|I opted to re-deisgn the small comic Mansion completely into a Tudor estate
I had done work for TV years before like Hanna-Barbera but had long since settled into working for Disney features. As such we had the budget and the time to put in extras and push the quality. Even the Disney TV division had devoted more resources into their product than most of the other studios and it had showed in "Gummi Bears". I had busted my hump like everyone else to make "Ducktales" special so when the day came to screen the first episode I had been busy finishing a couple of keys for a future show. Everyone started coming down to tell me how great the show looked and I finally caved in and went down to enjoy it. I wasn't quite prepared for what I was to see. I was less than enthused over the results on screen. I think everyone's accolades beforehand made it seem all the worse when I viewed it. When the lights went up I saw a lot of happy faces looking at me to get my opinion. What could I say? I just smiled and nodded, not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings. Over time I realized my reaction was one of outright ignorance. The show had a set and limited budget and schedule. Everyone involved did the best they could.
I confided my feeling with Alan that maybe the "DuckTales" show wasn't exactly up to par as a Disney production and he assured me that it was actually a good effort by the studio. He was right of course and when "Ducktales" aired, it was an immediate hit with fans of all ages. Soon after it premiered and over the years since that time I have been fortunate to meet many fans from all over the world who really love the series. I guess sometimes we just get too close to our own work and need to step back, take a deep breath and listen to other opinions a bit more. As I looked back through my notes and artwork while researching this blog, I realized I had worked on two out of four versions of "Scrooge McDuck" to reach the screen. The first was "Spirit of '43", followed by "Scrooge McDuck and his Money" in 1967 (Ward Kimball supervised and wanted to include the darker side of Money, something he said Walt would have done but was vetoed), "Mickey's Christmas Carol," and "DuckTales". I guess maybe we could include the 2 second clip of him during the opening of "Mickey Mouse Club", ... nah.
|A scene based on but not found in Carl's comic
|Studio invite to Wrap Party
"DuckTales" went on to a second season in 1990 with 25 additional episodes and eventually reached a total of 100 for the entire series. It also became a theatrical feature with the release o f"DuckTales, Treasure of the Lost Lamp." There have been two spinoffs to date, "Darkwing Duck" (which I did the original concept art for over a long weekend when it was just known as "Double O'Duck") and another one entitled "Quack Pack" and tons of merchandise from clothing to action figures. Carl Barks was very impressed with the "DuckTales" series when it first aired on television but lost interest in the later episodes citing too many characters and the complicated plots. I received a mysterious yellow envelope addressed to Michael Peraza delivered by the traffic boy. I opened it to find a small yellow invitation to celebrate our hard work. So late on a Monday evening after work, the Disney Studio threw a nice little wrap party for us at Maison Gerard. Looking around the restaurant I realized how lucky I was to have worked alongside these people, from management, writing and the art department they were all amazing and I was kind of sad to see it end. Still, it is truly fitting that the series originally inspired by Carl's' creation in a comic book was now not only a hit Disney series but would be re-introduced to a fresh generation within a new line of comics entitled what else? "DuckTales"! Disney Fine Art announces latest works from Disney Art Director Mike Peraza