. . . the wild and wacky one they call . . . Duckula . . . COUNT Duckula!
Yes, the occasional guest villain from "Danger Mouse" got his own show! (And you can also get The Complete "Danger Mouse" 25th Anniversary box set here at Amazon, too!) If you grew up in the 1980s, you're probably familiar with Count Duckula, from both his occasional appearances as a villain in "Danger Mouse" and his own show. (Although, considering their somewhat different personalities, the Duckula who appeared in "Danger Mouse" might have been the previous incarnation of the Count.) If you DIDN'T grow up during the 1980s, this is a chance to see why it was one of the best decades for children's entertainment. Here, for the first time, is every episode of the "Count Duckula" series collected into a 7-disc set, along with four postcards with art taken directly from some of the episodes. Only one disc contains any bonus materials, including a couple of interviews, a stills gallery, and a How-To-Draw Duckula lesson. I don't know if it was just my copy or not, but at one point on one of the later discs, there's a bit of a digital glitch in one of the episodes, a little line that flickers in and out for a minute or so. Other than that, the transfers are crisp and clean and beautiful.
The show deals with the latest incarnation of Count Duckula, a vampire duck whose resurrection went awry when ketchup was mistakenly used in the rite instead of blood, and he ended up as a vegetarian. Duckula longs for adventure and excitement and new experiences, which irritates his traditionalistic butler, Igor, no end. Igor would rather his young master stalk Transylvania by night, sinking his fangs into young maidens, but Duckula (who has no fangs, anyway) is more apt to eat a broccoli sandwich and try to get on television. Also watching over the Count is Nanny, a gigantic, monstrously strong motherly hen with one arm permanently in a sling. She loves her "Little Ducky-Boos," and would do anything for him. Unfortunately, she's clumsy, as thick as a concrete bunker, and more likely to cause chaos and destruction in her wake than she is to be helpful.
In his various adventures, Duckula travels the world, makes many friends and enemies (rather more enemies than friends), finds fabulous treasures (or more often than not, fails to find them), gets his face on television (or more often than not, fails to do so), interacts with the terrified villagers who live in the shadow of his castle (and who, for Transylvanians, have astoundingly Westcountry accents), tries to make some money with a few wild schemes, tries to woo a few ladies, and tries to stave off the boredom and depression which stem from living in a draughty, crumbling pile of a Gothic castle. At every step of the way, it's both fun and funny, with a darker edge to the humour than can be found in most cartoons. The artwork is beautifully detailed, the voice work is delightful, the scripts pay pop-culture and monster-movie tributes left and right, the puns are groaningly dire and frequent, and there are enough running gags to make up a comedy marathon. I recommend this set without hesitation or reserve for just about everybody, and it's not often I do that, because I can't think of many shows that contain so much fun for both children and adults alike. Still, it's best to come to your own conclusion on these matters, and as usual, I recommend renting this item (or any of the Duckula volumes) to see if you'd like it before committing to a purchase. But as this cartoon was popular in many countries around the world, I think it's a safe bet you'll probably like it, too.
So, as the sun sets and the ghostly flickering light of the television fills your front room with images of the dreary, dank and dismal domicile that is Castle Duckula, all that is left is for me to bid you happy viewing, and good night, out there . . . whatever you are! MWA HA HA HA HA HA HAAAAAA!