This August, an old favorite cartoon of mine is getting a new lease on life. Duck Tales is returning to TV on August 12, and will start on September 23. I thought this would be a good time to introduce the cast. The show was based on comic books created by Carl Barks, who originally created Donald Duck’s nephews while working at Disney’s animation studio. However, he eventually branched out into what he is most famous for–creating comics featuring Donald Duck and his family. All the characters live in the town of Duckburg.
- Scrooge McDuck–The hero and richest duck in Duckburg, and worth 3 cubic acres of cash. Don’t let that fool you into thinking he has no scruples. As he put it, “I made my fortune by being smarter than the smarties and tougher than the toughies. And I deserve practically every pony because I made it square!
- Donald Duck–Donald seemed as though he could steal the spotlight from his uncle. The writers got around this in the original version by having him join the Navy. He still showed up occasionally because the writers felt they couldn’t have him out of the show entirely. The new version seems to have averted this, which I like. I never liked him spending so much time in the Navy. It made him seem like a bad guardian dumping his nephews on Uncle Scrooge, especially when originally the nephews were dumped on him by his own sister.
- Huey, Dewey, and Louie–While still as mischievous as ever, Donald’s nephews were more like how they were in the comics–exceptionally clever, but still acting like kids. The original cartoon even used Carl Barks’ parody of the Boy Scouts of America, the Junior Woodchucks, which the nephews are members of.
- Mrs. Beakley–The nephews’ nanny. Scrooge employed her because he didn’t want to endanger the nephews by always taking them wherever he went (not that that ever stopped them from tagging along anyway). Don’t let her age fool you. She can lay down the law when she has to.
- Webby Vanderquack–Mrs. Beakley’s granddaughter. She’s nearly as mischievous as the nephews. She’s meant to be an amalgam of Daisy Duck’s nieces April, May, and June. (Don’t remember them? Don’t worry, I didn’t either until I did my research for this post.)
- Launchpad McQuack–Like Mrs. Beakley and her granddaughter, Launchpad was created originally for the show. This was their way of getting around having Donald Duck in the show. But unlike most replacement characters, Launchpad became so popular he eventually found his way into another Disney cartoon as a sidekick to St. Canard’s crimefighter, Darkwing Duck. In Duck Tales, he’s Scrooge’s pilot, despite constantly crashing any plane he pilots.
- Gyro Gearloose–an eccentric inventor who’s occasionally helped by a robot with a lightbulb for a head. (it communicates by Morse Code) His inventions don’t always work, or if they do work, it’s often not in the way they’re intended to.
- Duckworth–Scrooge’s no-nonsense butler.
- Fenton Crackshell/Gizmoduck–Fenton Crackshell is Scrooge’s accountant and a superhero. His armor was invented by Gyro and is activated by the code words “blathering blatherskeit!” Unfortunately, he never did learn how to operate his armor properly.
- Flintheart Glomgold–Scrooge’s unscrupulous rival. Glomgold is what Scrooge would be if he didn’t have morals. He’ll use every dirty trick in the book, and even some of his own.
- The Beagle Boys–A family of criminals that deals in any petty crime they can.
- Magica De Spell–A witch who wants to obtain Scrooge’s first dime he ever made for its magical properties. If the dime is gone, Scrooge’s businesses start failing.
Here’s hoping the new series is every bit as good as the original. I mean, David Tennant is Scrooge, so they’ve already sold me.