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|The Beagle Boys|
A Beagle family photo, as seen in DuckTales. From left to right: Burger, Baggy, Bouncer, Bigtime, Ma Beagle, Bugle, Bankjob, and Babyface.
|First appearance||Walt Disney's Comics and Stories issue 134, November 1951|
|Created by||Carl Barks|
|Voiced by||Will Ryan, Frank Welker, Chuck McCann, Peter Cullen, Terry McGovern, Brian Cummings|
The Beagle Boys are a group of fictional characters from the Scrooge McDuck universe. Created by Carl Barks, they are a gang of criminals who constantly try to rob Scrooge McDuck. Their introduction and first appearance was in Terror of the Beagle Boys, in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #134, although in this story they only appear in the last frame and have no lines. They appear again in the next issue in a similar fashion, in The Big Bin on Killmotor Hill. They first get a more prominent role in the later story Only a Poor Old Man.
Beagle Boys in comics
The Beagle Boys were originally created by Carl Barks, and made their first appearance in the 10-page story The Terror of the Beagle Boys (WDC #134) that was first published in November 1951. Although the Beagle Boys are only shown very briefly on the last page of this story, it is implied that Scrooge has known about them for a long time. The first story to feature the Beagle Boys in a major role is Only a Poor Old Man from March 1952, which serves as a template for virtually all future Beagle Boys appearances, and establishes them as a serious threat to Scrooge's fortune.
The Beagle Boys are usually depicted as a gang of about six to ten members, who are similar in appearance and personality, and without an established leader. However, sometimes the Beagle Boys are led by their grandfather, Blackheart Beagle (prison number 186-802). The Blackheart character originates from two characters created by Carl Barks: Blackheart Beagle, a riverboat pirate from The Fantastic River Race and Grandpa Beagle, who appeared in The Money Well. Don Rosa later combined the character into one in chapters 10 and 11 of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. According to Rosa, Blackheart Beagle semi-retired in 1947, following a failed attempt at robbing Scrooge's money bin.
According to Don Rosa's Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Scrooge first met The Beagle Boys in his Mississippi riverboat days, circa 1880. Those Beagle Boys included Blackheart Beagle and his three 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.
The three most common numbers on Beagle Boys prison tags are 176-167, 176-671, and 176-176. 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. Some of Don Rosa's stories feature seven Beagle Boys, but the prison tag of the seventh Beagle Boy is always obscured by something. The reason for this is simply that it is only possible to make six different permutations of the digits one, six, and seven.
According to one of Don Rosa's stories, the Beagle Boys have been known by their prison numbers since their childhood, and they don't even know their real names themselves. (Their parents do know their real names, but demand a bribe from their sons to let them know.) Also according to that story, Blackheart Beagle doesn't remember his sons' names.
In the Barks/Rosa universe, the Beagle Boys have almost identical personalities, but one of the members (176-167) is known to be very fond of prunes, a weakness that proves to be the Beagle Boys' downfall in some stories. The Beagle Boys usually operate on their own, but collaborated with Magica De Spell in the 1963 Barks story Isle of the Golden Geese, and again in the 1997 Don Rosa story A Little Something Special where they also teamed up with Flintheart Glomgold.
In all comics, the individual Beagle Boys are referred to by their prison numbers, indicated on the tags seen on the chests of their distinctive orange or red shirts. The original depictions by Barks in American comics always showed the Beagle Boys with orange shirts. European comics recolored these same Barks drawings to show Beagle Boys in red shirts. Subsequent European comic depictions of the Beagle Boys by artists other than Barks also showed them in red shirts, as did the DuckTales cartoons.
In later years, they appeared in the comics as a trio (some combination of the most common numbers with 176-167, 176-671 and 176-761), 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. In the Italian stories, they are sometimes accompanied by their pet dachshund, 64, who shares their criminal mindset, but it is often overcome with 64's constant, voracious appetite.
Sometimes they team up with other villains such as Magica De Spell, Black Pete, Mad Madam Mim, or hire out their services to Flintheart Glomgold, John D. Rockerduck or Ollie Eiderduck. During these occasions they continue to operate out of their own interests rather than their employers. The Beagle Boys make cameos in the Darkwing Duck episode "In Like Blunt", where they are among the villains bidding on a list of S.H.U.S.H.'s secret agents.
Many other authors use a character purely based on The Money Well version as the Beagle Boys' grandfather. In particular, Italian authors use a "Grandpa Beagle" who differs from Blackheart in being much skinnier and constantly smoking a pipe. Unlike his grandsons, he is highly intelligent and appears as their cunning and capable leader, hatching devious plans.
Although the characters are obviously based on dogs, they in no way resemble the actual beagle breed.
Sport Goofy in Soccermania
The Beagle Boys made their animated debut in the 1987 Goofy short Sport Goofy in Soccermania, voiced by Will Ryan. Unlike their DuckTales incarnations, the Beagle Boys are depicted as identical in both appearance and behavior, though lacking the prison numbers of their comic counterparts.
Beagle Boys in DuckTales
On DuckTales, the Beagle Boys were given names and different personalities. The usual character combination is Bigtime, Burger, and either Bouncer or Baggy, with Bouncer appearing more often in the first season and Baggy in the second. Their leader is usually Bigtime when Ma Beagle is not present. Sometimes one or two of them were swapped out with Bankjob, Babyface or Bebop, and a few episodes featured the latter three as the trio of Beagles, with Bankjob filling in for Bigtime as the leader. Other known names are Bomber and Blitzkrieg. The letter B is the first initial of all Beagle Boys' handles except Megabyte, the brains of the bunch.
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 and Grandpa Beagle have appeared in the strips at various times.
There were many Beagle Boys on DuckTales, but the most common seven consisted of:
|Bigtime Beagle||167-671||Bigtime is the leader of the group, and is distinguished by being rather short for someone with the word "Big" in his name. He often has to correct his companions whenever they get something wrong and mishear his directions - he is the most intelligent. Voiced by Frank Welker.|
|Burger Beagle||761-176 or 176-761||As his name suggests, Burger has a large appetite, although it is for more than just hamburgers. He has a habit of rambling about food no matter if any of the others are actually talking about it. His prison tag is often seen with a bite taken out of it. He also isn't very bright. Incidentally, his comic counterpart (who had the second placard number) is known for a special appreciation for prunes and his curious culinary tastes (i.e. catsup on ice cream or peanut butter pizza with gravy). Voiced by Chuck McCann.|
|Bouncer Beagle||716-167||Distinguishable for his teeth, one of which is missing. The strongest Beagle after Bankjob. In earlier episodes before their names were well established, Bouncer sometimes had Burger's voice and was referred to as Burger. In one episode he had a gold tooth where the gap usually is and was called Biceps. He appeared less frequently in the second season, most likely because he was in jail as mentioned by Ma Beagle in one episode. In the GameCube version of the video game "Donald Duck Goin' Quackers!", during the Beagle Boys boss battle, when Donald Duck fights Bigtime, Burger, and Bouncer, all three of them have the same number on Bouncer's shirt. Voiced by Chuck McCann.|
|Baggy Beagle||617-716||Baggy is distinguishable for his silly grin as well as his loose-fitting clothing. His prison tag is often seen with a fold in one the corners. He's probably the least intelligent and the most sloppy of the Beagle Boys. He appeared more frequently in the second season and somewhat replaced Bouncer as third beagle in the usual trio of himself, Bigtime and Burger. Voiced by Frank Welker.|
|Bankjob Beagle||671-167||Bankjob usually leads the group in episodes where Bigtime isn't present. He is the largest of the Seven main Beagles (by comparison, he is about the same size as Launchpad), and the strongest. In the second season he had no speaking roles and rarely appeared. Voiced by Peter Cullen.|
|Bugle/Bebop Beagle||671-761||Bebop, or Bugle, depending on the episode, is the beatnik member of the Beagle Boys (despite the fact that the comic Beagle with this character trait corresponds by placard to Babyface), and even dresses in a jazz-styled outfit. Had no speaking roles in season two. Voiced by Brian Cummings.|
|Babyface Beagle||176-167||As his name suggests, Babyface seems to be the youngest of the primary Beagles, as evidenced by the fact that his own clothing matches those of a baby, including a propeller beanie in place of the usual hat. Like Bigtime, he's also rather short. In spite of this, his voice, provided by Terry McGovern (who also voices Launchpad), sounds more manly than that of Burger. Strangely, one particular comic story in Disney Adventures prominently featured Babyface, wherein he infiltrated Webby's class. But he looked different from how he did on the show, and he also had a conscience, as he ended up rebelling against his brothers during a field trip to Scrooge's Money Bin. (He still ended up being arrested along with his brothers, though.) Like Bankjob and Bebop, his role was reduced to non-speaking cameos in the second season.|
Other Beagle Boys consisted of:
- Megabyte Beagle is 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, in which 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 have a comeuppance. Ma Beagle comments that she paid for him to go to college with stolen money paid off. His voice was done by Frank Welker.
- Bomber Beagle looks a lot like Bankjob in that he has a similar jawline and is very large. He appears in less episodes and is more intelligent than most of the other brothers. He is also a skilled pilot as seen in the episode "Top Duck" (episode 16).
- Backwoods Beagle is a small beagle about the size of Bigtime and Babyface, and 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. Backwoods wears a Davy Crocket-like trapper's outfit as opposed to the normal jailhouse outfit of the Beagleboys. He is also the only person who is able to understand Bacon Beagle.
- Binky Beagle is a probably the only Beagleboy 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 Backwoods and Bacon Beagle in the Ducky Mountains
- Bacon Beagle is the only Beagle boy who is not a Beagle. Bacon is in fact a pig. When Glomgold asked how he could be a Beagle Boy, Backwoods explains that Bacon had a bad case of the swineflu as a child. Bacon cannot speak, but his oinks and grunts are, instead, translated by Backwoods Beagle.
- Bullseye Beagle
- Bulkhead Beagle
- Butterball Beagle
- Bombshell Beagle
- Bankroll Beagle
- Brainstorm Beagle
- Buns Beagle
- Boom Boom Beagle (Similar to the Beagle Babe)
- Bonsai Beagle
- Bacaru Beagle
- Bean Ball Beagle
- Butter Ball Beagle
- Bully Beagle
Ma Beagle, based on the real-life Ma Barker and the mystifications around her, is the mother of the seven common Beagle Boys featured on the show, and the clan matriarch. She often smuggles hand grenades, chainsaws, and other tools in baked goods which easily pass prison security to help her sons escape from jail. Even when she is around, the Beagles never succeed because Scrooge McDuck and his nephews always outwit them. However, in most of the episodes she appears in (especially in the first season), she is able to avoid being arrested along with her sons; that way, she will be able to bust them out the next time she appears. In one episode, she pretended to be "married" to Scrooge so that she could steal his fortune, but her plans were thwarted by both him and his nephews. With Ma, family always comes first - except when it comes to avoiding arrest. She was voiced by actress June Foray, who also voiced Magica De Spell.
Ma Beagle first appeared in the episode "Robot Robbers", and since then she has become a recurring character. She appeared more frequently in the second season than in the first, however.
Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers
The Beagle Boys appeared as Pete's henchmen in the film Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers. In the film appear three Beagle Boys, one of them noted for being short (however unlike BigTime he wasn't the leader but more or less the "idiot" of the group), with gray skin and black hoods. They should decide to dispose Princess Minnie so Pete gets to be king. They were shown as much more competent and dangerous compared to their DuckTales counterparts.
These versions of the Beagle Boys appear in the video game Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.
64 is the Beagle Boys' pet dachshund. Like his masters, he wears a red shirt and a green cap, marked with the number 64. The Beagle Boys frequently take 64 along on their robberies, to act as a guard dog and to reach spaces too small for the Beagle Boys themselves. However, the plans are often spoiled by 64's constant, voracious appetite. Whenever 64 smells food, he abandons everything else to get to eat it.