The Beagle Boys are a group of characters from the Scrooge McDuck universe, loosely based on the popular image of Ma Barker and the Barker-Karpis Gang. They are a gang of criminals who constantly try to rob Scrooge McDuck and were created by Carl Barks. Their introduction and first appearance was in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #134. In more recent productions such as DuckTales and The Three Musketeers, the Beagle Boys sometimes appear as henchmen for Flintheart Glomgold, Magica De Spell or Pete.
In the comics, the individual Beagle Boys are referred to by their prison numbers, indicated on the tags seen on the chests of their distinctive red shirts (which appeared as orange in the comics). The three most common numbers are 176-167, 176-671, and 176-761. In fact, no digits other than one, six, or seven appeared on their prison ID tags. Carl Barks used to include the words "Beagle Boys Inc" on their shirts under their numbers, which was later deleted. In later years, they appeared in the comics as a trio (some combination of the most common numbers with 671-176, 716-617 and 176-176), plus cousins and other relatives of various talents as spin-off characters. They live in a small tumbledown hide-out in Duckburg; in 1980s American-produced stories, their pet cat Ratty often lived there as well.
The Beagle Boys have lots of relatives who count each other as brothers and cousins: apart from Ma Beagle there are the Beagle Brats (sons or nephews), the Beagle Babes (older generation which happens to be a trio of female cousins and a younger generation which happens to be their daughters or nieces) and their grandfather Blackheart Beagle. The brains of the Beagle clan is Intellectual-176 (or I-176) who wears a mortar-board cap and glasses over his black mask. Grandma & Grandpa Beagle have appeared in the strips at various times.
According to Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Scrooge first met The Beagle Boys in his Mississippi riverboat days. Those Beagle Boys included Blackheart Beagle and his three unnamed sons. Scrooge first met the modern Beagle Boys during Christmas 1947, which was when he first met his grandnephews Huey, Dewey and Louie and met his nephew Donald for the second time. Since then, the Beagle Boys have been a constant threat to Scrooge's huge money bin.
Sometimes they team up with other villains such as Magica De Spell, Black Pete, or Madam Mim, or they hire out their services to Flintheart Glomgold, Ollie Eiderduck or John D. Rockerduck. During these occasions, it should be noted, they continue to operate out of their own interests rather than their employers.
Although the characters are obviously based on dogs, they in no way resemble the actual beagle breed.
The Italian ska band Banda Bassotti takes its name from the Italian name of the gang.
Appearances in animation
On DuckTales, the Beagle Boys were given names and different personalities. The usual character combination was Big Time, Burger and Bouncer and/or Baggy; or Babyface, Bugle and Bankjob. Other known names are Bomber and Blitzkrieg. Their leader is usually Bigtime, Bankjob or their mother Ma Beagle. Like in the comics, these Beagles often teamed up with Scrooge McDuck's other enemies, particularly Flintheart Glomgold.
In addition to the seven regularly-recurring Beagle Boys, other Beagles introduced on DuckTales included:
|Megabyte Beagle||716||The mechanical genius of the clan and the only one whose name doesn't begin with the letter "B". He appeared in the five-part serial Super DuckTales, where he made a remote control with which to take control of GizmoDuck. He has a habit of confusing his companions with his technobabble, forcing them to make him "say it in Beagle talk!" Surprisingly, he didn't seem to get any comeuppance. Ma Beagle comments that she paid for him to go to college with stolen money. His voice was provided by Frank Welker.|
|Bomber Beagle||117-671||Looks a lot like Bankjob in that he has a similar jawline and is very large in size. He is more intelligent than most of the other Beagles.|
|Backwards Beagle||The only Beagle who wears a full moustache. He has a strong Canadian accent and is the twin brother of Binky Beagle and Bacon Beagle. The fact that he actually believes this is true could make him the dumbest of all the Beagle Boys. Backwards wears a Davy Crocket-like trapper's outfit as opposed to the normal jailhouse outfit of the Beagle Boys. He is also the only person who is able to understand Bacon Beagle.|
|Binky Beagle||Probably the only Beagle Boy who is never seen speaking. He is roughly the same size as Baggy Beagle, wears a lumberjack outfit and has a full beard. He lives with Backwards and Bacon Beagle in the Ducky Mountains|
|Bacon Beagle||167||Bacon is, in fact, a pet pig, hence his name. When Glomgold asked how he could be a Beagle Boy, Backwards explains that Bacon had a bad case of the swine flu as a child. Bacon cannot speak, but his oinks and grunts are, instead, translated by Backwards Beagle.|
|Baritone Beagle||A cousin of the Beagle Boys who appeared in the Disney Adventures comic story "Mrs. Beakley's Secret Love". He has muttonchops and a mustache and possesses the ability to mimic anyone's voice. In the story, he falls in love with Mrs. Beakley and sends her many gifts while his cousins want him to use his impression of Scrooge to help them break the new voice lock on Scrooge's money bin. When he finally does help them break in and they are caught and arrested, Baritone vows to give up crime and become a good citizen upon finishing his prison sentence.|
Some of the Beagle Boys make cameo appearances in the Darkwing Duck episode "In Like Blunt", along with Magica De Spell and Flintheart Glomgold, among the bidders for the secret S.H.U.S.H. agent list.
A Beagle Boy made a cameo appearance in the episode "The 29th Page".
In the episode "Nosy Neighbors", Donald tries to train his attack dogs, using an attack dummy that resembles a Beagle Boy.
An unnamed Beagle was seen during the "A Very Goofy Christmas" segment in a cameo role. In the middle of the short, the Beagle Boy in question was seen robbing Pete's house and was mistaken for Santa Claus by Goofy and Max until the police arrived.
In the direct-to-video film Mickey, Donald and Goofy: The Three Musketeers, three Beagle Boys make an appearance working as minions for Captain Pete. These three Beagle Boys are different from previous incarnations as they have grayish skin, British accents and wear hoods. Two of the Beagle Boys are tall and the third one is rather short.
The boys are first seen at Princess Minnie's palace preparing to murder her by dropping a safe onto her. Their attempt fails, and they run off to tell their boss, who is revealed to be Pete, the captain of the musketeers. Pete is outraged by the Beagle Boys as the plan was not to murder the princess but to kidnap her only. The boys are then banished to a pit as punishment while the pit is actually adequate. Later on, by orders of Minnie, Pete assigns three janitors, Mickey, Donald and Goofy, to protect her as musketeers. Pete believing they'll do a terrible job, orders the Beagle Boys to kidnap Minnie with high hopes of success. However, upon the Beagles return, Pete realizes the three are better musketeers than he thought and advises a plan to pick them off one by one. Pete and Clarabelle go after Mickey and Goofy respectively, while the Beagles lure Donald into Pete's lair to be decapitated. Time restrictions force Pete's plan to take place at the grand opera where Mickey, Donald and Goofy reveal to survive their planned deaths and battle the Beagles. Pete interferes and seemingly murders Donald and Goofy along with the Beagles. Pete feels no remorse for the loss of his henchmen and continues with his plans. The Beagles are not seen or mentioned again in the film after that, but in the comic book adaptation, they are shown being arrested along with Pete.
Appearances in other media
During the time of DuckTales and the popular Disney Afternoon block, the Beagles occasionally appeared as meet-and-greet characters, as well as taking part in some special promotional material involving other park characters. However, as of 2013, the Beagles do not appear at the parks.
In the DuckTales NES game, the Beagle Boys appear as recurring enemies in each of the levels. Getting injured by them will also cause Scrooge to lose some money. The HD remake appears to expand their role in the game, with Big Time, Burger, and Bouncer appearing as sub-bosses in the Transylvania level.
The version of the Beagle Boys from The Three Musketeers also appear in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, where they appear in the world, Country of the Musketeers as figments of the dream the world is having. Like in the film, they work for Pete, trying to kidnap Princess Minnie for his nefarious plot to seize the throne. However, unlike the film, they fight Sora and Riku; Sora defeats them while saving the princess from the Tower, and they try hiding from Riku to keep the Stage Prop away from him to keep Pete's trap for the musketeers from being undone.
Heroes and Allies: Scrooge McDuck | Huey, Dewey and Louie | Launchpad McQuack | Webby Vanderquack | Betina Beakley | Duckworth | Gyro Gearloose | Doofus Drake | Fenton Crackshell | Donald Duck | Bubba the Cave Duck | Tootsie the Triceratops | Gene the Genie | Glittering Goldie | Admiral Grimmitz | Duchess of Swansylvania
Villains: Beagle Boys (Big Time, Burger, Bouncer, Baggy, Bankjob, Bugle, and Babyface) | Ma Beagle | Flintheart Glomgold | Magica De Spell | Poe De Spell | El Capitan | Merlock the Magician | Dijon | Cinnamon Teal | Dracula Duck
Organizations: Junior Woodchucks