landing, the minions working on excavating bring Scrooge up to speed in what has happened. Apparently they found something but it turns out to only be a crate full of old clothes. Bummer. The only interesting find seems to be an old treasure map which Scrooge gives to one of his nephews.

Someone is ominously looking down upon all of this from the top of the canyon. One of the minions is with Mystery Man, informing him about the treasure map. Mystery Man demands to get the map but as the minion doesn’t have it, he decides to let Scrooge continue whatever he is doing next. This is a greater example of letting other people doing your work for you. #ImportantDisneyLifeLessons

Scrooge and the gang are traveling on camel back through the desert where they magically stumble over the top of a pyramid sticking out of the sand because OBVIOUSLY! The minions are digging the shit out and this all happens way too fast because pyramids are not big and the desert is far from hot and there isn’t sand everywhere and OMG. </sarcasm>

So the gang just walks right into the pyramid. Clearly they have never watched an Indiana Jones movie and this is all far too easy. I mean, there are some booby traps inside the pyramid but it is still too easy and they make their way through to the champed of secrets treasure. Their guide, who is Mystery Man’s inside man is such a wimp, ugh.

I am a bit put off by them finding the treasure this early on in the movie and wonder what else is to come. Anyway, the treasure is on a platform under which huge scorpios are guarding, I guess this is the ancient shark tank. Amongst the gold is an old lamp which Scrooge immediately diminishes as not worth much and he gives it to one of the youngsters. I, on the other side am all, THE LAMP, THE LAMP, haven’t you read the title?! Minion guide tries to go for the lamp as well because he clearly knows what is what.

Scrooge’s plan with this treasure is giving most of it to museums and the youngsters say this doesn’t sound like Scrooge at all. Wait for it! Scrooge anticipates the huge tax break this will give him and we’re back to Scrooge being Scrooge.

Then Mystery Man sweeps in, steals the treasure and leaves them to deal with the scorpions. *shudder* They do make it out of the pyramid though and Scrooge has the sadz sine his nice treasure is gone.

Outside, Mystery Man is looking through his stolen goodies but the one thing he was after is missing, the lamp. SEE?!!!

Webby offers Scrooge the lamp but he still thinks it’s not a real treasure and sulks some more.

Cut to Duckburg (seriously?? OMG come to think of it though, Entenhausen is not really better) 2 dasys later. Scrooge is still mourning his lost treasure. The servant lady informs Scrooge about an invitation to some archeological shinding because of his great findings.

In another part of the house, Webby finally starts to polish her lamp and we all know where this is going. First she notices it moving every time she polishes and then the genie gets set free.






After some introductions, Genie explains the whole wishing thing to the youngsters. Webby’s first wish is for a baby elephant. You go girl, I would have done the same thing only mine would have not looked so weird.

Female servant walks in, sees the elephant and freaks. Naturally. And because the youngsters are idiots, the have to waste one of their wishes on making the elephant disappear again. In walks Scrooge who was informed by the servant about the arrival of a baby elephant. Meanwhile Genie hides in the closet. Being stuck in closets is no fun, metaphorical or physical ones #LesbianHigh5

The youngsters convince Scrooge that Genie is a friend staying over. Hmm, for a rich dude, he is really gullible.

Cut to the youngsters playing in the garden. They have apparently wished for a LOT of toys. Ugh, amateurs.

Meanwhile Scrooge is worried about his nephews and niece not being back yet. The kiddos are watching this and bewitch Scrooge so he won’t be mad. I do not approve of this.

In the bedroom, it is time for some backstory on Mystery Man; he was Genie’s worst master, and he apparently possesses some talisman that grants him an infinite number of wishes. Oh, and the guy also lives forever. That is such a lame wish imo. Who wants to live forever?

Next morning we see Mystery Man and minion arrive in Duckburg. MM transforms into a rat to get access to the house of Scrooge.

Scrooge still doesn’t want to go to the archeological shinding as the pain is still to real about losing his treasure and life’s work and yada yada yada. Servant woman sees rat and freaks.

Meanwhile Webby and Genie play tea party because why not. It’s not like boys can’t do that. In another unfortunate turn of events, Webby wishes for all her stuffed animals and toys to come to life. THIS IS A NIGHTMARE! I know these rascals are supposed to be young, but ARGH. What a waste of wishes!! Of course this turns into a freaking mess.

Scrooge experiences the madness first hand, so one of the youngsters has to use his last wish to get rid of the alive!toys. Not being able to keep Genie a secret anymore, Scrooge sees an opportunity to utilise the guy.

Archeological shin ding is happening somewhere where it is winter and WHUT ARE SEASONS?! I don’t get this but okay. For some reason, Scrooge gets temporarily stuck in the lamp with Genie but they also make it out again. Genie explains about how he wishes to have a life of his own and we all AWWW for a short moment. Scrooge decides to take the lamp to his vault upon learning in what danger Genie is because of MM.

In the hallway, Scrooge bumps into a tray with stuff and confuses a saucier with his lamp, giving Minion the opportunity to get his hands on the lamp. Shite.

When Scrooge arrives at the vault, Minion is already there, owning the thing because he has the lamp. Scrooge is devastated and sent to jail. In a brief moment of clarity, he vows never to wish for anything personal every again if he manages to get his stuff back. Then the youngsters and staff arrive to get him out of jail and also inform him that they are homeless and moneyless.

Together they come up with a plan to break into the vault and turn this ship around. MM mangoes to get into the vault with them because he is also not happy Minion is taking over.

Lots of breaking and entering back and forth; just as Scrooge is ready to get his hands on the lamp again, MM interferes. The whole vault starts to crumble probably because of confused ownership and PTSD. Or it is because MM turns it into some weird kind of throne/castle, I don’t even know!

One of the youngsters manages to shoot the lamp out of MM’s hand so Scrooge and MM fall down trying to capture it. Scrooge gets it, wishes for everything back to normal and simsalabim, everything gets back to normal.

Down on earth, he explains that he wants to get rid of the lamp and also sets Genie free to be a real boy. Hello Pinocchio callback. Without the Genie inside, the lamp crumbles and that’s the end of it.

Whew, no that was quite a ride. Honestly, I was not over the moon with this movie. The pacing was odd to me and even though I genuinely like the Aladdin story, it seemed weird to me that they would chose the lamp-story for a DuckTakes movie when 2 years later, Aladdin was going to be released.

I was missing the DuckTales feel, like why not make the movie a bit closer to the comics or animated series?! It was just an odd choice for me in general.

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  • EmilyHornburg

    I LOVED this movie as a kid! (A common trend with Disney…) and even though I haven’t watched it in forever, just reading this post I’m like “oh yeah! That was awesome.” I love Webby and her ridiculous wishes. THE ELEPHANT!

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      I think, even as a kid, I would have had more sensible wishes than Webby, except for the puppy sized elephant. I would most definitly wish for that as well. But, in general, I would have been the annoying kid to wish for three more wishes or something like that.

      As for the overall movie, the story was just too close to Aladdin for me, which I’ve seen multiple times (and took part on stage in) so something just felt off for me.

  • Return to the ’80s (Paul)

    I never got into DuckTales. It was a little after my time. My little brother used to watch it, so I am aware of the show, and remember that they did make a movie. I’ll have to see if I can find old episodes and see if I would like it more now. If Donald Duck was in it, then I would probably like it more.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Donald was great. I mostly liked Scrooge for his love of money and being able to swim in his vault. That’s pretty awesome, or at least, Mini!Me thought so :)