Huey, Dewey, and Louie

Per Starb{ck starback at Minsk.DoCS.UU.SE
Thu Sep 24 14:19:42 CEST 1992

The question on who's who of Huey, Dewey and Louie came up in
rec.arts.disney.  This was my contribution:
Rich Bellacera <rich.bellacera at>:
> [...] The truth is is that they *are* seperate characters.  Each has o
> has only a slightly different characteristic, but different none the less.

Harry Fluks <harry at>:
> Nonsense. You can't tell the character of an individual by the color of
> his shirt. H, D and L are fully interchangeable. Their cloth colors fully
> depend on the (dozens) different color artists (especially in the comics).

Of course *everything* about them "fully depend on" the different
artists, including their looks, their clothes, their lines and their

The problem with the colouring in the comics is that it's so
inconsistent.  Maybe the nephews exchange their caps between panels,
but even that won't explain the whole of it, as they sometimes
exchange colours when they are apart from each other. 8-)

The colouring in the animated shorts have always been better, but the
red-blue-green thing was invented in comics, so you won't find it in
the classical cartoons.  Instead they wore different colours in
different cartoons, very often red.  In their first cartoon ("Donald's
Nephews") they wore red, orange and green.  In DuckTales they are
consistent about it, as Steven P. Calica <spc55721 at>
already has pointed out: Huey red, Dewey blue, and Louie green.

Different character or not?  Of course they are *supposed* to be
exactly like one another, but if you look through several episodes
where they do different things and you know which one does what, maybe
you could find some unintentional (on the part of the writers)
different character traits anyway?

This is what Dan Haley tried to do in "A Who's Who of Huey, Dewey &
Louie" published in the fanzine The Barks Collector #11 (1979).  He
doesn't only use those situations where one of the boys is explicitly
named, but all of that story as well, as he assumes that they wear the
same colours throughout a story at least.  I wouldn't trust the
colourists that much...

When he initially looked through his Barks collection to find
instances where a nephew with a cap or outfits of some particular
colour was named, he found the following:

		Huey	Dewey	Louie
	Red	5	6	8
	Green	5	4	6
	Blue	1	8	3

(He only used stories by Carl Barks, but of course Unca Carl didn't
colour his stories himself.)

Rich again:
> Several years ago a comic book story had Grandma Duck knitting sweaters
> for each of the ducklings.  One each she knitted the first letter of their
> names.  H = Red, D = Blue and L = Green.  This story was written back in
> the sixties so the link between the Grandma Duck story and the Ducktales
> story verifies that Dewey is still in blue.

Harry again:
> Pure coincidence.

Maybe, but I'm not totally convinced.  It wouldn't surprise me if at
least some of the colourists had their opinions on what colours the
boys wear, and it would be very easy to follow that opinion in the
sweater example.  I guess the problem for the colourists was that they
didn't have the time to actually read the stories, and you had to do
that to keep track of the boys.  I'd like more data on the colouring
in scenes such as the sweaters episode Rich mentioned where the
colourists are bound to have noticed which boy the gave which colour.
--       "
Per Starback, Uppsala, Sweden.  email: starback at
 Disney comics mailing list administrator.
 "Life is but a gamble!  Let flipism chart your ramble!"

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