Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Duck Tales, all about family

I was just young enough to have watched the original Duck Tales. By the time most of the Disney Afternoon came out, I was too busy to watch those shows. (A dear friend of mine has said that DVR fixed television and he's right.)

At the time, I didn't know who Carl Barks or Don Rosa were. I didn't know the rich heritage of comic books cartoon was drawing from. But I really liked it and it helped shape my idea of who Uncle Scrooge and the three nephews were.

To be honest, I have yet to really read the Duck comic books but I now have a much better idea of what they are like. And Donald Duck, with his short fuse and his determination, has become my favorite Disney character.

So, when I heard a new version of Duck Tales was coming out, I was interested, and when I heard that David Tenant, who was my favorite new Doctor, would be Scrooge, I was excited. 

I've now watched the pilot/first episode.

I think when you reimagine a property, it's dangerous to be too slavishly close to the original work and I also think it's dangerous to disrespect the original work. It's important to get a new audience but to also remember why the original work had an audience in the first place.

Let's face it, the core concept of Duck Tales is a family that adventures together. The new show pushes that idea even further into forefront. Well, at least in the first story. But there are signs that they are going to keep that up.

Famously, Roy Disney didn't want any of the big names (Mickey, Goofy, etc) to be in TV cartoons. (Obviously, that didn't last long) But that did mean Donald was limited to a couple appearances and his role was taken by his polar opposite, Launchpad McQuack.

The reimagining has Donald a main character and it looks like both his relationship with his uncle and with his nephews are his defining characteristic. He still has a hair trigger temper, the worst luck imaginable and the stoppable determination. But instead of pairing his fierce love for his nephews with a desire to murder the little brats, he's a total helicopter parent.





At the end of the first story, we have a wham line of Dewie realizing that his mom also adventures with Uncle Scrooge. This is after we have learned that Donald has raised his nephews since they were in diapers and he has an old grudge against Uncle Scrooge. 

It's pretty obvious something happened to her under Scrooge's watch. Which also explains why Donald is so overprotective of the nephews. 

Thats a lot of heavy drama.

The original Duck Tales helped reshape the TV cartoon landscape but the world of cartoons has changed over twenty years. Fortunately, it looks like Disney has considered those changes in the reimaging. 

I was thrilled to get more David Tennant but now I'm looking forward to the actual tales of the new Duck Tales.

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