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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that DuckTales is a cartoon reboot that makes minor adjustments to the characters and adventure style of the beloved 1980s series. The adventures are fun, comical, and full of surprises, and they always result in a greater sense of unity among family members. Scrooge inspires his great-nephews to let their curiosity lead them even as he strives to keep them safe, and he learns the value of family in the process. Expect some suspense and mild peril, and impact (crashes and falls, mostly) that doesn't result in injury. Even though it's not an educational show, the stories relate to historical times and places that might strike a chord with kids, encouraging further learning. This series has fantastic cross-generational appeal, especially for parents who grew up watching the original.
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What's the story?
In DUCKTALES, Donald Duck's (voiced by Tony Anselmo) impish nephews -- Huey (Danny Pudi), Dewey (Ben Schwartz), and Louie (Bobby Moynihan) -- embark on adventures beyond their wildest dreams when their great-uncle, famed explorer Scrooge McDuck (David Tennant), takes them under his wing. Having gotten over the shock of learning their relation to the reclusive bajillionaire, the boys quickly embrace their family legacy of adventure and join Uncle Scrooge, navigator Launchpad McQuack (Beck Bennett), and their new friend Webby (Kate Micucci) on journeys to faraway places to discover lost cities and reveal hidden treasures. But where Scrooge goes, enemies inevitably follow, and the ducks must outwit the likes of Flintlock Glomgold (Keith Ferguson) to safeguard their quarry.
Is it any good?
These tales of adventure are a treasure unto themselves and definitely worth a remake nearly three decades after the original series premiered. DuckTales' appeal never has been bound by generation, thanks to clever writing and all-around endearing characters. Now that its original kid viewers are parents themselves, there's even more reason to anticipate its positive reception among audiences. Fans of the original will notice some small tweaks to the characters mostly (Donald Duck's glory days as a storied adventurer, for one), but nostalgia, the show's classic look, and a familiar theme song just begging for you to sing along (Woo-oo!) add up to a true winner.
Of course, staying true to a 30-year-old show also preserves some traits that stand out more prominently in a modern light, especially with regard to gender representation. DuckTales' is a heavily male cast, with only young Webby and to a lesser degree, her grandmother, Mrs. Beakley (Scrooge's housekeeper, voiced by Toks Olagundoye), as regularly featured females. It doesn't do the show a disservice, but in light of a younger generation's heightened awareness of such matters, it might raise some questions from your kids about related topics.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about this show's representation of a family. Does family always mean people who are biologically related? Do the characters' families extend beyond biology? Who else do they consider part of their family?
What special traits does Webby bring to this adventurous group? Is she capable of everything the boys do? How might the show be different if the cast was more balanced in gender? As it stands, is it necessarily a bad thing?
How does meeting his nephews inspire Scrooge to change? Kids: Have you ever had an experience that has changed your priorities?
- Premiere date: August 12, 2017
- Cast: David Tennant, Tony Anselmo, Bobby Moynihan
- Network: Disney XD
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, History
- Character Strengths: Curiosity
- TV rating: TV-Y7
- Available on: DVD, Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Seal
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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