Lunar lullaby: DuckTales video game’s ‘moon theme’ becomes something greater

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Something magical happened March 9 when a new episode of DuckTales aired for the first time this year. “Whatever Happened to Della Duck” not only delved headfirst into the mystery surrounding the missing mother of Huey, Dewey and Louie, but her fate and love for the children she’s never seen outside of their literal shells were tied to another beloved piece of DuckTales lore.

The “Moon Theme” started as an 8-bit chiptune soundtrack for the lunar level of Capcom’s NES game DuckTales. Having really nothing to do with late ’80s TV show that inspired the video game and the new Disney cartoon remake, it’s had a robust life as a fan favorite, inspiring creators like Brentalfloss to add comical lyrics and getting a high-def upgrade for the DuckTales Remastered video game re-release for Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U a few years back.

Now, as you can hear in the clip above, the “Moon Theme” has been reinvented and reinvigorated yet again, this time as “Della’s Moon Lullaby,” a song she sings to her absent children and to a baby moon mite monster who needs soothing (despite its protective mother having destroyed Della’s rebuilt rocketship, the Spear of Selene — the only way to get home to her own brood).

Last year, a few notes of the tune played as it was revealed Della Duck was alive on the moon and striving to return to her flock. Turns out, that was just a hint of what was to come, as the tune soared throughout the latest Robinson Crusoe on Mars-style episode — a fitting soundtrack that was just leading up to the climactic and emotional lunar lyrics sung by Della herself (played masterfully flawed and fascinating by Criminal Minds’ Paget Brewster).

Now truly stranded on the lunar surface, Della encounters mysterious new characters and a hidden city — adventure awaits. What about her kids? Will she build a new life and move on? Only time, and new episodes, will tell.

For those of a certain generation, Ducktales takes us back to more carefree times of afternoon adventures with Uncle Scrooge. The video game adaptation’s moon music piles on the nostalgia — but now, there are even more layers to appreciate.

I think there’s something in my eye. Moon dust?

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