Even though I’ve never actually watched an episode of DuckTales, I catch myself humming the show’s undeniably catchy tune to myself at least a few times every month. After listening to Lin-Manuel Miranda explain why he loves the theme song, I think I finally understand why.
In addition to being the voice of the DuckTales revival’s Gizmoduck (no relation), Miranda is also a composer and all-around music nerd who can break down the elements of a song that you’re more than familiar with and zero in on the thing about it that makes it stick in your head.
In a brief interview with Disney, Miranda reminisced about growing up watching DuckTales and falling in love with the theme song, something he attributes to the song’s two key changes. It’s not just that “DuckTales! Woo-hoo!” is a fun, silly thing to say—it’s that as the song goes on, the phrase becomes more and more dramatic.
What’s great about Miranda’s analysis of the song is that he accurately points out that progressive key changes are kind of Disney’s go-to when it comes to theme songs for TV. It isn’t a coincidence that the melodies have burrowed and taken root deep in your mind—it’s precisely how the House of Mouse designed them to be.