Saturday, September 10, 2016

Wing of Darkness

The Reporter tells us:

... [Darkwing Duck] has its roots in DuckTales ... which featured an episode in which Launchpad is a secret agent called Double-O Duck. Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg liked that concept as a potential series and asked Stones to take a stab at it. Stones turned in a pitch trading off the James Bond theme, one he says lacked heart. He didn't believe in the pitch, and when Katzenberg rejected it, he was relieved … until the exec asked him to try again.

The second time around, Stones got it right, injecting Silver Age comics nostalgia, and reconceiving its lead as a superhero instead of a secret agent (as late Bond producer Cubby Broccoli owned the rights to the Double-O name). Most importantly, he injected a healthy dose of heart thanks to the endearing relationship between Darkwing and his daughter.

The DuckTales episode from which Tad Stones built the new series came from two Disney staff writers ... who got a little miffed when Disney TVA declined to honor a studio memo that promised a $10,0000 bonus to anybody who created a script that ultimately morphed into a network series, which this particular episode ultimately did. (And let's face facts squarely: ten grand is chickenfeed for a large, international conglomerate).

The Animation Guild filed a grievance on the writers' behalf, and after several months of arbitration (some of which the division chief attended), the arbitrator awarded the scribes their ten grand. As far as anyone knows, the studio never used that particular arbitrator again, but at least the writers got the money the studio had promised.

It's always a good thing to keep giant corporations honest.


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