DuckTales: The Movie - Treasure of the Lost Lamp Reviews
Bryan: I haven't seen this since I was a kid. I don't remember the plot.
A few minutes later...
Bryan: You mean to tell me that he takes his niece and nephews in search of treasure then he makes them (and a native) dig all the way down to open the ancient Egyptian tomb?
Ashley: Your damn right he does. He's Scrooge McF****n' Duck.
Scrooge acquires the treasure and among it is a lamp. They get the treasure home, but the kids find out that the lamp is a special lamp that will bring out a genie. The kids each begin granting themselves wishes. When Merlin arrives, and starts to wreak havoc, the gang must get the lamp back and set everything back. Merlin is powerful and can shapeshift, and even grant himself infinite wishes with his talisman.
The Ducktales movie cuts to the chase too quickly. The film really could have used some background, history and setup to acquiring the treasure. The film starts off too quickly with the gang finding the treasure and misses out on the chance of the adventure and discovery. The rest of the movie gets a bit too repetitive with them trying to do stuff with the lamp in what is a short 1 hour and 15 film. The film is better off as a few episodes rather than a full-length feature film, and Scrooge and the gang deserve better. The film definitely will invoke a nostalgia factor if I had seen it when I was a kid, and would have enjoyed this movie much better. Fortunately, they took the premise of this plot, and made one of the greatest films in Aladdin.
This is a childhood favorite of mine for a while, but looking back at it, I can say it does feel like an extended episode of the classic TV show. It does have fun moments, though.
This film's story is pretty good for a TV episode multi-parter, but for a feature film in cinemas, it did need a little more work since it does lack in certain areas.
I liked the villain of Merlock, but I think he could have been a bit more fierce, not be so much of a chew-toy in several parts of the film, and gotten more screentime and more varied dialogue. For a character played by Christopher Lloyd, who also played Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, I think it's criminally bad how underused he was on this film's script.
I think some parts of the film were slow; it does start to pick up in the second half and gets to a good climax when Merlock finally gets the lamp. The climax, however, I think was a bit too short. It's a good climax, but it needed to be a bit longer. The big deal here is that your base movie screenplay has three acts in it. For this film, the dig and discovery of the genie is Act 1, the nephews and then Scrooge keeping the genie would be Act 2, and Scrooge losing the lamp along with his entire fortune and having to infiltrate the money bin to get it all back is basically Act 3. After Merlock obtains the lamp and turns the money bin into a floating castle, he then wishes Scrooge out of it and into a freefall. I would have written the climax to where Launchpad, who disappears completely when the money bin raid starts, manages to catch Scrooge, and then we have Merlock using that "unlimited wish" rule as we go on a floating castle raid and then a skyfalling final encounter. It could have been a bit longer or arranged a little bit better.
All this said, it, for some reason, sticks with me when the movie ends and the credits roll. I don't know why. I'm not sure there was a good enough reason and/or a good enough story backing the film to where it should be playing in theaters rather than on TV screens like a normal Ducktales adventure. The writing threshold on the silver screen is a major step in magnitude up from a television or web video series; you need to be on your A-game. This is a decent film, maybe a bit of a classic, but it didn't feel entirely like a movie.
I still enjoyed it, though. Definitely would have spent money on this over Problem Child, and I'm disappointed that this film's script and box office didn't take off, since that meant I never got my Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers movie. This was also one of two underperforming animated films from Disney that year that ended animated action films; the other was The Rescuers Down Under later that year.
What a shame. I enjoyed the ride while it lasted, but better screenwriting might have done the magic.