There was one show that taught an entire generation that life was like a hurricane. One show that fostered a sense of adventure and sold us the dream of swimming in a pool of gold coins. It was DuckTales, based on Carl Barks' Duck Universe comics and one of Disney's most beloved animated series. It followed the exploits of Scrooge McDuck, a billionaire living in Duckberg with his three great nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie (Donald Duck's nephews) as they travel the world looking for riches and protecting the riches McDuck does have; especially his Number One Dime.
We have DuckTales to thank for characters like Launchpad McQuack, Magica de Spell, and the Beagle Boys, on top of being quality cartoon fun back during its original run. In 2015, it was annoucned that the show would be revived on Disney XD for a modern audience, complete with a new look, David Tenant onboard to voice Scrooge, and a revamped theme song. The show was a Disney cornerstone in the late 80s and early 90s, and it's got plenty of fun facts hiding in the margins.
Once DuckTales went off the air in 1990, it was replaced by Darkwing Duck, to similar success. We all know that Launchpad and Magica de Spell showed up as characters, but did you know that the idea came from an episode of DuckTales proper? The show was even going to be called Double-O-Duck, but since James Bond author Ian Fleming owned the rights to the double o name, they came up with Darkwing Duck instead and various characters from the episode were reworked.
Magica de Spell was a witch who sought to use the magic in Scrooge's Number One Dime to rule the world. Her design was heavily inspired by Italian actresses and Morticia Addams from The Addams Family. Barks laid his inspiration out flat: "Disney's always had witches who were ugly and repulsive. Why shouldn't I draw one that's not ugly, but downright sexy?"
Tales a treasure hunting and tomb raiding are inextricably linked to Indiana Jones, but Steven Spielberg himself admitted that the movie might not have happened if DuckTales didn't. Spielberg and Jones co-creator George Lucas claim that the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark was inspired by the comics "The Seven Cities Of Cibola" from 1954 and "The Prize of Pizarro" from 1959. It's only fair that the DuckTales movie Treaure of The Lost Map took some inspiration back from the Raiders of the Lost Ark poster.
TaleSpin was a lesser known but no less entertaining show that recontextualized Baloo and King Louie from The Jungle Book as cargo pilots in a steampunk-ish 1930s atmosphere. It's as bizarre and engaging as it sounds, and it originally started life as a DuckTales spinoff. The show's co-creator Jymn Magon revealed that Launchpad McQuack was originally supposed to be a cargo pilot instead of Scrooge's personal pilot, which eventually led to Baloo being retrofitted into the series.
Flintheart was the main antagonist on the show with a distinctive Scottish accent and a thirst for cash to match Scrooge's. In the original comics, Flinthart was South African, but since apartheid was raging in that country around the time the series first aired, Disney wanted no affiliation, so Flintheart became Scottish instead.
Donald Duck is a Navu uncle on the DuckTales show, but he's not only more present in the original comics; he even goes on many of the adventures with Scrooge and his nephews. Donald's relative star power would've made DuckTales a different show; or just that much closer to Quack Pack.
The show's classic theme song was composed by Mueller, who also created the theme song for Chip 'N Dale Rescue Rangers and songs for Pokemon: The First Movie, on top of writing plenty of Gold and Platinum hits on the Billboard charts since the 1980s.
Speaking of the theme song, there's four different versions.The regular version we know and loveA slightly shorter version made for cassette tape storiesThe extended version featuring guitar solo and fadeoutand the shorter version aired on The Disney Afternoon
The DuckTales games is one of the most famous examples of a TV show based on a cartoon turning out incredibly well. It became one of the bes What didn't turn out so well was Disney and developer Capcom's dispute over ownership; Disney owns the characters and the game itself, but Capcom owns the actual code of the game, preventing a potential remaster of the game until 2013.
If you're actually curious about the family tree that binds Scrooge, Donald, Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby, then you're in luck! Originally published in 1993 by Don Rosa, the Duck Family Tree lays out all the Duck history you can handle back to medieval times.