Archive for the 'TV' Category

August 2018: Webby Breaks Ribs

Just finished watching the season finale of the new “Ducktales” series and… I gotta say, my cartoons would have been very different if the 80’s had treated Webby and Mrs. Beakley with this much awesome.

Ducktales ’17 Review – Season 1

I won’t be regularly reviewing things, but this seems site appropriate.

First of all, the show got off to a great start and has maintained that quality from the beginning. It’s still classic Ducktales, but the characters are better developed, their adventures take on more personal twists, and I love the overall voice cast. In recent years, I’ve also followed “Gravity Falls”, “Adventure Time”, and “Steven Universe”, all shows that have pushed the boundaries of storytelling in “children’s television” and “Ducktales” hits all the same high notes. It’s darker, it’s funnier, and it’s smarter. I’d watch this show again over the originals in a heartbeat.

And yet episodes from the original show are prevalent throughout the reboot. Creatures like the Terra-Firmians are re-imagined as a terrifying underground race, while Castle McDuck is now the cursed home of Scrooge’s immortal parents. And they go further by diving into the rest of the Disney Afternoon – the Gummi Bears are now ancient creatures of legend in this world. Meanwhile Don Carnage (or the son of?) and his Sky Pirates from “Tale Spin” have become Scrooge’s adversaries. Even Bigfoot from “A Goofy Movie” is back. And I’m still not sure how Darkwing Duck will tie into the series’ long game, but for now, he’s considered a fictional character whom Launchpad keeps a bobblehead of on his dashboard.

A lot of the new changes to the show really work in a modern respect. Changing up Huey, Dewey and Louie with conflicting personalities lends to better stories (and possibly less animation since they split up a lot.) Huey’s the classic Junior Woodchuck, Louie’s the Wolf of Wall Street, and Dewey’s the Hufflepuff of the bunch. And together, they’re driven to solve the mystery of their mother’s disappearance (Hey! The nephews have parents! Why didn’t we have episodes about this until now?!) And then there’s Webby, now a socially awkward recluse who’s been trained by former-British Operative Mrs. Beakley to operate a grappling hook, perform stealth attacks, and break ribs when needed. So now Webby’s my favourite of the kids. And does Doofus come back? Yes, he does. Except now he’s a psychopath and one of the show’s villains. And best of all, Scrooge’s butler is now a ghost. Yes, they killed Duckworth, and we don’t know how, although fusion isn’t beyond possibility.

And then there’s the new additions. A girl named Lena joins the kids, and her connection to a certain dark sorceress carries most of season 1’s arc. Scrooge finds a new foe in Mark Beaks, a Mark Zuckerberg archetype who challenges Scrooge’s wealth through the power of social media. And I can’t begin to tell you how awesome “Manny” is. You just have to see him for yourself. Manny’s my new favourite addition to the cast.

Voice casting? Perfect. David Tennant as Scrooge is… ummm… well, not unfamiliar to me. It’s amazing that even happened. Kate Miccuci and Danny Pudi are always welcome, and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Gizmoduck is a great out-of-left-field casting choice. And I have high hopes to see more of Don Cheadle and Paget Brewster in future episodes (but I’m not spoiling their roles). My favourite voice overall was Jim Rash as Gyro Gearloose. He transformed Gyro from goofy “I invented glow-in-the-dark popcorn!” scientist into bitter “I’ll show them all!” mad scientist. And the fact that he still sounds like the Dean from “Community” makes it even better. Hopefully, Gyro will start wearing colourful costumes at some point.

And yes, I’m mostly sure the creators of this show have seen my cartoons. There’s subtle nods and easter eggs throughout the show which I won’t list in case it endangers someone’s career. But I can say they’ve been very careful not to make any Dragon Ball references. Maybe they’re saving Vegeta for Season 2. Which I’m still free for voice work on, if anyone at Disney is listening. Just give me a call. We’ll do lunch and get ice cream. Or just keep dropping easter eggs in – I love stumbling across them. It makes me feel special.

Final summation: To COIN some terrible puns, the Ducktales reboot is SOLID-GOLD, RICH WITH LAUGHS, and RIGHT ON THE MONEY! And yes, it’s a really good show. I can’t yet call it “Gravity Falls Great” (Sorry, Disney, but Printer Error Dipper is still the bar to jump), but I feel like now that they’ve laid down roots, Season 2 will be something else. The show is already a great successor to the Disney Afternoon, and a fun ride from beginning to end, suitable for both old and new fans.

And this month’s post has been a longer review than I planned. I’ll save life updates for next month and get back to work on Do-Gooders. Until then, take care. Here’s some Ducktales music to play you out.

August 19 2018 | Awesomeness, Geek Talk, Reviews, Stuff I Made, Stuff Other People Made, TV | No Comments »