Did you know that it takes up to 18 months to create a single episode of Disney’s DuckTales? Whoah! From story ideas through to final animation, it’s a long journey to bring the cartoon to life. Want to know more?
In this exclusive interview Executive Producer Matt Youngberg and Co-Producer and Story Editor, Francisco Angones of DuckTales discuss their hit Disney XD show.
What surprised you the most about the fan response to the first series of DuckTales?
Matt: For me, I think some of the best responses have come from fans of the original series from the ‘80s who now have children. It’s been great to hear about how the show has become an opportunity for the whole family to watch together. It’s also really satisfying to hear that the young fans are just as excited – or even more excited – than the fans who grew up with the ‘80s show.
Francisco: It’s really satisfying to know that people enjoy what we’ve created. We took a lot of chances with the show, but people believe in the show and they are excited for more. That’s great to hear.
Can you talk about the chances you took during the first season?
Francisco: We took chances in terms of the characterisations on Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby. We also took chances on the types of adventures that we were going on with these characters. It’s really gratifying to hear a kid say, “I’m a Louie and my brother’s a Dewey, but my friend is a Webby.” That’s music to our ears.
You must be thrilled…
Francisco: We are. Not only are people able to connect to the show on a nostalgic level and not only are they able to connect to the show on a comedy level – but they are also connecting to the show on a character level. It’s also great to see the response to new characters, like Lena, and to hear the reaction to what we did with Magica and our version of Beakley. We were really excited to work on the show, but we have been constantly afraid that we’d mess it up. The fact that fans have embraced it lets us rest a little easier.
Do you still get a kick out of writing for Donald and these iconic Disney characters?
Francisco: Definitely. You always feel a charge of electricity whenever you get to write “Bless Me Bagpipes” into a script, although that’s become a little bit of a crutch. One of my favorite things is to have someone else say a different character’s catchphrase. For example, in season one we had Scrooge say, “Ah, sweet.” We also had Louie saying, “Oh, boy!” It is truly the greatest joy of DuckTales any time you find a new way to have Dewey insert his name into a sentence. That’s tons of fun for me.
What else thrills you about the writing of the show?
Francisco: I still get a charge from writing scenes in the interior of Scrooge McDuck’s money bin.
Matt: It’s also really exciting to be able to be a part of this legacy and to know that we’re doing something with these characters who are going to out-live all of us. It’s really exciting to be able to contribute to this legacy and to see these characters grow within the boundaries of our show. Knowing that Donald Duck is going to be Donald Duck forever, it’s really exciting to be able to say we contributed towards that.
The Road to Ducktales
Step one: The idea
DuckTales is Disney’s dynamite new show that follows the high-flying adventures of Duckburg’s most famous trillionaire, Scrooge McDuck. The dapper Scottish duck has a trio of mischief-making triplet grand-nephews trailing his every move: Huey, Dewey and Louie. And let’s not forget about Scrooge’s world-famous nephew, Donald Duck. Donald is a huge part of the animated action, too!
Step two: The team
Who’s in charge of creating DuckTales? The show’s executive producer, Matt Youngberg, and story editor and co-producer, Francisco Angones, lead a talented team of artists, writers and voice actors. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be bringing DuckTales to audiences around the world,” explains Matt. “It’s a dream come true because we’re both life-long DuckTales fans.”