Review: First Episode of The DUCKTALES Revival! Woo-oo!
I'll start out by saying I've never been a huge fan of television series' that anthropomorphize its characters. I've just always thought that people should be people and animals should be animals. You don't mix the two. But Ducktales has always been enjoyable because of its focus on the fun adventures that the characters find themselves in. I was skeptical when I first heard Disney was making a new series, but all my skeptical thoughts disappeared as I watched the first episode/hour long movie that opened the series.
The characters are all so interesting and full. Starting with Huey, Dewey, and Louie, you get a cool feel for them right off the bat. I like that each of these characters are different from each other. They are all troublemakers in their own right, and I was worried that they would change them up so one of them would be the troublemaker, and one would be the goody-goody, and the other would just be whatever. But the classic core of the characters still stands and each are unique in fantastic ways.
Donald Duck is also really intriguing. I'll be honest in saying, I don't remember Donald playing a large role in Ducktales, but in this series, he plays an essential fatherly figure to the boys. He really does care about them, to the point of over protection. It's cool to see Donald fleshed out in this way. I'm used to just seeing him as a figure of anger or pride, but seeing him worried about his nephews and his adventurous background is awesome.
Then there's Webigail, who is such a fun and intriguing character instead of just annoying girl duckling, which is how I viewed her in the original series. Launchpad McQuack had his own role to play, while not large in this episode, still garnered some laughs from me. Even the villain was funny and dark, if not a complete copy of Scrooge but evil.
Quite possibly my favorite of the show is Scrooge. Which is quite a bit different from my view from the original show. This Scrooge is about more than just riches. My feelings towards the original Scrooge McDuck was that he was all about money and would do anything to get more money. His prime directive is cash. Very one dimensional. He was just angry most of the time. David Tenant's Scrooge is about more than just the money, however. He's about the Adventure. That's not to say he doesn't care about the money at all, but we see Scrooge at the beginning being rich and bored with life. It's not until Donald and the boys come around to stir things up, that he starts to be happy again. This is great character work. Scrooge is a fully dimensional character who has a lot of growing to do but at the same time, we get to see right from the first episode the arc he is bound to take in the series.
The first episode was a great starting point. It gives us an idea of who the characters are and how they will be utilized throughout the series. We understand their desires and goals and even how they relate to one another. We get a full on adventure right from the beginning that was reminiscent of Indiana Jones or Johnny Quest. Plus, there are some key plot elements that are sprinkled in that will be built upon throughout the series. One of the big ones coming right at the end, when you see that not only did Donald and Scrooge team up with each other to go adventuring, but there was another female duck, who the boys recognize as their mother. I love when basic cartoons have an underlying plot that gets built upon throughout the series. Mystery Incorporated did a great job of doing this with Scooby Doo. We got episode by episode mysteries with great comedy but also small clues to a larger mystery that is meant to be solved.
The design and art are quite possibly some of the most intelligent work I've seen. It bases itself off of the old school comic design. The kind that started Donald and Scrooge's adventures way way back in the day. I have an old Italian comic book that was the adventures of Donald and Scrooge and the kids, and it feels like an adventure comic with Disney characters. This new show does the same thing. It's not a cartoon, as much as it is a comic book come to life. With shading, and characters, and sets all being drawn and colored with the intent that it's coming off of the pages.
This show has great potential. I couldn't be more excited about the show. Any worry I had melted away as I watched it. The art, characters, and story are all on point. I also quite enjoyed the comedy, and It manages to mix slapstick, sarcasm, and relationship comedy quite well. And not once was there a joke that I groaned at. No fart or poop jokes. Thank goodness. Animated movies could learn a lot from this show. There is even a moment when they stop to use the restroom, but they don't make a joke out of it. RESTRAINT! THANK YOU! You may disagree, but I feel like this is one of the best new cartoons in awhile, which is largely due to its talent and crew who are all very strongly motivated to make the show something they want to be a part of. I can't wait to see what's next. On a scale of danger lurking behind you and race car's, laser's, airplanes, I'd give the new Ducktales series a solid "Woo-oo!"