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DuckTales the movie is about Scrooge McDuck’s quest to find the treasure of Collie Baba where he accidentally finds a genie in a lamp. The kids, huey, duey, louie, and webby and about an act of the film is about their hijinks with their crazy wishes.
DuckTales has been on Netflix for a while and I’ve been avoiding it because it scared the shit out of me as a kid. I decided to watch it to figure out why it bothered me. I came up with a few reasons.
1. The movie has a fairly serious theme of world domination by a clearly evil sorceress.
Merlock is attributed genocide on multiple occasions by the genie. He is regularly abusive to his minion and attempts to murder Scrooge regularly.
2. Christopher Lloyd’s performance is on point
His voice adds a gravitas to Merlock. It’s convincing that he is evil and is motivated by his lust for power. Placing a competent actor in this role brought the movie together in a believable way.
3. The stuffed animals comes alive scene is a clear callback to a similar creepy scene from Akira
In 1988 Akira was released and it stands to reason that Ducktales Director Bob Hathcock was at least aware of it and may have seen it. In that movie the character Tetsuo has been captured due to his psychic powers and is hospitalized with fellow psychics. To make friends with him they have their toys come alive and introduce themselves to Tetsuo
You can watch the scene here:
In DuckTales the Movie Webby the duck is having a tea party with the genie and her stuffed animals when she realizes that she can overcome her loneliness (girls and boys dont always see eye to eye and she has three brothers) by wishing to have her stuffed animals come to life.
Now I’m not saying this is a shot for shot recreation, nor that young me was aware of Akira at the time. What I am saying is that themes are similar. A wish to have the fantastical be real leads to chaos. That chaos was frightening to me as a child much the same way watching Akira would have been as well.