DuckTales

DuckTales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was looking at Facebook today after getting my hair cut and saw that Disney XD has released their intro for the upcoming reboot of Ducktales, the cartoon based on the comic Uncle Scrooge, although on TV everyone knows it by the other name. You know how I feel about intros by now; I have a whole article series devoted to them, and I’ve complained more than once that modern intros are kind of weak. It’s just a logo and some music (we didn’t even get that with Ultimate Spider-Man). The Ducktales intro is rather special.

The show was popular enough to still evoke nostalgia to this day. The theme song gets stuck in your head, and it’s a welcome visitor. It’s that big. That means the intro itself in this case is important to win over any lingering fans of the old show still questioning the reboot while fans who have embraced the new version need to be assured they haven’t been doing so in vain. So let’s compare the intros and see if it succeeds. We’ll be using the original intro, before the addition of Gizmoduck and Bubba, because the original intro tends to be the one everyone remembers. It’s the same song either way.

There is some original animated segments, like the shark, mummy, and alien scenes, plus the first scene and the last. The rest, however, are clips from the show, which is always a downer for me. To their credit every scene they use fits the words perfectly, or at least is a cool visual. They basically wanted to show off that they could have multiple adventures, some with magic or something out of Indiana Jones, or something out of science fiction. That’s what the show was, and part of what made it so good.

Then there’s the theme song. Like I said, it’s very catchy and gets stuck in your head. The show had usually more relaxed adventures. They were big at times (and sometimes it was just a day in the life instead of some epic quest to add to or protect the contents of Scrooge’s money bin), but it wasn’t trying to be a huge epic story except for the rare occasion where the story needed to be. It was fun and adventurous and that’s conveyed well in the theme song, as well as namedropping Duckberg, the city where our cast lived. The question is, can the new intro measure up?

Okay, I’m impressed. There’s one part that I wonder “was it intentional or am I reading too much into it?”, and that’s the fact that everyone is chasing a dime. Yes, Scrooge McDuck is a notorious skinflint, but there is some significance. Scrooge’s prize possession is his #1 dime, a symbol of all the hard work that went into Scrooge’s fortune. He earned a lot of that money the hard way, and not just through good business dealings. He mined for gold himself, he went on treasure hunts, and he also has a good head for business. And throughout his early pursuits of his fortune that dime somehow always stayed in his possession. One of his enemies, Magica De Spell, even pursued the dime, believing it held the spirit of the effort that went into his fortune, and hoped to use it to control the world. (I wonder if she’s heard of Warehouse 13?) So if intended that’s a nice nod, and I wonder if the dime will play a stronger significance beyond Magica’s attempts to steal it?

The art style looks good, don’t get me wrong, but it still doesn’t feel as Disney to me as the original show. It is faster-paced, by nature if not design, which I believe fits what they’re going for. Also interesting is the use of the comic pages, a nod to the roots of the show and the Uncle Scrooge comics. It does a good job of showing off the villains and the adventures…and with all original animation, or at least does something with any possible clips that is still more than showing clips by framing them in the comic panels. There’s more visually to this intro than the original, the opposite of what I’ve seen in other rebooted shows like Thundercats and Ultimate Spider-Man.

But it all comes down to the iconic theme song, and props to them for getting that right. Actually, there’s a bonus. I love how they took the final refrain verse and compacted it together, giving it a crescendo as Scrooge finally grabs his dime and we get the show title. It gives it a different flavor from the first refrain, which was mostly the same lines but with a little added to the ending.

DuckTales! Woo-oo!
Everyday they’re out there making
DuckTales! Woo-oo!
Tales of derring-do, bad and good
DuckTales! Woo-oo!

Not pony tales or cotton tales, no,
DuckTales! Woo-oo!

source: http://www.lyricsondemand.com/tvthemes/ducktaleslyrics.html

I thought the line was “good luck tales”, but I could be hearing that wrong. Instead it comes off more like

DuckTales! Woo-oo!
Everyday they’re out there making
DuckTales! Woo-00!
Tales of derring, bad and good
Not pony tales or cotton tales, no,
DuckTales! Woo-oo!

Maybe I have been hearing the line wrong? Anyway, I do like how they altered that ending. It gives the theme a spin of their own without throwing out what made it iconic. Good on them.

The show makes it’s debut on Disney XD in August with a marathon of the hour-long debut, “Woo-hoo”, followed by the series proper airing on September 23rd. I’m looking forward to this one. I hope it’s good.

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About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

One response »

  1. Sean says:

    Yes, both songs are good.

    Like

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