Friday, July 5, 2013

DuckTales Deja Vu

One of the underground lost temples of "DuckTales"
Sometimes one ponders whether he or she might, "...solve a mystery or rewrite history." (Hmmm... sombody outa put dat to music) Well I recently got the chance to do just that with a return to the world of DuckTales. No I'm not "quacking up", you see, DuckTales is once again heading to the small screen although this time I'm not talking about your television screen. 

Thanks to Capcom and Wayforward Studios, we will be able to join Uncle Scrooge during his worldwide adventures and even dive into a refreshing swim in his money bin without leaving the comfort of your home. Yes, coming to a PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, Wii and PC this summer will be the DuckTales family we've all enjoyed watching over the years as one of the top rated animated series ever to surf the television waves.

Various versions of snow covered Himalayas
I was contacted and asked if I had any old sketches I could loan the crew to help with visuals since I designed the look of the original DuckTales series. They also wondered if I could recommend anyone to design new locations in my style (whatever that is? ). Yes, I did know someone, me... Mike Peraza The director told me they had wanted me but didn't think I would be interested, are you kidding me? If you look past my baby fat in recent photos you'll see I'm a starving artist! And so I quickly re-enlisted for DuckTales  duty before they could change their minds and was soon busy sketching out locations from foreboding castles to Magical mountain fortresses to ancient jungle temples to spaceships, well you get the idea.
I'm completely surrounded by the
amazing WayForward animators!

It was a DuckTales Deja vu!  I was happily surprised how quickly I returned to the old series style after an absence of 25 years and the director and staff at Wayforward Studios were really a fun, professional and gifted bunch of "quackups" to work with. Austin Ivansmith was the Director along with Matt Bozon as Creative Director and between those two I was always given clear detailed descriptions of each setup they wanted me to draw and was even offered helpful suggestions on a couple of pieces I just wasn't sure about. I would do some quick rough thumbnails and send them via email to Austin who would then discuss them with Matt as to which version they wanted to see taken into final tight renders or sometime in full color. Oh the joys of working from home in my DuckTales Pajamas and slippers. Certainly couldn't do that back in the days of the original series, well maybe on "casual fridays.".

Tim Curry and other technical artists would slice my designs up into something resembling our old multiplane setups from Disney for a 3 dimensional look to the sideways scrolling action. Animators like Sasha Palacio would then work their magic using traditional and cutting edge CGI to bring the Duckburg cast back to life. The time flew by but I was just happy to have worked with this amazing amazing group called Wayforward and to have had a small part in resurrecting such a beloved property. Hey maybe with all this excitement we can bring back the series with fresh new episodes? There's lots more adventures we haven't even touched on and with the latest technology we could do this even better and without breaking the bank of Duckburg. There's obviously a big audience out there that would love it! Well who knows, maybe somebody from the studio will read this and give it a try.

A few more location roughs and concepts
Not long ago Patty and I had a grand tour of Wayforward Studios and they showed us various sections of the game in rough and semi-finished form and I have to tell you, it really looks like fun!  I just wish they'd hurry and finish so I can join Uncle Scrooge on some wild adventures.  Wayforward Studios and Capcom have created quite asome highly successful games that are enjoyed around the world but I can't help but think that this latest title will be the best yet.

Yes folks, " is a duck blur in Duckburg!"


  1. Was really awesome to learn about your involvement in this Duckumentary! :)

  2. Thank you Jukka! I was very lucky to have been asked to join up. It was a wonderful crew (and project) to be a part of.

  3. Mike, I gushed about your team's work on the Days of Ducktales article (check that by the way), so I'll spare the redundancy by saying, I can't wait to play this game!!!--And if there's a new series on the horizon, in my humble opinion, it would only work if the original staff [voice actors & Ron Jones included] and TMS were involved. (If Disney would be so inclined to let those planets align again)

    You guys are the reason the show has endured all these years because you took work of Carl Barks; the characters, their stories, & their universe seriously--or at least as "serious" as a world full of anthropomorphs could be taken anyway. lol. If left in the hands of anyone else, I believe Ducktales would've came across as forgettable as the many number of 'talking animal' toons of the era. I've always said if The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was the soul of our Saturday mornings, Ducktales was the heart of our weekday afternoons.

    Thanks again for all your hard work & like before, I'm sure it will pay off! #biggestDucktalesfan

    Beaufort, SC

    1. Thank you Andrew for your very kind words. Carl definitely gave us a wonderful world to build our series on. If we ever get a chance to do more DuckTales episodes it will be because of fans like you.

  4. Just finished the game. It was so great to see your beautiful concept art on the game gallery section!

    1. I really appreciate your comments Fernando. It was a great team as well as a project to be a part of.