Sitting Ducks-Volume 2: Duck Town Adventures

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Released 5-May-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Childrens Featurette-Bonus Episode: The Fly Who Loved Me
Biographies-Character
DVD-ROM Extras-Game-Hot Air Ballooning
Featurette-Test Animations (2)
Trailer-2
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production ?
Running Time 60:00 (Case: 77)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Walt Kubiak
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring None Given
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Kick Productions
Riccardo Mulhall
Terry Neale


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    This is the second disc of Duck Tales, the adventures of Bill (the duck) and his unlikely friend Aldo (the alligator). The series revolves around Duck Town where Bill and Aldo live. Nearby is the swamp and the factory where the alligators live. There is nothing that an alligator loves more than duck soup, roast duck, duck sandwiches and so forth. This builds a certain tension into the relationship between Bill and Aldo, though it is far less than in the first series. This series simply explores a series of situation comedy moments in the life of Duck Town. While there are sparks of ironic humour, the series never really catches at any stage leaving you disappointed.

Mind Over Mallard. (10:36)

    The ducks in Duck Town cannot fly. They are an intelligent (well not really) species that have evolved from ducks and have lost the ability to fly. Bill and a scientist friend of his believe that this is all in the mind and that ducks can still fly, and sets out to prove it. With the help of Aldo and a heckling companion in the form of a crow, Bill sets out to take to the skies.

Got Milk? (10:35)

    One of the favourite foods of the ducks of Duck Town are milkshakes. They congregate often in the local drug store and imbibe the award-winning milkshakes. They are unaware that a revolution is brewing as the cows are not happy with their place in the scheme of thinks and go on strike. No more milk and thus milkshakes until they get a better deal.

Duck Naked. (10:36)

    An unfortunate fact of life in the duck physiology is that they have retained the necessity of malting. This loss of feathers is extremely embarrassing and when Bill takes a shower and finds more than a few feathers in the drain hole he begins to panic. There are two options - rent a whole load of videos and stay out of sight until regrowth occurs, or visit the mysterious feather woman and get cured, although nothing is ever as easy as it sounds.

Bill Hatches An Egg (10:36)

    Bill finds an orphan egg and decides to try and hatch it himself after a short search for the mother. Bill's maternal instincts are unusual but well-intentioned. When the egg starts making strange noises, Aldo believes that the egg is not from a duck but from an alligator. Now both sets of mother instincts, distinctly contrasting ones, are in competition.

Hey!, Bill's On The News. (10:35)

    A special program on flight is coming onto cable TV. The only problem is that Bill does not get cable, so it's off to the shops for the do-it-yourself satellite kit complete with tower. Despite specific instruction not to try and build the tower during a thunderstorm, nothing is going to stop our intrepid handy-duck from completing his mission.

Denture Adventure. (10:35)

    Why are ducks so low on the food chain? Because they have no teeth, of course. One of Bill's friends is a dentist, a dentist in a town where there is not a single friendly tooth. This wayward dentist invents dentures for ducks and Bill decides to give them a try-out. The power of the tooth goes straight to Bill's head - whilst a single tooth corrupts, a full set of dentures corrupts absolutely...

Waddles Spud Bud. (10:35)

    Another of Bill's friends is Waddles. Waddles has been paddling in the shallow end of the gene pool and is not the sharpest duck in a town where blunt is the norm. Aldo performs a magic trick with Bill and turns him into a potato. Poor old Waddles believes that Bill is really a potato and sets out to get him turned back into a duck.

Bonus episode: The Fly Who Loved Me. (12:00)

    While trying to get to sleep, Bill is plagued by a fly, a very annoying fly. Giving up on sleep, he heads to the Milkshake shop for a late night top-up. When he arrives, there are strange ducks in the seats and an even stranger duck serving. The strange ducks refuse to talk to him and when he tries to touch one it falls apart, and - shock horror! - they are decoys and this is an alligator trap. Can Bill get away before it is too late? Only one creature can save him - the annoying fly buzzes to the rescue.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     The transfer is pretty much identical to the first disc in the series.

    The transfer is again presented at a panned and scanned aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness is again under question, although the image on offer does resemble the paintings the characters are based on (see my review of Volume 1 for more information on that) and they appear to have taken pains in the rendering not to create a sharp appearance. Shadow detail is good but there is a fair amount of low level noise present. There is a constant mosquito noise throughout the picture, worse at times, particularly in darker sections of the image. At 3:45 in the upper half of the frame is a dark section on the ground - this looks like a bunch of flies crawling over the screen because of the mosquito noise.

    Other than some posterization, the colours are very good, with lots of very nice saturated primary colours..

    MPEG artefacts are limited to the mosquito noise and some posterization, such as at 3:10 in the wall at the back. There are also some occasions on pans where you lose resolution. I still can't decide if this has been a direct from digital transfer and have a suspicion that it may have been on a video master at some stage. There are no film artefacts.

     There are no subtitles on the disc. This is a dual layered disc and I have to assume that the layer change is somewhere between episodes as there was no obvious layer change. The main episodes are placed on the disc as a single feature with each episode taking up a chapter.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio is fairly unexciting and is a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. There are three of these tracks, one in English and the other two in French and German.

    There are no problems with the dialogue quality and the beak sync (!) is quite good.

    The music is still a nice upbeat happy-go-lucky theme which works well with the material.

    Nothing emanates from the surrounds or the subwoofer.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Other than the Game, the special features are the same as on the last disc.

Menu

    A static menu presented at 1.33:1 and with no audio, featuring a couple of renderings of our two main characters on rollerskates along with the selections for play all, episode selection, bonus material and languages.

Character Line up

    A page each on Bill, Aldo, Ed Olly and Waddle, Cecile and Clare, Bev and Fred. Each page has a short introduction to the character and a picture.

Game: Hot Air Ballooning

    Selecting this menu item leads to an instruction to place the disc in a DVD-ROM and double click on one of two files, the first for MACs and the second for PCs. This is a Flash-based game that involves trying to land a balloon on a particular platform, something like the old lunar lander games but with inertia and uncertain controls. It is actually quite difficult once you try it, at least for this particular reviewer.

Test animation: Creative Capers (1:05)

    Fun only in that it shows the early ideas for the ducks. Of little interest otherwise.

Test Animation: Krisilin Elliott (3:09)

    Slightly more interesting with some exploration of the world of rendered animation.

Trailer (1:05)

    Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, this is an ad for the videos - it is odd to have this presented as a special feature on a DVD.

Trailer: Music Trailer (1:07)

    Again 1.33:1 and Dolby Digital 2.0

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    There still does not appear to be a Region 1 release of this material.

Summary

    I did not think that this series was as good as the first. As the first was borderline interest-wise, this leaves us with material that even the kids might get tired of.

    The video remains good but plagued by mosquito noise.

    The audio has no problems but is not particularly inspiring.

    The new game is hard but fun and the rest of the extras repeat from the first disc.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Sunday, May 25, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationSony STR-DB1070
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

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