One of my favorite episodes!
One of my favorite episodes!
Here’s the poster I made when proposing a Ducktales reboot back in 2013. Not the final style I was going for, but was a start. The big idea I wanted was to bring Donald back into the mix and make the story surrounding Scrooge based off of Don Rosa’s work. They wanted a different angle with the nephews as the leads. This is when we parted ways.
For those of you who are becoming as disenchanted with DuckTales 2017 as I am, here’s what’s really going on. Wouldn’t you rather see Joe Pitt’s show than the one we’re getting?
I don’t see DuckTales until the day after it airs, given the fact that I’m a cord-cutter and receive the series via an Amazon Prime Season Pass.
Word on the Web is that “Terror of the Terra-Firmians!” is yet another episode of “The Webby Show” featuring Huey, Dewey, and Louie with cameos by a character who’s named Launchpad but acts too stupid and one-note to actually be Launchpad and a character named Mrs. Beakley who lacks any warmth or maternal instincts, is stereotypically British, and instead acts like she’s an undercover agent.
Apparently, a few characters named Donald and Scrooge are referenced (or not), but are nowhere to be found in this episode, even though this episode uses characters from one of the most famous Uncle Scrooge stories and DuckTales episodes ever.
I think I’ve lost any interest I had in watching “Terror.” Hearing Ben Schwartz, Danny Pudi, Bobby Moynihan, and Kate Micucci scream their lines at me for 22 minutes isn’t my idea of a good time. I think I may watch the original “Earth Quack” episode and read the original Barks story instead.
Everyone is blaming the episode order for the wonkiness of the last few DT episodes, but it’s starting to sound more like a lame excuse with each passing week. Maybe I’ll wait until the entire season has been released to see it how it was meant to be seen. Maybe I’ll resume watching it in a few weeks when I have more than one episode to choose from. Who knows.
DuckTales 2017, a.k.a., “The a Webby Show,” is an ensemble show whose characters never assemble.
What a disappointment this series is turning out to be…
A common Disney PR talking point over the last year has been that the original DuckTales series never did anything with Webby. It’s not true, of course, but that hasn’t stopped said talking point from being parroted all over the media.
It’s quite possible the new series is doing too much with her.
Frank Angones says the scheduling of the episodes has been wonky, especially in light of the production order. I can believe this, but the last three episodes, while enjoyable, have been frustrating.
Scrooge has not really seemed like Scrooge and has been barely there. In fact, he seems downright delinquent as a businessman and an uncle. This is not the aggressive, Type-A Scrooge who’s been that way across many iterations since Barks first created him. No wonder The Vultures keep complaining about declining profits. They’re actually correct!
The Scrooge of old wouldn’t have had to be told this! He would have been in his Worry Room hashing out a solution. Also: Since when has Scrooge allowed other people to make decisions for him? If he liked Lil’ Bulb, he would authorize its development, The Vultures be damned!
Donald is hardly around. Oh, sure, he battled the Beagle Boys in “Day Trip of Doom!” But…since then?
Launchpad has yet to come off as the complex character he was in DT ‘87. So far, this LP has been incredibly one-note and lacks the charm of Terry McGovern’s LP. And he’s barely there.
The new voice of the Beagle Boys, Eric Bauza, makes them all sound alike or have only passing variations on that same voice. Chuck McCann went out of his way to distinguish between the Beagles and their voices. Their voices were fun, too. The new voices are just…gruff.
We can’t have the original Burger and his love of food because that’s fat-shaming, but we can have the Ugly Failures?
Don’t get me wrong. I like the series and have enjoyed many parts of it (Ma Beagle most of all; the Glam Yankees; Beakley and Donald’s interaction; madcap genius Gyro; Quackfaster).
But look back at the first syndicated episode of the original series, “Send in the Clones.” Not only did that ep juggle a huge ensemble, but it gave them all significant beats to play. In fact, look at the following four episodes from that first week of DT (“Sphinx for the Memories,” “Where No Duck Has Gone Before,” “Armstrong,” “Robot Robbers”). All ensemble adventure pieces. All with Scrooge at the forefront of the action. All with major character beats for the core cast.
So far, DT 2017 feels tonally disjointed and adrift. In many ways, it’s starting to feel like Quack Pack 2.0 (with Webby; lots and lots of Webby).
And I can’t help but wonder if the decision to make HD&L so distinct hasn’t damaged a core element of DuckTales and the Duck Family as a whole. With the boys being so distinct, it seems we’ve lost the endearing rapport they had and are supposed to have with both Scrooge and Donald…
Della and Donald
Love all of the Della and Donald fan art that’s popping up around the Internet…
There was a big push overall to make Scrooge seem more dangerous/risky, to make you really wonder whether Scrooge or Donald’s parenting styles were right. It was important that Scrooge still have an adventurous life on the fringes of his business. That was reflected in our versions of Beakley and Webby. Part of that was making Scrooge’s business and his associates a little more out there: the payoff of new Gyro’s inventions could be amazing but it’s also fraught with peril. Also, in service of story, this version of Gyro creates more conflict that we can build stories off of.
In terms of how we approached the update, we looked at all of Gyro’s inventions in the original series and how a STAGGERING number of them turned evil and posed some kind of threat. Pretty much only Gizmoduck worked out, because he had Fenton’s good heart powering him.
So we wanted to put Gyro in the same position Scrooge was in the pilot: with the McDuck Enterprises board breathing down his neck and calling all of his ideas “too dangerous”. Gyro ultimately relates to machines more than he does people, and believes each of his inventions are his children, which you can see when he tries to talk Big Bulb down. This is a Gyro who has already built a BUNCH of things that already went evil, but defend them and legitimately believes half his inventions are wildly misunderstood. He reserves his vitriol for those who stand in the way of his work. Gyro has the same passion for inventing that Scrooge has for discovery.
That felt more in keeping with the tone of our show than Gyro being apologetic when an invention went haywire. We have a lot of love for original, kind-hearted, absent-minded Gyro (who, in the comics, COULD go pretty dark or deadpan when an invention went awry). But there are a bunch of other characters coming up whose personalities also fill that roll (Von Drake among them). So for the sake of stories, we pushed Gyro a little out of his typical comfort zone.
Also, because we got Jim Rash, and Jim Rash is AMAZING when he’s going over the top. On more than one occasion, I have referred to him as our show’s secret superweapon.
Updated DuckTales schedule
- “The Beagle Birthday Massacre!” September 30, 2017
- “Escape To; From Atlantis!” October 3, 2017
- “The Tunnel of Terra (firmians)!” October 7, 2017
- “The Infernal Internship of Mark Beaks!” October 14, 2017
- “The House of the Lucky Gander!” October 21, 2017
- “The Living Mummies of Toth-Ra!” October 28, 2017
((Wait they’re going to Atlantis AGAIN?!?))
There’s not a single episode in this batch that doesn’t intrigue me. Looking forward to going to Terry Fermy again. “Earth Quack” (the TV episode) and “Land Beneath the Ground!” (the Carl Barks story) are among my favorite duck tales…
Thirty years ago today (September 18, 2017), a made-for-TV-movie unlike anything else on the air at the time debuted in syndication: Disney’s DuckTales – “The Treasure of the Golden Suns.”
Of course, this made-for-TV movie was really a five-part serial that was edited down for primetime in advance of DuckTales’ official Monday, September 21, 1987, afternoon debut (with the episode “Send in the Clones”). “The Treasure of the Golden Suns” wouldn’t actually be seen in its five-part entirety until the week of November 9 to November 13, 1987.
In fact, that’s the only way “The Treasure of the Golden Suns” has been seen by most DuckTales fans. The TV movie cut has long been lost…or so most of us thought.
Thanks to an anonymous uploader over at archive.org–an anonymous uploader who had the foresight to not only videotape “Treasure” but to also keep that VHS tape for the better part of 30 years and then had the presence of mind to upload it to the Internet–we can now watch “Treasure” as it was originally seen exactly three decades ago.
As many of us who recorded stuff in those pre-DVD days were wont to do, a lot of clutter was on this person’s videotape. You’ll want to go to the file labeled “VTS 01 2″ and skip ahead to roughly the 26:00 mark. “Treasure” is then continued in “VTS 01 3.”
I was hoping to edit these files down and make them available on YouTube, but the Gods of the Copyright Violation have no blind spots for Fair Use (or for a 30-year-old videotape apparently!).
And here’s a hint: If you go on an archive.org scavenger hunt, there are a few other DT rubles to be found.
(But shhhhhhhh!!! Don’t tell Disney!)
Step right up and
Come on in
Here’s where the fun begins
This November The Disney Afternoon Mystery Minis Collection
I’m still overwhelmed by all of this Disney Afternoon nostalgia! I’m used to being on the fringes of mainstream Disney fandom.
Of course, I’m not complaining and will buy all of these…
Hey, I liked that earlier video with Duckworth so much, here’s another one. Actually, this may be among the character’s top 10 moments from the original series. It’s definitely from a great episode, “Duckworth’s Revolt,” and the social justice warrior in me loves that a so-called kids’ show took the time to give a succinct dissertation on civil rights!
Oh, and can we say it enough? All hail the great Chuck McCann!