Last year, I blogged about the pilot episode of the Duck Tales reboot. Now that season 1 is over, I thought I’d talk about my thoughts so far.
First of all, I really like what they’ve done with the nephews and Webby. Huey, Dewey, and Louie each have their own individual actors. This is important because the writers want us to think of them as individual characters rather than a trio. (In fact, no one is doing voices for more than one character this time around.) Huey is the leader and the planner, the smartest of the three. Dewey is the bravest and most heroic. Louie is a bit on the selfish side and greedy. This is not the first time this has been done (it was also done on Quack Pack, but I feel that wasn’t as successful.), but I think it really works here. Webby has also been changed. I want people to understand something. I never hated Webby like some fans apparently did. (I didn’t even know she was hated) I just thought she was bland. She moved the story along. Maybe bland was a better word for how I felt about her. But now, she’s been changed to an energetic girl who seems to enjoy danger a bit too much. I like this new change, and it makes her much more engaging than the original.
David Tennant is doing great work as Uncle Scrooge. He doesn’t seem all that different from the original portrayal, and that’s good. If it worked before, don’t change it.
Donald Duck is much more a part of the show than he was in the original. I love this idea! I hated that he spent so much time with the Navy in the original Duck Tales. I like him being this overprotective substitute father, as it’s a more favorable portrayal than he usually has with the nephews. They seem to have more respect for him this time, which I like.
Onto the villains. The biggest improvement has to be Catherine Tate as Magica Despell. Magica was a pretty silly villain, but now she seems more serious. Lena, a somewhat new character who is helping her, is a great addition to the cast and I loved her arc with Webby. The Beagle Boys are OK, but maybe season 2 will work a little harder on them. Right now, Flintheart Glomgold isn’t the antagonist he was in the past, but I’m sure that will change. I also like the newest villain in the series, Mark Beaks. He’s like an evil version of Bill Gates (or Steve Jobs), and I love how he’s so hooked on his cell phone while he’s posting about his evil schemes.
For supporting characters, we have Gyro Gearloose and Fenton. Fenton Crackshell was on the original, but he was Scrooge’s accountant. Here, he’s actually Gyro’s assistant, but still Gizmoduck’s alter ego. I also like that he’s not stupid, but clumsy. He doesn’t realize that his eagerness may be misguided. I’m a bit surprised by them making him Hispanic, but I’m not against the idea. I like that his mother has a much thicker accent than he does. Another big change, and perhaps the biggest, is Doofus. On the original Doofus was well, pretty much what you’d expect someone named Doofus to be. Here he’s a selfish boy who treats his parents like they’re servants and kidnaps kids in an attempt to make them his friends. I don’t mind this change because I HATED the original version of the character. Anything that makes him more interesting is an improvement.
Now for what I don’t like. First of all according to Frank Aragones, the episodes were initially broadcast in a different episode from what he intended. I believe that shows should be broadcast in their intended episode. Don’t jump to a later point in the series, even if you’ve just introduced a new character and you don’t want us to forget them. Slow things down. Kids aren’t dumb! I hate that people still think this!
Launchpad is another problem. He was not incompetent in the original, but here he seems that way. I can take his bizarre leaps in logic, but making him idiotic as well isn’t working. I do like his relationship with Dewey, though.
So, what do I want in Season 2? I’ve got bullet points!
- Please do more backstory for the Duck family. I see they’ve actually got a voice actress for Della, the nephews’ mother. I’ve wanted to find out about the nephews’ parents since I was little! Please, more about this!
- I’m definitely looking forward to how they resolve Lena’s fate in the finale. I think it was a good cliffhanger to entice us to keep watching for season 2.
- Continue with the fan service, like the Darkwing Duck cameo and the episodes that referenced Adventures of the Gummi Bears and Talespin. As long as it’s not done in a pandering way, I think it’ll be a great way to attract fans of the original and encourage them to continue their support. From what I’ve heard, most of the fans of the original like the reboot.
- Improve the Beagle Boys. They’re fine now, but they could be way better antagonists.
So, why is this reboot working. Why is stuff like Teen Titans Go and the new Power Puff Girls over on Cartoon Network failing? Because those shows aren’t respecting the fans of the original. They do not build on what worked in the past and instead insult the fans of the original because they’re not the target audience. No! You don’t alienate the fans of the original! You nod to the original, and don’t try to sell yourself as better. To me, those shows are mean-spirited, even if Teen Titans Go is intended to be a parody.
This is a great reboot. Keep up the good work, Disney!