I was a big fan of the Disney Afternoon block of television as a kid. It included great shows like Talespin, DuckTales, and perhaps my favorite cartoon of all Darkwing Duck. I can write a rather long explanation about why this was an amazing show, but for now I want to highlight just one of the parts I adored, the theme song.
Darkwing Duck has one of the most memorable opening themes to a cartoon. I love how it has fun with all the inspirations we find in the show. The music immediately transports you into the mysterious and fun world of St. Canard, where Drake Mallard is trying to make a difference as Darkwing Duck while raising his adopted daughter Gosalyn. It’s music that you’d instantly recognize as from the show even without the lyrics (just check out the outro!) However, it’s the combination of the two that makes it a classic to this day.
From the beginning the lyrics set up what we can expect from the hero, playing on what inspired the show with unforgettable lines like “daring duck of mystery” and “champion of right.” It tells us he “swoops out of the shadows” and is a “master of surprise” while the number’s up for those scheming villains. Clearly “bad guys are out of luck” when Darkwing’s around! Then of course there’s the chorus which includes my favorite lines. Sure, it’s one of those repetitive kid show choruses that just repeat the name of the series a few times, but every proclamation of Darkwing Duck is followed by the lines we probably all sang the most and maybe still do: “when there’s trouble you call DW” and “let’s get dangerous.” What kid didn’t want to get dangerous with Darkwing, Launchpad, and Gosalyn after a long day at school?
Even after all these years and the number of kid shows that have popped up since Darkwing Duck ended, I think there are few opening songs that can compare to this theme. So take a trip back to the '90s sometime today by listening to this catchy tune about a duck with one "shadowy disguise!"