As a product of the 90s, my introduction to animation came with Disney movies like The Black Cauldron, The Sword in the Stone, and Aladdin, or TV shows like The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Batman: The Animated Series. Notably, Disney animates series such as Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, and of course, DuckTales played a prominent role in my childhood. The increasingly popular remake game continues as DuckTales gets another iteration.
2017’s DuckTales opener, “Woo-oo” stays true to the heart of the original series. That is, a good mix of action, drama, and fun. Donald Duck (Tony Anselmo), the uncle to Huey (Danny Pudi), Louie (Bobby Moynihan), and Dewey (Ben Schwartz), brings the nephews to stay with uncle Scrooge McDuck (David Tennant). The nephew trio, of course, wreaks havoc at McDuck’s mansion. Along the way, Huey, Dewey, and Louie meet Webbigail (Kate Micucci), Mrs. Beakley’s (Toks Olagundoye) granddaughter. Beakley is the housekeeper. Also returning for the series is Launchpad (Beck Bennett).
“Woo-oo” feels like two distinct episodes. In the first half, there’s a lot of set up introducing characters and personalities, as well as shaping the show’s direction. Each of the nephews gets a distinct personality: Huey as the responsible one, Louie the troublemaker, and Dewey the emotional member of the pack. I like this aspect, and from the get go Huey, Dewey, and Louie is their own individual ducks.
Voice acting is superb. Tennant shines of course, and Moynihan is excellent as Louie. Across the board, it’s a well-acted series. However, Donald Duck is a bit tough to understand. That’s no knock on Anselmo because Donald Duck is traditionally difficult to hear. Still, it’s worth noting that his lines are pretty muddled.
Fittingly considering its status as a reboot, DuckTales appeals to both older and younger audiences. For the kiddos, there are plenty of laughs and tons of adventure. However, it’s also a pretty dramatic show. There’s clearly some sort of storied past between Donald and Scrooge. A few interesting changes: Donald has a bigger role, and there’s a mention of Dewey, Huey, and Louie’s mother. Plus, with throwbacks to Cape Suzette, St. Carnard, and Spoonerville, Darkwing Duck, TaleSpin, and Goof Troop remain in the DuckTales universe.
Ultimately, DuckTales 2017 is totally unnecessary. The original series and spinoff movie are true classics. Still, it’s a fantastic series, and unnecessary doesn’t necessarily mean unwanted. The first entry, “Woo-oo” leaves me excited for the remainder of the series.