Watching animation on a regular basis was always a big part of my childhood and secondary school student life. Needed constant cheering up when younger with a lot of adversity to face, with health problems physically and mentally, and struggling with dealing with bullying, due to being "different from the rest". Animation really helped with that (as well as classical music and opera) with Disney, Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry being particularly influential.
A personal favourite during those times was 'Ducktales'. Although the humour and storytelling is easier to understand now as a young adult who is in some way a child at heart, it was still one of the most entertaining shows that graced my television set. With getting more out of the writing, getting the jokes and references more, 'Ducktales' is actually a show that not only has held up extremely well but it is even better now and has it held up? Yes, very well. Just in case one is wondering that this is nostalgia talking, not all my childhood favourites have.
"Ducks of the West" is not one of the best episodes. Don't get me wrong, it is still very good. Just that other 'Ducktales' have more imagination and thrills. As well as generally more memorable supporting characters.
Conversely, "Ducks of the West" animation has much vibrancy and fluidity, with a wide variety of colour and shadings. The attention to detail in the backgrounds is also worthy of much praise, though with occasional lapses in finesse. More than worthy of the praise too is the music, mentioning it in reviews is important to me as a musician myself. There is endless dynamic scoring, beautifully orchestrated, never jarring with the action and full of energy. Irresistibly catchy the theme song continues to be, Disney shows in the late 80s all the way through the 90s were very good at having theme songs that stick in the head for a long time after and that for 'Ducktales' is one of the finest examples.
Like 'Ducktales' in general, the writing in "Ducks of the West" is funny and smart. More so through young adult eyes (though it was still very funny as a child. Have found the same experience re-visiting other favourites like 'Animaniacs', 'Pinky and the Brain' and 'Tiny Toon Adventures'. The dialogue continues to be hilarious, quotable and surprisingly fresh by today's standards, also surprisingly thought-provoking. The Wild West setting is handsomely and colourfully rendered and depicted in a way that really rouses the spirits.
It has been said that other episodes have more thrills and imagination, but that is not saying that the storytelling brings "Ducks of the West" down. It is not predictable or repetitive, not taking too long to get going. It is immensely entertaining to watch and is energetic while the conflict is interesting, even if the outcome is not really in question.
Characters are as great as ever. Scrooge is still interesting and amusing, though he has been more likeable in other episodes. Telling Huey, Dewey and Louie apart has been much easier to do here than when partnered in the cartoons with their uncle Donald Duck, because their personalities are more distinct. Launchpad is greatly amusing still.
Voice acting is terrific. Alan Young has lost none of the personality and traits he brings to Scrooge that other voice actors could never excel in as well as he. Terence McGovern is one of the main reasons as to why Launchpad works so well as a character. Russi Taylor brings individuality and variety to multiple roles, she has always had experience doing that and has never been over-parted.
In conclusion, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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