The 6 Best Episodes of DuckTales
With the 2017 reboot prematurely canceled, let's look back at the show's best moments
The 2017 reboot of DuckTales has come to an end.
Despite a complex story, loveable and inclusive characters, and hilarious one-liners, the critically lauded DuckTales has seemingly been canceled. The Collider's Associate Editor, Drew Taylor, broke the news on Twitter, and fans of the show have since emerged in droves to protest the cancelation. Many blamed the show's cancelation on Disney due to the fact that the company moved the show to their tepid and rarely-viewed cable channel, Disney XD. Many called for a streaming service to pick up the series, which is wrapping up its third season.
While a Disney rep has yet to comment, let's reflect back on the reboot's best moments as we collectively mourn the charismatic series's premature departure.
The Shadow War
"Ducks don't back down," says Donald Duck to Huie, Louie, and Dewey as he runs to attack shadow warriors. One of the most action-packed episodes of Season 1, "The Shadow War" is an absolute showstopper of a finale.
Featuring the epic return of Magica, the awesome Gizmoduck shadow armor, and of course a Donald Duck voiced by Don Cheadle, "The Shadow War" is packed with heartwarming lessons (the power of friendship, yay!) and fantastical fight scenes that make for an explosive ending to a premiere season that had been initially met with skepticism.
The Last Crash of The Sunchaser!
Up till this point, Della Duck's whereabouts have remained an unsolved mystery, but almost all questions are answered in a worthy climax in "The Last Crash of the Sunchaser!" No spoilers here, but what turns out to have happened to the triplets' disappeared mother was not what anyone expected.
When uncovered, the dark secret derails the relationship and mutual trust between the kids and the rest of the family, and unlike other kids' shows with quick resolutions, viewers are left heartbroken and unsettled by the state of affairs at the end of Season 1's penultimate episode.
It's an episode that dissects the complexity of adulting and how being a grown-up inevitably conflicts with childhood innocence, showing kids that seeing their family as flawed is a hard reality to swallow, though a necessary part of growing up.
With the threat of alien invaders on the horizon, the entire DuckTales universe gears up for all-out war in "Moonvasion!" The result is an episode full of non-stop action and adventure that makes Season 1's battle against Magica look like child's play.
Without giving anything away, the Season 2 finale is worth the build-up, and at this point, it remains one of the best episodes in the entire series. While Season 1 focused mainly on the disappearance of Della Duck, Season 2 cranks the drama up a notch, taking every character and setting from throughout the DuckTales universe and tying up their coinciding story arcs really nicely.
Whatever Happened to Della Duck!?
MILD SPOILERS AHEAD
When Della Duck returned to star as a main protagonist in Season 2, the question of where she had actually gone still remained a mystery. In this excellent episode, we find out that Della had been stuck in space for 12 years and had to rebuild her ship, survive against moon monsters, and eat painfully enduring licorice gum to ward off starvation. The episode really shows Della's sheer tenacity as a character, and her striking inability to never give up in the face of adversity, a trait her children of course inherited from her.
Not to mention, she is a heartwarming mother who has a special way with words. "Look to the stars, my darling baby boys. Life is strange and vast, filled with wonders and joys," she sings in a lullaby. "Face each new sun with eyes clear and true, Unafraid of the unknown, because I face it all with you."
The Duck Knight Returns
Offering deep and meaningful commentary on our collective obsession with superhero culture, Season 2's "The Duck Knight Returns" explores some of the more annoying aspects of fandom, such as striking the right balance between "gritty" reboots and campy fan indulgence. It also engages with more meaningful aspects, like the inspirational importance of superheroes to downtrodden fans, with the overall message being that media and entertainment should seek to inspire. Even better, the episode stars the charismatic and hilarious Darkwing Duck.
The pilot of the DuckTales reboot deserves to be on this list merely because of the skepticism staked against the show when it was announced in 2015. While many animated reboots have sucked the life out of many great cartoon series (for example, Teen Titans GO!), the DuckTales pilot was met with critical acclaim as "Woo-oo!" tipped its hat courteously to the classic series while adding a welcome amount of depth and intrigue to its characters and world. With Lin Manuel starring as a Hispanic superhero, and the series offering new bi and lesbian characters, the show was one of the most underrated gems on TV, and it's a shame to see it go so soon.