Ducktales Old Vs. New

This post isn’t really a game review but then again adventure is Duckburg’s middle name so in a way it’s relevant.

Last week I bought Ducktales’ reboot DVD launch after watching Comic Con’s Season 2 Magicka’s reveal. Mind you I’m never excited for any type of reboots in general; however, the sneak peeks looked pretty decent and I’m a huge fan of the show. I own the entire original collection on VHS and watched it so many times when I was a kid. It was my number 1 show, period.

So I ordered the Ducktales Woo-Ooo DVD (weird name but never mind) from Amazon for 5 pounds. Great! The DVD arrived, I popped it into the player and thankfully was greeted by Ducktales’ foot-tapping opening song. “I’m liking this already” I thought to myself. Once the song was over, the camera view soars over Duckburg and a navy harbor, at which point I felt slightly dumbstruck. The animation definitely looked modern but the background illustration felt remarkably flat. The setting looked frostbitten by watercolor washes somehow. Except for 1 or 2 elements moving at a time, the entire scene remains still. That was vastly my first impression in comparison to the  portrayal of Duckburg being full of life in the original series.

Ducktales 2In terms of the story, the episodes begin almost identical with Donald Duck sending off his nephews to Scrooge’s mansion; however, halfway through, the two episodes take a different direction. With the original series Donald remains a passive character in most of the episodes but with the reboot, and without saying too much, he has somewhat of an active role. I’m not sure if this is something that will continue happening in the upcoming episodes.

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Almost all characters in the series are now drawn in an angular fashion. It is strikingly obvious with Huey, Duey and Loui’s character design. I noticed Donald and Scrooge remain slightly the same as their original design. I think it’s safe to say that the graphic modifications are my least favorite. And can someone explain to me why the motherly, loving and soft-spoken Mrs. Bentina Beakley has transformed into Edna Mode injected with steroids?

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Besides that, I don’t like the voice acting. Launchpad and Donald Duck are fortunately the same. Scrooge McDuck naturally kept his Scottish accent but his voice is weirdly delicate, which counters his self-assertive personality. Wendy’s is fairly good. Mrs. Beakley sounds like 007’s exciting assistant– anything BUT a yarn-knitting caring sounding grandmother, and then there’s Huey, Duey, Loui. According to the US’s Bureau of Labor there are like 600 young actors by the year 2016, 80% out of which I’m sure are hired by Disney’s Channel; was it really that hard to find 3 eligible voice actors in the springtime of their life? But I guess it was more appealing to assemble a star-studded team for marketing purposes perhaps.

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In the end I’m aware that it isn’t fair to meticulously follow an original to launch a reboot. Times have changed certainly and in order to appeal to younger audiences, modifications are unavoidable. Even so, I wish the team had spent a little more effort and time polishing up this little gem of a show. There were a number of good calls like preserving the original opening song, bringing in Donald Duck more for his amusing character and maybe even refining the storyline. What remains heavily lacking; however, is a dynamic and colorful Duckburg.

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