Welcome to another installment of Comicdom Wrecks’ weekly series, Saturday Morning Cartoons! In trying to determine which series I’d go back and showcase this week, I’ve decided to go back…TO THE FUTURE! Well, the present and the future, since it’s a current/ongoing series. And the past as well, since it’s a reboot of an older beloved series. Sound confusing? Just know that a Time Lord is involved. Wondering what to do? Just grab on to some:
The original run of DuckTales ran from the fall of 1987 to the fall of 1990. The first series Disney produced for syndication, it proved to be a huge hit. If not for the show’s success, other series like Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers and Darkwing Duck might not have ever happened. The series ran in reruns up until 1999 and was rebooted in the fall of 2017. And that relaunch, my friends, is what I’m going to share with you today. As much as I loved the original, this reboot/relaunch is absolutely brilliant work that everybody needs to watch so they’ll keep making it for years to come.
The cast of the new show is as follows:
- David Tennant as Scrooge McDuck
- Danny Pudi as Huey Duck
- Ben Schwartz as Dewey Duck
- Bobby Moynihan as Louie Duck
- Kate Micucci as Webby Vanderquack
- Beck Bennett as Launchpad McQuack
- Toks Olagundoye as Mrs. Beakley
- Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck
If some of those names sound familiar, (and they should be if you’re a fan of Doctor Who, Community, Parks and Rec, Garfunkle & Oates, or Saturday Night Live) here’s some faces to go with them:
It’s very important to note that the new version of the show has the same theme song. You don’t change that song, it’s a classic. Check out these kids, born more than a decade after the show went off the air, dancing to the song when they hear it for the first time:
Anyhoo-oo, on to the new episode. Titled “Woo-oo!”, it premiered on Disney XD on August 12, of 2017. They’ve been good enough to post the whole thing on their YouTube channel, and I absolutely recommend watching it.
We start out with Donald Duck looking for a babysitter for his three nephews while he goes on a job interview. Since he desperately needs a job and he can’t trust the three kids to be alone on his houseboat, his only option is to ask his Uncle Scrooge to watch them. The kids didn’t even know they were related to the richest duck in the world, and here’s their reaction when they find out:
Huey, Dewey, and Louie have their own unique characterizations in this version, where in the original they were just palette-swapped versions of each other; right down to the fact that they were voiced by the same actress. David Tennant makes for a fantastic Scrooge McDuck and is the first actually Scottish actor to voice this Scottish character who has been around for nearly sixty years. The voice of Donald Duck in this series, Tony Anselmo, was the voice of Donald in the original series.
Scrooge, who is in a self-imposed retirement from adventuring, is a lonely old duck living in a mansion that’s become a dusty old museum for his previous accomplishments. Not wanting to be bothered with them, he gives the boys some marbles to play with and locks them in a room. They soon find a way out and go exploring around the mansion where they meet housekeeper Mrs. Beakley’s granddaughter Webby, who is excited to have some people her age around for the first time in…well, forever. She’s insatiably curious so she has tons of questions like, “Who’s the evil triplet?” By the way, it’s Louie.
The kids go exploring the mansion and hijinks ensue, accidentally waking up some ancient evil spirits and a gold eating dragon (which is a very big deal for the world’s foremost owner of gold) by messing with some of the artifacts in Scrooge’s collection. The old duck has to help them put back all the trouble they’ve accidentally unleashed and doing so awakens his sense of adventure, prompting him to get back in the game. First up is finding the lost city of Atlantis, though they’ll need to hire a pilot. Luckily, Scrooge’s chauffeur knows at least a little something about flying planes.
By the way, the reason Donald had a job interview earlier was because he was tired of life on the sea and wanted to be an accountant. He doesn’t get that job but the company does offer him a position…as a sailor. They need his naval experience because they’re planning an expedition to to the lost city of Atlantis. And did I mention that Donald’s new boss is Flintheart Glomgold, the second richest duck in the world?
Scrooge & the boys get there first, with Golmgold’s team not far behind. Scrooge discovers that the place is riddled with booby traps, and Dewey is so excited that he can’t contain himself.
The two teams work their way to the treasure room, with Donald switching sides once he realizes he’s working for Scrooge’s sworn enemy. When Scrooge questions why he would ever work for him at all, Donald shouts “I can’t keep track of all your sworn enemies!” Glomgold gets away with what he thinks is the most valuable jewel in Atlantis (enough to make Scrooge the second richest duck in the world) and leaves Scrooge, Donald, and the boys stuck in a flooding room. They put their heads together to find a way out and along the way find the actual most valuable jewel in Atlantis. Glomgold gets dragged away by a giant octopus.
Once everybody is safely back on land, Donald decides that the boys would benefit from spending more time with their Uncle Scrooge which quickly becomes the four of them moving in with him when they realize Donald’s houseboat is on fire.
This isn’t exactly the same as the original DuckTales, but it has the same spirit. I honestly haven’t watched any episodes of the original series since I was a kid. I’m worried that it might be one of those things that I fondly remember watching as child but could only be enjoyable through the eyes of a child. But as a thirty-five year old man, this new series is legitimately great.