Eleven Best Guest Stars in the 2017 DuckTales Reboot
What’s the one thing that can make a cartoon more amazing than it already is? Well, there are plenty of answers to that question, but in this context, it’s getting a lot of amazing guest-stars. And during its run on TV, the 2017 reboot to DuckTales had a lot of amazing guest stars appear.
I’m RJ Writing Ink, and to celebrate the upcoming finale to the reboot of DuckTales, I’m going over my favorite guest stars that joined the Duck family on their many adventures. To ensure maximum coverage, celebrities who have had recurring roles on the show as either villains or secondary characters will be counted. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Jim Cummings as Jim Starling/Negaduck
Jim Cummings has played hundreds of roles over the years: Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Pete, Cat, Hondo Ohnaka; the list goes on. However, fans of the Disney Afternoon block will remember him for providing the voice of Darkwing Duck, the titular hero of the show of the same name. So when it became clear that Darkwing Duck would be part of the reboot’s canon, fans were ready to get dangerous. The downside to this was that in the reboot, Jim Cumming’s character, Jim Starling, only played Darkwing Duck on a fictional TV show, and is shown to be a washed-up, narcissistic actor with none of the hero’s redeeming qualities. Long story short, news of him being replaced as Darkwing in a planned revival movie leads this version to go insane and go full supervillain.
I wasn’t lucky enough to see Darkwing Duck during its original run; I became a fan by watching reruns and think it’s one of Jim Cummings best performances. Thus, getting to see him reprise his old role, albeit in a more villainous capacity, for the reboot was a sight to behold. And while DuckTales may be ending, the Darkwing Duck reboot’s already in production, thus opening the door for Jim Cummings to return once more. Only this time, he’ll be playing the villainous Negaduck, and I will love it.
Seriously, Disney: GIVE US NEGADUCK!
Chris Diamantopoulos as Drake Mallard/Darkwing Duck
He is the terror that flaps through the night. He is the voice of the world’s most famous mouse; and as of 2019, he is the new Darkwing Duck. In a move that surprised me at the time, the real Darkwing Duck in the DuckTales reboot was played not by Jim Cummings, but by Chris Diamantopoulos, the current voice of Mickey Mouse. In the show’s canon, Drake Mallard was a lifelong fan of the in-universe Darkwing Duck show, using it as an inspiration to keep fighting for what’s right no matter how beat up he got. After the planned Darkwing Duck movie gets axed, Drake Mallard decides to take up his hero’s title as a real-life superhero. And thus, Darkwing Duck was born anew.
I absolutely adore Chris as the new Darkwing Duck. I think he captures all of the hero’s positive qualities of heroism and determination to keep fighting. At the same time, he keeps the comedic aspects of DW alive and well, to the point where it looks like he’s not missing a beat from Jim Cummings. With Darkwing Duck getting his own revival on Disney+, I hope that DuckTales marks the start to a successful run for Chris as the new DW. Let’s get dangerous!
Tara Strong and Andrea Libman as Briar and Bramble
If you’re a fan of My Little Pony, then you must have gone gaga for these two. In the season one episode “The Missing Links of Moorshire”, the Duck family faces off against Flintheart Glomgold in a heated game of golf. However, things take a turn for the weird when the group stumbles into a supernatural golf course in another dimension. That’s when they’re greeted by two talking ponies that tell them they need to win to get home. However, said ponies are actually kelpies, so they care more about trying to drown everyone than help them.
What makes these two water-loving equines so memorable, besides the whole “drowning” schtick, is the women voicing them. Briar and Bramble are voiced by Andrea Libman and Tara Strong, who is well-known for voicing Fluttershy/Pinkie Pie and Twilight Sparkle, three of the main characters in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Well, Tara Strong’s famous for lots of roles, but that’s not the point. Seeing this two-channel sweetness of Fluttershy and the friendliness of Twilight into two characters who want nothing more than to kill the heroes (and Glomgold) is both hilarious and disturbing. This was one shout-out that I did not forget about.
Jaleel White as Gene the Genie
Do you guys remember Steve Urkel, the boy from Family Matters that practically invented the pop culture nerd? I bet you’d never guess that his actor would grow up to have the voice of an angel. Or rather, that Jaleel White would have the voice of an incredibly charismatic Genie. Because that’s what happened in the Season 3 episode of DuckTales, “Quack Pack”.
The short version: while adventuring with everyone, Donald finds a magic lamp and uses it to wish for his family to deal with normal problems. As a result, they get trapped in a 90s sitcom show run by Gene the Genie. It’s one of the best episodes of the show, in my opinion, but the cherry on top of it has to be Jaleel’s performance as Gene.
Like Steve Urkel before him, Gene steals the show whenever he’s onscreen. With his smooth-sounding voice and larger-than-life mannerisms, Gene’s easily the best part of an already amazing episode. I’d go so far as to say he could give the late Robin Williams’ Genie a run for his money. THAT’S RIGHT, I SAID IT!!!
Lance Reddick as General Lunaris
To fans of The Wire, he is Cedric Daniels. To tens of thousands of gamers, he is the voice of Commander Zavala in the Destiny video games. But fans of the DuckTales reboot will remember Lance Reddick as the voice of General Lunaris. First introduced as the leader of the Moonlanders that inhabit the Moon (which they insist is a planet), at first Lunaris seemed like a nice guy. He let Della Duck stay with them while she was stuck on the Moon and even helped her rebuild her ship to get home. However, he soon reveals his true colors as a paranoid warmonger with plans to invade and conquer Earth.
Lance Reddick did a stellar job providing the voice of General Lunaris and playing him across a wide range of emotions. Thanks to him, Lunaris can go from being amiable and friendly one moment to absolutely cold and threatening the next. Even without Lance’s voice, Lunaris is equally menacing. Thanks to his decades of preparing for them, Lunaris comes closer to killing Scrooge and his family than any other villain. It’s only thanks to a crazy-ass scheme by Glomgold of all people that they even manage to best him.
Giancarlo Esposito as the Phantom Blot
First, he was the drug lord Gustavo Fring from Breaking Bad. Then he became the villainous Grand Moff Gideon in Star Wars: The Mandalorian. And while he’s waiting to become the dictator for a fictional Caribbean island, he’s the new voice for the Phantom Blot. One of Mickey Mouse’s worst enemies, in the show, he’s an agent of the criminal organization F.O.W.L. and the sworn enemy to all things magical. After his home was destroyed by Magica DeSpell, the Blot dedicated himself to the destruction of magic, good and bad. And he’s got a magic-sucking Infinity Gauntlet that can help him do it.
Giancarlo’s only appeared as the Blot twice on-screen thus far, not counting the finale. But whenever he does, he just manages to chew the scenery with his absolute menace! The man is so terrifying that even Magica DeSpell, who’s acknowledged as one of the most powerful magic-users in the show, is afraid of him. Giancarlo, you are just good at being the bad guy.
Catherine Tate as Magica DeSpell
She is the Sorceress of the Shadows, the sworn enemy of Scrooge McDuck, the most blackhearted wretch of the foulest lineage. She is Magica DeSpell! Having spent years sealed away after being bested by Scrooge, Magica spends the whole of Season One plotting her escape and revenge. And when she does, she’s far more terrifying than she was in the original show. Thankfully for everyone, she loses all her powers, but none of her hamminess. Seriously, no matter how evil she is, Magica always manages to steal the spotlight whenever she appears. And I’m not talking just meta-wise; she’s singled out even amongst Scrooge’s enemies all teaming up.
The best part about this incarnation of Magica DeSpell? She’s voiced by none other than Catherine Tate, who fans of Doctor Who will remember as the Tenth Doctor’s best friend, Donna Noble. Who played the Tenth Doctor? David Tennant, the voice of Scrooge McDuck. The stars all aligned for this kind of thing
Bill Farmer as Goofy
Gawrsh, fellas. I never thought that I’d see the day when Goofy would appear on DuckTales. But the third and final season managed to do just that. And since Bill Farmer’s the only guy Disney trusts to play the lovable dog, he had to play the part as a guest star on the show.
There’s nothing much that I can say about Bill Farmer’s role as Goofy that hasn’t been said already. He’s been the voice of the character for thirty-four years now; he’s a legend! But I will say this: Goofy being in DuckTales means A Goofy Movie’s part of the show’s canon! NO TAKE BACKS, #I2I, #Standout
Tress MacNeille as Daisy Duck
Hands down, this might be one of the best incarnations of Daisy Duck that Disney’s ever created. And as always, she’s voiced by the talented Tress MacNeille.
Introduced in the season three episode “Louie’s Eleven”, this version of Daisy’s an aspiring fashion designer who ends up crossing paths with the likes of Donald Duck. Naturally, the two hit it off and quickly become an item. But, in a refreshing change of pace, this version of Daisy isn’t a total nag or utter ditz. Instead, she’s thoughtful, intelligent, and quick to sympathize with Donald over their mutual problems of never being taken seriously. That, and she’s every bit as scary as Donald can be when she’s angry. Honestly, she’s my favorite version of Daisy.
Lin-Manuel Miranda as Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera/Gizmoduck
Illumination, everyone! I’d like you all to meet Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera, AKA this show’s incarnation of the superhero Gizmoduck. Unlike his 1987 counterpart, who was a literal bean-counter, this version of Fenton is a young, idealistic scientist working for Dr. Gearloose at McDuck Industries. Which would be awesome, except for the fact that this version of Gearloose is far more jaded and abrasive than the 80s version. However, that doesn’t stop Fenton from eventually fulfilling his role as the armored superhero Gizmoduck, the protector of Duckburg.
Having Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and star of Hamilton, play the reboot’s version of Fenton/Gizmoduck was a stroke of genius. Lin-Manuel really brings Fenton to life as a lovable dork that’s just trying to do the right thing. He’s like the Peter Parker of the show, only his luck’s slightly better since he eventually works directly for Scrooge. He’s grown on me.
Don Cheadle as Donald Duck
No, you read that right, people. They got Don Cheadle to provide the voice of Donald Duck several times on the show. When everyone gets fed up with not being able to understand what Donald’s saying, Gearloose fixes the problem by shoving a mini voicebox down his throat that lets everyone understand him. Sadly, the upgrade to his voice proves to be temporary, and it’s not long before he reverts to the same, squeaky voice we all know and love. Thankfully, Don Cheadle got to provide Donald’s voice a few more times on the show.
I wouldn’t trade Donald’s voice for the world, but my God, does Don Cheadle sound amazing as Donald. Just the addition of his voice alone is enough to upgrade Donald from a butt-monkey to a complete and utter badass! I love it!
So Much Amazing Talent To be Found
I could continue going on about all the amazing voice-acting talent there is to be found on the reboot of DuckTales, but I’m not going to. Because I don’t think a single article would do justice to the sheer amount of talent that went into the acting for this show. Heck, these are only a few of the famous celebrities and voice actors that have had roles in the reboot. We had the likes of Tom Kenny, Rob Paulsen, Hynden Walch, Greg Cipes, Michelle Gomez (The Master on Doctor Who), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane from Game of Thrones), James Monroe Iglehart (Genie in the Broadway production of Aladdin and a fellow actor on Hamilton), and more. And that’s not counting the main cast, either!
The bottom line: the reboot for DuckTales has some serious talent that’s made it an amazing show. If you guys haven’t seen it yet, then go watch it on Disney XD or Disney+ before the movie-length series finale next Monday!