DuckTales Ends with Important Lesson: Family is the Greatest Adventure
DuckTales Series Finale Review
On the Ides of March 2021, I got up at 5:00 AM with one thing on my mind: DuckTales. The 90-minute finale would premiere that evening, but I couldn’t wait any longer. That’s why I got up bright and early so I could watch it all on DisneyNOW. Having seen it in its entirety, I can safely say that I made the right choice.
In a nutshell, the DuckTales series finale was, well, absolutely amazing. A perfect encapsulation of the show’s ultimate theme. At it’s core, DuckTales isn’t about adventure. Well, it is, but there’s something much more important. Family. Family has been at the heart of DuckTales from the start. Whether it’s the family that you’re born in, or the one you choose, family is what makes DuckTales great. And even amidst a finale that’s not afraid to give payoffs to things we didn’t even know know had payoffs, it never forgets that.
This goes without saying, but prepare for spoilers as we get to the “Whoa”, the “Wait, What?” and the “AHH, important life lesson!”
The Tale of Webby
Despite the season mainly focusing on Huey and his character growth, he’s not the sole focus for the series finale. Rather, he shares that role with the girl who, after seeing the finale, is probably my favorite character on the show: Webby Vanderquack. And I know some people are going to complain and say that this is going to come out of left-field or a butt-pull, but Matt, Frank, and their team have said that they planned this out from the beginning. I trusted them for four years, and I’m glad to say I trusted them.
The finale starts off in Funso’s Funzone, and it’s Webby’s birthday! All her friends and loved ones are there (and I do mean all) and everyone’s just enjoying themselves. Except, it’s not just a party. It’s a raid on FOWL! While he slept, Launchpad has been giving the family info about the secret FOWL base under Funso’s. It looks like the final battle is about to begin! Only for FOWL to have cleaned house. But they left something behind.
Whoa! That feather Black Heron got from the heroes in Instanboar was from Webby and they used it, and the other Missing Mysteries, to clone her, creating May and June. This was completely unexpected on my part. Why clone Webby and not Scrooge like I thought they would? That mystery compels both Huey and Webby, on their lonesome, to infiltrate FOWL’s new base: the great Library of Alexandria.
Wait, What’s this About Bradford?
It’s here that we get some more insight into Bradford’s backstory. It turns out, Isabella Finch, the founder of the Junior Woodchucks and the person Scrooge and Huey most admire, was his grandma. And she took him on the same crazy adventures that Scrooge would take his family on. However, unlike Duck family, Bradford got traumatized by it. So now he hates adventuring and wants to rid the world of it and make it lame, boring, and under his thumb.
In essence, this makes Bradford the antithesis to Scrooge. Whereas Scrooge looks at the trouble and mystery of the world and sees wonder and excitement, Bradford sees, well, chaos. Ergo, he wants to rid the world of said chaos out of spite for his Grandma.
Look, I get why Bradford would be upset; plenty of parental figures drag their kids into stuff that they grow to resent. But that’s excuse for him to try and rob the world of all that gives it wonder. Plus, he’s got no right to spout stuff like that after what he’s done to Scrooge and his family.
I’m not just talking about FOWL. Near the climax of the finale, Bradford makes Scrooge lose his cool by dropping this massive bombshell: he’s the one who leaked word about the Spear of Selene to Della. In other words, her being lost in space, the family falling apart, the boys going for years without knowing about their mom? It was all on him. Oh, and that also led to Lunaris nearly destroying the Earth. For all his talk about reining in the chaos, Bradford caused a lot of it. And here, he tries to end it.
Webby is……NO WAYYY!!!!
Long-story short, the Duck family launches an all-out assault on FOWL, for real this time, only to be picked off and almost beaten altogether. It leads to each of the heroes getting a chance to shine against FOWL, some epic fight scenes, and surprise cameos from almost every character that’s appeared in the show. That FOWL somehow captured. But the biggest bombshell of the episode? It’s about Webby. She’s the key to Bradford’s plans.
Remember that magic papyrus that Scrooge, Donald and Della went to look for on their first adventure? Scrooge commanded it to be hidden until the true heir of Scrooge McDuck found it. I knew that this meant it would play a role in the finale, but I thought that one of the members of the Duck Family would find it. Instead, it was Webby. Wait, what?
In what has to be the biggest double-whammy twist the show could ever give us, we learn the truth about Webby. She was genetically engineered by FOWL and then rescued by Mrs. Beakley before she could be used for evil. So that’s what the Harp was talking about in Mervana. And it also explains why Beakley was so paranoid about keeping Webby safe. But that’s not the crazy part: the crazy part is that Bradford used Scrooge’s DNA to create Webby. Which means…Webby is a clone/Scrooge’s daughter.
My brain almost shut down over the course of several minutes. Of all the plot twists I expected, I never thought that they would come up with this!! If it weren’t for the fact that Bradford was holding everyone hostage to get Scrooge to sign a magically binding contract on the Papyrus to never adventure again, I would be overjoyed.
Family is the Greatest Adventure of All
Ultimately, Bradford’s defeated when the family discovers a flaw in his contract. It says that Scrooge can stay with his family as long as he gives up adventure. But something that Bradford could never understand is that family is the greatest adventure of all. It’s the perfect encapsulation of the show’s whole theme. Whether you’re related by blood or by the bonds you share, family is an adventure; you just have to be willing to embrace it. Bradford never could, which is why he loses. And Scrooge’s real villains (who FOWL brainwashed into serving them) give him a fitting punishment. In an echo of what happened to her brother, Magica strips Bradford of his sentience and turns into a mindless vulture. A fitting punishment indeed.
And thus, the biggest adventure of DuckTales comes to an end, with the heroes flying off to new adventures. Fenton and Gandra are reunited, Donald decides to adopt May and June as he and Daisy go traveling around the world together. Which is great for him. After all the things he’s gone through in his life, giving up on his own wants and needs for the sake of his family, he truly deserves a chance at happiness.
As for Scrooge? He gets to spend time with his family, including his newfound daughter.
Until We Meet Again, DuckTales!
But does this mean that the adventure’s over? That DuckTales! is done and we’ll never see these incarnations of its characters? Not a chance. After what Disney has done, they’d have to be out of their mind to let the likes of Scrooge, the Triplets, Della and the others fall by the wayside again! In fact, they’re already planning on continuing it. Starting two weeks from now, we’ll be getting a limited podcast series, “This Duckburg Life”, starring the cast of the show.
So, am I sad that DuckTales! is now over? Yeah, a little. But I also know that this isn’t the end. Just like the original DuckTales inspired the reboot, the reboot may inspire someone else to pick up where the show left off. It’s a mystery as to what comes next, but that’s part of what makes it so much fun!
In my humble opinion, I consider “The Last Adventure” to be a near-perfect masterpiece that captures everything that DuckTales! wanted to teach people both young and old. How the world is full of wonder and adventure waiting to be found. That you need to learn to ride the waves of life rather than fight them to be happy. And that the greatest adventure of all can be the one you share with your family. Thank you, DuckTales! for four years of amazing storytelling. Woo-ooo!
I Give “The Last Adventure” a 5/5
- This whole time, Manny the Headless Manhorse was a reference to the freaking Gargoyles show. Well played, Matt and Frank. Well played
Oh, and Check out these DuckTales! Articles that I wrote for The Game of Nerds!
The Greatest Characters on DuckTales
DuckTales 2017 is Disney Afternoon Love Letter
Eleven Best Guest Stars in the 2017 DuckTales Reboot
My Favorite Episodes of DuckTales 2017
Click here to see my other animation stuff.
It was a good finale but I still think this show could’ve lasted for 4 or 5 seasons easily. My biggest gripe with the show is its villains. Other than a few exceptions, most of them were just too stupid to be a real threat. Thank goodness Bradford was one of the exceptions.
I thought it lasted a good length. Also, Disney doesn’t go past 4 seasons