Follow TV Tropes
Honestly, I'm not sure Ducktales really deconstructs all that much stuff. The show doesn't really ask "What if this plays out with real life consequences applied to it?" The idea that a deconstruction is a more cynical take on something is a misunderstanding of what deconstruction is (and sadly, it's a pretty common misunderstanding).
Well, it does try to deconstruct adventure stories, especially early on. Just look at all the trauma Donald had in season one about people always getting hurt in adventures.
That's not a deconstruction of adventures, that's Donald being a worrywart, even if his concerns are legitimate. There is no thorough examination of adventure tropes that are required for deconstruction.
At best you could say it's possibly a deconstruction of Donald being a single parent to three rambunctious children, but it's a stretch to say that the whole concept of adventure stories is being deconstructed.
Edited by dragonfire5000 on Sep 30th 2019 at 9:25:12 AM
Yeah, I mean the show plays a lot of the adventures relatively straight. And most of the time we get where they don’t do a straightforward adventure and just play it for laughs are just subversions rather than deconstructions.
I say the episodes involving Lewie (specifically the season two ones like The Most Dangerous Game Night and Timephoonie) have actually did do deconstruction to the whole constant adventure plot lines in Ducktales.
I think the series is more self-aware and cynical rather than an outright Deconstruction, like pointing out how the tropes usually go.
I think the series has mostly dropped that mindset, which is likely for the best.
I wouldn't even call the series "cynical." It doesn't really go with the whole "lack of hope and faith" thing or constantly accentuate the negatives of tropes enough to be considered "cynical."
I agree. The show at least acknowledges when things can go right, giving it more of a hopeful vibe with a slight edge. At least it's not like the Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy of Tangled: The Series or Star vs. the Forces of Evil , where they think "dark and edgy = cool" without any real substance. Francisco Angones seems to be incorporating a tone akin to his work on Wander over Yonder .
Umm, but Tangled doesn't feel that dark either
Neither did Star Vs. The Forces of Evil.
I think with Tangled: The Series, people are just going after plot points that are most likely gonna be resolved later. Can't comment on Star Vs., since I need to finish that one, but I just know the ending is controversial.
This is part of why I generally ignore fanbase stuff.
Anyway, finished Season 2. I thought it ended pretty strong with that Sequel Hook.
Star definitely went dark and edgy in places,especially the final
Especially the final
"Not really in the Hate Sink type of way, I just don't really like that instead of trying to make an infamously disliked character tolerable (or even just ditch him), they just made him a villain. I'm not really fond of that type of writing approach since that usually feels like it's just pandering to people who hated a certain character."
Yeah, I don't like that either. It just feels like the easy path to bait the character's detractors into liking your product rather than doing something creative for the character that might give the audience a reason as to why they aren't as hated in-universe (coughScooby-DooandhowittreatedScrappyDoocough).
My beef with the show is that it does go for cynical deconstructions (just look at the opening for the Season 2 pilot), but it pulls a Bait-and-Switch and converts back to completely optimistic idealism whenever there might be potential emotional drama to mine from deconstructing an adventure.
"Living Mummies of Toth Ra" is a complete deconstruction of the adventure genre tropes, without much other substance to show for it.
"The Spear of Selene!" has the Greek mythological figures presented as damn jokes (with the exception of Selene, barely) against whom the cast has no problem triumphing over. Plus there's that gosh-darn awful moment of Scrooge going "It's not my fault I'm better at everything you do!". That says a lot about the Character Shilling and hero worship that the writers want to force on us regarding Scrooge. It also pretty much speaks about the lack of dramatic stakes that the clashes of good and evil will have because the writers treat Scrooge as damn-near unbeatable in everything.
"Jaw$!" couldn't even play straight the danger of the money shark. You could hear everyone talking and screwing around inside the shark, so what the hell was all that drama for in the first place? The only saving grace about that episode was Lena.
"Who is Gizmoduck?!" was a shallow run-through of the classic superhero arcs without much breathing time for the audience to get truly invested. The show didn't even act like it wanted us to get invested.
"The Other Bin of Scrooge McDuck!". The A-plot is okay, though in hindsight, I wish Lena's dream had actually happened and that the characters would spend the rest of the season finding a way to resurrect Webby. But my real beef with that episode was the half-assed "comical" Bigfoot plot which couldn't play the danger straight and had Scrooge take a level in dumbass as well as having Huey and Dewey both take a level in dumbass AND jerkass.
"Sky Pirates in the Sky!"... Need I say more about how much adventuring potential and action that this pathetic episode squandered?
"The Secret(s) of Castle McDuck!" wants to deconstruct Dewey's well-meaning intentions about keeping his quest for his mother a secret... then does away with it in under 2 minutes.
"The Last Crash of the Sunchaser!". The emotions are good, but the action being driven by Dewey being unable to read a piece of paper discreetly is infuriating.
"The Ballad of Duke Baloney!". At the time, there was little wrong with this episode, aside from a few "Scrooge is DA BEST!" moments. But the interesting plot of Glomgold's bet and his rivalry with Scrooge becomes a joke by the end of Season 2.
"The Town Where Everyone Was Nice!" totally deconstructs the awesomeness of the Three Caballeros (their own show does them more justice, honestly). And it has Scrooge acting like a huge colossal dick towards Donald.
"What Ever Happened To Della Duck?!" wants to showcase the consequences of not thinking through your actions when going on an adventure. But Della's suffering is too severely underplayed for that message to stick.
"The Golden Spear!" is another showcase of how much Donald suffers because of his family's antics (a realistic deconstruction, sadly), but the show f***ing plays it for laughs. Honestly, how mean-spirited can this show be?
"The Duck Knight Returns!" pretty much points its finger and laughs at those wanting the show to be a bit more emotionally serious and grounded. Plus, it's very cynically meta and self-parodying with its "executive conflict" story. What a horrible episode.
I didn't bother watching the rest of the episodes (or even just reading their synopses) for Season 2 because I had given up on the show by that point.
They're just not going to take their emotional storylines seriously.
And look, even if these aren't deconstructions, and are more along the lines of cynical takes, the show's biggest sin is that it doesn't commit to the cynical and world-weary tone and instead switches back to annoying, unadulterated idealism when things are about to get emotionally interesting.
The show squanders its dramatic potential.
Update: Final Section on Moonvasion
Didn't watch it, but I read a detailed plot description of it.
The way that Donald's arc amounted to practically zilch was pathetic. The show really loves deconstructing Donald's awesomeness, even though this version of him is the most sympathetic we've ever seen him AND he's done more than enough to earn a spotlight.
Honestly, the show is treating him in such a mean-spirited way as of late that I'm gonna make comparisons to how Spongebob Squarepants usually treated Squidward (and Gary, too) in the post-movie era. Completely unacceptable.
Edited by BrightLight on Sep 21st 2019 at 11:21:38 PM
Well, honestly, I don't want it to commit to a cynical, world weary tone. I just want a fairly light hearted adventure show, like the OG Ducktales.
And yeah, I'm a big Scrooge fan, but I agree that the show does go a little overboard at times with the Scrooge hero worship. Most of it falls under Show, Don't Tell, really. The show is a little too eager to tell us how awesome these characters are, rather than just letting the character's actions speak for themselves. This has also gotten better, though.
I want to emphasize though that I think this show has improved by leaps and bounds this season. The main thing I'd like to see now is more episodes with the triplets together. At the moment they are split up all the time, and that's missing out on some fun interactions, I think.
Ironic, since the kids were the main focus in the first season, then the adults got the focus in the next season, I've heard. Is that true?
Yes, the kids got a lot more focus in season one. I think that has to do with the tendency these days to make cartoons be about the kid characters rather than the adults. The creators seem to have thought that Donald and Scrooge would not be relatable enough to kids, which is of course ridiculous. Kids have been reading Donald and Scrooge stories for generations, and they had no trouble at all relating to Donald, and enjoying their adventures (I don't think anyone really relates to Scrooge, but he is a cool character nonetheless).
Louie's arc still takes up the bulk of the focus, though Della gets quite a few episodes to get the audience acquainted with her.
I think that Della's Character Focus is one of the strongest aspects of Season 2.
x5 As I said, those aren't deconstructions. A deconstruction is about taking something apart to examine how real life consequences would apply. Ducktales doesn't do that, and it certainly isn't "cynical" (unless there's some new internet definition of the word I'm not familiar with).
I think he means how that episode was commenting, in a meta way, on the show itself and its relationship with the fandom.
Is it cynical? Well, if you read it as the show saying that we should just accept a reboot for what it is, good or bad, then yes, you could say that's cynical. Though, on the other hand, the show clearly DOES reject a reboot that strays too far from the source. I think you can see that as a tacit admission that the show took some things a bit too far, like making Gyro too dark or LP too incompetent.
Honestly, I just saw the episode as a message on what a story means to the viewer and (albeit lightly) the dangers of Hero Worship.
Darkwing Duck motivated Launchpad and Drake into being who they are in the present day, and even though their personal hero, Jim Starling, stunk as a person, the show's message about what a hero is and getting back up still resonates with them.
I didn't really put much thought in the reboot subtext; The "grim and gritty" reboot stuff just seemed like fluff. I will concede that the Executive Meddling subplot wasn't that good, but I thought the real meat was the main plot, and it's one of my favorite episodes for that reason.
I'm not gonna say the reboot subtext isn't there, I just don't really think the whole "film reboot" plot meant anything beyond a way to get Launchpad and Drake, the immortal team, to meet and become friends.
Regarding "The Duck Knight Returns", I personally interpreted the mocking of the Darker and Edgier stuff as the writers poking fun at those who were wanting the show to take itself a bit more seriously. (As in, you know, explore the consequences of its darker takes on certain aspects — Magica being an Abusive Parent, Beakley being a spy with a sworn enemy, the missing parents of a lot of characters, the increased family drama in general, etc.).
Edited by BrightLight on Sep 22nd 2019 at 12:35:22 AM
The Duck Knight Returns was poking fun at nearly everybody (including themselves), but likely not the people who wanted the show to be darker.
The “lol darker and edgier jabs” were all firmly directed at Hollywood, not (specifically) the fandom.
Edited by KnownUnknown on Sep 21st 2019 at 5:41:24 AM
@Bright Light: Uh I want to let it be known Greek Gods being outdone by humans and being petty about it is their bread and butter.
I don't see it as shilling when even Zeus had bigger fish like Nyx he knew better than to try to mess with when those lesser than him also manage dto get away with it amongst the pantheons.
And my favorite, the time Zeus birthed Athena from his head to avert a prophecy, which ended with the implication being his LOWER head she erupted from.
Edited by OmegaRadiance on Sep 21st 2019 at 5:49:39 AM
Ah, but are the Greek Gods outdone in classy, comical ways that require little to no effort on the part of mortals?
Yes. Didnt you ever see Disney Hades?
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?