The Return of DuckTales! Interview with Producers Youngberg and Angones
Anyone else excited about the return of DuckTales!!? This blast from the past is coming back in full force thanks to the folks at Disney XD! Ever since I heard about the return of this show I’ve had the theme song running through my head. Last month while at D23 Expo I had the chance to sit down with Executive Producer Matt Youngberg and Co-Producer / Story Editor Francisco Angones to chat about why this show is important to them and what they are hoping to bring fans with this return of DuckTales!
You might remember that I shared with you my dive in to the DuckTales money pit (it was amazing!) and totally got me all excited about the return of this fantastic show. After our dive in the money pit, hearing more about the upcoming series was a real treat and I really enjoyed hearing more about how this return came to be. If you haven’t seen DuckTales, then you are in for a treat. If you have, then you will love going back to that place in time and revisiting them with this return of DuckTales. I’m excited for my kids to watch this show as it is full of fun and adventure and it’s a great show for the entire family to watch together. Here’s a fun clip to refresh your memory! If you don’t already have this song stuck in your head, you will after watching this video (you’re welcome!).
According to both Youngberg and Angones this project is very personal to them, as they were both huge fans of the original and worked very hard to continue with the shows original feel, while modernizing it a bit so that it would blend nicely into today’s world.
One thing that they worked hard to maintain was that hand drawn feel that DuckTales has always had, while at the same time taking advantage of how far technology has come since it’s original run years ago. Here Youngberg explains how and why that was so important with the return of DuckTales:
…it had the hand-crafted feel that we wanted to retain. But also, as we got into developing the show, we looked at the source material beyond just DuckTales.
We looked at the comic books that inspired DuckTales that were made by Carl Barks, and other artists. And, we wanted to be able to harken back to the roots a little bit more. And so, we developed this style, not only in the having it be traditionally animated by hand. But also in creating a style for the world that looked like it was inked by, an artist brush. So, that like it looks like comic book pages come to life a little bit. It was really important for us to kind of pay homage to where it came from. And that also to me helps kind of ground it a little bit and make it feel more tangible and real.
One other thing that I really loved hearing about was that as the fathers of FIVE girls between them, bringing strong female characters to light in this series was very important to both of them. Youngberg explained
It was also really important for us as fathers. Frank has two daughters, I have three daughters, and it was really important to be able to present a female character that they would gravitate towards, and not be a character who was written off as someone who needs to be rescued, who is like, “Ew, a girl.”
Like, we didn’t want that feeling to come across with Webby. We wanted to make sure that she was somebody that kids could relate to, and that’s why we really dug into her character. It’s like, okay, this character who lives this way with these people, how would she really be? And that was really important to us to present a real well-rounded character so that she could go toe to toe with the boys and with Scrooge. Like, she definitely stands up to Scrooge, you know?
I loved hearing that and you could tell just how invested these two are in this series, and how strongly they felt about making sure this new DuckTales lives up to all expectations.
I also enjoyed hearing explain to us how important it was for him to incorporate a Latino superhero into this series.
I was a comic book nerd, and we only had one Latino superhero, his name was Vibe. He had breakdance superpowers, and he was a member of a street gang. Every time I saw Latino representation, even to this day in movies, there’s not a lot of Latino superhero representation, and I wanna be able to give my kids a Latino superhero.
I was like, wouldn’t it be great if the main superhero character, for people who don’t know, Lin-Manuel Miranda is playing Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera slash Gizmoduck in our show. Wouldn’t it be great if the main superhero of DuckTales was Latino? Not just a token side superhero. This is our, our Peter Parker meets Tony Stark Ironman. And so, as we looked at adapting the character, we looked at the original traits, and he always had another idea. He was always fast talking. He was always putting together a scheme. He was very earnest and I was like, this is Lin-Manuel Miranda, and we’ll never get him.
But I had the good fortune to write that episode, and I wrote it as if it was Lin. I was like, even if we can’t get Lin, there is a Lin-ness about this adaptation of this character. And, we sent him the script, and I sent him a letter explaining that, and saying, you know, telling him why this was important to me, and I’d been a huge fan of his.
Lin-Manuel Miranda? I bet they died when got the confirmation that he was on board. Did I mention that David Tennant voices Scrooge McDuck? So much awesome! Here are a few clips for you to enjoy to get you ramped up for this awesome return of an old favorite, Woo-oo!
DuckTales Sneak Peeks:
A sneak peek from the premiere series event “DuckTales: Woo-oo!” where Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby embark on their very first adventure with the legendary Scrooge McDuck:
A sneak peek from “Daytrip of Doom!” where Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby have an epic dart gun fight that ends up a little more intense than some of them are comfortable with:
DuckTales Premieres August 12 on DisneyXD!!