While my son was sick recently, he got to watch a little more television than he usually does.
His usual favorites are “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” and “Curious George,” which both air on PBS and have more than eight seasons of episodes each, and a quartet of mini-movies based on the works of author Julia Donaldson and illustrator Axel Scheffler that are available on Netflix.
We’ve run though every episode of Daniel Tiger multiple times, and my wife and I have seen the mini-movies enough times to be able to quote them verbatim, so I was looking for something new to entertain him while I was also sick.
I knew Disney had debuted a new take on the late-1980s cartoon classic “DuckTales” last year, so I dialed up an episode with hopes that he’d take an interest. Not only did the show grab the boy’s attention, but I also found it really entertaining.
After the first episode was over, he wanted to watch a second, but it was time for him to take a nap, so we had to save it for later.
I was glad to see he enjoyed it because I have many fond memories of watching the original series with my younger brother everyday after school and the theme song has been burned into my brain for the last 30 years — especially those “woo-oos.” All the elements that made it enjoyable to my preteen self are still there, but it also had a layer I could enjoy as an adult.
The voice-talent in the new show is one of the first things I noticed, as I recognized several actors from their voices, including Ben Schwartz, Danny Pudi, Bobby Moynihan, Kate Micucci and David Tennant. That told me that this was being done with a budget, and I think the actors have really brought heart to their roles.
Scrooge McDuck is similar to what I remember, but the new versions of the children on the show — Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby — offer many more dimensions and character traits than I remember. And the guest stars the series has already gotten have really been impressive, including Tony-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emmy-winner Margo Martindale and Oscar-winner Jim Rash.
Plus the show has a continuing subplot about the triplets’ missing mother that is quite intriguing for adults.
Clearly, I’ve delved deep into this show already because the boy’s nap didn’t last forever and we’ve watched all of the remaining episodes — multiple times. Unfortunately, they haven’t produced as many episodes of the show as I thought when I suggested it, as there are only 12 episodes at the moment and he’s really enjoying it.
I was hoping to switch to the old series because I assume he’d also enjoy that, but it’s not currently available to stream without purchasing as there are too many episodes to make that economically feasible.
So that’s why we’ve seen each of the episodes more than once. It’s just really hard to tell the boy no, especially with the way he requests the series. He will come up to me while I’m sitting on the couch and lean in so his head is near mine and just simply say “ducks” as a question while looking me dead in the eye.
It definitely gets his point across.
William C. Wadsack is the managing editor of the Herald Democrat and a first-time father. He did not realize how expensive children could be until the birth of his son. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @WCWadsackHD.