Huey, Dewey, and Louie are young, anthropomorphic white duck triplets who are the nephews of Donald Duck, created by Ted Osborne and Al Taliaferro. With identical appearances and personalities, the boys are popularly known as loving supporters and mischievous adversaries to Donald, filling both roles in various forms of media since their debut in the 1937 comic strip and corresponding 1938 animated short Donald's Nephews.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie are the sons of Donald's sister Della Duck, however in Donald's Nephews, their mother is instead named Dumbella. In the original theatrical shorts, they were originally sent to visit Donald for only one day; in the comics, the three were sent to stay with Donald on a temporary basis until their father came back from the hospital (the boys ended up sending him there after a practical joke of putting firecrackers under his chair). In both the comics and animated shorts, the boys' parents were never heard from or referred to again after these instances, resulting in the boys ending up permanently living with Donald, in keeping with Disney's usual elimination of kid characters' parents. All four of them live in the city of Duckburg in the state of Calisota.
The boys are noted for having both identical appearances and personalities in most appearances, with the three sometimes shown as finishing each other's sentences as a running joke. In the theatrical shorts, Huey, Dewey, and Louie would often behave in a rambunctious manner, sometimes committing retaliation or revenge on their uncle Donald for something he did to them. In the comics, however, as developed by Al Taliaferro and Carl Barks, the boys are usually depicted in a more well-behaved manner, usually helping their uncle Donald and great-uncle Scrooge McDuck in the adventure at hand. In the early Barks comics, the ducklings were still wild and unruly, but their characters improved considerably due to their membership in the Junior Woodchucks and the good influence of their wise old great-grandmother Grandma Duck.
Personalities and appearance
Huey, Dewey, and Louie are Donald Duck's mischievous nephews, who have a usual rivalry with him. While they each have a distinct character trait, they share some similarities. All three are shown to be crafty and troublesome and usually think alike. In some earlier cartoons, they would often argue amongst themselves and have been shown to whine and cry. All three also share joy in tormenting Donald for their own amusement. However, this is sometimes an act of revenge from a prank committed by Donald instead. Individually, the personalities and quirks of the boys were inspired by real-life sibling dynamics. Huey is the oldest, and therefor the most responsible. Dewey is the middle child, and wants to stand out because of that. Louie, meanwhile, doesn't mind not being the center of attention, and simply wants to enjoy a lazy lifestyle.
In most appearances, they are children no more than the age of 10, while in Quack Pack, they are older (aged 14-15).
They are white little ducks with orange beaks and feet. Their eyes are oval and blue. Their clothes are in a different color for each one (though in most of the comics, their shirts are instead colored black).
In the 2017 reboot of Ducktales, each triplet wears newly updated clothing to differentiate from each other: Huey wears a red polo t-shirt while still retaining his colored hat as seen in previous appearances. Huey wears a long-sleeved shirt inside his normal t-shirt. Louie wears a green hoodie.
Huey is the oldest with the red color palette. He usually takes on the role as leader of the trio, and is somewhat aggressive and smart-mouthed, more so than his brothers.
In 2017's DuckTales, Huey's role as leader is validated by him being the eldest triplet and most responsible. He is also rather brainy and strict with rules. Other notable facts include the following:
- Huey is the oldest by exactly three seconds.
- Of all the nephews, Huey is the most dependent of the Junior Woodchuck guidebook.
- He enjoys traveling and road trips.
Dewey is the middle child with the blue color palette. He is often portrayed as the brains of the group, with an ambitious and quick-thinking personality. Because of this, he can arguably be considered the most mischievous. In early cartoons, Dewey would sport a tangerine shirt instead of his now-trademark blue, which wouldn't appear in Dewey's animation days until DuckTales. In the 1987 DuckTales series episode "Duck in the Iron Mask", Dewey had an identity crises, as he wanted to separate himself from the trio to stand out as his own individual.
This is significant to Dewey's character in the 2017 reboot series.
In 2017's DuckTales, Dewey is adventurous and daring, but can take on more than he can chew. Due to being the middle child, Dewey loves attention and wants to be recognized as his own individual outside the trio. Other notable facts include the following:
- He is a fan of theatre and dance.
- He sees himself as Scrooge's successor.
- Dewey loves black jellybeans.
Louie is the youngest with the green color palette. He is somewhat absent-minded, and the most childlike of the group. However, he sometimes notices things the others miss. While Louie wore his now-trademark green shirt in the earliest of cartoons, he sometimes sported a yellow shirt as well.
In 2017's DuckTales, Louie is portrayed as laid-back and content, with somewhat of a cynical sense of humor. Other notable facts include the following:
- Huey, Dewey and Webby refer to him as the "evil triplet".
- Like Scrooge, he loves money and riches, and has even led a few "get-rich-quick" schemes.
- Louie is a pathological liar, but sees it as a "responsible" way to keep Donald from worrying about him and his siblings.
Clarence Nash, Donald's voice actor, provided the voices of the boys in the classic shorts, making them sound just as unintelligible as their uncle. In Scrooge McDuck and Money, they were voiced by the Mellomen using child voices as opposed to "duck voices". Since 1987, the boys have been voiced by both Tony Anselmo (who has voiced Donald since 1985) and Russi Taylor (who has been the voice of Minnie Mouse since 1986). In Quack Pack, they were voiced by Jeannie Elias, Pamela Adlon, and E.G. Daily, respectively. Tony Anselmo voiced the trio again in Mickey Mouse Works, House of Mouse and Have a Laugh!, but Russi Taylor remains the nephews' official voice actress and has voiced the boys since DuckTales. In the DuckTales reboot, the triplets are voiced by Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz, and Bobby Moynihan respectively.
Development of an animated short centering the nephews of Walt Disney's popular character, Donald Duck, had already been underway by 1937. The idea of Donald's nephews came from Al Taliaferro, who served as an artist for Disney's Silly Symphonies comic strip. It has also been noted that the duck triplets were influenced by Mickey Mouse's nephews, Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse. Before the short's completion, Taliaferro featured the nephews in the comic strip simply titled Donald's Nephews, released on October 17, 1937.
They were named by Disney employee Dana Coty, who was inspired by the names Huey Long, Thomas Dewey, and Louis Schmitt.
Six months afterward, the short of the same name would debut on April 15, 1938, and marked Huey, Dewey and Louie's first animated appearance. In the short, Huey, Dewey and Louie were portrayed as wily and mischievous, while Donald's perspective was an exaggerated look on the difficulties of parenting. The tone, like most of Donald's cartoons, was comedic and filled with adversarial hijinks, and this battle-of-wits relationship between Donald and the boys would become a staple in the former's animated career from that moment forward.
Over the span of 27 theatrical short cartoons, Huey, Dewey and Louie were amongst Donald Duck's most frequent adversaries (rivaled only by Chip and Dale, who first encountered Donald in 1947). They were interchangeable, having the exact same physical appearance, personality traits, and voices (usually provided by Clarence "Ducky" Nash, who also voiced Donald). Their colors varied by short with the exception of red, which had always appeared on at least one of the triplets sans 1941's The Nifty Nineties, where they all wore blue. Throughout the late 40's and 1950's, all three of the nephews wore red.
Over the course of their career, while still filled with comedic slapstick, the relationship between the boys and Donald became slightly more domesticated and down-to-earth. In 1942's The New Spirit, for example, Donald listed the boys as his dependents on his tax form, which also stated that they were legally adopted by him.
After the conclusion of the theatrical Donald Duck shorts with 1961's The Litterbug (which co-starred the boys) Huey, Dewey and Louie would appear in 1967's Scrooge McDuck and Money, released nearly a year after Walt Disney's death. As the name suggests, it starred Scrooge McDuck, a character created by Carl Barks for Disney comic strips, who first appeared two decades earlier in 1947. The boys had previously interacted with Scrooge regularly on the printed page, but never before in animation until this point.1987, Huey, Dewey and Louie once again co-starred alongside Scrooge McDuck in Sport Goofy in Soccermania. In the television special, the boys team up with Scrooge and Goofy to win back the latter's coveted trophy by beating the Beagle Boys in a soccer game. Russi Taylor (most famously known for her work as Minnie Mouse) voiced the boys for the first time here, and she would reprise her role numerous times in the following decades. Months later marked the debut of DuckTales, an animated series part of the Disney Afternoon television block. It was based on the Carl Barks Uncle Scrooge comics and centered the miserly duck on his globe-trotting adventures, with Huey, Dewey and Louie under his care following Donald's enlistment in the U.S. Navy. The short established what would become Huey, Dewey and Louie's trademark colors: red, blue, and green.
|"Note that the brightest hue of the three is red (Huey), the color of water, dew, is blue (Dewey), and that leaves Louie, and leaves are green."|
—Disney archivist Dave Smith.
In 1996, after the huge success of DuckTales, Huey, Dewey and Louie would star in their own series, Quack Pack, which significantly featured them as teenagers. However, the series itself was short-lived and rather poorly received.
In 2017, Disney debuted a reboot of DuckTales. The producers of the series made an effort to develop the nephews into their own, individual characters. They also established that the order of how audiences say their names — "Huey, Dewey and Louie" — is also the order of their birth. The series also removes Dewey and Louie's caps, leaving that signature design element for Huey.
Films and television
The boys later starred in the 1987 animated television series DuckTales, in which they appeared in adventures with their great-uncle Scrooge McDuck (due to Donald having enlisted in the U.S. Navy). The boys' personalities were mainly based on their comic book appearances as opposed to the ones in the theatrical shorts. The series focuses on the boys' life with Scrooge while Donald is off serving in the Navy.
Throughout the course of the series, the boys come to know various characters such as Launchpad McQuack (Scrooge's personal pilot and bumbling sidekick), Gyro Gearloose (a wacky inventor who's convoluted inventions constantly cause mayhem in Duckburg), Scrooge's maid Mrs. Beakley and her granddaughter Webby. With all these characters, the boys create strong, family-oriented bonds that last the entire series. Specifically with Webby, who acts as the "honorary niece" at times, with the young girl duckling even referring to Scrooge as "Uncle Scrooge", like the boys. Even so, Huey, Dewey, and Louie have often expressed dislike in having Webby tag along on their adventures.
They also meet several of Scrooge's enemies and are often their targets in the villains' plots to overtake Scrooge--Magica De Spell (a wicked sorceress) is one of the many antagonists, along with Scrooge's rival Flintheart Glomgold and, most notably, the infamous Beagle Boys, who are some of the more bumbling foes the boys face, though they still cause a great threat to McDuck's fortune due to their enormously large family.
In 1990, the boys starred alongside Scrooge in DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp. In this film, the boys must help Scrooge defeat a powerful wizard named Merlock in his quest to dominate the world through the use of a genie's magic.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie also starred in the 1990's series Quack Pack, in which the three were portrayed as teenagers and their full names were given as Hubert, Deuteronomy and Louis Duck. In Quack Pack, the boys were given more distinct personalities, with Huey being something of a ladies' man, Dewey as a computer whiz and Louie as comic book freak. Most episodes revolved around the boys' mischievous nature and often getting into trouble with their Uncle Donald.
In some episodes, including the series' pilot, the boys would become their superhero alter egos known as "The T-Squad". Huey had the ability of super speed, Dewey had incredible intelligence and psychic powers and Louie held the power of super strength. The hero forms were provided by their great-uncle Ludwig Von Drake.
In "Donald's Rocket Ruckus", the boys attempted to ride an attraction they were too short for.
In "Survival of the Woodchucks", they followed the guidelines of the Junior Woodchucks, but retaliated against Donald when they learned that he didn't pass the survival test.
One of their most notable appearances in the series is in "Mickey's Remedy", where they were babysat by Mickey while Donald went out. They tricked Mickey into spoiling them until Mickey learned of their trick. As punishment, Mickey had the boys believe that they were dying until they promised to change their ways.
In the film, the boys star in a segment where they wish for Christmas every day, which is them reliving the exact same day from before. The first two days are great but become extremely annoying afterward. When they try to fix time, they sabotage Christmas in order to mix things up. Despite this, they ended up destroying and ruining Christmas. When Donald is hit by the Christmas tree, instead of yelling at the boys and losing his temper, as usual, he just lies there depressed and humiliated and the boys realize what they did was the worst thing they've ever done. To redeem themselves, they make sure the next day became the greatest Christmas they ever had. This restores the balance to their family and Christmas is finally over.
They later appear during the grand finale, singing Christmas carols with the other characters.
In House of Mouse, the boys served as the club's band, first calling themselves the Quackstreet Boys (an obvious parody of the Backstreet Boys). They then changed their name to the Splashing Pumpkins (parodying the Smashing Pumpkins) but went back to being the Quackstreet Boys in later episodes. Other names have been used as well, such as QuackWerk, Plymouth Rock, and Kid Duck. Like in Mickey Mouse Works, they were voiced by Tony Anselmo, though a few episodes had them looking similar to how they looked in Quack Pack.
The boys' biggest role in the series was in the episode "Music Day", which showed the boys breaking up after arguing over a photo shoot, forcing Mickey, Donald, and Goofy to try to reunite them before the show ends.
They also appear trapped in the club with the other characters in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie are brought into the third dimension in the CGI sequel.
In their starring segment of the film, they realize they have not been perfect angels during the year. In order to gain presents, they leave home and have a grand adventure in Santa Claus' workshop in The North Pole. They once again ruin Christmas but redeem themselves by saving it again. When they finally find the list's room, instead of writing their names on it, they write Scrooge's. Due to their good deeds, they receive presents and a "Thank You" note from Santa himself.
They play supporting roles in Donald's segment, where they are seen under the care of Daisy, wanting to have Donald tag along for Christmas festivities. However, Donald's grouchy attitude towards the holidays and his desire to be left alone prevent such a thing from happening peacefully. After a mishap at the mall's Christmas show, Daisy sadly takes the boys out without their uncle, though Donald's Christmas spirit eventually gets the better of him, allowing he and his family to reconcile.
The boys reappear at the end of the film, singing Christmas carols with the other characters in Mickey's house.
In the episode "Black and White", the boys can be seen walking past the movie theater at the very beginning of the episode. In this appearance, they appear wearing black shirts along with caps sporting their traditional colors.
The boys later appear in "No" (donning outfits similar to the ones they wore in Mr. Duck Steps Out), where they take advantage of Mickey's inability to say the word "no" by asking to borrow toilet paper and using it to teepee his house, taunting him afterwards. In the end, the boys are seen with the other characters of the episode, returning their favors by giving Mickey three new rolls of toilet paper and in asking Mickey to join the latter in watching TV.
The boys reappear in "Duck the Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special", where they join Scrooge, Ludwig Von Drake and Daisy on a winter migration to a beach resort in the south. They are notably upset by Donald's absence, who chose to stay with Mickey in the north to celebrate Christmas. When Donald falls ill due to the cold weather, Mickey rushes him to the boys and other ducks. As they're all together, the boys learn that Christmas can be spent anywhere, and thusly do so with their blood and extended family.
Huey, Dewey and Louie return in the reboot series as the protagonists, with distinct appearances, voices and personalities, though they each take after their Uncle Scrooge in some way: Huey has Scrooge's intelligence, Dewey has Scrooge's fearlessness, and Louie shares Scrooge's love of treasure. About 11 or 12 in age, the series introduces the nephews to their great-uncle Scrooge for the first time, and they appear to be wide-eyed admirers when it comes to McDuck's fortune and legends. Like the original DuckTales, the boys soon find themselves involved in the renewed adventures of Scrooge and his staff, though notably accompanied by Donald as well, who is rather overprotective of the boys.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie appear in the opening animated intro to The Mickey Mouse Club. Unlike most of the shorts, they all wear blue shirts and red caps.
In the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Huey, Dewey, and Louie appear in a picture on a newspaper clipping in Eddie Valiant's office, describing how Eddie and his now-deceased brother Teddy saved them from an unknown kidnapper.
Role in the comics
Within the comics, Huey, Dewey, and Louie often play a major role in most stories involving either their uncle Donald or great-uncle Scrooge McDuck, accompanying them on most of their adventures. Also seen in the comics is the boys' membership in a Boy Scouts of America-like organization called the Junior Woodchucks, including their use of the Junior Woodchucks Guidebook -- a manual containing all manner of information on virtually every subject possible (however, there are some resources, such as the ancient libraries of Tralla La, that hold information not found in the guidebook). This excellent youth organization, which has twin goals of preserving knowledge and preserving the environment, was instrumental in transforming the three brothers from little hellions to upstanding young ducks.
True to his jocular style, Duck comic artist and writer Don Rosa occasionally made subtle references as to what became of the nephews' parents. In his 1990's comic serial The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Rosa pictures how Scrooge first met his nephews, saying "I'm not used to relatives, either! The few I had seem to have... disappeared!", to which Huey, Dewey and Louie answer "We know how that feels, Unca Scrooge!"
In the 2014 comic 80 is prachtig, a Dutch Disney comic published in honor of Donald's 80th anniversary, it was finally explained what became of the nephews' mother. An astronaut, Della left her children with her brother Donald before leaving for a space trip.The story was written by Evert Geradts and drawn by Maximino Tortajada Aguilar.
Video game appearances
DuckTales and DuckTales 2
Huey, Dewey, and Louie all appear at certain points in the DuckTales NES games, including on the level select screen of the first game (where, due to color limitations, Dewey is colored as a second Louie). Throughout both of the games, the boys appear at select points in each of the levels to give hints to Scrooge about what he will need to do in order to progress through the levels. At one point in the Transylvania level in the first game, Huey is held hostage by one of the Beagle Boys and, after being rescued, tells Scrooge about the illusion wall in the level. The HD remake expands on this by having all three of the nephews get captured by the Beagle Boys in the new Money Bin level as well as in the Transylvania level.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie appear in the third Magical Quest game. The object of the game is to rescue them from the clutches of the villainous King Pete.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie all appear in the game. Huey presents the winner with their trophy and reminds the racer that is going the wrong way when they are going the wrong way, while Dewey continues a player after they fall into water or down a pit and Louie starts the race by saying: "On your mark, Get Set, GO!!!", plus they appear as unlockable characters.
In Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers!, if Donald manages to spell out the word "Special" in each level, the nephews will contact him after he finishes it to tell him how to activate a new special move.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie appear as supporting characters in the Kingdom Hearts series.
In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, the trio appear in Disney Town participating in the world's mini games. Scrooge McDuck has left them in charge of an ice cream machine, which they are having trouble handling. Captain Justice comes to lend them a hand, but only ends up with making a big mess. When Pete fails to get the machine to properly work, Ventus arrives and asks if he could try getting it to work. With his help, they manage to make it work properly.
Here, Huey, Dewey, and Louie work for Scrooge in Castleton's finest shop, introduced to the player through Minnie. For Huey, fashion's his specialty, Dewey's in charge of furnishing, and Louie takes care of the rest.
In spite of being major characters in the Donald Duck cartoons and comics, Huey, Dewey, and Louie rarely make live appearances at the Disney theme parks. However, in recent years, they've been making far more appearances, specifically during special events.
They also appear in Disney's Magical Express' bus videos, viewed during transportation.
In Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, the trio have their own spell card called "Huey, Dewey, & Louie's Snowfort Barricade". This card was only available to guests that attended Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in 2013. Statues of the boys are also featured in one of the courtyards of Disney's All-Star Sports Resort.
On the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy cruise ships, Huey, Dewey, and Louie are the hosts of The AquaLab. The AquaLab is an interactive water playground for children and the sister activity to the popular AquaDuck, which the boys created as a gift for Donald.
A statue depicting Huey cutting the support line of Donald (while working on the ship's paint job) is featured on the Disney Wonder ship.
- Main article: Huey, Dewey and Louie Filmography
- A few comics accidentally feature a fourth nephew. He is often dubbed as Fooey or Phooey, the nephews' 'long-lost brother'.
- Strangely, it's not ever shown how Huey, Dewey, and Louie ever got to Traverse Town if Disney Castle wasn't destroyed. Plus, it's unknown why they wouldn't be at Disney Castle in Kingdom Hearts II, but instead at Hollow Bastion, yet they do tell Ventus that they're going to save up Munny to go on a big adventure.
- Typical of cartoon characters, Huey, Dewey, and Louie rarely appear to age (note Quack Pack), even where the story they're involved in shows characters around them to age like Max Goof (though they appeared alongside him in House of Mouse at older ages) or Sora from the Kingdom Hearts series.
- In the Ducktales reboot, Huey is the only one to keep his cap while Dewey's and Louie's are absent.