Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What Will The New "Ducktales" TV Series Look Like?..

So..precisely one year after announcing to the world that new episodes of the classic Disney TV series Ducktales were going to premiere on DisneyXD in the Fall of 2017,  the folks at Disney gave the world a teensy peek at what the final product could look like...just to keep our anticipation from cooling down..or become too preoccupied with, life 'n stuff...I got a coloring book I need to finish...

The artwork posted depicts Scrooge McDuck in a pit helmut driving a ramshackle jeep through the jungle in the midst of a high-speed chase - possibly by angry natives throwing spears, with his nephew Donald clinging for dear life in the back, grandnephews Huey, Dewey & Louie (and kind of/sort of informally adopted grandniece, Webbigail "Webby" Vanderquack) riding shotgun.

What can we infer from this?

1) This looks like "Concept Art": I recall reading that this new show was going to rendered in CG...i.e., Mickey Mouse Clubhouse meets Star Wars Rebels. This could just be the artwork used to pitch the concept for the new focus of the series  ("We want to show more of the Duck family in the style of Carl Barks' comics that inspired the original Ducktales series"), which is fine, though the nephews remind me of Quack Pack a bit...Huey's the only one wearing a cap and consulting the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook, Dewey looks like the one with a temper, Louie seems to be fearful and wearing a hoodie, Webby is enjoying the ride, Donald...looks like he's watching his life flash before his eyes..Scrooge lends this a lot of gravitas by looking consistent..does this mean we'll get the Quack Pack that was initially planned but scrapped in favor of ...what Quack Pack wound-up being? I haven't found anyone who likes Quack Pack..although that show began the idea of recasting the voices of the nephews with voices dissimilar from the late Clarance Nash's original performance..could this show continue that trend with their recast of the cast? I could imagine Kristen Schaal as the new voice of Webby, Craig Ferguson as Scrooge, Tress MacNeille as Magica DeSpell, Daran Norris as Gyro Gearloose and Fenton Crackshell/Gizmoduck, Bruce Campbell as Launchpad and Clancy Brown as Flintheart Glomgold..but Tony Anselmo should always be the voice of Donald Duck.

2) Donald is no-longer "recurring" - in the original series, Donald Duck was at sea, having joined the navy, appearing sporadically in the first two seasons. It looks like he's back, now permanently ditching the French naval uniform that was/still is his default outfit, in favor of the U.S. Navy uniform he wore on Ducktales...with a twist: the shirt is black. That distinction, in my humble opinion, is the code for Carl Barks' Donald Duck. That's very important, because Barks' take on Donald has proven to be a more-interesting character than the duck that picked fights with bees, bears and chipmunks in otherwise entertaining, if frivolous cartoon shorts from the past..

3) That drawing style sure looks different.. - if it matches the final product  (and is not merely the style of the artist who drew it ), then we might see a show that fits well with current DisneyXD fare - Star vs. The Forces of Evil, Wander Over Yonder - but not too jarring like The Looney Tunes Show redesigns of the Looney Tunes stable that made longtime fans recoil in horror.

But...will Phooey Duck be in it?  :)


  1. I feel I need to once again point out, since I don't know where this idea started- CG doesn't necessarily mean 3d. I too thought this'd be in 3d, but the fact the image is an actual drawing doesn't mean that it's just concept art, or that they're "dropping the CG"- just means it'll be 2d computer generated. Like the new Mickey Mouse shorts, in other words.

    1. Blame "Word association" for lumping "3-D" with "CGI"/"CG" - it became the shorthand identifier. They never SAID "2D" with "CG", so there's that assumption that we'll see 3-D characters. It sounds like the "2D CG" that we'll see will resemble the animation in episodes of "Phineas & Ferb"...I'm hoping they'll offer a clip sometime soon..then we'll REALLY know what it's gonna be like.

  2. Absolutely love this art. It's so eye-catching, and it has the energy that a lot of the Italian artists bring to their Disney Duck (and Mouse) stories.

    There was fear in the 80s of having Donald in the series too much, if I recall correctly. They didn't want Scrooge and the rest to be overshadowed by a better-known character (or something like that). A few generations later, and that's no longer a concern, it seems.

    Craig Ferguson as Scrooge, eh? I'm mildly intrigued. Although I'm hoping they continue the Disney tradition of recasting characters who have been voiced by one actor for decades (in this case, Alan Young) with soundalike voices.

    DuckTales 2017 has a tremendous opportunity. We live in an era that is in love with continuity and canon and ongoing storylines. A long-form approach to storytelling a la Gravity Falls and Adventure Time would work exceedingly well with these characters.

    1. As a kid at the time, I used to think the episodes with Donald were like an event, because we didn't see him much - particularly after the newer characters were introduced - and around the same time, older cartoons featuring Donald were still being shown on television (albeit on "Donald Duck Presents"/"Donald's Quack Attack" and "The Wonderful World of Disney")..I DO remember letters in the Ducktales comic book from fans who disliked Launchpad because he sort of took Donald's spot on the ensemble cast and later criticism of Fenton Crackshell on similar grounds, though I think Fenton has more in common with Fethry and Daffy than Donald.