With DuckTales returning to television in 2017, it’s time to rewrite some history, Duckburg style! To do it, we have to look no further than DinoLand U.S.A. in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. That sounds like a bit of a stretch, doesn’t it? I promise, if we just head on over to Cretaceous Trail, the ducks are there for all to see. For all to see, that is, if we study the bulletin board where notes have been left for Wilderness Explorers very closely.
As the Cretaceous Trail is also home to Donald’s meet and greet, it makes sense that there would be a fowl theme in play here. And no, I’m not talking the villainous organization, F.O.W.L., which went up against DuckTales’ counterpart on The Disney Afternoon, Darkwing Duck. I’m talking about all things duck, and most importantly all things duck-billed. At the top left corner of the bulletin board, there is crinkled timeline of the last time specific duck-billed creatures have been seen. Aside from stating that this is where Donald Fauntleroy is having a dino-fific time, there are two other spots to talk about.
The first comes from the Late Cretaceous Period where we see an image of DuckTales’ own, Bubba the Cave Duck. Depending on the source, he was also later identified as simply Bubba Duck. Bubba arrived on the scene in the opening episode of the second season of DuckTales. This episode, Making Time, was part of the five episode arc entitled Time Is Money. Yep, Scrooge’s thirst sent the gang back through time to change his fortune. Along the way they picked up Bubba and a triceratops. Bubba would take on the triceratops as his pet, and name her Tootsie, after she stepped on Launchpad McQuack’s, you guessed it, tootsie (aka foot). Bubba and Tootsie would travel back to the present day with Scrooge, the nephews, and the rest of the DuckTales crew. After becoming homesick, Bubba would recreate a version of his cave from Duckbill Island in Scrooge’s backyard. He would be integral to several stories throughout the remainder of the series.
Moving ahead on our timeline, but further back in DuckTales history, we stop at 1987. This is the year that DuckTales launched, and also the year that Huey, Dewey, Louie, Webby, Scrooge, and Launchpad visited the Lost World. Here, they hoped to find a living dinosaur to take back to Scrooge’s zoo. Through a variety of missteps and an apparent change of heart on Scrooge’s part, they end up saving a baby Hadrosaurus and returning it to its mother. Scrooge does end up chartering tours of the Lost World, but the baby hadro, who looked absolutely nothing like its timeline depiction, was indeed saved. This occurs in the episode entitled Dinosaur Ducks, which was the eighteenth episode to air, but due to episodes being shown out of order, it is listed as the thirty-ninth episode of the first season.
That sure is a lot of duck-billed activity to soak in! As anticipation builds around the return of DuckTales, one can only hope for more and more of these type of references to return to the parks. A number of characters have been listed as returning for the 2017 series, but that hasn’t included Bubba the Cave Duck as of yet. I mean, who doesn’t want to hear him exclaim, “Bubba smash,” at least one more time?