DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp
DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp

Original theatrical poster
Directed by Bob Hathcock
Produced by Bob Hathcock
Jean-Pierre Quenet
Screenplay by Alan Burnett
Based on DuckTales by
Carl Barks
Starring Alan Young
Rip Taylor
Christopher Lloyd
Russi Taylor
Terrence McGovern
Music by David Newman
Editing by Keith Holden
Charles King
Studio Walt Disney Animation France S.A.
Walt Disney Animation Australia
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) August 3, 1990 (1990-08-03)
Running time 74 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2-8 million
Box office $18,115,724

DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp is a 1990 American animated feature film based on the animated children's television series DuckTales. It was released by Walt Disney Pictures on August 3, 1990. Although it was a theatrically released animated film, it was the first feature outside the main Disney animation canon. Produced by the Walt Disney Television Animation satellite studios in France and Australia (the latter later known as DisneyToon Studios), the classic Donald Duck cartoon Dude Duck aired in front on the film when it aired in theatres.



Scrooge McDuck (Alan Young), Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Webby Vanderquack (Russi Taylor), and Launchpad McQuack (Terrence McGovern) journey to the Middle East in search of the treasure of Collie Baba (a slight reference to Ali Baba) and his Forty Thieves. They are accompanied by Dijon, a weasel who is hired as a guide to an ancient temple. Unbeknownst to them, he is under the employ of Merlock (Christopher Lloyd), a magician who is as old as human history, and who has a very specific treasure in mind. After overcoming several booby traps, Scrooge finds the treasure and while investigating it Dijon sneaks off with some of the prize. Webby discovers what appears to be an ordinary oil lamp which Scrooge grudgingly gives to her when he sees little value in it. Meanwhile, having discovered Dijon, Merlock becomes upset because the treasure he wanted, the lamp, has not been obtained by the thief, forcing the two of them to intervene. They trap the party in a shallow water flow filled with deadly scorpions and attend to the rest of the treasure, however Webby has made off with what Merlock wants the most.

Back in Duckberg, Webby and the boys discover that the lamp is actually a magic lamp containing a genie (Rip Taylor) who claims to be able to grant them three wishes each. With a total of twelve wishes between the four of them, they use it on things like a giant ice cream sundae and playthings while Webby wishes for a baby elephant. The boys use one of their wishes to reverse hers to avoid suspicion from the adults as they suspect they'll just take Genie away from them. Scrooge meets the Genie by mistake and they pass him off as a normal boy named "Gene". One night, Genie becomes afraid of an owl, fearful that it may be Merlock, someone from his past whom he is evidently terrified of. He then reveals his story to the boys. Thousands of years ago, he had a wicked master named Merlock. Merlock was an evil sorcerer who made many terrible wishes that Genie was forced to grant. The first of these wishes was for him [Merlock] to live forever. After Collie Baba stole the lamp from him, Merlock has been on a quest for the lamp ever since, and still is to that day. Furthermore, he had somehow obtained a magical talisman that gave him the power to change forms at will. When combined with the lamp, the talisman enables the user to gain unlimited wishes. After a disastrous wish from Webby, the boys reveal Gene's identity to Scrooge who collects him as they were afraid of. It isn't long before Dijon discovers the Genie and uses him to wish away Scrooge's fortune to himself. Scrooge is arrested for trespassing on "his" property and Mrs. Beakly and the kids bail him out.

Scrooge, Launchpad, and the boys infiltrate the Money Bin in order to obtain the lamp and reverse the mess, however Merlock is not far behind. As the heroes make their way to the top of the money bin, Merlock takes the lamp for himself and turns the bin into a gigantic floating fortress, carrying the ducks along with them. During a confrontation with Scrooge, Merlock orders the genie to send him far away, which he has no choice but to obey. However, Scrooge manages to take Merlock's lamp with him. Merlock turns into a gryphon and pursues him. As the two battle in the final showdown, Scrooge forces Merlock to release his talisman and he turns back into his regular form. Scrooge manages to grab the lamp and make his second wish: "I wish me, and my family, and my Bin were back in Duckberg, right now!" (his first wish having been reacquiring the treasure of Collie Baba). The respective people and locations disappear from sight and Merlock is seen plunging to his death from hundreds of feet in the sky. Back in Duckberg, all seems well and the memories of the events seem limited to Scrooge and his family. Scrooge acts curmudgeonly, threatening to send the lamp to the deepest point in the center of the Earth. But instead makes his final wish to make Gene a real boy and for his freedom. After granting the wish, the magic is no longer with the lamp, and it crumbled and wastes away into dust. Gene is free from the lamp forever. To celebrate his newfound humanity, Gene initiates a game of Cops and Robbers with the children.

In the final scene, Scrooge catches Dijon trying to steal coins from his house and chases Dijon down the road to the town, yelling "Somebody stop those pants!" The credits opens and ends with Jeff Pescetto singing the famous "Ducktales" theme song.

Voice cast

Additional voices


Animator Larry Ruppel shared his experience during the film's production: "I was the sole American working at the Paris studio during this production, the other creative artists hailing mostly from France, Denmark, Australia and Italy. I'd like to add that this little movie ended up being quite important because of the many notable animation professionals who got their start on this project. Besides myself (I've animated numerous Disney projects, also Classic Warner Bros. shorts), there are, among others, DreamWorks animators Sylvain Deboissy and Nicholas Marlet, French animation director Pierre Lyphoudt, and ILM's James Baker and Daniel Jeannette. For all the Europeans working on this Disney feature, it was a dream come true, and because most of us were working on a feature for the first time in our lives, in a way it was our Snow White. As the only American on staff, there were many occasions when I had to explain to supervisors or other animators the exact meaning of some American slang phrases used in the dialogue of the script."

During the film's main titles, the titles' font is that of the Indiana Jones films. This was obviously to honor the film Raiders of the Lost Ark for using the original Carl Barks comic book series as part of the inspiration for the former (such as the scene when Jones being chased by a boulder which was inspired by "The Seven Cities of Cibola," an Uncle Scrooge comic book issue. Also, the idea for the idol mechanism in the opening scene in Raiders, and deadly traps later in the film were inspired by several Uncle Scrooge comics). Another homage to the Indiana Jones films comes later in the movie when someone looking like Indiana Jones can be seen briefly when Scrooge and Genie visit the Explorer's Club.


Box office

While the film earned $18 million dollars domestically and made back its budget[1], it was not a financial success Disney was supposedly hoping for, having to face competition from other larger-scale summer family releases such as Problem Child, and caused all planned DuckTales films to be shelved as well (there were plans for there to be several DuckTales films following this).[2] [3]

Critical reception

Some critics considered the film to be a betrayal of Carl Barks's Uncle Scrooge comic books on which DuckTales was based.[4][5] Overseas, however, critics were generally kinder to the film. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film got a "Certified Fresh" score of 83%.[6] The more successful animated film, Aladdin, released by Disney almost two years later also shares many elements with this film.

Home media

On January 16, 2006, the region 1 DVD of DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp was released as an exclusive to the Disney Movie Club and the Disney Movie Rewards Program. Disney has not announced any plans for a region 1 wide release of the DVD yet. However, Disney has given the DVD wide release in Europe and other parts of the world. The DVD release is in widescreen presentation in region 1 and other countries.

The film is available to rent on iTunes.

Disney MovieToons label

The short-lived MovieToon label, which was introduced with this film, was intended as being specifically for producing new films for old established Disney characters. However, in the end they only produced one more major film which became A Goofy Movie, though a feature-length Mickey Mouse film (which is now in development at Walt Disney Animation Studios) was in the works for a while before the label was altogether dropped. Other films made by the television animation division, such as Doug's 1st Movie were released without the MovieToons label.

When the Walt Disney Television Animation unit basically became the only place where "toon" (hand-drawn) animation was being done at Disney, the unit took on the name. While many of the executives of the MovieToon division crossed over from MovieToon to DisneyToon unit (the theatrical unit of the TV animation division), the two names are now not actually linked in anything other than the "Toon" word.


External links

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