Nerdvana: Just Ducky!

We’re living in an interesting time right now. While some things are just plain awful, there are some things that are definitely cool. For one thing, last year Disney launched it’s reboot of DuckTales.


This reboot is an improvement over the original in several ways, not the least of which is that the reboot includes the return of this guy: Donald Duck.

Donald Duck

Not only is Donald part of the main cast (as he should have been from the get-go – Carl Barks’ original comics series has always focused on Scrooge, the nephews and Donald), but he’s back as his old slapstick-y self, engaging in the wacky cartoon hijinks that made him famous. Viz…

Donald Duck GIF

Yeah, now that’s the stuff, man!

Having Donald around as a main character fits in to the new DuckTales perfectly. I even have an easier time accepting supporting characters such as Launchpad McQuack and Fenton Crackshell (Gizmoduck) this time around, because here they’re not serving as stand-ins for Donald.

Then on the Warner Brothers side, we have New Looney Tunes (formerly known as Wabbit! here in the U.S.) with it’s new old take on Daffy.

Daffy Duck

Here. in the States, we have to watch the series on Boomerang’s online streaming service because Turner doesn’t air the show on Boomerang U.S. for some unfathomable reason. Anyway, in New Looney Tunes, Daffy is back to being certifiably insane rather than Bugs’ greedy, jealous rival. Take a look:

I don’t need to elaborate on this much, since Damon has already covered New Looney Tunes and it’s take on Daffy both here and here. So basically, I’m going to echo what he said (and not for the first time): While I like the selfish, greedy, egotistical version of Daffy OK for the most part, the above has always been the version of the little black duck that I’ve always preferred, and this version was long overdue for a return. I sincerely hope that crazy Daffy sticks around for a while for future Looney Tunes projects, as this version of Daffy has been sorely missed.

Yes, it’s definitely a good time to be a fan of cartoon ducks. Hit it!


17 thoughts on “Nerdvana: Just Ducky!

  1. One idea that Disney could potentially do on DuckTales is that the show’s writers could write one Donald focused episode each season. The way that the writers for X-Men: Evolution did for Wolverine, who for once wasn’t the central character on the show.

    At a fairly recent convention, the DuckTales team displayed a drawing of DT’s Donald posing with Jose Carioca and Panchito, aka The Three Cabelleros, and the audience lost their minds!


  2. During season 1, Francisco Argones assured fans that Donald would be more of a presence in season 2, and so far he’s keeping his word. Donald has appeared in 4 of the 5 episodes that have aired so far, he’s been prominently featured in the last 2 episodes and he’s going to appear in the aforementioned Christmas episode. This is good news for Donald Duck fans; we may be doing a follow-up Nerdvana in celebration of this (as a video, of course).

    Seeing Donald in the new DuckTales only reinforces how weird it was that he was largely removed from the 1987 series. The Donald Duck/Scrooge McDuck comics always centered on Scrooge, the triplets and Donald, after all. Near as I can figure, Disney felt at the time that the Big 3 shorts stars (Mickey, Donald and Goofy) were too big and iconic to be regularly featured in a mere syndicated TV series (remember that for a long time Disney stayed away from network SatAM and syndication, thinking it beneath them until Eisner took over), though they clearly began changing their tune by the time Goof Troop came along.

    I don’t think I could re-watch the first DuckTales show now, an adaptation of the Duck Family comics without Donald is like a Flintstones series without Fred.


    1. Disney seems to see the Ducks as their most profitable investment (or they at least put more effort into pushing them than they do Mickey Mouse). I mean, we have the two Ducktales series (with the classic series getting a movie), Quack Pack, Legend Of The Three Caballeros, and a fairly complicated series of comics (I haven’t read them, so I don’t know) that still go on to this day. Its definitely interesting to say the least.


      1. That goes back to the theatrical shorts. Initially, Mickey Mouse was cast as a mischief maker, but in short order he evolved into this lovable good guy/little hero/corporate mascot/international icon for the company, so the shorts writers couldn’t knock him around too much or show him behaving badly or mischievously, ’cause that would set a bad example for the kiddos. For that reason, Donald Duck rather than Mickey became Disney’s go-to shorts character; Donald was always a more flawed character than Mickey and fans weren’t all hung up on him setting a bad example, so the writers and directors gave him all the ideas they couldn’t use on Mickey. Carl Barks took this and ran with it, giving Donald Duck a whole world of characters and stories, which is what led to DuckTales.

        Mickey hasn’t been completely overlooked, however; in the Duck comics universe, there were plans to interject a city called Mouseton, supposedly as a home for Mickey, and of course Paul Rudish has been giving Mickey new life in his series of slapstick shorts.


  3. The recent Ducktales Christmas episode has two interesting facts behind the scenes:

    1. Russi Taylor (who voiced Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby in the original series) voiced a young Donald since it involves time travel . Its a bit odd given that Tony Anselmo can do young voices (notably, he voiced the nephews themselves on House Of Mouse).

    2. The episode is a big homage to Mickey’s Christmas Carol, even getting Mike Peraza, who did the opening for the special ,to do the end credits here. I mean, look.


  4. My guess as to why young Donald was voiced by Russi Taylor rather than Tony Anselmo was because a) Having Ms.Taylor resurrect her duckling voice was a nice call back to the 1987 DuckTales, and b) Russi Taylor can do the duck voice and make it more comprehensible. One reason why Donald was sidelined so often in season #1 was likely because viewers had a hard time understanding his dialogue. Donald’s mode of speech was never an issue in the Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comics, so Donald could take part in any verbal discussion.

    Regarding Mickey’s Christmas Carol, initially I wondered why Disney went with original characters for the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future instead of Jiminy Cricket, Willie the Giant and Pete, respectively, but then Scrooge’s plot began to unfold and I immediately saw why: Jiminy Cricket can’t turn rogue, even if only temporarily. A few viewers are hoping that the show will address Scrooge’s apparent disdain and distrust of Santa Claus in a future episode, but personally, I hope that they never do. I think that it’s funnier that we (the audience) don’t know why and the circumstances are left to our own speculation. Also, why is it that all the touching Della moments on the show are only given to Dewey and never Huey or Louie? Della is their mom too.

    To bring this post back to it’s original topic, Damon and I may be doing a follow up Nerdvana to the recent depictions of Donald and Daffy, this one will most likely be done in video form.


    1. One theory that’s been floating around is how much Dewey and Della are alike. They’re both adventurous spirits who are known for being rather impulsive. In essence, they’re essentially foils to each other much like Fethry Duck and Gladstone Gander are with Huey and Louie respectively. To the show’s credit, the season 2 premiere did touch on this with Louie (who’s the focus of the episode), who felt that he couldn’t live up to Della’s legacy and why he often tries smooth talking his way out of situations to compensate. It’s definitely an eye opener.


  5. Francisco Angones talked about what Mickey’s role in Ducktales 2017 would’ve been like. One story involved how he was once Donald’s roommate and became a successful Hollywood actor, and another would’ve involved Donald putting on a Mickey costume for Halloween and getting more attention. His comments also imply that Chris Diamontopolous would’ve reprised the role from Mickey Mouse 2013 rather than having Bret Iwan reprise the role.


    1. As I understand it, there is (or was at one time) a town called Mouseton in the Carl Barks comics, which was basically the mouse version of Duckberg. There was a time when I would have said we’ll never see Mickey turn up on DuckTales, but with this version of the show, I’ve learned to never say “Never”.


  6. Geez, they’re covering the entire first phase of the Disney Afternoon. All that needs to happen is for the Mouse to show up.


  7. I’m dying to see how the show’s producers are going to work the Rescue Rangers into the DuckTales universe since their own series took place in the human world. Also, Chip, Dale, Gadget and Monterrey Jack are confirmed to show up, but no mention of Zipper? Yeah, he’s a fly, but doesn’t make him any less a Rescue Ranger.

    I know this hardly comes as a shock, but I agree with Damon; if Daisy Duck and Goofy can show up on DuckTales, there’s no reason why we can’t or shouldn’t expect to see Mickey there eventually. Perhaps the producers are saving Mickey for a special occasion. I just hope that if Mickey does show up, it will be an genuine appearance, not a quasi-appearance like the one on Bonkers.

    My chief concern about all of these Disney Afternoon call back cameos is that, while I get that this is for the fans who miss the block, I hope that show’s producers don’t go cameo crazy, because then there will be fanboys and fangirls who will only be tuning in to see which DA character is going to show up next, and then the Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comic book stories will merely be an after thought.


    1. It’s possible the producers are cramming DuckTales with all these Disney Afternoon call-backs and cameos so they won’t have to reboot all of the other DA shows.

      And yeah, I’m fine with fan service as long as it doesn’t overtake the focal point of the series to the point where it looks like the show can’t stand on its’ own merits. The writers haven’t disappointed us so far, so I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.


      1. I find the approach similar to Sofia The First (which also has Sam Riegel as the voice director), where the show is clearly part of a larger world (the Disney Animated Canon, and by extension Pixar since Merida appeared ), yet it’s usually just one-off, special appearances or recurring characters at best, and the show still stands on its own.


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