What cartoon was more true to the Duck Universe?

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powerjake

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These three cartoons like DuckTales (1987), DuckTales (2017) and Legend of the Three Caballeros (2018) all take inspiration from the Carl Barks and Don Rosa's Duck Universe comics. Which cartoon had more in common with the comics, stories and characters.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Legend actually takes almost nothing from the Barks and Rosa comics. Outside of April, May, and June, the characters are all from animation.

As for the DuckTales series, as horribly and badly written as the 87 show is, and as much cringe as I get watching it, it's probably closer to both Barks and Rosa. Simply because I know it never sent Don Rosa into conniptions. He didn't like it, but every other week I watch the reboot I picture it causing Rosa to have a stress aneurysm. I cannot overstate how much the reboot runs entirely counter to the spirit of the Duck stories. What's amazing is it's actually quite well-written! But it's a show written by people who think the Disney Ducks are boring and suck. Those of us who actually LIKE the Disney Ducks recognize it for the hot garbage it actually is.

DuckTales 87 was super dumb and insulting to a 6 year old's intelligence. But I don't ever picture it as the cause of death on Don Rosa's death certificate.
 

Zanneck

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All I know is that Legend of 3 Caballeros needs a 2nd season, already. And a third, if possible. Still so much more that can be done with that setup that wasn't, IMHO.

As for the actual argument..... I must abstain from it, since I only watched the cartoons, unfortunately.
 

Corwin Haught

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Scrooge McDuck and Money (1967). For fidelity to the Duck comics, it can't be beat.

Seriously I would say that both versions of DuckTales are about equally distant from the major Duck comics, and I haven't seen Legend.
 
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Red Arrow

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every other week I watch the reboot I picture it causing Rosa to have a stress aneurysm. I cannot overstate how much the reboot runs entirely counter to the spirit of the Duck stories. What's amazing is it's actually quite well-written! But it's a show written by people who think the Disney Ducks are boring and suck. Those of us who actually LIKE the Disney Ducks recognize it for the hot garbage it actually is.
I can imagine Barks thinks the same thing about Rosa's stories.
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
I can imagine Barks thinks the same thing about Rosa's stories.
You'd be wrong. Barks and Rosa were friends.

Edit:

Also need to point out that every story Rosa did was dedicated to Barks on the cover and first panel. Rosa did everything in his power to not only respect Barks' legacy, but the spirit of the Duck comics. While it is true Rosa's stories had a more modern sensibility and were faster paced, they were all premised under the notion that the Ducks solved their problems using their brains instead of their fists. The reboot spits in that legacy in every season finale it delivers. Even the 87 DuckTales got that bit right.
 
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powerjake

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You'd be wrong. Barks and Rosa were friends.

Edit:

Also need to point out that every story Rosa did was dedicated to Barks on the cover and first panel. Rosa did everything in his power to not only respect Barks' legacy, but the spirit of the Duck comics. While it is true Rosa's stories had a more modern sensibility and were faster paced, they were all premised under the notion that the Ducks solved their problems using their brains instead of their fists. The reboot spits in that legacy in every season finale it delivers. Even the 87 DuckTales got that bit right.

How did the Ducktales reboot get so much hostility from fans in the first place?.
 

colomb

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How did the Ducktales reboot get so much hostility from fans in the first place?.
It doesn't, the vast majority of the complaints leveled at the show are older people saying "I don't like the animation". These are people who have never watched the show and don't know the difference between art style and animation. The response to the show otherwise has been overwhelmingly positive.
 

Darklordavaitor

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I remember when I watched Legends of the Three Caballeros, I was shocked to see the lengths the series was going to avoid Carl Barks' work. It's gotta be pretty deliberate if they swapped out Huey, Dewey, and Louie for April, May, and June, right?

I went to a D23-produced screening of the original feature earlier this year, which featured a pre-recorded panel of some of the crew behind the series. They mentioned that the show was purposefully focusing less on Donald's mother's side of the family, as it's been well-mined over the years, and instead decided to focus on the other side of his family. They drew inspiration from Don Rosa's family tree, which itself was inspired by Barks' smaller-scaled tree, and besides that and the quick Scrooge cameo, that's about it.

As for DuckTales, the original series did feature some adaptations of Barks' works, which were more often than not watered down, but still relatively faithful. The average episode does tend to match the sense of wonder and adventure that Barks often featured in his epic stories. It didn't have as many smaller, domestic adventures like Barks' usual ten page Donald stories, mostly since Donald wasn't involved for the most part, but it did have quieter episodes as well, especially near the end.

Say what you will about the series, but this oral history states that Barks was a fan of the series- at least its initial 65 episodes. It sounds like he wasn't as enthused when Bubba and GizmoDuck were added. I can understand why he was appreciative of the series, since even if it wasn't 100% faithful to his works, his comics were being recognized and inspired a hugely popular series. After years of having his name hidden due to Disney's demands, his work was getting some attention and love.

It's also worth noting that while Don Rosa was less pleased by what the show did to the comics he loved so much, he has stated on more than one occasion that he thinks it's a good show in his own right. He wrote a comic story that was themed towards the show, and in his Fantagraphics commentary, he mentions that while he doesn't understand the character of Bubba, he does like Launchpad, and might have found room for him in his comics if he wasn't such a Barks purist. I haven't seen him give as strong of a reception for the new series.

And that's because DuckTales 2017... does it's own thing. It does it pretty well- it's a good show- but sometimes I feel like the showrunners are more interested in getting their favorite TV actors on the show than adapting these classic characters. Granted, there are occasional references to Barks' stories, and the pilot is loosely inspired by the last chapter of Rosa's "Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck". But that's where its likeness to their comics begins and ends.

Faithfulness doesn't always mean quality, I'll grant you. I like all three series, ultimately for different things. But if you want to know which show follows the duck comics the most closely, I'd say OG DuckTales without question.
 
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powerjake

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And that's because DuckTales 2017... does it's own thing. It does it pretty well- it's a good show- but sometimes I feel like the showrunners are more interested in getting their favorite TV actors on the show than adapting these classic characters. Granted, there are occasional references to Barks' stories, and the pilot is loosely inspired by the last chapter of Rosa's "Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck". But that's where its likeness to their comics begins and ends.
It was said that the DuckTales reboot is going to be closer to the Carl Barks comics than the 1987 DuckTales.

How can anyone say its so distant from the source of the comics?, Thats rather confusing.
 

Mostezli

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It was said that the DuckTales reboot is going to be closer to the Carl Barks comics than the 1987 DuckTales.

How can anyone say its so distant from the source of the comics?, Thats rather confusing.
It's distant in the sense of how TMNT 2k3 is "distant". That's what I'm learning from all the reading and watching I am doing. That is to say the DuckTales reboot comes across as more of an expansion of various source material while also veering closer to the intentions of the people who established these characters and settings.
  • Having Darkwing Duck, at first, be a fictional show and character that Launchpad is so fond of and constantly cites as to why he's a pilot maintains the apparent multiverse separation the two series had in the 80s & 90s, while still acknowledging that venn diagram which McQuack just so happens to be in the middle of.
  • There was a tiny written/drawn snippet in regards to Della Duck's backstory after decades of not being much of a character in relation to the triplets. The reboot develops an entire subplot out of that to emphasize and dramatize her absence.
  • As often as the reboot does something new and modern; establish relationships and such, there's a whole host of pre-established experiences/relationships with older characters as if to imply there's a vast history to explore for the enthusiastic viewer.
  • "According to Barks, he intended to create [Magica De Spell] as another recurring antagonist for Scrooge...Barks ...decided to create a witch who was young and beautiful...He also wanted her to be seductive, amoral, and somewhat threatening." She was a comedic foil in the original DuckTales. She got to be seductive/amoral/threatening in the reboot.
These are just a few examples ^
And then most unique of all, you get every other episode or subplot dedicated to understanding commerce and other business ventures.
 
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Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
It doesn't, the vast majority of the complaints leveled at the show are older people saying "I don't like the animation". These are people who have never watched the show and don't know the difference between art style and animation. The response to the show otherwise has been overwhelmingly positive.
Really? Because my complaints are down to the violence and the writing not being in the spirit of the comics. And I've seen every episode.
It was said that the DuckTales reboot is going to be closer to the Carl Barks comics than the 1987 DuckTales.
They lied.
How can anyone say its so distant from the source of the comics?, Thats rather confusing.
Because the Ducks use their fists to solve problems rather than their heads. They also made the crazy decision to make Dewey and Louie borderline sociopaths instead of the admirable characters they were in the comics.
 

colomb

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Really? Because my complaints are down to the violence and the writing not being in the spirit of the comics. And I've seen every episode.
Getting off topic here but looking at Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and this site, you're pretty much the only person I've seen making the complaints that have anything to do with the comics. I would imagine the majority of people who watched any of these shows only have a vague idea that they exist with some outright unaware. The blink-and-you-miss cameo of Violet's two dads did get the far-right riled up on Twitter, and National Review posted a long rant about it which brought up the comics, but that's about it.

Take this random Facebook post for example, one guy questions the "animation", another says "graphics", although there are some people who just say they "I don't like this" for no specified reason (I'm guessing the page was originally created for the 1987 series).
 

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
Take this random Facebook post for example, one guy questions the "animation", another says "graphics", although there are some people who just say they "I don't like this" for no specified reason (I'm guessing the page was originally created for the 1987 series).
Dreaded double-post coming. But I've actually thought a LOT about this aspect of your post. I don't criticize the animation style on the show because all Duck artists have their own way of doing things. William Van Horn (as an example) is also pretty stylized himself.

But I do question the reasoning behind the designs on the new series. Supposedly they were done to be a tribute to Carl Barks' Ducks. Which is another thing to say the producers never really read the comics. Carl Bark is one of the rarest Disney artists in that his comic work was entirely on-model to the cartoons (colors notwithstanding). Bark was famously known as the "Good Duck Artist" and very few other Disney comic artists drew anything NEAR to the Disney "House Style". Floyd Gottfredson did in his earlier Mickey strips, and Vicar is also pretty on-model, and Daan Jippes can be too when he chooses to be (which isn't always). But it's rare and Barks' art looked like an actual Disney cartoon from the 1940's.

Barks was also known for beautiful and detailed vistas when the need arose. Having LESS background detail in this cartoon than the 1987 version makes no sense whatsoever.

Which means it also makes no sense for this series' designs to be off-model, more stylized, and less detailed. If they were TRULY honoring Barks' art, it would closer to a classic animated Disney cartoon, with a more subdued color palette. They got the subdued color palette right, but nothing else about the character or background designs remotely resembles Barks.

I don't even object to the stylized designs or animation that much. But saying it's a tribute to Barks means the producers again know nothing about the comics.
 

colomb

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With Disney television ratings being only a fraction of what they once were I can imagine that the production budget may not be what cartoons in the past had. Is the animation on the show that different from what else is on the channel these days?

With regards to the social media posts, I do think some of the designs, in particular the triplets are what people don't like, not sure why their heads look kinda rectangular, perhaps this design from the Runaway Railway poster would have been better.
 

Mostezli

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With regards to the social media posts, I do think some of the designs, in particular the triplets are what people don't like, not sure why their heads look kinda rectangular, perhaps this design from the Runaway Railway poster would have been better.
The designs on these poster ducks don't fit at all whatsoever with the rest of them.