9 Things You Didn't Know About DuckTales

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Forget the NCAA tournament. The real comeback kid of the week is DuckTales: Capcom announced yesterday that the beloved DuckTales video game is being remastered and should be ready for release sometime this summer. Old-school NES fans everywhere are practicing their pogosticking cane maneuvers in hopes that their older and wiser selves will finally be able to collect all of the treasures. (Or did everyone eventually beat it except for me? The moon level was so freaking hard.)

Hopefully this is just the start of a DuckTales renaissance. Until a new cartoon happens, though, we’ll have to reminisce about the original.

1. According to Don Rosa’s Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck comic, Scrooge earned his lucky Number One Dime by giving a shoeshine in his hometown of Glasgow when he was just 10 years old. 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 was Wilbur Post. 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. 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. Babyface is the one I remember best. Ma Beagle was modeled after the infamous Ma Barker of the Barker-Karpis gang.

7. Darkwing Duck was inspired by the DuckTales episode “Double-O-Duck,” where Launchpad McQuack plays an undercover agent. In the first-ever Darkwing Duck, Launchpad quits his job as Scrooge’s personal pilot to become Darkwing’s sidekick.

8. If you managed to beat the DuckTales game but bankrupted Mr. McDuck, you were one of a 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. Brush up for the remastered version by playing the original online. But don’t blame me when your productivity drops this weekend. 

Now if only we can get them to remaster Chip ‘n’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers as well. I’m sure Fat Cat still needs to be apprehended.

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March 23, 2013 - 7:00am
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