I loved this premiere. After the announcement of the voice cast broke the Internet, every 80s and 90s kid who has ever watched cartoons on TV listened attentively. While some aren’t digging the new art style, I find it very intriguing with its hard contours and simultaneous respecting the original, which also permeates in the (incredibly awesome) remade title sequence (which does not spoil the iconic opening credits sequence in the slightest but is a love declaration):
The visualisation of comic panels hints at the fact that the writers are drawing heavily on the comic books about Scrooge McDuck, which is also why Donald plays a bigger role than in the original cartoon series.
Now, after finally seeing the premiere of the reboot series, I am enamored. I find that this might have even improved on the original. Ducktales 87 was never my ultimate favorite cartoon series and maybe some of the improvements have changed what I didn’t like.
I absolutely appreciate that they gave every one of the triplets their distinct identity, turned them into fully fleshed out characters rather than fi gures that only differed in the color of their shirt and the orthographic realisation of the [u]-sound. They even altered their head shapes, clothing and “haircut” and I feel the show benefits from the more distinct Huey, Dewey and Louie, both humor-wise and plot-wise. In addition, it is only timely to update sidekick Webby into an energetic, enthusiastic, asskicking young girl. It will be interesting to see if the characteres develop into different directions.
The premiere episode is pervaded by very little jokes, both visually and dialogue-wise, that can quickly go unnoticed. Furthermore, the plot is full of clever little ideas which had me grin almost constantly. The very talented voice cast fills the characters with life, David Tennant in particular does an amazing job personifying both the grumpy side and the cordial adventurer traits of Scrooge McDuck. Launchpad McQuack is a rather one-note joke, which surprisingly does not fail to achieve laughter every time he appears on screen and they hit what I remember from his old version right on point. We will have to see if this can continue working over the course of a season. One tiny nitpick: Donald Duck was reaaaally hard to understand. That’s all I have to criticize.
If the writers can keep up the high density of jokes and continue embedding this into an interesting story, this will be an absolute success in my book.. I hope that whoever read this and hadn’t liked the art style from the preview will change their mind and give this new version a chance. And who doesn’t like to watch mischievous kids and, more importantly, friends going on adventures?
Title image: © by Disney/Disney XD, taken from their website