You know, I can't get over how good DuckTales is. It's clever, funny, beautiful and well-animated. The voice actors are fantastic (Tennant is Scrooge! Lin-Manuel Miranda is Gizmoduck!).
You know, I tried watching the old one, just to have something to compare to, and it's shocking how bad it is compared to the new one (I needed several days to get through the first episode). Some examples:
- Donald Duck still has the "duck voice", but he's the only one with it, and I won't spoil it but it's more of a gag nobody acknowledges. The old ducktales has everyone with voice quirks and it is just irritating to listen to.
- In the remake, the triplets have three proper very distinct personalities. They dress differently, have different voices, behave differently.
- Scrooge really is a miser in the old series, in a "how did this guy ever become a billionaire" way (I'll walk for four hours instead of spending $10 on a taxi my time is worth zero yaaay). The new one has him be a penny-pincher, but he actually has some business sense. Hell, there's quite a few jokes at the expense of silicon valley… which I will not spoil.
- The 2017 Gyro Gearloose is kind of a dick, and it's great! The "mad scientist with dubious intent" angle is a pretty cool addition to the cast.
I've thoroughly enjoyed my first watch-through, and I'm really enjoying leaving it running in the background to rewatch it. Highly recommended as an "adult" kids show. It is 100% on the same level as Gravity Falls.
I'm actually a fan of the old animated series, and the Donald Duck comics in general. I had a weekly subscription to the national comic book, I always got the latest "pocket" comic collections whenever they came out, and I still have a collection of the re-issues of the old Don Rosa comics at my parents' place. So I went into the new series with some expectations.
I'd been watching this on and off wherever I could, and mostly clips at that. But I agree with what you've said: the new series is really, really, good. Especially in how it both manages to re-use old concepts and characters from the animated Donald Duck universe, but also update and modernize them. There definitely seem to be some references to the old Don Rosa timeline which the original series omitted (reasonably, the timeline isn't necessarily the easiest to work with) but there's plenty of novel ideas that really build on the original character concepts without fundamentally changing who they are as people.
I like this change a lot, in the comics the triplets functionally being the same character in three bodies kind of works, same with the Beagle Boys, but in the animated series I always felt it was a shame they weren't given more breathing room to develop, with only Webby to serve as a kind of foil. There's times where I feel the new animated series goes a little far, especially in how much Dewey seems to diverge from his brothers sometimes, but for the purposes of the narrative I suppose it's justifiable.
All that said, there is one thing that bothers me, but I need to go into spoiler territory for that:
spoilersI'm not actually very keen on Della Duck. Her dialogue and VA are great, and her character isn't out of step with the rest of the cast. But Donald and the Nephews being a slightly dysfunctional family due Donald's bad luck and temperament, and the nephew's having to be more self-reliant and competent as a result, is kind of core to their characters. Introducing this hyper-competent, kick-ass, mom/sister character is a little disruptive, maybe in a good way, but it kind of moves them out of the more reified/archetypal characterizations they have and into becoming detached, different characters, and that's a little dicey when the premise of your show still relies heavily on people understanding who these characters are meant to be from the get-go.
A lot of Disney characters exist in a kind of weird limbo, where they're not really allowed to grow as individuals too much lest that destroy the justification for them appearing and reappearing in new adventures all the time. Ducktales moving past that and allowing these characters to grow could be an interesting direction, but it could also make it more confusing to then see these same characters completely abandon that same growth and narrative resolution in other properties.
Hah, if you were francophone I'd offer you some of the older issues I have of a bunch of the various comic books.
I think I know what you're talking about (the S1 storyline which he "keeps to himself"?) and I agree that felt out of character and I barely knew the character by that point! I think it did give the series the opportunity to develop that storyline while also developing the triplets individually rather than always have them stick around as a group. But other than that I like their whole group dynamic.
Reply to your spoilers
So, yeah, similar thoughts on Della.
I went into the series knowing/remembering very little about the family, and the mom is clearly introduced as a very mysterious character which has disappeared, is presumed dead, etc. I found the whole 'oh she's just on the moon' thing kinda lame, and the fact she comes back and very quickly becomes part of the group is jarring.
She fits in, but it feels like she doesn't fit the story, right?
Then again, trying to remember that this is a kid's show: Donald is clearly the father figure, and he is absent from most episodes. Scrooge is too distant from the kids to play that role. These kids are essentially orphans and it's really good to have their mom be part of the show. Hell even Webby doesn't have parents, she only has her grandmother.
I don't love Della's character; I think I would like it more had she been part of the gang from the start…
… but then again, the fact we can get this nuanced about it really speaks to the quality of the show.
The Don Rosa timeline didn't exist during the time of the original series, so yeah, probably a reasonable omission ;)
Oh yeah, that's true. Rosa was in the 90s... How'd I get that mixed up?
Has anybody read any of the latest IDW run of the Ducktales comic books? The one that is based on the 2017 show? I am thinking about buying a few of the trade paperbacks for my 6yo, who is super into the show right now, but I don't know if they are any good.
Found a couple on Kindle Unlimited, and they're fun. Lots of the characters doing things, shenanigans are had. Never really got into the originals, so I don't really have a reference for this over that, but depending on the kid, they may be into it.
Thanks! He's really into the show and he's a good reader, so I have a feeling he would really get a kick out of them.
One thing, as early as Volume One features Della, Donald and Scrooge on their own adventures, so if he hasn't run into any episodes with her, it may be a little bit weird.
Thanks for the heads-up. He's watched the two seasons that are on Disney+ a couple of times already and I think she shows up in season 2, so I don't think it shouldn't be a problem.
My kids are currently obsessed with this show (and The Three Caballeros), so I've been catching a good bit of it just in the background. I've been really surprised by how good it is. They've also watched the older show some, and we watched the movie together, and I think the thing that I am most pleased about in the remake is that Webby is an actual character and not such a baby-talking moron.
I hadn't even heard of this new version before today. Was this your first exposure to the old series? I remember it being something I could tolerate watching well into my cynical teens... possibly they might have needed a few episodes to hit their stride, as many cartoons seem to. Maybe try the second and third seasons and see if they land any different.
First exposure to it indeed. Given how much people have praised the old one I'm tempted to keep watching it. It's "more tolerable" in the sense that the new ducktales revived my interest to figure out all the easter eggs but the hunt is still painful, especially when you have such a good series to compare it to.
I've been catching up on this a bit myself lately, too. I'm really cheesed that Disney+ screwed up the episode order. They also chopped up the first episode into two, and gave episodes different names in different markets. It makes watching the series in the creators' intended order rather complicated. Not a huge deal for a show like this, but there are some story arcs and it's just disrespectful to the people who poured their hearts into making it.
On the one hand I'm mad at Disney+ for screwing up the episode order.
On the other hand this gives me a reason to rewatch the whole thing.
Better get to work!
I'm glad to hear it is good. Honestly I was about to cancel Disney+ until you reminded me I still haven't seen it.
That being said, I have managed to get a few episodes in and the writing is pretty spot-on. They are particularly good at maintaining a running gag. The only thing I don't really like is the character art. They don't seem to fit well with the background no matter how well they are mixed into it.
Really? That's surprising. I find the art and animation to be one of its strongest points. It has that perfect "animated comic book" feel to me.
The intro is actually where this shows the most, as it's a beautiful homage to the comic books.
Well, maybe it has that "feel", but it doesn't look like comics at all. Comic characters are made of round shapes, the characters in this show are made of rectangles.
On Mark Beaks
Is it possible for the new guy to be the best member of the rogues gallery? I love his above-it-all agent of chaos and disruption persona, and that under that he can get super pissy if he actually loses something he wants. Really nice combination of traits, and I would like him to see him doing proper schemes in the future, rather than just being an antagonist.
Also, the Webby, Lena, and Violet triad are a good add to the show dynamics, and to have them interact with the Triplets more or going off to do their own thing would be pretty interesting to see.