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The Beagle Boys
Beaglefamily.png
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
Created by Carl Barks
Voiced by Frank Welker, Chuck McCann, Peter Cullen, Terry McGovern, Brian Cummings

The Beagle Boys are a group of fictional characters from the Scrooge McDuck universe. 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 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.

Contents

Beagle Boys in comics

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 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.

The three most common numbers on Beagle Boys prison tags 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. 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.

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.)[1]

The Beagle Boys have almost identical personalities. 176-167 is very fond of prunes.

According to Don Rosa's 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 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, Mad Madam Mim, or hire out their services to Flintheart Glomgold, Ollie Eiderduck or John Rockerduck. During these occasions, it should be noted, they continue to operate out of their own interests rather than their employers.

In the comics, the Beagle Boys are led by their grandfather, Blackheart Beagle (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 Bin. Don Rosa later combined the character into one in chapters 10 and 11 of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. Many other authors use a character purely based on The Money Bin 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.

Sometimes, they antagonize Super Goof, Mickey Mouse, or some other characters from Walt Disney's comic books.

Although the characters are obviously based on dogs, they in no way resemble the actual beagle breed.

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.

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DuckTales Beagles

There were many Beagle Boys on DuckTales, but the most common seven consisted of:

Name Placard Number Characteristics
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. He appeared less frequently in the second season, most likely because he was in jail as mentioned by Ma Beagle in one episode. 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, complete with a Jay Leno-esque chin. 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 propellor beanie in place of the usual hat. Like Bigtime, he's also rather short. He is also the only Beagle who doesn't have beard stubble. 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.

Cameo Beagles

  • 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

Ma 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 Webby and the nephews. She was voiced by actress June Foray, who also voiced Magica De Spell.

Ma Beagle first appeared in the episode Till Nephews Do Us Part at the end, but her first significant appearance was in the episode Robot Robbers. Since then she has become a recurring character. She appeared more frequently in the second season than in the first.

64

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.

In popular culture

The Italian ska band Banda Bassotti is named after the Beagle Boys' Italian name.

The English translation of Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" contains an error early in the book--the Bear Gang, or bjornligan in Swedish, should have read "The Beagle Boys" as that's how The Beagle Boys were known in Swedish, as "bjornligan."

References

  1. ^ Don Rosa: The Beagle Boys vs. The Money Bin, May 2001. InDucks article.

External links


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