Meeting with the showrunners of the series “La Bande à Picsou”, Francisco Angones and Matt Youngberg, on the occasion of the broadcast of the 3rd and last season.
AlloCiné: Tell us about the next season and the special episode “The Last Adventure”
Matt Youngberg: “The Last Adventure” is the final episode of the third and final season of Scrooge McDuck. For the first time we will have, in addition to Donald, Huey, Dippy, Loulou, Zaza, Flagada Jones and Picsou , the presence also of Daisy. The family goes on a rescue mission and will face a new adversary. As for the series, it is the continuation of the fantastic universe inherited from Disney. It is in a family spirit and of adventure throughout this third series.We have tried to satisfy the general Disney fans as well as those of Ducktales or even those who read the comics.
Francisco Angones: For me, this final episode is a love letter to all of the Walt Disney cartoons that we saw as kids. Especially the Ducktales series that we watched a few decades ago and that you can watch in a weekend on Disney +! What has changed is the technological approach to animation and the subjects, the themes which are more contemporary. I hope that our new series will inspire filmmakers like that of Carl Barks in 1987 which inspired, in part, Spielberg and Lucas for their adventure films like “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. I think the very notion of the word family is the ultimate adventure in itself and that’s what we sought to explore with the final episode. It’s interesting that Donald and Scrooge’s family has fascinated audiences for almost 100 years, especially since it’s not a necessarily structured and functioning family like the others. It is a group of living children with their two uncles, Donald and Scrooge, the mother being absent. But it does reflect a bit of the “modern” and sometimes re-composed family of our time. This is not the Mickey Mouse family, very simple and almost rose water. Everything is quite complex with Donald’s family. This complexity makes the series much richer and more interesting.
What other topics are covered in this final episode and the series? Do you put some topical references there?
Matt Youngberg: Since we take a while to finish these cartoons we avoid including “posts” that reflect volatile news. Having said that, up to a point, these adventures of Ducktales are a bit of a mirror of society and where our century stands. At least at the family level. Again, the main topic is that having a family will always be the ultimate adventure of your life. It is also to realize that today, your family is as much made up of people with whom you have blood links and others that you simply love. More than ever, the final episode of season 3 is about these themes of family and the importance of having one to overcome all the challenges of life, to solve all the puzzles that stand in your way.
Francisco Angones: Like any adventure, a family is sometimes unpredictable and with its share of surprises, good and bad. It was, at first, with a lot of humor that we embarked on the Ducktales with this notion of exploring family as an Adventure. Gradually the tone has become a little more serious to make it clear to the public that the greatest treasure is your family, whatever its configuration. Also, the final episode deals with family secrets and what, thus, holds us back in the past, preventing us from moving forward. With Donald’s family we have a more accurate mirror of most of our families where nothing goes as we hope and where we have to know how to improvise to save the day. I think we have put into this series all our experience of this notion of family and, at the same time, with this sharing, we have learned other aspects of this notion of family that we did not know. In the end, this show is therefore also a love letter to each of our families.
With this in-depth study of the notion of “family”, what have you discovered about this notion that you did not know?
Matt Youngberg: I think with what we just went through, with the pandemic, that our notion of family has widened, has grown. Obviously this situation allowed us, all those who worked on Ducktales, to form extremely strong family bonds. Coming myself from a family of 9 children, I already had a very united vision of what such a large family represents. Now, thanks to this series, my family has grown even more.
Francisco Angones: What I have learned is that nothing is perfect in any family and that maintaining the continuation of a united family takes a lot of effort and patience. It’s all about love. Love is the glue that holds the family together. There is also a sentence at the end of the special episode which says: “A family is the people who fight for you, who are always by your side, and who sacrifice everything they have for you. like”. And for me that is really the concept of family.
What kinds of challenges did you have to overcome with this series and final episode?
Matt Youngberg: Because we wanted to keep some continuity with the ’80s series we used both the computer to animate our series and both hand-made drawings. The only difference is that we use a digital tablet to draw whereas before everything was drawn on paper. I hope it gives a “Classic” and modern result at the same time. We were also inspired by the pencil stroke of the comics to give a feeling of “vintage” to the whole, the result is almost pulp-fiction. If we had only used the computer, this “texture” would not have been so rich. And, obviously, having the pandemic for over a year has forced us all to work from home and in zoom meetings. It slowed down the process a bit, but we adapted. We are proud of the end result.
Francisco Angones: It is clear that the pandemic has forced us to work even more together, linked to each other. Thus, each image is really created by this family of artists who knew how to do 1 to come to the end of this animated adventure.
The credits of La Bande à Picsou: