One of the great things about the current DuckTales reboot on Disney XD is that in addition to reviving familiar characters like the members of the Duck / McDuck family and their various friends and antagonists, it has also created a good number of its own new personae to populate this fresh vision of Duckburg.
One of those newly invented recurring characters is B.O.Y.D., who was introduced in the second season as pseudo-villainous tech guru Mark Beaks’ fake son as a ploy to get into Doofus Drake’s birthday party. In that episode, B.O.Y.D. wound up becoming a part of the Drake family, and evidently after that he signed up for the Junior Woodchucks.
In this week’s DuckTales episode, entitled “Astro B.O.Y.D.!”– an obvious nod to the 1950s Japanese manga series Astro Boy— B.O.Y.D. (voiced here by Noah Baird, though he was previously played by Nicolas Cantu) is befriended by Huey (Danny Pudi) during a Woodchucks campout. When Huey discover’s B.O.Y.D.’s difficult-to-disguise secret thanks to the robot child’s laser-beam eyes, he takes him to see Gyro Gearloose (Jim Rash) and his intern Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera AKA Gizmoduck (Lin-Manuel Miranda) in their underwater laboratory. It perhaps-not-so-coincidentally turns out that Gyro was one of B.O.Y.D.’s inventors, so the group travels to Japan in order to track down the scientist’s old equipment and hopefully fix B.O.Y.D.’s malfunctions for good.
While in the city of Tokyolk– yes, you read that right– Huey and friends encounter the tough-as-nails police inspector Tezuka (Tamlyn Tomita) who is extremely wary of robots in the wake of her prior run-ins with B.O.Y.D. (then called 2-BO) and eventually must face off against the diabolical Dr. Akita (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) who wants only to use his invention for destruction. Along the way there are some funny references to Disney’s Pinocchio— check out how much the young Gyro Gearloose looks like Geppetto in those flashbacks– and lots of anime-inspired action in the streets of Japan. Huey does his best to help B.O.Y.D. become a “definitely real boy” and turn away from his more harmful programming, and Gyro proves that he is capable of creating inventions that aren’t worthless or evil.
The real stars of this episode are DuckTales’ supporting cast members, however, as Rash and Miranda do most of the heavy lifting and their characters Gyro and Fenton continue to make for an extremely amusing comedy duo. It always takes some getting used to when this show takes detours away from housing the adventures of Scrooge McDuck at its core, but it’s nice to see how its extended troupe of performers can shift the focus of the series in entertaining and often touching ways.
New episodes of DuckTales air Saturday mornings on Disney XD.
Mike serves as Laughing Place’s lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly “Who’s the Bossk?” Star Wars podcast. He’s been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general since a very young age and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.