Best DuckTales (2017) Episodes
It is no secret that the focus of the Walt Disney Company nowadays is rehashing their classic properties for an easy profit. The end results are usually the soulless corporate-driven shows and movies one would expect, but in 2017 they struck gold by taking a new generation (and a previous generation) back to Duckburg with DuckTales. Our Head of the House put it best saying this show was far and away the best reboot Disney has produced in recent years appealing both to adults and younger viewers in equal measure. After 3 seasons of solving mysteries and rewriting history (woo-oo) the adventures of Scrooge, Huey, Dewey, Louie, Webby, Donald, Della, Launchpad, and Mrs. Beakley have come to an end. In honor of this great cartoon here are, in no particular order, the top episodes of DuckTales.
Woo-oo!: The debut episode which immediately set the tone of this new DuckTales which would be filled with equal measures of adventure and heart. After getting a new job Donald Duck needs someone to watch his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. The only person he can turn to is his estranged Uncle Scrooge who was once a grand adventurer but is now focused on his business. While the triplets grate on his nerves initially, they reignite his spirit of adventure and he takes them to Atlantis to find a lost treasure. Right on their trail however, is Scrooge’s arch nemesis Flintheart Glomgold.
The Shadow War! (parts 1&2): The debut season of Duck Tales came to an end with an absolute blockbuster event when the sorceress Magica de Spell finally puts into action her season long plan of revenge. While the family needs to be united against this threat, they are divided thanks to the events of the previous episode. While Launchpad, Webby, and Mrs. Beakley work to bring everyone together, Magica successfully steals Uncle Scrooge’s number one dime and unleashes the horrors of the Shadow Realm. In order to save Duckburg, everyone (including Donald Duck being briefly voiced by Don Cheadle) must put aside their differences for a grand battle against the forces of darkness. For fans of Doctor Who we even get a little bonus that David Tennant who voices Uncle Scrooge is reunited with a former companion with Catherine Tate voicing Magica de Spell.
Quack Pack!: This was an absolutely brilliant episode for the nostalgia crowd. The episode opens with the gang in settings and costumes bearing a striking familiarity to fans of the original DuckTales. Slowly but surely, the characters uncover that they are trapped in a classic sitcom. While they naturally try to figure a way to escape their new surroundings, Donald seems bent on keeping them there. They discover that it was the genie Gene who has trapped them in this reality. This episode is a fantastic salute to the franchise’s history with plenty of Easter Eggs for devoted fans.
What Ever Happened to Della Duck?: Ten years ago the adventurous Della Duck stole her Uncle Scrooge’s spaceship the Spear of Selene and was never heard from again. With the revelation earlier in the series that she was still alive, this episode told the story of what she has been doing for the past decade. Stranded on the moon, Della’s attempts to repair her ship all end in disaster that is until she is taken in by the Moonlanders who call the lunar surface home after helping them deal with a moon monster. The events of this episode not only serve as a fantastic introduction to the character of Della Duck but gets the ball rolling on the overarching plot of the entire season.
Challenge of the Senior Junior Woodchucks!: Huey is finally set to achieve his dream and achieve the status of Senior Junior Woodchuck within his troop. The only drawback is that there can only be one who gains this level so he has to compete against Webby’s friend Violet who turns out to be just as dedicated to the Junior Woodchucks as he is. The two must compete against each other in the wilderness of Duckburg with only one victor. While that is going on, Uncle Scrooge and the other kids take their first steps in tracking down the treasures of famed Woodchuck founder Isabella Finch thus setting off the ongoing narrative for the rest of the final season.
The Duck Knight Returns!: Since the debut of this Duck Tales have been pondering if the terror who flaps in the night himself, Darkwing Duck would play a part. At first we had the clever notion that Darkwing Duck was a show-within-a-show but in “The Duck Knight Returns!” the fan favorite finally makes his debut. When Scrooge’s production company reboots the Darkwing Duck franchise, former actor Jim Starling (voiced by former Darkwing the great Jim Cummings) refuses to hand over his cape to a younger actor. Initially, superfan Launchpad is game to help his childhood hero but soon learns that the new Darkwing Drake Mallard is up to the task setting up a confrontation between the past and the future and it…gets…dangerous,
Friendship Hates Magic!: During the Shadow War, Webby lost her closest friend Lena to Magica’s evil. But in this episode she finds a way to possibly bring her back with the help of her new pal Violet. Unbeknownst to them, Lena has been watching them from the Shadow Realm all along and does not trust this newcomer. Supernatural chaos explodes and the three girls will have to work together. As they confront horrors of the Shadow Realm, Launchpad and Mrs. Beakley set out to film his Darkwing Duck fan fiction. No character benefitted from this DuckTales reboot more than Webby and this episode which shined the spotlight on her and her friends is more than deserved.
The Last Crash of the Sunchaser!: The penultimate episode of season one answered the lingering mystery of what happened to the mother of Huey, Dewey, and Louie. But what we learn is nothing short of heartbreaking. With Scrooge’s plane the Sunchaser perched precariously on a mountaintop the entire Duck family is in grave danger of falling to their deaths. While the adults scramble to find a way out of their situation, the kids’ season-long investigation into what really happened to their mother Della comes to a head. Upon confronting Uncle Scrooge with the truth, he comes clean that their mother stole one of his spaceships and is presumed dead in the coldness of space. The revelations which unfold tears the family apart with an ending which will punch even the most jaded viewer right in the emotions.
GlomTales!: To be perfectly honest I love the character of Flintheart Glomgold, he is the perfect hilarious combination of overly-ambitious and ridiculous with an endless supply of cockamamie schemes. So this episode where he builds a Legion of Doom-esque group of the Duck clan’s greatest enemies is absolute gold. As obnoxiously loud and ego-driven as he is, Glomgold actually displays a cunning intellect as he puts together the perfect team. Each villain is meticulously chosen to exploit the strengths of Scrooge and his family. Even Louie himself seems poised to betray his family to take part in Glomgold’s plot.
Moonvasion (parts 1&2)!: Another grand scale epic of a season finale from the Duck Tales team. After an entire season of plotting and manipulation, the Moonlanders have finally arrived on earth to conquer the planet. Thanks to Della Duck’s time with them, they have gained all of the intelligence they need to immediately stop any of Scrooge’s effort to repel them before he even has a chance to act. While Uncle Scrooge gathers his allies in the hopes of stopping the aliens, Della takes the kids on a wild international goose chase to get them out of harm’s way. Eventually Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby catch on to what Della is doing forcing her to admit that she is terrified of losing the family that she has just rediscovered and is keeping them away from the battle. Luckily they enlist the help of a Donald Duck who has gone all Cast Away with a Mickey Mouse melon as his friend to get back into the fight. Back in Duckburg the only one who can help Uncle Scrooge is his greatest enemy Glomgold, because when all clever plans fail you need a cockamamie scheme.
How Santa Stole Christmas!: Every Christmas Eve while all of us wait on the jolly man in red to come down the chimney, McDuck Manor transforms into a fortress to keep Mr. Claus out. But on this particular Christmas Eve, a wounded Santa shows up at Scrooge’s doorstep begging for the miserly duck’s help. Through flashbacks, we learn that Scrooge and Santa were former friends and business partners during the early days of the holiday but differences in vision drove them apart. Whereas Santa Claus wanted to deliver free toys to warm the heart during the coldest time of the year; Scrooge wanted to set up a distribution system for coal during winter. On their last delivery, Uncle Scrooge has a genuinely touching experience where he sees what Christmas season means to others and sets about changing his ways.
Louie’s Eleven!: Donald, Jose, and Panchito AKA the Three Caballeros, are looking to boost their musical career by performing at an exclusive posh party. Luckily Louie has crafted an elaborate plot to make sure it happens. One of the biggest obstacles to the success of the plan is the party’s coordinator Daisy Duck. Recruiting the perfect team for this job, the plan dubbed “Louie’s Eleven” is set into motion with intended precision, but of course things go wrong. Not only is the host onto them, but it seems his is not the only scheme at the party. Meanwhile stuck in an elevator, Donald and Daisy begin to fall madly in love with one another.
Beware the B.U.D.D.Y. System!: Scrooge McDuck’s pilot/chauffeur Launchpad McQuack finally gets what he has desired….a driver’s license. He is dismayed to find that instead of being happy for him, everyone is more interested in tech bro Mark Beak’s new self-driving technology BUDDY (Beaks Unmanned Driver Drone Yay). Wanting to prove that no machine can beat an actual driver, Launchpad challenges BUDDY with the help of scientist intern Fenton who is actually the superhero Gizmoduck (voiced by Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda). This episode takes the usual goofball that is Launchpad McQuack and truly shows the lovable side of the character that we rarely see.
Escape From the ImpossiBin!: With F.O.W.L closing in on the family, the Ducks have to prepare for the inevitable conflict with their foes. Uncle Scrooge’s new security system in the Money Bin is hacked by the evil syndicate leaving him along with Louie and Della to face the most advanced security software on the planet. Back at McDuck Manor, Mrs. Beakley along with Webby put Huey and Dewey through self-defense training. But Beakley with the threat F.O.W.L. poses drives Beakley to push the kids to the breaking point. This episode truly makes the most out of being the calm before the storm for the final season as the family refocuses on their strengths as they face the greatest foe they have to date.
The Last Adventure!: After three seasons of adventure and excitement it all came down to this. In trying to get the jump on FOWL, Scrooge and the gang along with their allies discover that Webby has been the subject of a cloning program from the evil syndicate. Soon they learn that their enemies are steps ahead of them and it all culminates in a battle at the Library of Alexandria. They learn that FOWL’s leader Bradford has a grand plan to rid the world of adventures and adventurers. Each and every character has their own moment to shine from Launchpad finally getting to be a superhero to Huey putting his Junior Woodchuck training to use and even Manny the Headless Man Horse revealing his true self. This episode even includes plenty of Easter Eggs for those who grew up on Disney’s after-school cartoon favorites. It all leads to a final showdown between Uncle Scrooge and Bradford where the billionaire duck shows the world exactly just how much his family means to him.