The DuckTales gang is heading back to television courtesy of Disney XD, and it won't just be old favorites returning for the big reunion.
That's not to say it won't be full of beloved characters like Huey, Dewey, Louie, Gizmoduck, and more, as it absolutely will. Disney is adding some new blood to the mix while also breaking the show down into its core components. Throw some modern humor in there and you have a mix worth celebrating. At least, that's the hope.
Executive producers, Francisco Angones and Matt Youngberg spoke to EW about the show's basic premise, and how they're bringing that into modern day.
The show's already secured a season two, which is no small feat these days.
“Fans around the world are eager and we’re looking forward to introducing viewers to the all-new DuckTales,” said Marc Buhaj, Senior Vice President, Programming and General Manager, Disney XD. “This early season two order is a testament to the quality work the creative team, led by Matt [Youngberg] and Frank [Angones], and the cast are delivering.”
The cast of characters on display are more colorful than ever, led by Scrooge McDuck. McDuck will be brought to life by David Tennant, but the rest of the cast is no slouch either. Featuring the likes of Tony Anselmo, Paul. F Tompkins, Allison Janney, and Josh Brener, the cast is loaded, and you can get to know the new DuckTales roster in the following slides.
While Donald Duck has always played an important part in DuckTales (he is the boy's father after all), he was never a prominent figure in the individual episodes themselves. Expecdt that to change in the reboot.
Donald will be a main character this time around, and not just when the boys are concerned, but also in comparisons to Scrooge McDuck.
“He’s been a single parent obsessively taking care of the boys, and he’s a little bit overprotective and doesn’t want to take a lot of risks, whereas so much of Scrooge’s success is based on the fact that he’s willing to take risks,” says Angones.
Part of the unfolding story will pertain to what caused Donald and Scrooge's falling out.
“In our world, about 10 years ago, Scrooge and Donald used to go on these big, crazy, rip-roaring adventures, and then they stopped talking to each other, to the point where when we start our show, Huey, Dewey, and Louie don’t even know that the richest duck in the world and this legendary explorer is their great uncle.”
Donald might be living in Scrooge's house, but he still has his pride. That's why he brought his houseboat with him...which resides in Scrooge's pool. Yeah, it's a sore subject, so best not to talk about it.
The rambunctious nephews of Scrooge McDuck will be brought to life by Danny Pudi (Huey), Ben Schwartz (Dewey), and Bobby Moynihan (Louie), guaranteeing some comedic moments.
Executive producer Matt Youngberg saw a chance to define the nephews a bit more by their sibling standing.
“Since everyone always says ‘Huey, Dewey, and Louie’ in that exact order, we decided to make that the birth order, and by defining that, we were able to assign traits that fit. So, Huey’s the oldest, a little more responsible, a little bit brainy. Dewey wants to stand out, and wants to break out of being labeled as just one of a set of three. And Louie is happy being the youngest child — he can slip under the radar.”
The nephews will also have their sibling to deal with in Little Webby, played by Kate Micucci. Get ready for a much bigger role for Webby this time around, as Youngberg says she has “a stronger and more unique voice than she ever had before.”
Co-producer Francisco Angones adds, “We almost never say ‘the nephews’ or ‘the boys’ — she’s a crucial part of the adventuring team, and they really are this big, weird family. If Huey has Scrooge’s brains, Dewey has Scrooge’s guts, and Louie has Scrooge’s love of treasure, Webby has Scrooge’s heart.”
Donald might not be too fond of Scrooge these days, but he certainly likes him more than Gladstone Gander.
It helps to find common ground on something, and Angones says Gladstone provides just that.
“The great thing about Gladstone is that since Donald is fundamentally unlucky, Gladstone is supernaturally lucky, and so Scrooge and Donald can both agree that they hate Gladstone because he does nothing and gets everything.”
The vocal stylings of Paul F. Tompkins should go a long way in presenting Gladstone as a worthwhile nemesis to Donald and Scrooge.
The lovable Gyro Gearloose is still Scrooge's go to man for gadgets and scientific expertise, but now he just does so in a more stylish way.
The character will be played by Community's Jim Rash, and won't deviate too far from the character's original vision. He's a bit all over the place, always overcome with outlandish ideas that only he could create.
Rash will be playing opposite Lin-Manuel Miranda, who will be playing his assistant Fenton. Fenton gets Gearloose everything he needs during the day, only to go out at night as the hero Gizmoduck, putting all of that science know-how to good use.
Seeing the two play off each other should be quite a treat.
The delightful Goldie O'Gilt will be making a return to the DuckTales fold as Scrooge's on and off again love interest and partner.
Their mutual love of adventure will form a substantial part of their bond.
“In our adaptation, Scrooge is more of an adventure junkie than a gold addict, so we kept saying, ‘Well, if Scrooge is like Batman, then Goldie should be like Catwoman,’” says Angones. “She’s equally adventurous, every bit Scrooge’s equal, and he hates and loves that. They have this amazingly contentious relationship that’s been going on ages and ages, spanning back to the Gold Rush days.”
O'Gilt will be brought to life by the talented Allison Janey, and Scrooge actor David Tennant could not have been happier. He heard us play a line she had recorded and he said, ‘That’s C.J. Cregg!'”
While Gander will be a focal point because of his status and influence, Scrooge, Donald, and the rest of the family will also have the machinations of the Beagle family to deal with.
The matriarch of the family, Ma Beagle, will be played by Margo Martindale. The rest of the family, known as the Beagle Boys, will be brought to life by Eric Bauza. The most notable thing this time around is that the Beagle family actually takes after their namesake, having dog-like features.
Another one of Scrooge McDuck's rivals will be Flintheart Glomgold, played by the talented Keith Ferguson.
He aims to be Scrooge's superior in every way, even changing his appearance and background to surpass him.
“this kind of go-go ‘80s billionaire who made all his money from branding and getting his face on every storefront.” Angones says, “Glomgold is bigger, faster, and cheaper. An in-joke we had for him was that originally in the comics, he was South African, and then they made him Scottish in [the original] DuckTales, so we really leaned into that and decided that when Glomgold saw that Scrooge was a Scottish billionaire, he decided to be the cheap knock-off. More Scottish and even richer.”
The other wealthy ducks in the city will have a new billionaire to contend with in the DuckTales reboot, courtesy of Mark Beaks.
Beaks will be voiced by Josh Brener), and brings a more modern billionaire into the mix.
“We had a bunch of old money billionaires — Scrooge is the oldest money, this billionaire of the industrial revolution, and we have Glomgold — so we included somebody who’s representative of today’s billionaires, which is the tech industry billionaire,” says Youngberg. “Mark Beaks doesn’t care as much about money as he cares about status and being buzzworthy and how many followers he has.”
Angones adds, “Josh Brener was so incredibly on all the time, selling and pitching. He’s a character who’s so broad and over the top, you love to be annoyed by him.”
The series is executive-produced by Matt Youngberg with Francisco Angones serving as co-producer/story editor. David Tennant stars as Scrooge McDuck; Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz and Bobby Moynihan as the voices of Huey, Dewey and Louie, respectively; Kate Micucci as Webby Vanderquack; Beck Bennett as Launchpad McQuack and Toks Olagundoye as Mrs. Beakley. Lin-Manuel Miranda will also star as Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera.
DuckTales followed Donald Duck's rich tycoon uncle, Scrooge McDuck, on adventures and treasure hunts across the globe. Aiding Scrooge was dopey pilot Launchpad McQuack, and Donald's nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Webbigail Vanderquack, the daughter of Scrooge's maid, was added along the way and will be a series regular in the rebooted version. Based on teaser art (seen below), it seems likely Donald Duck will be a more significant presence in the new version of DuckTales than he was in the original
DuckTales will premiere in the summer of 2017 on Disney XD.