Remember that time I got to jump in and swim in Scrooge McDuck’s money bin?! Seriously, so fun. It was to celebrate the new DuckTales show premiering on Disney XD on August 12, 2017. Fun fact, today is my birthday so I kind of feel like they did it to celebrate, just a day later. 😉 The new DuckTales will debut with an hour-long movie on Saturday, August 12 on Disney XD that will be presented for 24 consecutive hours.
That’s right this classic that is coming back. After not speaking to one another for ten years, Scrooge McDuck is reunited with Donald Duck after he and his three nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie move into McDuck Manor. The presence of the newcomers rekindles Scrooge’s spirit of adventure, leading the group to go on many new treasure-hunting expeditions, while the nephews and their new friend Webby uncover the truth behind what caused their uncles to become estranged and retire from adventuring.
Following the premiere, the DuckTales series will begin with two new episodes on Saturday, September 23. The episodes will also be available on the Disney XD app and Disney XD VOD on these dates.
Based on the Emmy Award-winning series treasured by a generation of viewers, the new animated comedy-adventure series chronicles the high-flying adventures of Duckburg’s most famous trillionaire Scrooge McDuck, his mischief-making triplet grandnephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, temperamental nephew Donald Duck and the trusted McDuck Manor team: big-hearted, fearless chauffer/pilot Launchpad McQuack, no-nonsense, housekeeper Mrs. Beakley, and Mrs. Beakley’s granddaughter, Webby Vanderquack, resident adventurer and the triplet’s newfound fierce friend.
While I was in California for #D23Expo, not only did we screen DuckTales, but we got the chance to do a Q&A with Executive Producer Matt Youngberg and Co-Producer/Story Editor Francisco Angones.
We got the scoop on everything you want to know about DuckTales as it makes it way back to our tv screens.
BRINGING BACK A CLASSIC
Matt Youngberg: “I think our, our approach to that was to just present a world, like Frank was saying, present a world that kids understand and know, but without beating you over the head with it. Like, we didn’t want the characteristic of Louie to be, I have an iPad. That’s not his, that’s not his character trait.”
Francisco Angones: “But, if Louie is trying to break into a room, he’s gonna do the same thing that every kid would do, pull out a YouTube video and look up how to do it. We wanted to be conscious of it without really paying too much attention to it. They’re not gonna get stuck in virtual reality.”
Matt Youngberg: “And, and so we, we even rely on the character, the characteristics of the characters kinda tell us how they would live in this world. For example, in the screener Donald has like an iPhone type phone. And then Scrooge has a full gold flip phone, because he hasn’t upgraded in 30 years.”
THE CREATING PROCESS
Matt Youngburg: “We decided early on as we started developing the show. We wanted to make sure it still had a hand drawn feel to it. We wanted to make sure it felt hand crafted. We didn’t wanna go the CG route, because there was a few reasons for that. One was the original series, when it was brought onto the air it was just a bunch of Disney animators making a TV show, and it was like the best.
And it was an amazing, amazingly animated show. And it had the hand-crafted feel that we wanted to retain. But also, as we got into developing the show, we looked at the source material beyond just DuckTales. We looked at the comic books that inspired DuckTales that were made by Carl Barks, and other artists. And, we wanted to be able to harken back to the roots a little bit more. And so, we developed this style, not only in the having it be traditionally animated by hand.
But, also in creating a style for the world that looked like it was inked by, an artist brush. So, that like it looks like comic book pages come to life a little bit. It was really important for us to kind of pay homage to where it came from. And that also to me helps kind of ground it a little bit and make it feel more tangible and real.”
Francisco Angones: “DuckTales has all of these rival wealthy billionaire types that are industrialists, and one of the things we love is, they always upstage one another, who Scrooge’s rivals are for the new age, to keep him relevant. So, in addition to Glomgold, who you saw in the very last scene of this, the cliffhanger for the next episode, who is our, kind of our go-go 80’s billionaire.
Then we also have a new character we’re really excited to introduce called Mark Beaks, and he is our tech billionaire who cares more about buzz than bucks.He’s constantly trying to sell the next big innovation. And he’s the one person that Scrooge and Glomgold hate more than each other.”
STRONG FEMALE LEAD & ROLE MODEL
Francisco Angones: “When it came to Webby, the idea came at it from looking at all these old Cark Barks’ duck family portraits, and they’re all very nice. It was like, well, if Scrooge McDuck, in our version of Scrooge McDuck is the world’s greatest adventurer, he’s not just gonna have a housekeeper. He’s gonna have a housekeeper slash bodyguard, because people are constantly trying to break into his mansion to steal his money and his riches, and do him harm, because he has a very long list of sworn enemies. So, once we figured out that Beakley was the housekeeper, and she kept Webby in the house with her.
This was a girl whose grandmother, the woman who raised her is incredibly skilled at combat, has all this training. She would train her and know that she was in for a lot of danger, ‘cause she’s deflecting Beagle boys every day. She’s also surrounded by all of these artifacts of Scrooge’s life, all of these relics and tones and stuff. And, she’s essentially being built for adventure, but she’s never been allowed outside the house because Scrooge hasn’t been adventuring for a long time. We’ve always wanted to make sure that whatever, whatever we did update, it was based on character and story and situation.”
Matt Youngberg: “It was also really important for us as fathers. Uh. Frank has two daughters, I have three daughters, and, and it was really important to be able to present a female character that they would gravitate towards, and not be a character who was written off as someone who needs to be rescued, who is like, “Ew, a girl.”
Like, we didn’t want that feeling to come across with Webby. We wanted to make sure that she was somebody that kids could relate to, and that’s why we really dug into her character. It’s like, okay, this character who lives this way with these people, how would she really be? And that was really important to us to present a real well-rounded character so that she could go toe to toe with the boys and with Scrooge. She definitely stands up to Scrooge!”
Don’t forget to tune into the first episode of Duck Tales when it premieres of August 12. Also, make sure to check back as I will be sharing more details before the first episode airs. You can also follow along with “Duck Tales” on social media.
DuckTales Premieres August 12 on DisneyXD
#DuckTales | Twitter | Facebook
Make sure to check out all of my #D23Expo posts for the scoop on everything I experienced while I was there!