It doesn’t capture Carl Barks’ beautiful vision, and the feel is completely wrong. It’s not the same thing by any means. But as far as syndicated cartoons from 1987 go, a lot of the first season is miraculously well put together and watchable, especially the multi-part episodes. The episodes based on Carl Barks’ stories are also particularly strong because the source stories are so masterfully and classically written in a perfect Disney gag writer way, but it’s a little sad to see them watered down and their messages and atmosphere and gags completely stripped. Still, it’s always a joy for me to see Uncle Scrooge moving and jumping around and verbally abusing people. It’s kind of a weird show. It got absolutely unwatchable and horrible, but the first season has a richness that the others don’t. It turned into a different show. It has a cotton-candy saccharine Disney gloss that the original comics don’t have that can make it pure pain to sit through, but at its best moments, it shows Unca Scrooge moving around caverns and unlocking treasure chests and stealing glistening coins in a pleasing way that lulls me to a soothing sleep nicely.
The Carl Barks Uncle Scrooge stories are great because there is always a reason for the adventures and journeys. They are structured with a main gag or idea that always thrusts them. That usually meant changing the characters slightly each time, which was done perfectly. You don’t have that luxury in a giant 80s cartoon, and without these gags, the stories are empty and depressing.
As a kid, it used to bring me to tears the way that duck steals from lost civilizations, or, more often, living animal humans.