Carl Barks art

New DuckTales intro pays artful homage to Scrooge McDuck’s creator

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The title sequence for Disney XD’s new DuckTales series hit the internet like a hurricane on Wednesday. It leaves the classic theme song mostly untouched, but shows more of the bold, new animation style that is re-animating the Duckburg set nearly 20 years after they last appeared on TV. But in amongst the fleeting images of those 21st-century race cars, lasers and aeroplanes are some very loving touches that hearken back to the earliest days of Scrooge McDuck.

Donald Duck’s Uncle Scrooge was originally meant to be a one-off character, but he quickly took on a life of his own. He was brought to life in the pages of comic books by Carl Barks (1901-2000), whose work largely defined what we know today as DuckTales — but the world of Scrooge and his Junior Woodchuck grand-nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie didn’t go by that now-famous brand name until they got their own TV series of the same title in 1987. The animated series was based on the rich foundation carved out by cartoonist and writer Barks and later expanded on by Don Rosa.

Duck to the future …

Steve Lowtwait, a Disney TV Animation background designer, took to Twitter after Wednesday’s title sequence reveal to point out Barks’ influences on the backgrounds of the new series’ already iconic opening.

“If you don’t know, Carl Barks was the comic artist who expanded Donald’s world.” Lowtwait explained. “He created Scrooge McDuck and the universe around Duckburg.” Lowtwait also shared four side-by-side comparisons, juxtaposing a handful of scenes from the new DuckTales opening titles with the lavish Barks masterpieces that inspired them.

The new DuckTales begin with an hourlong adventure that will loop all day Saturday, Aug. 12, on Disney XD.

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Jayson Peters
Digital, social and print media pro. Nerdvana's founder, curator and editor.