|Created by||Carl Barks (comic books)|
|Developed by||Jymn Magon|
|Theme music composer||Mark Mueller|
|Ending theme||"DuckTales" (Instrumental)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||100 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Walt Disney Television Animation|
|Distributor||Buena Vista Television|
|Original network||Broadcast syndication|
|Picture format||4:3 (SDTV)|
Mono (Five-part pilot only)
|Original release||September 18, 1987 – November 28, 1990|
|Related shows||Darkwing Duck
DuckTales is an Animated television series produced by Walt Disney Television Animation. It premiered on September 18, 1987 and ended on November 28, 1990 with a total of four seasons and 100 episodes. An animated theatrical spin-off film based on the series, DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, was released widely in the United States on August 3, 1990. The voice cast from the series reprised their roles for the film.
DuckTales is based on Uncle Scrooge and other Duck universe comic books, created by Carl Barks. The show follows the adventures of Scrooge McDuck and his three grandnephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Important secondary characters, that often take part in the adventures, include Donald Duck, Scrooge's pilot Launchpad McQuack and butler Duckworth, the inventor Gyro Gearloose, and the nanny Mrs. Beakley and her granddaughter Webby. The most notable antagonists in the series are the Beagle Boys, the witch Magica De Spell, and the industrialist Flintheart Glomgold. In a typical story, the villains are after McDuck's fortune or his Number One Dime; another common theme is a race after some sort of treasure. Although some stories are original or based on Barks' comic book series, others are pastiches on classical stories or legends, including characters based on either fictional or historical persons. The series is known for its many references to popular culture, including Shakespeare, Jack the Ripper, Greek mythology, James Bond, Indiana Jones, and Sherlock Holmes.
- 1 Premise
- 2 Production
- 3 Characters
- 4 Episodes
- 5 VHS releases
- 6 DVD releases
- 7 Video on Demand
- 8 Setting
- 9 Music
- 10 Theatrical film
- 11 Reception
- 12 Awards and nominations
- 13 Merchandise
- 14 International
- 15 Cameos
- 16 Television reboot
- 17 See also
- 18 References
- 19 External links
Though Scrooge is the richest duck in the world, he constantly tries to find ways to increase his wealth. Many episodes involve protecting his wealth from villains who want to rob Scrooge of all his money. The prominent recurring antagonists in the show include the Beagle Boys and Magica De Spell who are always finding ways to rob and swindle Scrooge and his nephews. Scrooge's nemesis in the show is Flintheart Glomgold, the second-richest duck in the world, who always tries to devise plans to unseat Scrooge McDuck from his "Richest Duck in the World" title. A few of the stories also surround Scrooge's "Number One Dime", the first money Scrooge ever earned, which Scrooge considers to be the source of his good luck and wealth. Scrooge keeps the dime in a glass jar in his money vault, and constantly protects it from the villains on the show.
The show's second season saw the addition of characters Fenton Crackshell and Bubba Duck. Along with them came stories that generally shifted away from the globetrotting plots of the first season, and revolved primarily in the contemporary setting of Duckburg. Episodes would feature either Bubba or Fenton but rarely both.
Although Scrooge and his nephews were the show's main characters, some episodes focused on other characters like Launchpad or Gyro. Some members of Scrooge's extended family (The Duck Universe), like Gladstone Gander who had extremely good luck, were also seen in the series.
The series is notable for being the first Disney cartoon to be produced for syndication, and paving the way for future Disney cartoons, such as Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, and Darkwing Duck.
A world broadcast premiere television movie (entitled "The Treasures of the Golden Suns") first aired during the weekend of September 18–20, 1987 (date and time varied by market). Since then, it has been shown in the series' regular rotation as a five-part serial. A feature-length movie was released in theatres on August 3, 1990. The hundredth episode (which was also the series finale) aired on November 28, 1990.
The show's first season (1987–88) consisted of 65 episodes (the standard length for a Disney TV show, as well as the standard length of many first seasons of 1990s TV shows). The second season consisted only of two more five-part serials – "Time Is Money" and "Super DuckTales" – which premiered as television movie specials on November 24, 1988 and March 26, 1989 respectively, before being serialized into 10 episodes for reruns. This season is notable for containing the first appearances of Bubba the Caveduck and his pet triceratops Tootsie, as well as Fenton Crackshell and his alter ego Gizmoduck. The third season (fall 1989 – February 1990) included an additional 18 episodes. DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp was released in theaters on August 3, 1990. The fourth and final season consisted of seven episodes which premiered in the fall of 1990 (including three produced for season three but held back for airing, and four produced explicitly for season four), bringing the total to 100 episodes—making DuckTales one of the longest-running Disney shows in terms of number of episodes.
Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers was paired with DuckTales in an hour-long syndicated block during the 1989–90 television season. In the 1990–91 season, Disney expanded the idea even further, creating The Disney Afternoon, a two-hour long syndicated block of half-hour cartoons. DuckTales was one of the early flagship cartoons in the series. The show ran in the Disney Afternoon until 1992.
On October 2, 1995, DuckTales began reruns on The Disney Channel as part of a two-hour programming block called "Block Party" which aired on weekdays in the late-afternoon/early-evening and which also included Darkwing Duck, TaleSpin, and Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie all appeared in the drug prevention video Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue. Scrooge and Launchpad appeared in Disney's short-lived animated series Raw Toonage (originally aired on CBS in 1992 and 1993).
The show was the most successful of Disney's early attempts to create high-quality animation for a TV animated series (earlier shows included The Wuzzles and Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears in 1985). Disney invested a far greater amount of money into the TV series than had previously been spent on animated shows of the time. This was considered a risky move, because animated TV series were generally considered low-budget investments for most of the history of TV cartoons up through the 1980s. Most of the DuckTales episodes were animated in Asia by companies such as Cuckoo's Nest Studios, Wang Film Productions of Taiwan, and Tokyo Movie Shinsha of Japan.
Many critics say that Disney's own animation studio had lost most of its luster during the period from Walt Disney's passing through the 1980s. However, the studio took a number of risks that paid off handsomely, and DuckTales was one of those risks that won big. The studio gambled on the idea that a larger investment into quality animation could be made back through syndication – a concept that worked well with live-action TV reruns, but which had only been used with inexpensive cartoon series that either recycled theatrical shorts from decades past or only featured limited, low-budget animation.
The main characters of the series, who appear in almost every episode, are Scrooge McDuck and his grandnephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Scrooge McDuck is a serious businessduck, the richest duck in the world, a tightwad who accumulated a fortune by being "smarter than the smarties, and tougher than the toughies". Despite his harsh business ethics, Scrooge is caring to his family. Huey, Dewey, and Louie are Scrooge's great-nephews, who are left in his care during the entire length of the series. Although fairly hyperactive, the nephews are also clever and intelligent.
The series also features a mix of established characters carried over from the comics, as well as new ones created for the show. Scrooge's household also consists of his butler, Duckworth; Mrs. Beakley, a nanny hired to look after Huey, Dewey, and Louie; and Webby Vanderquack, the granddaughter of Mrs. Beakley.
Initially, recurring characters included the absent-minded inventor Gyro Gearloose, the heroic pilot Launchpad McQuack and the loyal Doofus Drake. During the second season, Bubba, a caveduck from the past, and an accountant, Fenton Crackshell, who had the dual identity of Gizmoduck, were added to the cast.
The show's primary villains consist of characters Magica De Spell, Flintheart Glomgold and the Beagle Boys. Although they are all financial threats to Scrooge in one way or another, they each have different motives: Magica wants Scrooge's Number One Dime to complete her magic spell, which will enable her to take over the world; Glomgold wants to replace Scrooge as the "Richest duck in the world"; and the Beagle Boys want to rob Scrooge of his fortune. While the comics originally depicted Glomgold as a native of South Africa, his origin was changed to Scottish descent just like Scrooge. New villains created for the show include Ma Beagle, mother of the Beagle Boys, and Poe De Spell, Magica's brother who has been transformed into a raven.
Other minor, but notable characters include Donald Duck, who left Huey, Dewey, and Louie in Scrooge's care at the start of the series; Gladstone Gander, Scrooge's inexplicably lucky nephew; Scrooge's old flame, Glittering Goldie; Merlock, a powerful magician who served as the movie's main villain; and Dijon, a thief who worked either on his own or for Merlock.
Ten VHS cassettes containing 20 episodes of the series were released in the United States.
|VHS Name||Episode Titles||Release Date|
|Fearless Fortune Hunter||"Earth Quack" & "Master of the Djinni"||May 31, 1988|
|Daredevil Ducks||"The Money Vanishes" & "Home Sweet Homer"||May 31, 1988|
|High-Flying Hero||"Hero for Hire" & "Launchpad's Civil War"||May 31, 1988|
|Masked Marauders||"Send in the Clones" & "Time Teasers"||October 4, 1988|
|Lost World Wanderers||"Dinosaur Ducks" & "The Curse of Castle McDuck"||May 9, 1989|
|Duck to the Future||"Duck to the Future" & "Sir Gyro de Gearloose"||May 9, 1989|
|Accidental Adventurers||"Jungle Duck" & "Maid of the Myth"||September 28, 1989|
|Seafaring Sailors||"Sphinx for the Memories" & "All Ducks on Deck"||September 28, 1989|
|Raiders of the Lost Harp||"Raiders of the Lost Harp" & "Pearl of Wisdom"||August 14, 1990|
|Space Invaders||"Where No Duck Has Gone Before" & "Micro Ducks from Outer Space"||August 14, 1990|
UK, Australia and New Zealand releases
Ten VHS cassettes containing 21 episodes of the series were released in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
|VHS Name||Episode Titles||Release Date|
|DuckTales (Volume 1): Earthquack||"Earth Quack" & "Back to the Klondike"||September 11, 1992|
|DuckTales (Volume 2): Micro Ducks from Outer Space||"Micro Ducks from Outer Space" & "Scrooge's Pet"||September 11, 1992|
|DuckTales (Volume 3): The Lost Crown of Genghis Khan||"The Lost Crown of Genghis Khan" & "The Treasure of the Golden Suns"||September 11, 1992|
|DuckTales (Volume 4): 1001 Arabian Ducks||"Master of the Djinni" & "Merit-Time Adventure"||September 11, 1992|
|DuckTales (Volume 5): High Sea Adventures||"Maid of the Myth" & "Send in the Clones"||September 11, 1992|
|DuckTales (Volume 6): Hotel Strangeduck||"Hotel Strangeduck" & "Superdoo!"||September 11, 1992|
|DuckTales (Volume 7): Fool of the Nile||"Sphinx for the Memories" & "Top Duck"||September 10, 1993|
|DuckTales (Volume 8): Little Duckaroos||"Ducks of the West" & "Magicia's Shadow War"||September 10, 1993|
|DuckTales (Volume 9): Jailhouse Duck||"Where No Duck Has Gone Before", "Duckman of Aquatraz" & "Home Sweet Homer"||September 10, 1993|
|DuckTales (Volume 10): Runaway Robots||"Robot Robbers" & "Sweet Duck of Youth"||September 10, 1993|
US (Region 1)
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has released some of the series on DVD; three volumes have been released in Region 1 thus far featuring the first 75 episodes of the series. The first was released on November 8, 2005 (containing episodes 1–27), the second on November 14, 2006 (containing episodes 28–51) and the third volume on November 13, 2007 (containing episodes 52–75). The sets were packaged in a box containing 3 slipcases, one for each disc. There is currently no word on a fourth and final DVD release containing the final 25 episodes.
The episodes are in the order that they originally aired (except for the five-part serial "Treasure of the Golden Suns," placed at the beginning of Volume 2). None of the DVD sets contain any special features.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release date|
|DuckTales: Volume 1||27||November 8, 2005|
|DuckTales: Volume 2||24||November 14, 2006|
|DuckTales: Volume 3||24||November 13, 2007|
|DuckTales: Volume 4||25||TBA|
International (Region 2)
In the United Kingdom, Disney released one Region 2 volume in 2007, titled DuckTales First Collection. Despite the set being similar to the US version, the DVD contained only 20 episodes, while having 5 language tracks: English, French, German, Spanish and Italian. Other regional versions were distributed to other countries, but only going up to episode #20. On November 12, 2012, the UK received two further releases of Collection 2 and Collection 3, being a Region version of the 2nd and 3rd volumes from the US. Unlike the first release, these 3-disc sets include a Fastplay mode, and only four language tracks: English, Dutch, German and French, but subtitles have not been added.
There are currently no plans to release the rest of the series, or the seven episodes missing between the first two sets.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release date||Language|
|Walt Disney's Ducktales – 1st Collection||20||February 12, 2007||English, French, German, Spanish and Italian|
|Walt Disney's Ducktales – 2nd Collection||24||November 12, 2012||English, Dutch, German and French|
|Walt Disney's Ducktales – 3rd Collection||24||November 12, 2012||English, Dutch, German and French|
Video on Demand
Season One of DuckTales was released on Amazon Video in 2013 and is free for Amazon Prime members. As of February 28, 2014 Ducktales Season 1 is no longer accessible through Amazon Video or Amazon Prime accounts.
The series theme song was written by Mark Mueller, an ASCAP award-winning pop music songwriter who also wrote the theme song to Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers. Episode musical scores were written by Ron Jones. In contrast to how other composers were creating a "patronizing" and "cute" score for the show, Jones says he composed the music with regard to the audience and its intelligence. "I would not play the score like a kid's show at all. If they went on an adventure I would play it serious like Raiders of the Lost Ark."
The DuckTales Theme was sung by Jeff Pescetto. There are four different versions of the theme song. The original version, serving as the show's opening theme, contained one verse, chorus, bridge, and then chorus. A shorter version of the opening theme was used in The Disney Afternoon lineup with the line, "Everyday they're out there making Duck Tales, woo-ooh," taken out.
A full-length version of the theme song was released on the Disney Afternoon soundtrack, the third volume (which was released in a set with the other two volumes) in The Music of Disney: a Legacy in Song along with the full TaleSpin theme and in the November 2013 release of the Disney Classics collection. In addition, it is heard in the end credits of DuckTales: Remastered and is also released on its official soundtrack.
The full version contains a second verse, and it includes a guitar solo, which is performed with a wah-wah pedal to make it sound like duck-like noises. It also has a fadeout ending, unlike the other versions. There is also a rare extended version that was used in the read along cassettes in 1987. It has a sequence order of verse-chorus-bridge-chorus-instrumental break-chorus.
The theme song has been widely regarded as one of the most memorable for a television program, with Dan Fletcher of TIME magazine noting its lasting impact despite being just a children's song: "Some of the lyrics might not make sense to those older than the age of 10 — we're not sure how life in Duckburg is like a hurricane, or exactly what a "duck blur" is — but the DuckTales song is still awesome."
DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp was released nationwide in the United States on August 3, 1990 by Walt Disney Pictures. The film follows Scrooge McDuck and his nephews as they try to defeat the evil warlock Merlock from taking over the legendary magic lamp.
Awards and nominations
- 1988 – Outstanding Animated Programming (nominated)
- 1989 – Outstanding Animated Programming (nominated)
- 1989 – Outstanding Animated Programming (for Programming One Hour or More) – "Super DuckTales" (won)
- 1990 – Outstanding Film Sound Editing – Rich Harrison, Charlie King and Rick Hinson (won)
Video and computer games
A DuckTales video game was developed by Capcom and released for the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy in 1989. A sequel to the game, DuckTales 2, was released for NES and Game Boy in 1993. A Disney's Ducktales hand-held LCD game from Tiger Electronics was also released in 1990.
A different platform game, DuckTales: The Quest for Gold, was released by Incredible Technologies for computers in 1990. DuckTales: Remastered, an HD remake of Capcom's original game, developed by WayForward Technologies, was released by Disney Interactive for PlayStation Network, Nintendo eShop and Steam on August 13, 2013. It was also released on September 11, 2013 for Xbox Live Arcade. A retail copy for PlayStation 3 was released on August 20, 2013 with a code to download the game and a DuckTales collector pin.
Various properties of DuckTales appear in the Toy Box for the Disney Infinity game such as the Money Bin and Scrooge himself. There is also a power disc called "Scrooge's Lucky Dime" that was also released for use in the game.
Launchpad was selectable character for the mobile game titled Disney Snow Sports on 2007.
An app was released by Disney in the late summer/early fall of 2013 called DuckTales: Scrooge's Loot, where the player tries to get Scrooge back his money that was stolen by Flintheart Glomgold, Magica de Spell, and the Beagle Boys.
Comic books and trade paperbacks
DuckTales had two series of comic books. The first series was published by Gladstone Publishing and ran for 13 issues from 1988 to 1990, and the second series was published by Disney Comics and ran for 18 issues from 1990 to 1991. Disney also published a children's magazine based on the show, which also featured comic stories, one of which was the only story written by Don Rosa without any illustrations by him. Subsequent comic stories were also printed in the magazine Disney Adventures from 1990 to 1996.
On August 29, 2007, Disney released a trade paperback of Scrooge's Quest and later The Gold Odyssey.
|Ducktales: Scrooge's Quest|
|Ducktales Volume 2 #1–7|
|Ducktales: The Gold Odyssey|
|Ducktales Volume 2 #9–15|
|Walt Disney Treasures|
|Trade Title||Issue Reprinted|
|Disney Comics: 75 Years of Innovation (2006)||Ducktales Volume 1 #4|
|Uncle Scrooge: A Little Something Special (2008)||Ducktales Volume 1 #7|
Carl Barks' Greatest DuckTales Stories
On May 24 and July 19, 2006, Gemstone published a two-volume trade paperback, Carl Barks' Greatest DuckTales Stories. The trades contain reprints of stories written by Carl Barks which were specifically adapted into television episodes of DuckTales.
Both volumes start out with an introduction and compare the original comic story with its DuckTales episode counterpart. Volume 1 also includes a two-page article delving into details on the adapting the show from the comic series.
|Four Color #456||Back to the Klondike|
|Uncle Scrooge #13||Land Beneath the Ground (The episode was titled "Earthquack")|
|Uncle Scrooge #65||Micro Ducks from Outer Space|
|Uncle Scrooge #9||Lemming with the Locket (The episode was titled "Scrooge's Pet")|
|Uncle Scrooge #14||The Lost Crown of Genghis Khan|
|Uncle Scrooge #29||The Hound of the Whiskervilles (The episode was titled "The Curse of Castle McDuck")|
|Uncle Scrooge #58||The Giant Robot Robbers (The episode was titled "Robot Robbers")|
|Uncle Scrooge #12||The Golden Fleecing|
|Uncle Scrooge #3||The Horseradish Story (The episode was titled "Down and Out in Duckburg")|
|Uncle Scrooge #41||The Status Seeker|
|Uncle Scrooge #38||The Unsafe Safe (The episode was titled "The Unbreakable Bin")|
|Uncle Scrooge #6||Tralla La (The episode was titled "The Land of Tra-La-La")|
On February 17, 2011, BOOM! Studios announced that a new DuckTales comic series would begin May 2011. The series was written by Warren Spector (author of the Epic Mickey videogame). It lasted for 6 issues, with the final two crossing over with Darkwing Duck.
|Ducktales: Rightful Owners|
Darkwing Duck #17–18
Uncle Scrooge #392–399
Issues 392–399 of the Uncle Scrooge comic book published by BOOM Kids (later called Kaboom!) featured DuckTales comic book stories never before seen in the US, and were collected into two trade paperback volumes, "Uncle Scrooge in DuckTales: Like a Hurricane" on 2011-01-12 and "Uncle Scrooge in DuckTales: Messes Become Successes" on 2011-05-25.
A 4-Part Crossover story with Darkwing Duck, titled "Dangerous Currency", was also released with parts 1 and 3 for DuckTales #5 and #6, and parts 2 and 4 for Darkwing Duck #17 and #18.
The success of DuckTales led to the translation of the show into many languages. Featured together with Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers in a Sunday morning program titled Walt Disney Presents, the show premiered in the former Soviet Union in 1991, the first American cartoon shown in the region after the Cold War. One year later, the DuckTales spin-off Darkwing Duck was also added to this lineup.
However, the show's theme song (written by Mark Mueller and originally sung by Jeff Pescetto) remained in English for a number of episodes. The first Russian version of the song was replaced mid-way through the series with an alternate rendition that contained completely different lyrics. The series aired in India on Doordarshan, dubbed in Hindi. The title track was sung in Hindi by Chetan Shasital. The features were dubbed and the episodes has voice cast of Chetan Shasital, Javed Jaffery, Rakshanda Khan and others. In many countries, the DuckTales song was performed by well-known singers (like in Finland, where it was sung by Pave Maijanen, or in Germany, where it was sung by Thomas Anders).
In Spanish speaking countries of Latin America, the series was called Patoaventuras (Duckadventures). Scrooge McDuck is called "Rico McPato" and the nephews were translated as Hugo, Paco, and Luis, keeping the names of the translated vintage cartoons and comic books. In Spain, while the Latin American dub was used for the first broadcast, a high-quality local dub was produced afterwards, keeping the local "Gilito/Juanito/Jaimito/Jorgito" names for the characters. In Brazil the series was called "Duck Tales: os Caçadores de Aventuras" (Duck Tales: the Adventure Hunters).
In Hungary, the term "DuckTales generation" (Kacsamesék generáció) refers to the people who were born in the early to mid-1980s, because the death of József Antall, the first democratically-elected Prime Minister of Hungary, was announced during a DuckTales episode in 1993. This was the generation's first encounter with politics.
In Romania, the series was called Povești cu Mac-Mac (Stories with Mac-Mac). Only the episodes 1-65 were dubbed and aired. Scrooge McDuck was dubbed by a well-known actor, Gheorghe Dinică, until his death (only 5 episodes remained after his death). After Gheorghe Dinică's death, Valentin Uritescu dubbed Scrooge (episodes 50, 57, 60, 64, 65). Also Angela Filipescu provided the voices of Huey, Dewey and Louie, Tamara Buciuceanu-Botez provides the voice of Ms. Beakley, Mihaela Mitrache was Webbigail along with the great master Cornel Vulpe as Duckworth. The series was broadcast at Prima TV and first aired at TVR1 in 1994 and the dubbing studio who provide the Romanian version is Ager Film. The intro song was performed by a winner from Mamaia Festival, Alin Cibian.
- Darkwing Duck (1991–92): Scrooge's face appears in the episode "Tiff of the Titans". Flintheart Glomgold, The Beagle Boys, and Magica De Spell the episode "In Like Blunt".
- Goof Troop (1992–93): In one episode,[clarification needed] the Beagle Boys appear.
- Raw Toonage (1992): Scrooge was guest star.
- Bonkers (1993–94): In the episode "The 29th Page", the Beagle Boys appear.
- Aladdin (1994–95): In the episode "The Day The Bird Stood Still", the Genie transformed into Scrooge.
- Quack Pack (1996): In the episode,[clarification needed] the Beagle Boys appear.
In May 2015, Terry McGovern (the original voice of Launchpad McQuack) stated on Facebook that the entire voice cast would be replaced, stating he felt "heartsick" at the news.
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- "IGN – 18. DuckTales". ign.com. Retrieved 2014-11-01.
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- Futter, Mike (July 11, 2013). "DuckTales: Remastered Coming To Most Next Month, Xbox Live Release In September". GameInformer. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
- "Ducktales return to comics on May 2011". Boom Studios blog. February 2011. Retrieved on March 14, 2011.
- "What To Do? Just Grab Onto Some DUCK TALES June 2010". Newsarama.com. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
- "Darkwing Duck". darkwing-duck.ru. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- "Egy generáció politikai eszmélése: vasárnap fél 6 körül megszakadt a Kacsamesék". Népszabadság. April 6, 2009. About the Duck tales generation. (Hungarian).
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- Official website
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