Since its premiere back in 2017, the reboot of the landmark Disney Afternoon series, DuckTales, has been a hit with longtime fans and newcomers alike. Centering on the adventures of Scrooge McDuck and his grand nephews, one of the highlights of the show is its incorporation of classic characters from other Disney Afternoon shows. While these have mostly been relegated to guest appearances, the hour-long special “Let’s Get Dangerous” is a Darkwing Duck story through and through.
Based on the episode “Darkly Dawns the Duck”, “Let’s Get Dangerous” sees an orphaned rabble-rouser named Gosalyn (Stephanie Beatriz) enlisting the help of Darkwing Duck (Chris Diamantopoulos) to uncover the whereabouts of her missing grandfather. While I haven’t seen much of Darkwing Duck since its 90s syndication, I distinctly remember the show’s trademarks; the creative villains, its mix of slapstick and action, and the familial relationship between Drake and Gosalyn. All are on display here in “Let’s Get Dangerous”, and at full force.
My favorite part of the special was Darkwing, himself. The DuckTales writers perfectly captured his traditional foibles, while never jeopardizing his sympathetic qualities. He’s an earnest hero with good values, but prone to blundering and attention-seeking. The slapstick involving Darkwing feels right out of a vaudeville comedy. I laughed out loud at the creative ways in which the writers battered and bruised this guy. And these gags were made all the better thanks to Darkwing still coming off as a competent hero when it mattered. Chris Diamantopoulos, meanwhile, once again proves to be one of the finest voice actors of this generation. He perfectly channels the great Jim Cummings, yet never comes off as a cheap sound-alike. It’d be easy to mistake them for the same actor.
The other characters were equally great. Gosalyn‘s backstory was legitimately emotional, while her snark and energy made her a fun character to follow. Launchpad McQuack (Beck Bennett) fits the “dim-witted sidekick” role perfectly, and his big heart is used to brilliant effect during the quieter moments of the special. Taurus Bulba (James Monroe Iglehart) was a surprisingly three-dimensional antagonist, made all the more menacing by how likable he was. It was great to hear Iglehart (whom I adore) take on a villainous role after his heroic turns as Broadway’s Genie and Tangled’s Lance Strongbow.
In regards to the actual crossover aspects of the episode, the worlds of DuckTales and Darkwing Duck were beautifully integrated here. With Bulba working as an employee for McDuck Enterprise, Scrooge and the boys had plenty incentive to become involved with the plot. I especially appreciated how the nephews’ individual traits played a part in uncovering Bulba‘s villainy. For regular viewers of DuckTales, the special ends with a cliffhanger teasing the season’s overarching plot. I’m not one of those viewers, but it ensures that “Let’s Get Dangerous” isn’t just an elaborate piece of filler.
All in all, “Let’s Get Dangerous” was a blast to watch from start to finish. If this was in actuality a backdoor pilot for a Darkwing Duck reboot, consider me an advocate.