In August of 2017, Disney XD premiered the reboot of beloved ‘80s cartoon, DuckTales. The first season has aired in full (and moved to Disney Channel) and I am anxiously awaiting the remainder of season 2. It was also renewed for a third season, so give me all the DuckTales!
If you need a refresher, DuckTales is about Huey, Dewey, and Louie, who usually live with their uncle, Donald Duck, moving in with Donald’s uncle, billionaire Scrooge McDuck. Donald and Scrooge have a tricky relationship due to some family secrets that the nephews are interested in finding out. The nephews are also excited as Scrooge was a major treasure hunter when he was younger.
I don’t remember watching the original series, but I do have vague memories of the video game and I definitely watched the movie, DuckTales and the Legend of the Lost Lamp. But the reboot is such a joy. Here are some reasons to watch!
- From the pilot, we are thrown into a crazy world with all sorts of supernatural creatures. They travel everywhere: underwater, a Greece island inhabited by gods and goddesses, Atlantis, Egypt, Scotland, Mt. Neverest, you get the idea. Dewey and Webby are the biggest adventurers and constantly push Scrooge to visit these places. What’s great about all the adventures is that they always tie back into the character development and growth. Pretty amazing for a children’s show if you ask me.
- Lovable characters
- One of the biggest differences from the original is that the nephews all have distinct personalities. They are still triplets, but you now have a way to differentiate them (especially since they all don’t wear hats!). Huey is more rules-based and loves being a member of the Junior Woodchucks. Sadly, Huey hasn’t gotten as much attention as his brothers. His storylines tend to be more on the secondary side. Dewey is adventurous and desperate to find out more about their mother, Della Duck. Louie is lazy and constantly looking for ways to make more money. Another welcome change is that Donald is more involved this time around. (In the original series, he leaves the nephews at Scrooge’s because he needs to serve in the Navy) Seeing him interact with the nephews has been fascinating and I also love his relationship with Scrooge. Speaking of Scrooge, he is exactly as you remember. He’s obsessed with money and loves going on adventures. Learning more about his backstory has been really fun. We even meet his parents! There’s also his trusty companion, Launchpad, who is a terrible pilot but good for comic relief. I must confess, I know of Launchpad more from Darkwing Duck, so I didn’t know that he was a bad pilot or anything. But it doesn’t matter because he believes in himself so much! Then, there’s Mrs. Beakley, Scrooge’s housekeeper, who is also Webby’s grandmother. Her backstory was incredible too (don’t want to spoil too much!) and she’s a great confidante to Scrooge.
- Webby was always my favorite character. Possibly because she was the only girl. But still. She has undergone the biggest change from the original to this. In the original, she was younger than the nephews and kind of treated poorly due to her age and gender. Her clothes and hairstyle have also changed: she’s no longer head to toe pink; she’s got some purple thrown in there. Here, she is around their age and it changes the dynamic. She’s obsessed with the Duck family (it’s a little concerning) but it comes out of love. She’s right in on all the action and everyone trusts her. She and Dewey are definitely the closest and love to egg each other on. And she also gets her own storylines outside of the nephews! In season 1, she made a friend Lena and those episodes were some of the best! (Lena has a lot of secrets and it’s fun seeing that storyline come to a head) Webby is truly the most empathetic character and I love her so much. There was also an episode where she teams up with Scrooge to find her grandma and their whole dynamic was a blast. I really want more adventures with Webby and Scrooge.
- Voice Cast
- One of the most exciting things about the show prior to its premiere was who would be taking over some of these iconic roles. Usually, the nephews were voiced by one person, but because of the different personalities, we get three actors! Huey is voiced by Danny Pudi, Dewey by Ben Schwartz, and Louie by Bobby Moynihan. They are all brilliant comedic actors and really have put their own stamp on the three ducks. Launchpad is voiced by current SNL cast member, Beck Bennett. Bennett is super underrated (anyone remember his AT&T commercials?) and his deadpan line readings never fail to crack me up. Webby is voiced by Kate Micucci to absolute perfection. But the grand jewel of all is David Tennant as Scrooge. It’s gotten to the point where when I’m watching him in other shows, I can only picture Scrooge (it was a problem during the final season of Broadchurch). Not only are the main cast aces, they also round out supporting characters with some brilliant actors as well. Lin-Manuel Miranda is Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera aka Gizmoduck and he is so pure. Jim Rash, Paul F. Tompkins, Allison Janney, Margo Martindale, Paget Brewster, and Kimiko Glenn are also recurring guest stars which is pretty hefty star power right there. And Don Cheadle voiced Donald Duck in the season 1 finale! The casting director has done such a fantastic job, I can’t wait to see who appears next.
- Iconic theme song
- Chances are you know the DuckTales theme song. It’s an earworm and if you hear it, you’ll be thinking about it all day long. They kept the original theme song, but it’s recorded by a new artist, Felicia Barton, and honestly, I never skip over it when watching the show. It’s part of the experience, especially singing every “Woo-oo”.
- Easter Eggs
- What’s been great about this new series is that the creators love both the show and other Disney Afternoon hits probably as much as we do. I’ve been crossing my fingers for an announcement of a Darkwing Duck reboot because it was my favorite show as a kid. So far, they’ve treated the character of Darkwing as Launchpad’s favorite fictional superhero so I’m probably going to have to wait a little longer. In the Scrooge/Webby team-up episode, there was a direct reference to Gummi Bears. Powerline from A Goofy Movie appears on the nephews’ walls. There was a bit of a TaleSpin crossover as Don Carnage (now voiced by Jane the Virgin’s Jamie Camil) steals from Scrooge with his singing sky pilots. But it’s not only Disney Afternoon that they pull from. They reunited the Three Caballeros for an episode in season 2 and it was amazing.
DuckTales airs on Disney Channel.