While at D23 Expo in California a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with the creators of the new DuckTales TV series. After screening the first episode of the DuckTales cartoon, we jumped right into a Q&A session about the new show. Oh, and did I mention they had a real-life Scrooge money bin – that I totally jumped in! Yep, that was pretty fun. Read on for more details about the new DuckTales cartoon, and my exclusive interview with the show creators.
I was invited as media to cover this event. All opinions are my own.
About the DuckTales TV Series
The new animated comedy adventure “DuckTales” will premiere in a one-hour television movie to be presented for 24 consecutive hours, SATURDAY, AUGUST 12 (beginning at midnight EDT/PDT), on Disney XD. Then, the series will debut with two new episodes SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 (7:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., 10:30 p.m. EDT/PDT). Each will also be available on the Disney XD app and Disney XD VOD on these same dates.
Prior to sitting down with the producer and co-producer, we had the opportunity to watch the first half of the two-part series, airing August 12th. During the first episode, Scrooge McDuck meets his great nephews. The kids also get introduced to Webby, which begins the first adventure for everyone. During interviews, we learned the second part of that big premiere event episode is a big long 18-hour road trip in a submarine to the Lost City of Atlantis.
Exclusive DuckTales Interviews
Matt shares that DuckTales is a “real labor of love” for them, adding, “We love DuckTales so much that the only thing we want is to present DuckTales to a new audience that gives them the same feeling that we had. And hopefully that in 30 years, they’ll be coming around and creating the next version of DuckTales, and loving it as much as we love the original.”
We asked the producers about selecting David Tennant (Dr. Who) for the voice of Scrooge McDuck. Matt shares, “David Tennant, well, seemed to be the natural choice for this. We really wanted to find somebody who was legitimately Scottish. We thought that was really important in this iteration….someone who had the character to bring this icon alive. David is an amazing actor. He’s morphed into this role in an incredible way.”
Francisco shares a little more about the DuckTales TV series mentioning, “because we know that DuckTales is a globetrotting adventure show. In our pilot premier we do half of the episode in Duckburg, which is this amazing adventure local, and the other half going all around the world.” Adding, “one of the things that we wanted to try to set up every time we go to a different location, we always want to try to be authentic. So, we would genuinely try to find voice actors. If we go to Egypt, we try, gonna try to find Egyptian voice actors” and so on.
Francisco also mentioned, “DuckTales has all of these rival wealthy billionaire types that are industrialists, and one of the things we love is, they always upstage one another. Scrooge’s rivals are for the new age, to keep him relevant. So, in addition to Glomgold, who you saw in the very last scene of the cliffhanger for the next episode, who is our, kind of go-go 80’s billionaire. Then we also have a new character we’re really excited to introduce called Mark Beaks, and he is our tech billionaire who cares more about buzz than bucks.”
Q: Did you have any challenges or concerns when it came to modernizing the characters, like, with Donald on his cell phone?
Matt said, “I think our approach to that was to just present a world that kids understand and know, but without beating you over the head with it. Like, we didn’t want the characteristic of Louie to be, I have an iPad.” Francisco adds, “But if Louie is trying to break into a room, he’s gonna do the same thing that every kid would do, pull out a YouTube video and look up how to do it.”
When asked about the animation. It was very kind of comic book newspaper-ish, Matt shares, “We wanted to make sure it felt hand crafted. We didn’t wanna go the CG route, because there was a few reasons for that.” One is that they wanted to retain the hand-crafted feel of the original animators, and the second was if the animation was CG it would feel a bit artificial. It just didn’t make sense to them.
Regarding bringing Webby into the new series, Matt shares, “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…..that was really important to us to present a real well-rounded character so that she could go toe to toe with the boys.”
Are you excited for the New Ducktales TV Series?
For images of the cast, my jump in the money bin, and a clip from the premiere, check out this post for more.