80s | Music | Pop Culture | TV
The Fascinating Story Behind History's Catchiest Theme Song
Originally released in 1987, DuckTales has remained a fan-favorite from Disney's extensive catalog of cartoons for decades. There are plenty of reasons people have loved the show for years; some love its hilarious cast of characters, while others like seeing all the weird and wonderful locations Scrooge and the boys travel to all over the world.
Above all else though, the thing everyone remembers the best about the show is its iconic, insanely catchy theme song. To this day we can't even say the name of the show without someone adding a "WOO-OO!" onto the end.
It's so popular that the new reboot Disney just premiered of DuckTales even still has a rendition of it, but did you know that there's actually an interesting story behind it to boot?
Seriously, turns out making a massive hit theme song can be a matter of inspiration and luck...
Composer Mark Mueller was asked by Disney to create a theme song for DuckTales that was more than just a catchy cartoon jingle; they were after a poppy, radio song.
The then 30-year-old songwriter was struggling to make a name for himself despite having written songs for some notable acts, including Heart, Syreeta Wright, and Lou Rawls. His agent advised him against taking the Disney job.
Despite the reluctance, he actually wrote the song in the span of about 45 minutes. He was one of many songwriters to present a possible theme song to the Disney music executives, and apparently his "immediately stood out." Mueller was paid $1,250 for the song, and only once it went to air.
Mueller is regularly still shocked at how popular the song has remained. He recently spoke to Vanity Fair, saying;
“When people find out what I do for a living, they’ll always ask if they’d know one of my songs. Sometimes they won’t know my pop hits. But almost everywhere I’ve gone, people know DuckTales. The reach of it is so mind-blowing.”
Even the song's original singer, Jeff Prescetto, has felt the love from the DuckTales fanbase over the years;
“Just recently I was playing with my band at a club. A group of guys from England walked up and said, ‘We heard your voice and knew right away that it was the guy who sings the DuckTales theme song.’ They were so excited to meet me. I just couldn’t believe they recognized my voice.”
The show went on to be broadcast in over 100 countries and in 25 different languages! Some of these versions changed the lyrics a bit, but ultimately keeping the same tune and style, making it a bonafide international success.