The 'DuckTales' Reboot Gives A Quack About Representation

Disney XD

You know Huey, Dewey, and Louie of course. You know Scrooge McDuck and Launchpad McQuack. But do you recall the most important duckling of all? The DuckTales revival premieres Aug. 12 on Disney XD and seems to be taking one character from the sidelines and putting her front and center. She was a member of the original DuckTales squad, but Webby Vanderquack is a much more important character in the new series. Her expanded role helps balance the otherwise very male cast and may inspire some other adventurous little girls.

While Huey, Dewey, Louie and Scrooge are all related by blood, Webby is one of the only members of the DuckTales crew to not share a familial relation with Donald or Scrooge McDuck. Webby came into the care of Scrooge McDuck by way of her grandmother, Bentina Beakley. While Webby is the daughter of Scrooge McDuck's housekeeper, Scrooge treats her as he does any of his own grandnephews. That is to say, he makes sure she's included on any and all treasure-hunting adventures and fending off Magica Despell and the Beagle Boys.

The biggest difference between Webby in the original series and now is that she is getting a big upgrade in character. In the original, she was a friend of the family, but didn't end up joining the crew on every adventure. This time, however, Webby (voiced by Kate Micucci) is just as essential as Huey, Dewey, or Louie.

While Webby seemed to just be along for the ride in the original series, the new version of the character seems to chase adventure with glee. Webby is obsessed with the adventures of Donald Duck, as well as Scrooge McDuck's own past adventurous. Frank Angones, one of the producers behind the revival, took to Tumblr to explain, "Webby lives in a mansion surrounded by all kinds of artifacts and reminders of Scrooge’s adventurous past, so she’s obsessed with all things Clan McDuck."

The new DuckTales series doesn't treat Webby's courage like it's a surprise, nor does it fall into the trap that the original DuckTales fell into of portraying Webby as someone who is just along for the ride. In the reboot, she's just as important to each and every story as Huey, Louie, and Dewey are. Disney XD seems to be making a conscious effort to make one of its only female characters as prominent as her male counterparts.

Webby was a part of the DNA that made up DuckTales, but she never felt as essential as Scrooge or the nephews. The Disney XD revival has taken great care to prove that she's not just a side character. She may have tagged along with the nephews in the past, but now it is up to the nephews to keep up with Webby.