ducktales revival

For people of a certain generation, DuckTales is a big deal. Disney’s animated series about the globetrotting adventures of the wealthy Scrooge McDuck and his mischievous grandnephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie ran for 100 episodes in the late ’80s, inspired a theatrically released spin-off, and won its fair share of accolades. Today, DuckTales stands out as a fresh air in a decade dominated by cartoons that were reverse-engineered from toys. Sure, it was based on well-known Disney characters, but it valued those characters and their stories more than the average episode of, well, most everything else.

Last year, it was announced that DuckTales was being revived as a new Disney XD series that would air in 2017. Now, the first image from the series has been revealed and it’s one of the most pleasant surprises you will encounter today.

When news of a DuckTales reboot arrived, everyone assumed that the series would be CG-animated, since that’s the norm these days. Like it or love it, that’s what modern youngsters see as default – traditional animation has gone fully niche. So when The Wrap posted the first image from DuckTales ’17, I nearly gasped. Is this thing traditionally animated? In this style? This looks great!

ducktales revivial

Granted, a single still tells us nothing about the show itself or whether it will tell good stories or capture the voices of these beloved characters. However, it does show us character designs that update the look of these characters while maintaining what makes them iconic. This art style is a mixture of the old and the new, looking like it could have come out of the golden age of Disney animation while simultaneously  showcasing a modern sheen. I especially love how Donald Duck looks here.

More importantly, the fact this image features the cast on some kind of dangerous, globetrotting adventure is a great sign. While Disney has been more than happy to all-but-retire its most famous characters so it can occasionally trot them out as mascots and little more (I wrote more about this here), DuckTales was very much an adaptation of cartoonist Carl Banks‘ wonderful Donald Duck comics from the ’40s and the ’50s. He not only created Duckburg and many of its inhabitants, he treated them with respect, sending them on thrilling escapades that were charming and exciting in equal measure. In retrospect, Banks’ work and DuckTales feel revolutionary – they don’t play it safe with characters who have become iconic.

Anyway, here’s how the reboot was described last year:

The new series’ adventures will once again take viewers along as Scrooge McDuck, his curious and mischief-making grandnephews—Huey, Dewey, and Louie—and the optimistic-yet-temperamental Donald Duck embark on high-flying adventures worldwide. Other beloved characters slated to be in the new stories are: Duckworth, Gyro Gearloose, Launchpad McQuack, Flintheart Glomgold, Magica DeSpell & Poe, Ma Beagle and the Beagle Boys (Burger Beagle, Bouncer Beagle), Mrs. Beakley, and Webbigail Vanderquack.

The new DuckTales is set to air in 2017. No exact date has been specified.

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