15 Things You Didn't Know About 'DuckTales'

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Even if your life wasn't like a hurricane in 1987—no race cars lasers, or aeroplanes—you may have been a DuckTales fan. Disney recently announced a reboot of the series, but it's not scheduled to hit the airwaves until 2017. To tide you over until then, here are a few facts about Scrooge McDuck and his daring grand-nephews.

1. Scrooge earned his lucky Number One Dime by giving a shoeshine in his hometown of Glasgow when he was just 10 years old.

That's according to Don Rosa’s Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck comic. And it’s not just any old dime—it is, specifically, a 1875 or 1857 (depending on which comic you read) Seated Liberty dime. Depending on the which year it is and the condition it’s in, that dime would be worth up to $700 today. It's not much compared to Scrooge's massive money pit, but it's nothing to sneeze at.

2. Alan Young, who was the voice of Scrooge, was arguably more well-known for his work with another non-human: Mr. Ed.

Young played Wilbur Post, the famous talking horse's owner. Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby are voiced by Russi Taylor, who happens to be the voice of Minnie Mouse as well.

3. If the show had followed the comics more closely, Donald Duck would have been part of the DuckTales gang.

Disney producers decided that they really wanted the focus to be on the stingy Scot, so they took Donald out of the equation.

4. Mark Mueller, the man responsible for that oh-so-catchy theme song, also wrote the Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers theme song.

Ok, that makes sense. But how about this: He also wrote Jennifer Paige’s “Crush” and Amy Grant’s “That’s What Love is For.”

5. Exactly how big is Scrooge’s money bin? Three cubic acres.

Which doesn’t make sense, of course, and I’ll let author and economic historian John Steele Gordon tell you why. This is what he noted to the Wall Street Journal in 2005:

“An acre is a measure of area (i.e. two dimensions). If you have a ‘cubic acre,’ you would have a four-dimensional space—a three-dimensional space existing in a specific time frame. Hell, add another dimension and you get a late-'60s soul/R&B singing group. A cubic acre, of course, is Carl Barks's wonderfully meaningless measurement of Scrooge's infinite wealth. Lewis Carroll would have loved it. But as a child I calculated that a cubic acre would have a side 208.7 feet long (square root of 43,560) and thus a volume of 9,090,972 cubic feet. So Scrooge's money bin would have been 27,272,916 cubic feet in size, an adequate piggy bank by any measure.”

A later story by Don Rosa, however, showed blueprints for the vault that pegged its size as 127 feet by 120 feet.

6. Beagle Boys leader Ma Beagle was modeled after the infamous Ma Barker of the Barker-Karpis gang.

An incomplete lineup of Beagle Boys includes Bigtime, Burger, Bouncer, Baggy, Bankjob, Bugle, Bebop, Babyface, Megabyte, Bomber, Backwoods, Bacon, Bullseye, Bulkhead, Butterball, Bombshell, Bankroll and Brainstorm.

7. Darkwing Duck was inspired by the DuckTales episode “Double O' Duck.”

In fact, Darkwing was originally called Double O' Duck, and would have starred wannabe spies Launchpad McQuack and Gizmoduck.

8. The DuckTales video game had an alternate ending.

If you managed to beat the DuckTales game but bankrupted Scrooge, you were one of a select few people who saw the alternate “Sad Scrooge” ending. Thanks to the magic of YouTube, you don’t have to manage that particular feat. Voila!

9. You can still play the original DuckTales game online.

You're welcome? (Just don’t blame me when your productivity plummets this weekend.)

10. According to the episode "Double O' Duck," Duckburg is home to about 315,000 residents.

That makes it roughly the size of St. Louis.

11. It's hard to say where Duckburg is, exactly.

The comic books place the town in Calisota, a fictional state in the U.S. But Calisota itself seems to move about the country, depending on the artist, the storyline, and whether we're talking comic book or TV series. Various maps have showed it on the west coast, in Pittsburgh, and even somewhere near Virginia.

12. Carl Barks took his inspiration for Magica De Spell from two Italian actresses: Gina Lollobrigida and Sophia Loren.

He was also inspired by Morticia Addams. “Disney’s always had witches who were ugly and repulsive,” Barks once said. “Why shouldn’t I draw one that’s not ugly, but outright sexy?”

Getty/Disney Wikia

13. Critics weren't particularly kind to DuckTales at first.

The L.A. Times believed the public was going to be hugely disappointed in the quality of the animation, and wondered why anyone would try to give Scrooge more dimension when people already loved him as a money-hoarding miser.

14. The show's appeal was universal.

In 1991, DuckTales became the first American cartoon to be shown in the former Soviet Union.

15. Without the adventures of Scrooge and the boys, Indiana Jones may not have existed.

According to D23, the official Disney fan club, both George Lucas and Steven Spielberg have said that the gang's comic capers heavily influenced Raiders of the Lost Ark.

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July 4, 2015 - 7:15am
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