Many people will know very well know about my passion for animation and how special it is to me. It, and classical music and opera (listening and performing), helped me through numerous rough patches and gave me drive at wanting-to-give-up periods. Will say right now that it still does and there is perhaps even more appreciation with knowledge being broader than it was. When younger, great animation, music, characters and voice acting were prime attractions and appreciated, whereas as an adult more components were noticeable, more knowledge was garnered of behind the scenes and of the different studios, animation styles and those involved.
Love 'Ducktales' even more now than as a child, as a child it was one of my favourite shows so that is very high praise when some past favourites are far from it now. This is due to finding it funnier, even more entertaining finding even more to like and from getting much more the references, humour and dialogue, not admittedly always the case when younger. Have found this to be the case with a lot of animated shows re-visited recently, with prime examples being 'Animaniacs', 'Pinky and the Brain' and 'Tiny Toon Adventures'.
"Once Upon a Dime" is among my favourite 'Ducktales' episodes. Not just because it has everything that makes me love 'Ducktales' in the first place. It also is something of a change of pace and one learns about Scrooge's past and how he came to be the way he is in the show and as the character we know.
Animation as expected is very vibrant, fluidly drawn and the attention to detail in the backgrounds is also note-worthy. Likewise with the music, always one of my main reasons for loving the show, the score is dynamic, beautifully orchestrated, never jarring with the action and full of energy. Disney shows in the late 80s all the way through the 90s were very good at theme songs that were difficult to resist and were very catchy to the extent one doesn't forget them, and that for 'Ducktales' to me was one of the best.
Even more intelligent and even funnier by today's standards is the writing, always loved it as a child because it made me laugh and think but even more so now. Part of this is due to understanding and appreciating the references, which came over as very funny and brilliantly timed when a child but easier to get and notice as an adult. The dialogue continues to be hilarious, quotable and surprisingly fresh.
It was really great learning more about Scrooge and how nostalgic and affecionate the episode's tone was. Great too was how there was a different approach to the storytelling, instead of the thrills aplenty action-adventure approach to a lot of the episodes, it is an origins/past story of an already interesting character and it is told with charm, brains and heart as well as being very entertaining.
'Ducktales' characters were always a major asset of the show and love them more now. Scrooge is one of those characters that does live up to his name at first but the character is still interesting and likeable with lines that never fail to be either thought-provoking, funny or both. A great job is done giving Huey, Dewey and Louie distinct personalities from each other, meaning you can tell them apart. It was great seeing Scrooge's younger self and his family and Ma Beagle is great fun.
Voice acting is fabulous. Alan Young is a big reason why Scrooge works so well as a character and cannot imagine anybody else voicing him. Russi Taylor shows no signs of being over-parted in the most roles to fill, while Chuck McGann, Don Messick, June Foray and especially Pat Fraley are great support and prove their talents as voice actors, Messick and Foray especially were legends.
Summarising, wonderful episode and refreshing. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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