DuckTales is one of the most highly anticipated series coming down the pipeline, not only updating the classic Disney seires but adding on a whole new layer of Disney Ducks history. We had the chance to sit down with the shows cast and crew to get some exclusive insights into the characters and whether the series will have a story arc.
In attendance were Danny Pudi (Huey), Ben Schwartz (Dewey), Kate Micucci (Webby), Beck Bennett (Launchpad), Toks Olagundoye (Mrs. Beakley), executive producer Matt Youngberg, co-producer and story editor Francisco Angones, and David Tennant (Scrooge) who was on the DuckTales panel.
What Stood Out To The Creators As Kids Made It Into The Show
One of the important things for Francisco Angones was that the new DuckTales gives audiences of today the same feeling he got as a kid watching DuckTales. Anything that stuck out to him and the writers was seen as important to include in the show.
“If we remember it thirty years later? Chances are it’s probably pretty resonant. So much of it had to be based on what we had already internalized. Once that happened we went, ‘Oh, Gizmoduck! That’s a great thing. We need to do that. Plain Awful and the Square Eggs. Oh, we gotta do that!’ Then once we have that we go back and we’ll look at the comics or the episodes and fill in all the blanks around it, keeping the core of that idea
Huey Is The Most Responsible Of The Ducks
Danny Pudi describes Huey Duck as “logical, probably the most responsible of the ducks but also the most tightly wound so when things don’t go according to plan Huey has some trouble adapting. At the same time he’s sort of the ringleader. He loves going on adventures with his family.”
Huey also loves his Junior Woodchuck guidebook since it “gives him his sense of comfort and purpose. Within the group he understands that having a guidebook is actually very valuable. Huey will have to find that balance of knowing when to rely on it but also knowing that you don’t always need it.”
Dewey Is “The Leeroy Jenkins” Of The Family
Ben Schwartz doesn’t mince words about Dewey Duck. “He’s like the Leeroy Jenkins of the group. He likes to explore and jump out there before anybody and wants everyone to notice him.”
Schwartz also hints there’s an arc that will involve Dewey “quite a bit.”
Webby Vanderquack: “Always Amped”
Webby, or Webby Vanderquack, or Webbigail Vanderquack has perhaps been updated the most out of all the original DuckTales characters. While very much a little girl in the old series, Kate Micucci now describes her as “the badass chick.”
“She totally has a mind of her own. She’s super strong, adventurous, and isn’t afraid to go and follow her guts. It’s really fun to play. She’s always amped and always very excited about things. So I have to go into the booth feeling very, ‘HERE WE GO!’”
In the original DuckTales Webby didn’t get to go on all the adventures but now “she really is one of the gang.”
The References In The Series Incorporate The Characters Personalities
Matt Youngberg stresses that while the series references the original DuckTales and the Disney’s Ducks comics, the creators always made sure to ask, “how can we approach that with our characters?”
One of the first things they did when planning the new series was to plot out all the characters on a board, specifically their relationships with each other.
“Being able to find how those characters related to each other and all their specific personalities quirks, not just for themselves but between each other. That lent itself to expanding the world more and more even though it was always going to be focused on our main characters.”
The Series Will Have A Story Arc
While DuckTales is designed to have self-contained adventures each week, Francisco Angones also lays out what the show’s long running arc will deal with.
“When you join our show there’s a reason that Huey, Dewey, and Louie don’t know that Scrooge is their uncle. There’s a reason Scrooge and Donald haven’t talked for a long time. That’s one of the lingering questions. We wanted to present the (Duck) kids as surrogates for the audience. We wanted to present what it was like to find out what your place is in this family and learn about all this crazy history. By virtue of that, naturally there’s these longer story questions.”
At the DuckTales panel David Tennant added that, “every episode a new corner of “Scrooge’s past is revealed.”
Mrs. Beakley Is A Badass (And Knows About Scrooge’s Past)
While Angones and Youngberg can’t actually say she’s a badass in interviews, they agree that’s the best way to describe her. Youngberg lays out how Mrs. Beakley actually got hired by Scrooge.
“If you’re Scrooge McDuck and you’re hiring a house keeper and you’re cheap, you don’t want to have to hire a housekeeper and a bodyguard. You just hire one who can do both.”
Angones continues, “You have Beagle Boys constantly trying to break into the house, all kinds of curses on your head, and a long list of sworn enemies and it feels like a natural fit.”
Toks Olagundoye describes Mrs. Beakley as “very proper and very stoic but she’s also funny.”
Mrs. Beakley also has a connection to Scrooge’s past, which Angones describes as another cornerstone to the series.
“Scrooge McDuck is the greatest adventurer of all time and a lot of our ideas about who this character would be spun out of that. So there is a secret past, like who does Scrooge trust? Why is Beakley able to call Scrooge out?”
Olagundoye adds that Mrs. Beakley’s, “got a past of adventure that’s made her into who she is at this point.
Who’s The Best Duck? Clearly Launchpad McQuack
Beck Bennett shows no shame in jokingly claiming Launchpad is simply “the best duck” of all the characters. More seriously, he describes Launchpad has being a big sweetheart.
“He’s very confidant and believes in himself and is very often incorrect. He misunderstands situations and isn’t aware of the danger. He’s a little dim but he has no idea so he’s very confident. He just loves being himself. He’s a sweet guy. He loves Scrooge. That’s the reason he exists.”
When asked about the digital short of Launchpad writing an apology note for crashing into a car, Bennett goes into the psyche of what’s going through Launchpad’s mind.
“He really doesn’t grasp the magnitude of the situation. It also says he’s really sweet and he’s doing his best. It’s not like he’s saying, ‘oh, I crashed into these cars no big deal.’ He should probably write a note. And Scrooge will pay for it.”
At some point in he season Launchpad will fall “out of favor” with Scrooge and will worry about being replaced. “He’s gotta step up his game,” explains Bennett.
We’ll also learn a little about Launchpad’s back-story throughout the season as well.
The Life And Times of Scrooge McDuck Was A Huge Influence
The seminal comic book series, detailing the in-universe biography of Scrooge McDuck, was required reading for all the writers on staff. Since the show will be dealing with Scrooge’s past, could some of the stories in that comic be adapted? We’ll see!
Shamus Kelley can bet we’ll be in for some good luck tales. Woo-oo! Follow him on Twitter!