Reboot fever has once again swept Hollywood. New properties are becoming fewer and further between, as executives find themselves drawn to previous success. The latest example is Disney XD, which it turns out is producing a DuckTales remake.
The first glimmer of the DuckTales remake came out back in March, when Disney released a single still shot from the new series. The image is pretty sharp, depicting the webfoot crew fleeing through the jungle in a jeep.
Scrooge McDuck is driving, of course, with Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby hanging out inside. Donald is hanging out on top and is not having a good time.
Judging by the spears sticking out of the sides, it looks like they might have had an altercation with some local native warriors. Or Renaissance Faire enthusiasts.
What’s a little less clear is the apparent price tag on the front of the vehicle. Did Scrooge pick the thing up for $100?
Teaser Trailer for DuckTales Remake
This week, Disney finally released a little more info. A new image depicts, once again, the gang fleeing in a jeep. This time, though, the driver is none other than Launchpad McQuack, and Webby appears to be using a Batman-style grapple gun to snag a no doubt priceless vase. Scrooge is engaged in a similar pursuit with a gigantic golden idol, and he looks right in his element.
Donald is still hanging out on top, and he is still not having a good time. Poor guy.
The new image came along with a teaser trailer. It doesn’t show much, but any fan is sure to tap their foot at the classic theme song.
Back to Roots
What the two DuckTales remake teaser images share is a nod to the original roots of the series. Those little dots you can see all over the images are a strong indication of the style and tone of the show.
The adventures of Scrooge McDuck around the world are squarely based in classic comics. The character was conceived way back in 1947 by Disney animator Carl Barks. He was originally meant as a minor villain for Donald, who had a successful comic series of his own at the time.
Soon, though, Scrooge’s inner hero came out. He began the swashbuckling adventures which would inspire the animated series. The plots typically involved Scrooge wanting or needing an object, like a relic or idol. He would go and find it, using his vast knowledge and skill to overcome obstacles like hostile natives or rival treasure hunters. At the end, he would have the object and would be ready for his next adventure, no major character development needed.
If this sounds a little like Indiana Jones, that’s because the whip-cracking archaeologist was inspired by the same sort of comics.
The dots are known as halftone dots, and were all over comics for decades. They’re the result of a printing process developed in the 1800s, and they allowed publishers to mass-produce colorful pages on the cheap.
Today, halftone dots are a technique to give art a retro feel. Since nobody uses the actual printing method anymore, artists typically paint the dots by hand.
That seems to be what the DuckTales remake is doing. The show is going to have the feel of the pulp fiction of the 1920s and 30s.
Disney has gone down this road before, of course. Anyone else ready for a TaleSpin remake?