Okay, so I was excited about the upcoming new DuckTales TV show before. I loved the original, which I caught in reruns when I was a kid (being only two years old when it debuted). But Disney released the title sequence for it yesterday, and there is SO. MUCH. in there to love. I’m gonna overanalyze it here with my thoughts as I watched it the first time and how I feel about it now. Strap in.
From the first guitar strum I was loving this song. It’s such a perfect update of the original; it’s in a slightly peppier key and tempo than the original, which is nice, and it’s sung by a woman who definitely seems to get the tone.
And then look at this animation!
The halftone dot comic book style is perfect for a show like this, and they have Scrooge’s look down perfectly. I love how determined he looks to get the Number One Dime.
One thing you don’t hear here is that they have David Tennant as the voice for Scrooge McDuck, which I can’t decide how I feel about. On one hand, the sad loss of Alan Young last year means there’s no way he could reprise the role (like he did brilliantly in the 2013 video game remaster of the original super-hard NES DuckTales game). But I don’t know that Tennant has the right sound; though since he’s Scottish, it’ll probably sound perfectly fine.
Race cars, lasers, aeroplanes
Ooh, it’s not just a halftone comic book style, it’s a full-on comic book style, with panels and gutters and everything! I don’t know how much of that will last, but I am hopeful. And just look at this visual gag:
I mean, okay, it’s not as subtle in the actual title sequence since she’s actually singing “Race cars, lasers, aeroplanes…” during it, but it’s still clever and a great fit with the humor of DuckTales. Launchpad McQuack’s personality looks right on. And makes me really hope for a Darkwing Duck reboot…
The First “Woo-ooo!”
If you know the DuckTales theme song, you know about the “Woo-ooo!” And this one is incredibly satisfying. I don’t know what it is about that giant crab snapping its claw in time with the beat, but it just feels right.
In other news, it looks like they’re making Webby a pretty integral part of this series. I like that. Kate Micucci has a really distinctive and fun voice, and it’ll be nice to see what they do with her. I really like most of the way that Disney and their properties have been portraying women recently, and I think this’ll be a fun addition to that trend.
So, Donald Duck makes a number of appearances in this trailer, leading me to believe we’ll get a lot more of him in the series than we did in the old one. I’m intrigued, since the plot of the old version was dependent on Donald being in the Navy and thus unable to take care of his sons, which is how they got put under Scrooge’s care in the first place. But the little snippets we get of him here are interesting enough; being a concerned dad. That really resonates with me at this stage in my life.
I love the mechanic of the Number One Dime bouncing through the comic book world as the thing that brings us from one scene to the next. It really ties everything together and – wait, is that Mrs. Beakley driving the jeep?!
And man, isn’t that just like Huey, Dewey, and Louie to be stuck on a charging rhino. Just like old times, thirty years ago. But look- more Webby again! Loving it.
The Second “Woo-ooo!”
The YouTube version of this theme song has the vocals a bit compressed and quiet, but the Facebook version has the audio very crisp and clear. I hope YouTube just killed the sound with its compression algorithm or something, because that “woo-ooo” just doesn’t hit as hard. And I do miss that old trumpet part.
There’s Webby with some more derring-do. This sequence really feels right, too. It’s a very 80’s/90’s cartoon thing, the running-in-a-straight-line-away-from-a-ghoulie thing. Very Scooby-Doo in tone. Perfect for a DuckTales reboot.
Also, I just want to comment again about the incredibly tight rhythm this new title sequence has. The old one tried it with this moment right before the bridge, where the pie-throwing is kind of synchronized to the synth notes played into the bridge—
—but it’s nowhere near as well-paced as the new one.
The Coin Dive
Much ink has been spilled about the inherent ridiculousness of the Scrooge Coin Dive, but—
—it’s just so zany and perfect for his character. This is a great sequence, with Scrooge being inordinately athletic and acrobatic. It’s great. Plus, the coins interact with the halftone nature of the world so well here.
The Third “Woo-ooo!”
Now we have this really clever chase sequence involving the big DuckTales villains: Flintheart Glomgold, Magicka De Spell, and the Beagle Boys. Plus several characters I don’t recognize, which I assume means they have created some new characters for this show, too.
All the while, Scrooge is showing off the fact that he’s a duck and can swim really well. And there’s Mrs. Beakley again, being all awesome and stuff to save the Nephews and Webby while Scrooge snatches his Number One Dime.
I do want to talk about the music here. They’ve done a slight remix to combine all of the final phrases from the original song into an extended verse that really amps up the fact that this is going to be a madcap adventure show, at the loss of a couple of “Woo-ooo!”s. I didn’t like it at first, but I think I’m a fan now. Still miss the trumpets, though.
And the dramatic tension of the scene builds and builds as the baddies are closing in on Scrooge and the gang, until he catches the dime—
The Final “Woo-oo!”
—and everything else falls into place. He flips it from his cane into his hand (ducks have hands?) right before Launchpad crashes the plane into the “T” they’re all standing in, knocking the baddies off and saving everybody.
I think the thing I really like about this title sequence is that it feels like a little one-minute episode of DuckTales. It’s brilliant, and I can’t wait to see the show.