DuckTales is back! The show first premiered in 1987, and ran until 1990 – many grew up watching the show, and, yes, it really was as great as we remember. Now DuckTales has retuned, with an all-new voice cast including David Tennant as Scrooge McDuck, and the show is quickly becoming a firm household favorite once again. But is the all-new DuckTales a reboot, sequel, or something completely different?
What’s Stayed the Same?
Thankfully, the core group of characters has remained the same, albeit with new additions (more on that in a moment). So Scrooge McDuck is still in charge of his young nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Donald is also back, as is Webby, and Mrs. Beakley, Scrooge’s maid. Some old fan-favorites will be coming back, too, including Darkwing Duck, Gizmoduck. Of course, DuckTales wouldn’t be complete without the dedicated and long-suffering Launchpad McDuck. And, as with the original series, each episode essentially comprises Scrooge and his nephews going on some kind of adventure.
Another element that’s remained the same, is the animation style. Though the color palette is far more muted than it used to be, the hand-drawn animation style remains, and that really helps DuckTales to retain its charm. The muted colors work; giving a sense of nostalgia to the show while also delivering something fresh and new. And let’s make this clear; DuckTales 2017 is not a rehash. This is an all-new show, for an all-new audience.
The essence of DuckTales remains the same, and the updates and alterations only serve to make it even more enjoyable. DuckTales is now aimed at an older audience – perfect for kids around aged 10-14. Although, make no mistake, those who grew up with the original can enjoy it just as much. Huey, Dewey and Louie sound older, and have been given their own distinct personalities, something that was lacking in the original show and also an addition that will make for interesting storylines and interactions, going forward. Huey is pragmatic, a good planner. Dewey is a troublemaker, and Louie is an eternal optimist.
Scrooge has also had his personality altered slightly; no longer only obsessed with money, he’s now much more about the adventure, and here’s where the older audience demographic comes in. Some of the duck’s adventures are bolder, more of a risk, than before. The nephews can be, on occasion, quite unkind or mean. It’s all resolved, of course, but the show undoubtedly has more of an edge than it did previously. Again, it works well, especially when you consider the Disney XD demographic.
Donald has been given a much more prominent role in the show, and unlike most of his Disney appearances, he is the voice of reason. To be fair, his reasoning seems to be more of a reminder to the audience not to copy their adventures at home, but still, it’s great to have Donald featuring more regularly. Perhaps the best addition, though, is Webby. While Webby did appear in the original, she was hardly more than a sideline character. Now, she’s feisty, fun, and full of daring. She’s also capable, smart, and very much the young adventurer. While DuckTales has always been enjoyable for kids of any gender, Webby is a great addition for everyone to enjoy and relate to, but especially young girls.
So is DuckTales the same? Yes, but with fantastic differences. Is it worth watching? Absolutely. Oh, and the theme tune is still the same. Woo-oo!
DuckTales airs Saturdays on Disney XD
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