DuckTales 2017 #01-02 — Deus Excalibur

August 12th, 2017


That pun was not appreciated nor used nearly to its utmost.


Although that pun did, like all of these Western shows I've threatened to remark upon and then proceeded to do so, put me in a bit of a more introspective thought about comedy, and especially wordplay. While I can recognize Japanese wordplay jokes, especially some of the groaners that games like Duel Savior or Princess Witches were full of, I'm not sure there's ever been any I've actually found genuinely amusing. I'm sure it's in large part both cultural since I've never been actually immersed in Japanese such that it was anything other than a minority of my day, even on the busiest days of translation, and also because even though I consider myself relatively fluent, it still takes at least a little bit of concentration, such that it's hard to be caught by surprise by puns like that.

Another thing that also occurred to me was the thought that we don't see much in Japan of the trope where the retired dude/dudette has settled into the boring life, but is hauled out of it to go back to adventure. But then I realized I was wrong. We see it all the goddamned time, especially in light novel adaptations where it turns out the 16 year old was a prodigy at the age of 10, but retired to go hit on high school girls, or similar. What's missing 99 times out of 100 in Japanese stuff is the joie de vivre. Adventure and fun is a bad thing. The mundane life of sitting at home, counting your investments and watching stocks is the good thing. The protagonist may be dragged back to fight whoever, but always reluctantly, and at the end of every arc, again tries to abandon everything that made them special. I hesitate to call it a cultural difference, but it certainly seems that way. 

Anyway, as for the episode itself, it seemed fine enough for a show aimed as nostalgic adults to watch with their kids. I was more of Warner Bros era kid myself (ie Animaniacs, Freakazoid, Batman TAS, etc), so the original DuckTales/Disney Afternoon was a year or two before my time, and I can't really recall much of the original show, if I even watched it at all, or just picked up pieces of it via Darkwing Duck. I did own the NES game, but who didn't? The ending of the second episode with "TRUST IN ME, DONALD," was pretty weak, even for a kid's show, and I'm probably showing my age in thinking that the triplets were a tad far on the obnoxious side, especially in the second episode. And if you didn't notice, so goddamned much wasted potential in not having the Deus Excalibur fix everything instead of pulling a magic stone gauntlet out of someone's ass.

Posted in Ducktales | 6 Comments »

6 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • The Phantom says:

    WTF are you reviewing lately, like seriously? Also why the hell this looks worse than the original so many years ago. With the VA of scrooge passing away a few years ago (Alan Young, peace in his tomb, man was a legend he even did VA for the 2013 game well into his 90s) Same as magica (June Foray) I just do not see myself liking this.

    Aroduc says:

    Whatever I feel like. And/or that I can say something a little more meaningful about than “Another episode spent talking/rehashing a previous episode.” Because Christ, Japan.

    Opulent Rag says:

    Compared to CN, this reboot is a fucking godsend. It has it’s own charm and wit, I respect that, and it sticks close to what the series matters: ADVENTURE, ACTION, MYSTERY. Not fucking “millennial” humor and trying to make memes or something; I imagine it’ll get close, maybe dip into that well a few times, but for now, I’m impressed.

  • Dave Baranyi says:

    Gawd – the character designs look horrible. Disney used to have guidelines on how to draw the characters – did they lose them, particularly for Donald? In most of those stills Donald looks more like Daffy then himself. The animators ought to at least re-watch the piano scene from Roger Rabbit to understand what they are supposed to do. (I have no hope that they would actually get some videos of the 40s or 50s Donald to see how he is really supposed to look.)

    And I’m not going anywhere near the grotesque failures that Huey, Dewey, and Louie have become.

    Ugh, shudder…

    Dave Baranyi

  • LUNI_TUNZ says:

    Was Webby as much of a main character in the original series? I also mostly watched Darkwing over Ducktales, and probably only watched what Ducktales I did because they shared Launchpad.

    As far as watching with kids, I’m watching my niece this weekend and she outright refused to watch the show (because its on XD, while wearing Descendants pajamas), I don’t know what this anecdotal evidence suggests.

  • OverMaster says:

    “Another thing that also occurred to me was the thought that we don’t see much in Japan of the trope where the retired dude/dudette has settled into the boring life, but is hauled out of it to go back to adventure.”

    That’s because Japan seems to think young audiences will be completely unable to relate to anyone over the age of sixteen, of course.

    “Disney used to have guidelines on how to draw the characters”

    Please kindly go compare the ‘Dippy Dawg’ Goofy from his earliest appearances, then compare him to Classic Goofy, then to Earless Everyman Goofy from the fifties, then to Italian Comics Goofy, then to the current Goofy from the new Mickey Mouse cartoons, and tell me if they look like they belong to the same exact character guideline. Disney should always have room for experimenting, it’s not like Warner doesn’t go for wild retoolings of their own characters all the time either.

    “In most of those stills Donald looks more like Daffy then himself”.

    Hm, no, what the heck are you saying? He doesn’t look like any Daffy (Bob Clampett’s, Chuck Jones’, The Looney Tunes Show’s, any of them) at all.