DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp

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DuckTales the Movie:
Treasure of the Lost Lamp
DuckTales the Movie - Treasure of the Lost Lamp.jpg
Original theatrical poster by Drew Struzan, parodying Indiana Jones
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
Edited by Charles King
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release dates
  • August 3, 1990 (1990-08-03)
Running time
75 minutes
Country France
United States
Language English
Box office $18.1 million[1]

DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp is a 1990 animated feature film based on the animated television series DuckTales. It was released by Walt Disney Pictures on August 3, 1990. It was the first animated feature released by Disney that was not part of the Disney animated features canon. It was also the first Disney animated film to be produced by DisneyToon Studios. 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 was shown before the film when it played in theaters.


Scrooge McDuck, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Webby Vanderquack, and Launchpad McQuack journey to the Middle East in search of the treasure of "Collie 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, an ancient and ruthless magician who has a very specific treasure in mind. Following a map that he found in a chest belonging to Collie Baba, Scrooge and the rest of the party find a hidden pyramid, where the treasure is. After overcoming several of the pyramid's booby traps, they find the treasure - including Merlock's prize, a lamp. But before Dijon can reach it, Webby grabs it and shows it to Scrooge, who tells her that it is an ordinary oil lamp. Webby asks him if she can keep it, and the old millionaire decides that she can have it, thinking that the lamp is not worth a penny. After bagging the whole treasure, they start to make their way outside of the pyramid, when Merlock appears and snatches it, along with Dijon, who was holding the bag. Scrooge tries to get the treasure back, but Merlock traps the party in a shallow water flow filled with deadly scorpions and attend to the rest of the treasure, along with Dijon. Making use of their Junior Woodchuck guide book, the boys and Launchpad manage to avoid the scorpions.

Meanwhile, Merlock and Dijon realize that the lamp is not in the bag, and the wizard assumes that Scrooge still has it. Managing to come out of the pyramid, Scrooge feels down, because he lost a treasure that he had been seeking for 40 years. Hearing this, Webby tells him that he can keep her lamp as a reminder of the adventure, but he tells her that it is hers, and that it would not be right for him to keep it. After searching the pyramid, Dijon and Merlock assume that Scrooge and the others managed to exit it. Not happy about it, Merlock forces Dijon to tell him where Scrooge lives and to take him there.

A few days later, back in Duckburg, Webby and the boys discover that the lamp is actually a magic lamp containing a genie 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 will 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, the ruthless Merlock found the lamp and forced the Genie to grant many terrible wishes, the first of which was for complete immortality. Wishes that followed were apparently terrible things like the sinking of Atlantis and the first eruption of Mount Vesuvius. 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 - and, when combined with the lamp, the power to gain unlimited wishes from the Genie. After a disastrous wish from Webby, the boys reveal Gene's identity to Scrooge, who collects him as they were afraid of. Scrooge immediately uses his first wish to regain the treasure of Collie Baba, but it is not 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, but Mrs. Beakley and the children 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 him. 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 transforms into a griffin and pursues him, and as the two battle in freefall, Scrooge forces Merlock to release his talisman, reverting the wizard to his regular form. In the confusion, Scrooge manages to grab the lamp and make his second wish: "I wish me, and my family, and my bin were back in Duckburg, right now!". The respective people and locations disappear from sight, leaving Merlock to fall to his apparent death from thousands of feet in the sky.

Back in Duckburg, everything seems well - the memories of recent 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 uses his final wish to give Gene freedom by transforming him into a real boy. After granting the wish, the magic lamp crumbles to dust; Gene is free from the lamp forever. To celebrate his new found humanity, Gene initiates a game of Cops and Robbers with the children. Later, Scrooge catches Dijon trying to steal coins from his money bin and chases him down the road to town, yelling "Somebody stop those pants!"

Voice cast[edit]

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' typeface is similar to 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[edit]

While the film earned $18 million domestically and made back its budget, it was not the 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).[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

Reception was positive but some critics considered the film to be a betrayal of Carl Barks's Uncle Scrooge comic books on which DuckTales was based.[2][3] Overseas, however, critics were generally kinder to the film. On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film got a fresh rating of 88%.[4] The more successful animated film, Aladdin, released by Disney almost two years later also shares many elements with this film.

Home media[edit]

The movie was released on VHS on March 15, 1991, followed by a Laserdisc release on April 26, 1991. 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. The first release of the DVD to the general public was announced for January 13, 2015.[5] Ahead of this, DVDs were available in Canada in October 2014, apparently as a Wal-Mart Exclusive.[6] In addition, there was a DVD release also ahead of the general release date that was issued in the United States as a Wal-Mart Exclusive on October 14, 2014. 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. However, it is currently unknown whether the film will ever be released on Blu-ray or not.

The film is available to rent and purchase (including in HD) on iTunes.[7]

Disney MovieToons label[edit]

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, A Goofy Movie, although 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. In addition, the DisneyToon Studios label would be feature the animated drama film (such as Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World and Bambi II).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Duck Tales: The Movie (1990)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  2. ^ "Animated `Ducktales` Adventure Fails To Match Its Superb Source". Chicago Tribune. 1990-08-03. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  3. ^ Solomon, Charles (1990-08-03). "Duck Tales Makes Mockery of Tradition". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  4. ^ "DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  5. ^ "DuckTales The Movie: Treasure Of The Lost Lamp". Retrieved 5 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "New DA DVDs Out Now At Canadian Wal-Marts". Disney Afternoon Forever. 2014-10-12. Retrieved 2014-10-12. 
  7. ^ "iTunes - Movies - DuckTales: The Movie - Treasure of the Lost Lamp". iTunes. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 

External links[edit]