‘Ducktales’ Reboot Coming to Disney XD in 2017
DuckTales is coming back with even more tales of daring do, bad and good luck tales as Disney XD announced that they're bringing back the '80s cartoon with a new animated series set to launch in 2017. Uncle Scrooge, Huey, Dewey and Louie will all be returning and they just might solve a mystery. Or rewrite history!
The new series will be produced by Disney Television Animation and will return the main and supporting cast, including favorites like Launchpad McQuack, Glomgold, Magica DeSpell and, of course, Ma Beagle and the Beagle Boys. Said Marc Buhaj, SVP, Programming and General Manager, Disney XD, “Our new series will bring that same energy and adventurous spirit to a new generation.” While this all sounds exciting when taken at face value for fans of the original series, we're not getting too excited just yet.
The original DuckTales series was great. That's not just the nostalgia talking. Go back and watch some of the original series again. Start with the television movie The Treasures of the Golden Suns that launched the series. It's as good as anything Disney Animation was releasing in theaters up until that point. And this was all on purpose.
It was 1987 and most animated cartoons on TV were crappy. We all loved them, because the idea of Saturday morning cartoons was novel and we were all hopped up on Fruity Pebbles. But, in reality, they were pretty cheaply put together. Disney Animation wanted to change all that. They took a huge risk and invested an unheard of $20 million in the series at a time when Hulk Hogan's Rock and Wrestling was being produced for peanuts.
The gamble paid off. DuckTales was a huge hit. After its initial run, Disney was producing over 100 episodes a season. The show was the first Disney cartoon produced for syndication and, unlike most cartoons at the time, aired on afternoons after kids came home from school. Its success paved the way for the popular “Disney Afternoon”, which expand to include cartoons like Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck and Talespin. Disney rushed into development a theatrical movie, DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, in 1990. (Not to mention, the original comics the cartoons were based on were so well-written, Christopher Nolan may have ripped them off.) And, it's success is largely attributed to the fact that it was extremely well produced.
Unfortunately now, we live in a time where animation is so cheap it makes those Rock and Wrestling episodes look like Hayao Miyazaki. With the advent of computer animation, most are churned out as quickly and cost-effectively as possible without much thought put into the quality of the animation. We've love to think that Disney XD would invest the same $20 million into a new DuckTales series, but that seems highly unlikely in this competitive marketplace.
We'll remain optimistic, because that's what we do, but when we want a real DuckTales fix, we'll have to watch some of the older episodes on YouTube.