SDCC ’17: Bringing DuckTales To A New Generation

by Hannah Means Shannon

Gary Catig writes:

Classic 80’s cartoon DuckTales is making a comeback as a new rebooted version set to premiere later this summer.   Friday afternoon at SDCC ’17, the Disney XD show held a panel at SDCC to highlight what fans can expect in the new adventures of Scrooge McDuck and his three nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie.

In attendance were executive producer Matt Youngberg and co-producer/story editor Francisco Angones along with a star-studded cast including Daniel Pudi, Ben Schwartz, Kate Micucci, Beck Bennet, Toks Olagundoye, and the main attraction, David Tennant.

The audience was fortunate enough to watch 2 different teasers for the upcoming season.  The first clip was of a road trip, but because this is DuckTales, the crew are riding a submarine and are on their way to find the lost city of Atlantis.  The scene displayed the kind of humor to expect as well as the creative team’s focus on the family dynamic between the characters.

Although the characters go on treasure hunting adventures, they are a family first.  This emphasis on the familial relationships is one way on how the reboot is trying to distinguish itself from the original.  The second clip involved the crew roaming catacombs of a desert temple and come face to face with mummies.

Some of the characters have also have undergone changes in the updated version.  The creative team has made an effort to individualize the triplets of Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and give each their own personality.  For example, each nephew is voiced by a different actor to distinguish between them.  Also, their actual age order has been determined by how they are named.  Huey, played by Pudi, is the eldest, Dewey played by Schwartz is the middle, and Louie played by Bobby Moynihan is the youngest.

There is sibling rivalry that develops between Huey and Dewey while Louie is the more laid back and lazy of the bunch.  Furthermore, the character of Webby Vanderquack, voiced by Micucci, is grouped with the nephews more during their escapades.  She is given a more alpha personality and is described as amped up and a true adventurer.  Finally, Mrs. Beakley, voiced by Olagundoye, is given another dimension to her character.  Not only is she Scrooge’s housekeeper, she also serves as his bodyguard.  She is described as stoic, serious, and physical.

Angones shared some the character development artwork with the audience.  There were old favorites including the Beagle Boys, Gyro Gearloose, Gizmoduck, and Magica De Spell, along with new characters like Mark Beaks.  Beaks is a new villain who is a tech billionaire who will come into conflict with both Scrooge McDuck and Flintheart Glomgold.

The biggest surprise came when images of Darkwing Duck were shown including the main hero and some of his rogues including Megavolt and Quackerjack.  These reveals imply St. Canard’s favorite hero will play a role in the DuckTales series.  During the Q & A, the producers also teased that since Scrooge McDuck is voiced by the tenth doctor, there will be a time traveling episode during the season.

The panel served its purpose by generating buzz and excitement for the new series.  DuckTales will premiere on Disney XD with a one-hour special on August 12, 2017.