Western Animation: DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp

DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp marked the first theatrical animated movie by The Walt Disney Company that was not part of their animated feature canon, and their first movie based on one of their television shows. It is based on DuckTales and was released shortly before the series' last few episodes originally aired.

The film opens on Scrooge, Launchpad, Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby arriving at a dig site where Scrooge's diggers have found a map to a treasure Scrooge has been seeking for forty years - the treasure of Collie Baba and his 40 Thieves. Unbeknownst to them, Dijon, a digger with a severe case of kleptomania, is working for an evil sorcerer named Merlock, who is also seeking the treasure so that he can get his hands on a magic lamp that Collie Baba stole from him so long ago. Just as Scrooge and company find the treasure, Merlock steals it right from under their beaks. However, before he could do that, Webby found the lamp Merlock was seeking, which Scrooge allowed her to keep as a toy for her tea party set. Thus, Scrooge and company end up coming home with the very thing Merlock was looking for.

Back in Duckburg, the kids discover that the lamp contains a fun-loving genie, who disguises himself as a kid like them and grants their wishes without Scrooge knowing. Scrooge eventually finds out about the genie, and soon wishes for Collie Baba's treasure to be brought to his mansion so that he can finally brag about it to his patrons in the Archaeological Society. Unfortunately, Merlock and Dijon are still on the hunt for the genie, and they know that Scrooge has it...

In spite of the popularity of the DuckTales cartoon, the film did poorly at the box office, and as a result, plans to make more DuckTales films and a movie based on Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers were scrapped. Two years later, Disney would produce a more successful movie involving a genie who lived in a lamp...

Despite that however, fans of the series were happy it got a movie at all, and cite it as a great cult classic nonetheless.

This Disney animated film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Agony of the Feet: Launchpad giving a kick to the top of the pyramid buried under the sands.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: While infiltrating the money bin, Webby has to crawl through the air vent into the security room and then open the door for the boys.
  • Animation Bump: This movie features some of the most beautiful Disney animation of the early 1990s.
  • Animorphism: Merlock's main power. Over the course of the movie he changes into many animals, including a vulture, a rat, a bear, an eagle, a puma, a cockroach, and a griffon at the climax.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In the movie, Genie mentions that Merlock wished for Atlantis to sink and Mt. Vesuvius to erupt. The Comic Book Adaptation adds that Merlock was also responsible for the creation of anchovy pizza.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Dijon gets turned into a pig for his treason as Merlock's first wish when he retrieves the lamp.
  • Ball of Light Transformation: Unlike other genies who would rather turn into smoke, the genie here (and anybody he brings inside the lamp with him) becomes a small cloud of sparks or a mote of light to enter/exit the lamp.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The Genie explicitly warns about this after Webby wishes for a baby elephant. Yes, she has the elephant, but she has no way of hiding it from Scrooge or Mrs. Beakley. In fact, when the elephant inevitably starts breaking things, Louie has to waste one of his wishes just to get rid of it.
  • Benevolent Genie: Unfortunately, he's magically forced to grant the wishes of even evil masters.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: The cowardly and greedy Dijon knows full well that he's just the lackey of the ancient sorcerer Merlock, but when he accidentally gets control of the genie's lamp he abandons his master and briefly takes over Duckburg. Merlock sneaks into the palace by hitching a ride with the Ducks and demonstrates who the real villain is.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": When Dijon takes Scrooge's fortune, the dollar sign-like S (for Scrooge) turns into a D (for Dijon).
  • The Cameo: A portrait of Donald Duck is placed back on a wall in Scrooge's mansion after Louie wishes for Webby's toys to return to their lifelessness.
  • Cane Fu: Scrooge.
  • Captain Crash: Launchpad, as in the series, but here given a Lampshade Hanging as Launchpad admits that he's never had full flight classes, only a crash course.
  • Chickification: Mrs. Beakley suffers from this.
  • Colon Cancer: The poster implies the title is actually spelled as Duck Tales: The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, but most people prefer the alternate for obvious reasons.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: When Merlock crashes the Archaeological Society Ball in bear form, Genie tosses the lamp into a chandelier and drags Scrooge in with him. Scrooge starts complaining about being stuck in the lamp, even though he would've probably been killed by Bear-Merlock if Genie hadn't pulled him in.
    Scrooge: GET ME OUT OF HERE!!
    Genie: Do you have to yell at me all the time?
    Scrooge: I wouldn't even be in this mess if it weren't for you!
  • Cutting the Knot: While breaking into the money bin (now under Dijon's control), the boys fail to navigate their way through the Laser Hallway to the alarm panel. Thus unable to deactivate the alarms, they simply destroy the panel from across the room with their marbles.
  • Darkest Hour: As the climax rolls around, Dijon gets the lamp and wishes his fortune... by taking Scrooge's. He takes everything from him: the Money Bin, his enterprise, even his house. What little money the team is left with had to be given up to get Scrooge back from Dijon's goons. And then Merlock takes the lamp and raises a giant castle in the middle of Duckburg.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Webby does this twice with her wishes. For her first wish, she asks for a baby elephant, without considering how she's going to explain where said elephant came from to the grownups; in any case, the elephant quickly runs amok and has to be wished away. Later, she wishes for her toys to come to life without stopping to think that she might not be able to control them. They likewise run amok, and again a wish has to be wasted in getting rid of them.
  • Disney Villain Death: Merlock. After going One-Winged Angel, of course. (He's in his "normal" form for the fall itself, though...)
  • Durable Deathtraps: In the tomb, par for the course.
  • Evil Laugh: Merlock loves indulging in these. The best is when he turns Scrooge's Bin into his fortress of evil and re-establishes his throne.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Merlock.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Genie's first few moments free from the lamp are this. He quickly powers through the encyclopedia to catch up what happened while he was sealed away, though misses the revelation that the Earth isn't flat.
    "Boy, he has been on that lamp for a long time."
  • Freeing The Genie: Scrooge uses his last wish to have Genie Become a Real Boy.
  • Genre Savvy: The Genie knows, from past experience, that "big wishes always lead to trouble. The bigger the wish the bigger the trouble!"
  • Grand Finale: For the DuckTales franchise.note 
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Dijon's, which we see a few time when his pants fall from putting too many stolen goods in them.
  • The Heist: Scrooge and company work to break into the Money Bin after it's wished into Dijon's posession.
  • Historical Rap Sheet: The villain Merlock was responsible for the sinking of Atlantis and the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: That's all the Genie ever wants. He eventually gets his wish, from Scrooge's last wish.
    Genie: It's not my fault Merlock's after me. I didn't ask to be Mr. Popular. All I wanted is a life of my own, like your nephews.
  • Is There a Doctor in the House?: Dijon utters this after a booby trap lands on him.
    Dijon: Is there a doctor in the pyramid?
  • It Was Here, I Swear: Mrs. Beakley, when she tries to tell Scrooge about the baby elephant that was wished into and out of existence. After a few seconds she realizes what she sounds like, while Scrooge, initially unimpressed, suspects something's up;
    Beakley: You think I'm crazy, don't you?
    Scrooge: (spotting the nephews sneaking out) Maybe not...
  • Jeweler's Eye Loupe: Naturally, Uncle Scrooge uses one to appraise the treasure.
  • Large Ham: Merlock (remember, this is Christopher Lloyd we're talking about).
  • Laser Hallway: Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby have to go through one of these in the Money Bin.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: The nephews have this opinion about Merlock's first wish. The Genie has to point out to them that when you're as evil and insane as Merlock is, immortality is not a good attribute.
  • Morphic Resonance: Merlock retains his mustache and goatee in all of his transformations.
  • The Movie: The only one that DuckTales ever got. There were plans for more, but when the movie did poorly at the box office, plans for any sequels got scrapped.
  • Never Found the Body: Merlock's first wish was to live forever. He may have survived the Disney Villain Death (presuming there were no catches to his immortality). Of course, note that he was screaming as he fell. (Then again, who wouldn't?)
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When Dijon finds the lamp, Genie dissuades him from giving it to Merlock by pointing out that Dijon could wish for a fortune of his own. As Genie mournfully tells Scrooge later on; "I didn't know he'd wish for your fortune!"
  • Non-Serial Movie: The events of the film are never mentioned again in the series, although Scrooge recognizes Dijon when he appears in two episodes that aired shortly after the film's release.
  • No Ontological Inertia: When the genie is made a real boy and thus de-powered, Dijon (who had been transformed into a pig from a wish by the Big Bad) is restored to normal.
  • Oh, Crap: While doing through the laser hallway, a stray laser ripped the directions in half.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: Merlock uses the Genie's magic to turn Scrooge's money bin into a Floating Castle that is very ominous. It's not floating by design though; Merlock specifically wished to "return home in his new home". Scrooge just defeats him before they get to the destination.
  • One-Winged Angel: Merlock can change into any form he wants (usually a bird of prey), but at the climax he changes into a gryphon to pursue Scrooge.
  • Scary Scorpions: The giant scorpions serving as guardians for the treasure room.
  • Sue Donym: The kids name the Genie "Gene" when Scrooge first finds him.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sorcerous Overlord: Merlock. It's not stated explicitly what possessions he ruled over, but he's an Evil Sorceror who used Genie to spread terror and fear wherever he wanted. His dark floating fortress at the end wouldn't look out of place as Sauron's residential palace.
  • Super Speed Reading: Genie reads an entire encyclopedia in ten seconds.
  • The Starscream: Invoked by Genie, who convinces Dijon to keep the lamp and wish for his own fortune rather than turn it over to Merlock for a reward. It goes horribly right.
  • Three Wishes: What the Genie gives all of his masters. Merlock however has a talisman that allows him to override the three wish rule. Unfortunately, wishing for possession of the talisman is the one wish beyond the genie's power. That and wishing for a million wishes and peace and happiness all over the world.
  • Trouser Space: Dijon hides stolen goods in his pants. However, this is not Hammer Space, as if he overdoes it, what he's stealing becomes noticable.
    Scrooge: Somebody! Stop those pants!
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Merlock transforms into a variety of (non-anthropomorphic) animals.
  • Wasn't That Fun?: After they survive the raging river ride.
  • Wasteful Wishing: Most of the nephews and Webby's wishes, combined with the Three Wishes trope. Scrooge however takes the potential of a genie far more seriously.
    Scrooge: I could wish for the world's biggest diamond. No, the biggest diamond mine! No, ALL' the diamond mines! No! The entire mining industry! Yes! Yes! Yeeeeees! ...I can see how this is going to take some careful thought.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Although Dijon goes on to appear in the TV series, Genie/Gene is never seen again.
    • In this movie, Launchpad, Mrs. Beakley, and Duckworth disappear from the film before the heist into the money bin. Beakley is last seen fainting at the sight of the bin transforming into Merlock's new domain and rising into the sky. You have to wonder if she ever woke up, or why nobody at the end checks to see if she's okay.
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things:
    Scrooge: Launchpad! Look what you've done to these ancient ruins!
    Launchpad: Well, it could've been worse. It could've been somethin' new!

Alternative Title(s):

Duck Tales The Movie Treasure Of The Lost Lamp