DuckTales: Matt Youngberg and Frank Angones Talk the Series Finale, What's Next, and Leaving It All on the Floor
03/11/2021 10:57 am EST
Disney's DuckTales is over as of next week. A 90-minute, stuffed-to-the-brim series finale is set to air next week on Monday, March 15th at 7PM ET/4PM PT on Disney XD, and that will be that on the 2017 reincarnation of the classic animated show. Production has officially wrapped on the reboot series, leaving it with 75 total episodes and over 15 shorts to its name. It introduced new characters, new versions of old characters, and really just... constantly strove to include as much as it possibly could. And ahead of the series finale, ComicBook.com had the opportunity once again to speak with executive producer Matt Youngberg and co-executive producer/head writer Frank Angones all about it.
To be clear, the full interview included significant spoilers for the upcoming series finale, but you won't find any of that here. Those questions and answers will be part of their own article after the finale airs, but let's just say: there will be plenty to hear from Angones and Youngberg about, including some incredibly special odds and ends.
It's worth noting that it was announced today that the series finale won't be a total goodbye to these characters. Disney announced an original scripted podcast called This Duckburg Life inspired by the DuckTales series featuring the same voice cast reprising their roles. The seven-part podcast, hosted by Huey Duck for Duckburg Public Radio, is set to debut on March 29th. An initial clip, which you can check out below, has already been released from the first episode.
As noted above, the DuckTales series finale is set to air on Disney XD on Monday, March 15th at 7PM ET/4PM PT. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the popular animated television show right here.
Are you bummed to see DuckTales go? Have you been keeping up with the new episodes? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk about all things animation. And keep reading to check out our full interview with Youngberg and Angones!
On Being Done But Not Yet Dusted
ComicBook.com: First and foremost, congrats on the run, guys. How does it feel to be-
Frank Angones: Thank you.
... done and dusted right now?
Matt Youngberg: Wow. Well, I will say-
FA: It's not done!
MY: ... when it airs, the weight will be off my shoulders, but-
FA: Yeah. Nothing is done and dusted until it's on TV.
MY: Yeah. But having turned it in and it's completed and the finale is in the can, as they say, that feeling alone was like ... It's like crossing a finish line, where you've been working so hard towards this goal, and then you've made it. And all you want to do is collapse for a while. And so, I did, I literally collapsed and fell asleep for 14 hours.
FA: You slept a long time.
MY: I slept a very long time.
FA: You slept a very long time.
MY: And it was great. It felt really great. But again, the feeling of waiting to see it get out into the world, that's the thing that's still kind of like ... Yeah, the anticipation is so high.
On the Reaction to the Show Being Done
Now, the last time we spoke was right before the Darkwing Duck episode. Obviously, since then, word came out that the show was done -- before the official announcement. That had to have inspired some conflicted thoughts and feelings. What did you make to the response to the news, and then the official news?
FA: I mean, we knew, totally, we were done.
MY: It's not a surprise to us. [laughs]
Yeah! No, no, I specifically mean to see the outpouring of support from people and things of that nature, even though you couldn't talk about it.
FA: It's been really nice. I mean, I think the thing that we hoped ... These characters have been around for forever. Some of them are new for our series. Some characterizations are new, some ideas are new. We were hoping that we opened a bunch of storytelling possibilities for these characters and that hopefully some of these characters would stick around in various forms, either in other projects or continuations of this project, 30 years from now or at the very least, in the hearts and minds of the fans that love the show and the kids that love the show.
To see people loving characters like Della so much and, and Webby, and our versions of Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and side characters, like our versions of Darkwing and Gosalyn and Penumbra and seeing how much our iteration of Donald and just seeing how much those characters really have made people's lives, especially in this last year, just a little bit more connected and bearable has been really nice.
One of the big things that we always talked about is the notion of found family and how this weird amalgamation of a great uncle and an uncle and a space mom and triplets and housekeeper’s granddaughter, how they are as much a family as any other blood relations possible. To see that the kind of community that has come up loving the show has kind of become a little found family themselves has been really gratifying.
On What's Next
You had mentioned you'd known for a while, and animation production being what it is, with DuckTales in the can, as you said, but not yet airing, what's next for the both of you?
MY: That's the big question, right? I think that's all I can say because honestly not everything is all finished.
FA: I mean, we're both working on stuff and projects on our own side stuff, nothing we're ready to talk about yet. But will say this, boy, did we leave it all on the floor on that DuckTales finale.
I said it from the very first season, we don't know if we're going to be able to touch these characters again. Treat every episode as if you might be canceled, treat every season finale as if it's a series finale. We had enough heads up going into this third season, that we're like, "All right, what is our final statement? If we never get to touch these characters again, what's our final statement on what DuckTales is, was and meant to us?" So that's what this was.
And then hopefully, some versions of those characters continue on. And I can only speak for myself. I feel like I've grown incredibly, personally, creatively, from my collaboration with Matt and our whole team. And I think no matter what comes next, DuckTales has left a really indelible mark on me, as a creative.
MY: Same. Yeah. I would say the same thing. The opportunity to work with this crew to make the show was kind of the greatest experience that you can hope to have in animation. And so, the hope is that whatever comes next, I can still have that kind of collaboration and that kind of a crew and hopefully to work with as many people as I could from DuckTales, because it was the greatest crew imaginable. So that's the goal.
On Leaving It All on the Floor
It was really obvious from watching it, the finale is very much a love letter to fans of DuckTales and these characters. Even with that expanded runtime, it is just stuffed to the brim. And you've both talked a lot about the themes of the show and being really proud of what you've done. And obviously, this is not necessarily your choice to leave DuckTales here, right? But any regrets with what you've managed to accomplish over three seasons here? Anything you would have done differently?
FA: Yeah. Working with Matt. If I could have worked with anybody else I think that would have been really ... No.
MY: [joking tone] I would never say that about you, Frank. I hope you feel really bad.
FA: I was off this call for like two minutes and I know, as soon as I was off, you were like, "All right. Let me give you the real on Frank.”
MY: “The real!”
FA: No, it's been an absolute top-to-bottom joy. I mean, we already knew that this was our three-season plan. And we went into it, knowing that three seasons is kind of like ... You're lucky to get three seasons in a 25-episode cartoon run these days.
We knew that whatever would have to come afterwards would have to be something new and different, that felt something new and different. So we took the attitude on DuckTales of, like, the goal was, "Hey, let's keep these characters alive for another 30 years. And let's try to bring as many of these characters that we loved to kids, not closing the door on anything." And either for us or for the characters.
We always treated it as if it was a run of a comic book and that this is Matt and Frank's run on DuckTales. And someone else could pick up the run. Maybe we pick up the run with a different story down the line. Maybe someone spins some other character off, but no regrets on how we did it.
This is exactly how ... I mean, it's stuffed to the gills, because that's been DuckTales' MO, I think from the pilot, when we introduced a world, lore, and 10 new characters. I will say, if the last episode of DuckTales is the only episode of DuckTales you've watched, you probably will need some Cliff Notes.
MY: Yeah. We try to make episodes that are self-contained and fun and everything, but this is definitely a tying-a-bow-on-it type of situation, where it needs the rest of the series to give you the feels that you want the audience to feel.
Just echoing Frank, I don't have any regrets with DuckTales, because I think DuckTales is one of those rare things where we got to pull off what we wanted to pull off. We got to tell the stories we wanted to tell. We got to bring in the characters we wanted to bring in. It really was the kitchen sink of a series, but done in a way that felt natural and felt really good. And I feel very good about every single episode we make.
I love watching our episodes and being like ... It's funny. When you're so close to it, you'll still watch an episode after it airs, and you’ll go, "Oh shoot, I missed that little paint mistake, that one little thing. Dang it."
But I have not watched one of our episodes and felt like, "Ah, it could have been a little bit better. I don't believe it." I believe that they are just such great episodes and a testament to the crew that worked on it. And yeah, no, I'm absolutely in love with the time I had on DuckTales.
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