A lot of TV reboots come about because a network or studio is looking to make some financial success happen with a property that people are familiar with. But with Disney XD's DuckTales, the motivation was more about being able to bring the beloved franchise back to the comic book roots of Carl Barks' original tales. (And it works so well, too.) You can check out the exclusive behind-the-scenes video below to hear more from the crew that put it all together, as well as some studio work from the all-star cast, including the almighty David Tennant and Bobby Moynihan.
It had to be pretty intimidating to approach a new iteration of DuckTales, considering the original animated series (which aired from 1987-1990) remains such a solid entry in many people's favorite TV shows from childhood. I mean,the theme song alone is as timeless as it gets. But as it was stated by executive producer Matt Youngberg and co-producer/story editor Francisco Angones, the key to bringing these characters back is about starting with the strongest foundation there is: the family element. Because while we might not all know what it's like to be a billionaire duck or to go on seafaring adventures, everybody knows what it's like to have a family, from the traditional to the untraditional.
And once the basic concept was nailed down, then all involved could focus on filling the show's cast out with the most talented people out there. As everyone can see from the video above, casting director Aaron Drown did just that. Nabbing former Doctor Who lead David Tennant was a genius move, as his Scrooge McDuck is spot-on, with the perfect amount of Brit pomposity needed. (With no disrespect to the original voicework from the late Alan Young, of course.)
We're also all thumbs up on hilarious comedy stars like Saturday Night Live vet Bobby Moynihan, Parks and Recreation vet Ben Schwartz and Community vet Danny Pudi being cast as Huey, Louie and Dewey. (Not in that respective order.) Not to mention Garfunkel and Oates' Kate Miccucci and current SNL star Beck Bennett as Webby and Launchpad, in respective order. I could watch all of them gabbing on in character all day long. And speaking of Launchpad, the Disney XD and Disney Channel apps will soon put out a brand new game called "Crash n' Dash," which lets players take control of the stunt driver to create the sweetest crashes possible using cars, planes and more.
Perhaps the most interesting part for animation buffs is how the team went about designing Duckberg and all of its many areas, which involved a lot of looking back at the past. (But who can complain about having to read comics and watch cartoons for work?) As well, I love that they're able to not only recall Duckberg creator Carl Barks' work thematically, but also visually, as art director Sean Jimenez points out that they were able to give the background a newsprint flourish that makes it feel like you're watching pages come to life. Readers obviously do that with their imaginations anyway, but this new DuckTales is imaginative enough so that we can all just sit back and let them do it for us.
While DuckTales made its unofficial debut on Disney XD with a one-hour special, the first season will officially get underway on Saturday, September 23, with two back-to-back episodes. (The premiere coincides with the 30th anniversary of the original animated series' debut.) The first ep, titled "Daytrip of Doom," will feature the debut of the Beagle Boys and Ma Beagle, with the latter voiced by the always excellent Margo Martindale, while the second ep ("The Great Dime Chase!") will have the first appearance from another former Community star, Jim Rash, who voices Gyro Gearloose. Fans can find the episodes airing multiple times throughout that Saturday: 7:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 11:00 p.m., all ET.
And when you're not busy watching all this awesome ducks bringing their family ties to the forefront, check out everything else that's coming to TV soon with our fall premiere schedule.