This DuckTales review contains spoilers.
DuckTales Season 2 Episode 7
‘What Ever Happened To Della Duck?!’ is a mission statement for DuckTales. I’m not trying to be deep, co-producer Frank Angones tweeted that after the episode aired. He said the lyrics to ‘Della’s Lullaby’ “serve as a kind of mission statement for our DuckTales series as a whole.” Those lyrics being…
“Life is strange and vast, filled with wonders and joys. Face each new sun with eyes clear and true, Unafraid of the unknown, because I face it all with you.”
It’s bold for the series’ mission statement to be in an episode that barely features any of the main characters. It actually mostly features just one character, Della. How can one non-main character sum up what this series is trying to accomplish? I mean sure, she has some cool adventures and it’s pretty novel to do an episode with only one character for most of its run time but come on. That’s all just the creative team flexing their creative muscles, right? Shouldn’t a regular episode be the one to lay out the mission statement?
No, not at all, because ‘What Ever Happened To Della Duck?!” phenomenally displays exactly what DuckTales is trying to say. It beautifully sums it all up in the actions of one mother who will do anything to get back to her kids.
The bonds between our loved ones can get us through anything. No matter how bad things seem, no matter how hopeless, just remember that you’re not in this alone. You have people who love you. Those bonds will give you strength to make it through anything. Even if you’re trapped on the moon or life feels like a hurricane, it’s those bonds that give us strength.
It’s not just family, though of course that was a major part of this episode. DuckTales as a series has shown family can be more than just your blood relatives; it can be anyone you form a bond with. DuckTales’ mission is to show us the power of those relationships.
It all makes sense. When Scrooge was alone he may have made money but his life was missing something. It was only when he finally let his family back in that he started to find true happiness. The series itself is even questioning the ethics of what his vast fortune has done to him.
Even simpler, adventures aren’t fun when you’re by yourself. You can go on one sure, but it’s always better with someone else. Someone at your back. Someone you can support. Someone you can share in that joy with. Adventures, like life, aren’t something to be afraid of. As Della’s song went, “life is strange vast, filled with wonders and joys.”
DuckTales doesn’t want you to be afraid. It doesn’t want you to keep up your defenses. It wants to experience the world. Have an adventure with someone you love. There’s no need to be afraid of the unknown if you have someone to face it with.
That’s miraculous. The mission statement seems so simple. You could simply boil it down to “friendships and family are great” but it’s the kind of core lesson that this show can mine for years.
Just look at this episode. What’s great about the episode isn’t that it’s mostly a one woman show (though that is expertly handled) but seeing how much Della’s love for her boys drives her. Even after ten years on the moon she hasn’t lost her mind or given up. Every day she talks to her boys and does her best to keep up that positive attitude. It’s all for them. If she was in this alone she wouldn’t have survived. With that love though? She would have kept going until the day she died.
And man, what an incredible display of motherhood. Della Duck may be the greatest mom in TV ever. Just look at her! She loses her leg and it doesn’t even slow her down. She just builds a new one and keeps on working! Not only does this make Della a strong amputee character but it all feeds back into that mission statement. She doesn’t have to be afraid of losing a leg because she has those people who support her.
Of course she gets frustrated and mad. I’m sure she spent many nights crying her eyes out, worrying about her kids, but she still kept going. To see that kind of strength all based around her love? That’s the kind of thing more TV needs. It’s such a seemingly basic driving force but it’s powerful.
The sheer idea that love can get Della through all this may sound corny but it’s not. When it’s contrasted with the Moon People’s violence it takes on new meaning. Coldness won’t get you anywhere. Love though? That will win out.
I’m floored by just how incredible this episode was. What could have just been a gimmicky but satisfying payoff to the Della Duck mystery became something so much more. Huge shout out goes to the entire team that worked on this.
Writers Colleen Evanson and Madson Bateman breathed an adventurous and loving spirit into Della, helped of course by the fantastic work of Paget Brewster. Vince Aparo, Emmy Cicierega, and Ben Holm storyboarded such beautiful scenes. It says a lot they could do so much when fifty percent of the episode is a static shot of a character talking to a camera. Tanner Johnson put it all together and gave perfect direction. Everyone in the crew who helped make this happen. If I could list you all, I would. Finally, Matt Youngberg and Franciso Angones who are shepherding this amazing series and helping to give it such a powerful mission statement.
DuckTales is back and it’s one of the best shows on TV.
DuckTales Quotes To Make Your Life Better
– “Ah! It’s face has tentacles!”
– “Important life lesson big monsters, kids. You’re gonna be worried about the pincers but remember their spit is corrosive to.”
– “How hard can it be? It’s just rocket science.”
– “Halt! In the name of the moon!”
– “Don’t ignore me when I threaten your life!”