If you’re a fan of Gravity Falls, or Star vs. The Forces of Evil, or Wander Over Yonder, or Kim Possible, or Gargoyles, or any Disney Television show, then gather ‘round because I’m about to teach you some history.
“Never forget, that it all started with a Mouse,”~~Walt Disney.
Great things come from humble origins. Never forget that Disney TV…All started with a Duck.
It was the 1980s. Disney Television Animation was a new department at Walt Disney Studios. And Disney was suffering. These days it’s easy to think of Disney as a mega-giant, but back then, Disney was suffering. Movies were being produced on shoestring budgets, and animators (such as Don Bluth) were jumping ship to find work at studios that were paying better and producing better content. The Little Mermaid hadn’t yet hit theaters, sparking the Disney Renaissance. The fledgeling animation department had produced two shows prior, “The Wuzzles” and “The Adventures of Gummy Bears”.
Disney was in dire straights from Walt’s passing in 1966 left the studio suffering up until the 80s, when they started to take a few risks. Risks that paid off. The studio gambled on the idea that investing more money into quality animation would pay off in the long run if the show went into syndication. It was something that worked well with live action, but had yet to be done with animation to that degree. Cheap animation with tons of shortcuts could be syndicated, but something high-quality had never been done before.
Ducktales was the first show that attempted this, and it paid off handsomely. Not only was the show a hit with audiences (and a merchandising cash-cow) but it changed the game. It set the stage for the Disney Afternoon a few years down the road, and paved the path for every show I mentioned at the beginning. Without Ducktales, there would be no Gargoyles, no Star vs. The Forces of Evil, no Gravity Falls.
Heck, I take it even one step beyond that…Without the inspiration of proof-of-concept, I’d wager that even OTHER studios cartoon creations wouldn’t exist. No Animaniacs, No Adventure Time, no Steven Universe (and don’t think I missed the shout-out to Ducktales in “Onion Trade”)
Ducktales was important because it raised the craft of animation to another level, combining storytelling with good, non-repetitive animation to produce quality TV. For a time, Ducktales was Disney’s Flagship TV series, waving the banner and representing the company in the realm of television animation.
And even today, the classic Ducktales series holds up rather nicely. Sure, some things are a little dated, but at the end of the day, I enjoy watching Ducktales without reservations. That’s why I own the DVD sets.
And it’s why I’m so happy about this reboot.
This isn’t just a revamp of an old show. This is Disney returning to its roots, reclaiming a bit of it’s history and polishing it off for the next generation. I’m a little misty eyed. I had some initial misgivings when this was announced, but the cast announcement melted those fears away, and now, seeing the trailer that dropped less than 24 hours ago…I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a TV series ever.
Breaking down this trailer, we finally hear David Tennant as Scrooge McDuck. I’ve actually been aware of Tennant’s presence in the voiceover scene for a few years now (Most notably, he plays bit parts in the How To Train Your Dragon franchise from Dreamworks) But hearing him as Scrooge…I really feel it works. He’s got a certain quality the echos the late, great Alan Young, and I feel like he couldn’t have been better cast without some of that good old fashioned Disney Necromancy (And as we know, they used up their allotment of Necromancy on Peter Cushing for Rogue One)
I love that the Nephews are getting unique characterization and personality. I loved Russi Taylor’s performance way back when, but one Nephew was really interchangeable with another. Dani Pudi, Ben Schwartz, and Chris Moynihan really bring an awesome chemistry to their roles, just from the trailer.
And then there’s Webbigail. Oh my God, I love how they’ve rebooted Webby. She was always the annoying load back in the classic series. Making her a Donald Duck fangirl is freaking GENIUS (and Kate Micucci is perfect for this role too) Bonus points given for Webby’s infamous “Quacky-Patch Doll” being used for dart practice in the background of her room. Webby has gone from outright “The Load” territory, to one of the most fun-seeming characters present in the reboot.
And all of this from one minute and a half trailer. I can’t wait for this series, even though I know I must. I know it’s gonna be something special, I can feel it. Maybe even Disney’s Flagship show, once again. Stay tuned to my Tumblr, for much, much more.
One thing I know for certain that I’m going to do when the pilot for this airs…A side by side comparison of the Classic Pilot and the new one.
Anyways since I’m still upset about Tiana how about the fact that she’s the only Disney Princess since Aurora to literally only have one animated feature centered on her? Besides a 3-5 minute cameo on Sofia The First, Tiana has not been seen in any other animation (or live action for that matter).
Aurora had a straight-to-video short
Cinderella and Belle had multiple tv/straight-to-video movies
Ariel and Jasmine both had multiple movies and TV series based on their movies
Mulan and Pocahontas both got (admittedly bad) animated sequels
Rapunzel had an animated short and is getting a tv series, and I don’t even have to mention Anna and Elsa’s copious media.
They literally??? Could have addressed all the issues they had with the first movie (displaying their leads of color as frogs ¾ths of the movie, Tiana having to work during the entire thing, her hair never being out, etc) with a short, tv movie, or a series
…and what an experience it was. To watch a film in a style so recognisable, admirable, ubiquitous about stories and people that I grew up hearing and being taught about, was truly one of the most emotional experiences in my life. Of course I was crying right from the get go, all the way to the credits.
As I sat and watched the stories woven through my childhood, not just as a New Zealander, but as a Samoan/Maori mix, being told by DISNEY, I was awash with brimming awe. Constantly teetering on the breaking point of tears as I saw the legends of my people being brought to life for all who are reached by the wide stretching arms of Disneys prolific films, to enjoy and become enamoured by.
And I was not alone. The theatre of easily 300 likeminded Kiwis, the majority of which being of Polynesian background, laughed and cried together as we watched familiar stories being told by close to home voices portrayed in the most famous animated style in the world.
So thank you Disney, for this incredible experience you’ve given to the world. Please know how much it means to us in the smallest personal way. Not even about the representation to the masses that this brings. But of the small pride it has given us that in the wide wide world, we have a light that is worth shining.
(Edit: starting off with my sister, the whole theatre clapped too! Which never happens x)
endless list of favourite movies: Hocus Pocus (1993) “My ungodly book speaks to you. On All Hallow’s Eve, when the moon is round, a virgin will summon us from under the ground. We shall be back, and the lives of all the children of Salem will be mine.”
Hi yes, The Princess and the Frog may not have made the amount of money Tangled did, but it got people talking about Disney again and got Disney to continue the fairy tale musical genre so if it weren’t for PATF y’all wouldn’t have your precious Tangled so stop saying Tangled started the revival.
Now, a formula to transform my beauty into ugliness. Change my queenly raiment to a peddler’s cloak. Mummy dust, to make me old. To shroud my clothes, the black of night. To age my voice, an old hag’s cackle. To whiten my hair, a scream of fright. A blast of wind to fan my hate. A thunderbolt to mix it well. Now, begin thy magic spell.
The Milo Archives (and not so) The first was drawn 12/10/2015 to the song Shut up and Danceand the bottom one was drawn 10/01/2016 to Call it Whatever.Drawn in the stream. Dan’s daughter wanted me to drawn Zack’s hair purple in the second one which sorta comes out that way with the highlights, but real purple hair won’t come until later on when I post more specific things I’ve drawn X)
um full offense, when moana walks through the water to restore te fiti’s heart i gained about 50 years onto my life. moana’s voice was too much for me to handle, my heart completely overflowed with feelings. that’s all.