The new DuckTales is an excellent show that’s returning TV this weekend, and we should be thankful in this time of reboots, remakes, rehashes and restarts that we are actually getting content that gets updated in such a fun and faithful way! While the new series does great honor to the spirit of the original, what I want to talk about is the thing that makes this reboot special, Webby Vanderquack.
DuckTales did not just take the opportunity to reinvent a show, but to reinvent a character. The Webby from the original show lacked depth; she was positioned as an annoying younger “sister” to the triplets, and that role really didn’t give her much room to grow. All of this is different in the new DuckTales.
The new Webby is more of a peer to the Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and she plays at their level. She is introduced as a fun, independent, rough-housing friend to the three, complete with her own really bizarre independent ideas and beliefs. In the premiere film, it is Webby that introduces the triplets to the manor and the lore and history of the adventurous world they find themselves in. The protectiveness she’s experienced and her knowledge of the McDuck legacy is the drives the need for adventure that in turn sparks the show. She’s an oddball, but her oddballness makes sense! Webby is not just our guide, she sets the tone for many of the fun hi-jinks and adventures of the show’s first few episodes.
DuckTales even manages to quickly address one of the few criticisms of Webby from those early episodes, namely that she looses some of her identity and easily just becomes one of the boys. After the initial pilot episodes, Webby is immediately given a spotlight episode all her own, forshadowing that this new series isn’t afraid to give time to everyone in its cast, from Donald to Launchpad to Webby. Webby gets even more independence in “The Beagle Birthday Massacre,” establishing her friendship with Lena. It’s clear Lena’s connection to the show’s mythology is going to be important (I won’t spoil it here) and it’s nice to see those additions to the female cast work to flesh out the character of Webby.
The New DuckTales is full of surprises and fun reinventions like this, and I can’t wait to see what other amazing things they bring to Duckiverse!