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DuckTales (2017) : Woo-Ooo [Season Premiere]


DuckTales (2017) premiered its first episodes on August 12th, 2017.  It's a reboot of the original DuckTales which aired on the Disney Channel from 1987-1990, and ran for 4 seasons.  It followed the exploits of the richest duck in Duckburg, Scrooge McDuck and his great-nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

The animation for the reboot is different than the original.  DuckTales (1990) had a bright, adorable look with giant eyes, squat, eggplant shaped bodies, and vibrant colors.  Everything was colorful. The reboot has a similar design sense but has a grittier sensibility.  A strong use of blacks, the pallet is more muted, and the character designs are less round, curved, and have sharper edges and bolder lines.  The movements are also snappier and faster, whereas the 90's DuckTales was a bit more down to earth and realistic, in a way.  If that makes sense?

The premier is made up of two episodes, that run for 44 minutes.  So about 22 minutes each. Episode 1 introduces us to Uncle Scrooge, the boys, Donald Duck, Launchpad McQuack, Mrs. Beakly, and Webby.  The 2nd episode, or episode 1.2, continues the adventure, this time introducing with long time villain, Flintheart Glomgold.

I was a huge fan of the 90's Ducktales.  I was a Disney afternoon kid, and religiously watched DuckTales along with Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, and my all time favorite, the terror that flaps in the night, Darkwing Duck!  So when the reboot was announced, I was skeptical but excited.

First off, the Easter eggs had me squealing!  What really got me excited was the mention of St. Canard, which is, for those who don't know, the city where Darkwing Duck takes place. Webby also mentions Ma Beagle and Glomgold in the first episode, which are two pivotal enemies in the DuckTales universe.



The new voice acting is on point!  I was wary, especially about the nephews, about having new voices, but they work and they fit.  I like that it gives the three of them unique personalities, while staying true to their original counterparts, in that they still have a sameness to them, and even sound similar as well.  If that makes sense?  Donald still sounds like Donald and that's awesome!  If they would have changed his voice that would have been a bit jarring and would have reminded me of that old Disney short where he takes a pill and talks normally, becomes a famous singer, dumps Daisy, and then Daisy tries her hardest to ruin his career.

Webby is adorable.  I like her new design and the fact that she isn't just a doll-holding background element.  Don't get me wrong I adore the original Webby, but this change is still pretty cool.  It's really neat to see her adventuring with the nephews.  I can't tell that it's Kate Micucci voicing her, and I really would have liked if she just used her normal voice, which would have sent the adorable through the roof!  Although, I'm not sure if I like Webby going all kung-fu, which seems a bit over the top, since she's already an explosive personality.  It feels like a bit much.

Scrooge has an interesting, adventuring background, which I thought was a nice touch.  In this version, he's way past his prime, and his finances seem to have taken a drastic turn.  He's still the richest duck, but there seems to be a struggle going on, made clear by his gold vault being more than halfway empty.  I enjoyed his character arc with the boys, and when he finally dives into the money? That's what I was waiting for!  And the plus is that Scrooge is voiced by the 10th Doctor, David Tennant, so how can you go wrong?

The boys first sight of Uncle Scrooge was funny and absolutely adorable.  It was the first time I smiled during the whole episode.  There's a lot of sight gags, more so than in the original show.  It adds a strange quirky charm, and for the most part I smiled and had a lot of ha ha moments.

By far, my favorite thing about this reboot is Flintheart freaking Glomgold!  He's no longer the serious, grumpy Glomgold he was in the old show.  I hated him, back then.  He's now a quirky, stout duck that has a lot more life and energy.  There's a part where he starts cheering for himself, “Glomgold!  Glomgold!” and I just smiled.  Glomgold is bad and he embraces it, embodies it, and it's fun and infectious!  I'm really interested to see how they portray Magica De Spell and the rest of the old baddies?


Now, while I love the premiere overall, there were a few things I had an issue with.  Firstly, the seagull intro had nice camera work, but it was several seconds of a character that didn't matter?  It just felt like an odd way to begin, seeing as how (I think) we'll never ever see that seagull again, and I doubt it will be of any significance later on.  I would have preferred for it to start right on Donald's boat.

Some of the gags are funny, and like I said they're pretty frequent and over the top.  And while I did laugh every now and again, there were a lot that I just didn't find funny.  I wasn't sure if I was supposed to laugh or not?  I just found them odd.  A few instances were when Donald gets slapped by his uniform or when the ironing board came out and smacked him in the head.

I'm all right with the new vocal ensemble in general, but Launchpad's voice still doesn't feel right. It'll definitely take some time to get used to.  As I said I was a huge fan of the original DuckTales, and I think nostalgia may have biased my opinion.  But personally, it seems off. The gags for his character were also my least favorite moments.  He seems more boneheaded in this version.  While the original Launchpad was a bit thick, he also had a caring side that belied his idiocy which I found endearing.  I don't feel that with this new incarnation.

The same goes for Mrs. Beakly.  There's a moment when Uncle Scrooge asks her to write something down, and she throws the pen into the wall because she's not his secretary.  She's like a military officer: tough as nails and doesn't take any gruff from anyone.  Which in and of itself isn't bad, but I never associated any of that with Mrs. Beakley.  I know it's a reboot, but while the other characters at least feel like they use to, she is a total revamp.  I don't like it, making her and Launchpad my least favorite characters in the reboot.  Oh, and on an off topic note, it's Mrs. BEAKley?  I always thought it was Mrs. BEAGley.  Kind of like Ducksworth wasn't a duck but a dog?  So I thought it was an inverse for Mrs. Beagley, since she is a duck.  But Beakley totally makes more sense, though.

The DuckTales 2017 reboot has a lot of charm.  It feels the same, but with a super charged sense of action, adventure and modern design injected into the old formula.  I have a few gripes, like Launchpad and Mrs. Beakley, but overall I really enjoyed the new direction.  I'm interested to see where this show goes, and I'm looking forward to seeing these characters grow and mature over time.


FORMATS TV
FROM  Disney XD
RATING N/A
RUNNING
TIME
44m







If you missed the premiere, Disney has posted the full episode to Disney XD Youtube channel, if you'd like to give it a look. (US only)



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