Synopsis for the Feature Length Animated Film La Ballade des Dalton (The Ballad of the Daltons)

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La Ballade des Dalton

La Ballade des Dalton

English Title: The Ballad of the Daltons

La Ballade des Dalton (The Ballad of the Daltons) (1978) Feature Length Theatrical Animated Film

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  • Feature Length Animated Film
  • Distributed by: Les Artistes Associés
  • Cartoon Characters: Lucky Luke, Jolly Jumper, Joe, William, Jack, Averell, Augustus Betting, Ran Tan Plan, Ming Li Foo, Mathias Bone, Thadeus Collins, Plume de Serpent, Dr. Aldous Smith, Tom O'Connor, Sam Game, Bud Bugman, Judge Groovy, Pancho, Carmen, Miss Worthlesspenny, Printer, Saloon Singer.
  • Originally Released in 1978.
  • Color (Eastmancolor)
  • Running Time: 82 minutes.
  • France  France

Cartoon Summary:

The scene: a saloon where a local artiste sings the ballad of the Daltons, those abominable outlaws whom Lucky Luke, the man who shoots faster than his shadow, helped by his faithful horse Jolly Jumper, spends his time putting in prison. And it's in prison that Joe- the boss of the gang, the smallest member and the most immoral, plots vengeance. He's approached with a warning that a notary has asked to speak to him and his brothers.

There's good news and bad news, notary Augustus Betting announces. The bad news: the Daltons' uncle has died of natural causes ("naturally," hanging from a scaffold raised by the forces of order).

The good news: the four brothers are named his sole heirs- on the condition that the heirs become the instruments of his vengeance.

Before receiving the inheritance, the nephews must eliminate the judge and all the jurors who condemned their uncle.

This clause doesn't astonish the Daltons. On the contrary, they react violently when they learn that their distrustful uncle has designated honest, courageous Lucky Luke to be the executor of his will.

Against their usual habits, the Daltons accept this condition, having decided to eliminate Lucky Luke to gain the inheritance.

They escape from jail in an "explosive" fashion, getting Ran Tan Plan, the most likable dog of the Far West, to come along for the ride.

Thanks to Ran Tan Plan's clumsiness, the Daltons capture Lucky Luke, to whom they offer a bargain: he'll witness their crimes for a share of the inheritance.

Lucky Luke pretends to accept the bargain, beginning the murderous process to eliminate the jurors: Chinese laundryman Ming Li Foo; Thadeus Collins, warden of a jail from which all the "boarders" have escaped; Plume de Serpent (Snake Feather), the medicine man; Dr. Aldous Smith, quack inventor of a elixir; gold miner Tom O'Connor; Sam Game, repentant gambling cheat; locomotive conductor Bud Bugman; merry undertaker Mathias Bone; and last but not least, Judge Groovy, who pronounced the death sentence.

The Dalton are persuaded that they've succeeded in their mission. It is only at the end that they discover that all their supposed "victims" have been saved by Lucky Luke's ruses. These "victims" once again make up the jury which sends the Daltons back to jail.

As for the inheritance, as stipulated in the will, it will revert to a children's charity.

As the sun sets on Lucky Luke, the saloon artiste sings, "I'm a Poor Lonesome Cowboy."

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