Since the moment the new DuckTales cast was announced, fans have been eagerly awaiting the day they can watch the new episodes. But few people are more excited than the cast members themselves. Four of the voice actors from the new DuckTales series were in attendance for a panel at the Disney D23 fan expo last weekend in Anaheim, and they took the time to talk to us beforehand.
The players: Ben Schwartz, perhaps best known as Jean-Ralphio from Parks and Recreation, will be the new voice of Dewey. Kate Micucci of Garfunkel and Oates fame is voicing Webigail Vanderquack, AKA Webby. SNL‘s Beck Bennett will portray the crash-prone pilot Launchpad McQuack, and Toks Olagundoye voices Mrs. Beakley, the nephews’ nanny and Webby’s grandmother.
UPROXX: The obvious question here, right up front: were you a fan of the original DuckTales growing up?
Ben Schwartz: I watched Disney Afternoon when it was like, Gummi Bears, DuckTales, Talespin … Darkwing Duck was around that era, and all that stuff. Yeah.
Kate Micucci: I did. I was a Disney kid. I think everybody my age kinda grew up on DuckTales, I feel like. I haven’t met somebody who didn’t. Also, I was really into the Mickey Mouse Club. That was a big one for me, too.
Beck Bennett: Yeah. I watched it when I came home from school, it was snack time and that song was like … That’s what I hear, kind of, when I hear that song, is like, finally I’m home, get to eat and watch cartoons.
I had weird snacks. I did this thing, it was like a peanut butter with cheddar cheese sandwich, or I’d do Swiss cheese with some mustard on it, some, just, straight-up mustard. Just a slice of Swiss cheese, put some yellow mustard and fold it over like a little … Yeah, so weird. Cause my mom had a lot of health food snacks, so we didn’t, maybe we had Pirates Booty, you know, stuff like that. I had to get inventive and really get my calories in there in a creative way. Like cheese and peanut butter with white bread.
Toks Olagundoye: I’ve never seen the original DuckTales, to this day.
You didn’t go back and watch them after you got cast?
Olagundoye: No, I think that would have been disingenuous. I wanted to make it my own and not be influenced by the old one in anyway.
So this is an all-new Mrs. Beakley?
Olagundoye: Yes, she is. As far as I have heard. She’s quite different from the original and I have no idea what the original sounds like, so I don’t really know in that manner. But, yeah, I think so.
Do you have any favorite moments, or memories, or characters from the original series?
Micucci: I loved the Nintendo video game. I don’t know if you remember it, it was a great game. My cousin had it, and I really wanted it but we never got it. So, whenever I was at my cousins house, I’d be like “Hey, hey can we play DuckTales?” So that is like, very — a big part of my childhood was that Nintendo game. I loved the music. Also, I loved the actual show. I also love in the original show, the ’80s score. It’s incredible.
Schwartz: Gizmoduck is one of my favorite things of all times. Because, for like, as a kid, to have a super hero that was a super nerd … he was a nerd, you know? And then for Fenton to turn into Gizmoduck, for me as a kid, it was the best. So, he was always my guy. Always.
What was the casting process like to be part of the new DuckTales?
Micucci: You know it was just kind of the standard audition, then went back for a call back and was really hoping I would get it. I really loved DuckTales so much, so when I got cast it was one of those calls that you’re like, oh my gosh I get to be a part of something that means so much to me and to so many people already. And so it’s really exciting to see it come back to life.
Schwartz: At the beginning, I think I auditioned for … in my head I was like,”Oh, I want to audition for one of the nephews, or for Launchpad.” I love those characters there. I mean, oh and I even think I said,”If for some reason they don’t want me in any of these, I really want to audition for Gizmoduck.” I love this show, so to be a part of it in any way was like … I just wanted that. As I read the sides and the auditioning for things, I felt like this is the guy that I could really be. So, when we were auditioning it really felt like I changed. Even while we were doing it in the auditions. I played him this way and they really liked this different way that I played him, and so we kept it like that. It was great. Yeah.
And what was it like to record? Did you get to play off each other a lot, or did you record separately?
Olagundoye: We’re so all over the place and we all work on different shows, in different cities and everything. So it’s not a show, unfortunately, where we really have the luxury to record more than one person at a time.
Did you take any inspiration from the original voice acting when you were developing your character or performance?
Bennett: Yeah, yeah I did. I mean it’s kind of ingrained in me, but I just took that energy and followed my, I guess, instincts in terms of what works for me, and I was … With some cartoons that I was watching, I really like the style of voice that was just … Really, 100% going for the character. I really like Bob’s Burgers, like Tina, or not Tina, I like her too, but Eugene and Louise. Where it’s like, [uninhibited] “Baaah!” So I wanted to do something where I wasn’t trying to do a voice, but I could just find a essence of it and go for it and totally be it. So yeah, the only, the main difference is that I don’t really have an accent, but it’s the same sort of deep, friendly, exuberant quality.
Micucci: You know, not really. I mean, I think that, I love Webby’s, I love the original Webby. I love her voice. Our voices are really different, and I just kind of put my own spin on this character. She’s just so excited and enthusiastic. I just kinda go crazy in the booth and have the best time. I didn’t really, I just kinda wanted to do my own thing and I didn’t really worry to much about what the original sounded like.
When you say names like Kate Micucci, or Ben Schwartz, you conjure a sort of crew of people that is recognizable. Can we expect some fun cameos and guest stars along the way?
Bennett: Yeah. Absolutely. You know, I don’t have a hand in that, but … The people who are writing the show and creating the show appreciate those performers and comedy performers and wanna bring them into the fold. So yeah, they’ll be part of it for sure.
Micucci: For sure, I think that the names that I’ve heard that have come through, I’m super excited about. Again, I don’t want to say anything. But I think people are really gonna be very, very excited. I mean one name that has been announced is Lin-Manuel Miranda. What a great person to have in the show. I don’t know, there’s a ton of great guests.