"What Ever Happened to Della Duck?!" is the thirty-first episode of DuckTales. It premiered on March 9, 2019 and is the seventh episode in the second season (though it is the second episode in the series' chronology).
Della struggles for survival against dangerous elements of the Moon, as she looks for a way to get back to her family on Earth.
10–11 years ago, just before Huey, Dewey, and Louie were born, Della Duck was flying into the cosmic storm overconfident about her chances. Scrooge contacted his niece, trying to turn her back before the storm kicked up when suddenly, a bolt of energy hit the Spear of Selene, sending the rocket and Della spiraling down to the moon. Della was flung from the cockpit by the aftershock. A day after the crash, she woke up with her helmet cracked and on the verge of suffocation when she spotted a package of Oxy-Chew from Gyro. As the chewing gum provides her with water, nutricion and oxygen in places with low oxygen level, she survives, although she's disgusted by the flavour of the gum, black licorice. She soon realizes that her leg was stuck under the rocket and says "aw phooey." Days later, Della had no other option but to amputate her left leg to free herself, replacing it with a metal one.
Two months after the crash, Della manages to fix ship's transmitter and tries to use it to communicate with Earth and let her family know that the storm caused most of the ship's systems to fail but she was alright. She was able to activate a distress beacon in order to hopefully point anyone who could be looking for her in the right direction. She also explains her current living style and also attempts to draw out what she thinks her newborn sons would look like as she was unable to see them hatch. She leaves a message to them saying that it was only a temporary situation, and she would be back before they even knew it. Her recording is then interrupted when a giant bug monster known as Moon Mite starts attacking her ship, but she luckily survives.
Nine months after the crash, Della (now with longer hair) begins to grow weary that no one is coming to save her after she receives no response to the transmissions she sent out over the months. She reveals that she brought her Junior Woodchuck Guidebook with her, and planned to create ideas from the book for communicating back to Earth. She then attempted to create messages from the metal scraps of the Spear Of Selene for someone to see it on Earth, but this ended in failure after the Moon Mite returned and destroyed her messages with its corrosive saliva. With the lack of scraps for a full S.O.S, she uses a few more to create a dollar symbol, as she knows that it will get his attention.
One year after the crash, Della makes an attempt to wish her sons a happy first-year birthday with gooey rubble on the moon shaped like a cake, and a flare as a candle. Soon after, Della spots one of Scrooge's ships looking on the moon for any traces of Della. Della attempts to get close to the rocket but is blocked once again by the Moon Mite. Her attempts to have the ship notice her ends up in failure as her brawl with the Mite creates a large dust cloud, which the pilot of the rocket ship naively mistakes for a meteor strike on the surface of the Moon and departs, leaving Della in tears. She then decides to create a new plan - to fix the Spear of Selene itself, although her first few attempts fail.
Six years after the crash, Della was successfully able to repair the Spear of Selene and attempts to finally launch it, but the launching sequence fails. Della soon realized that it was because Gyro invented the ship's engine to be powered by gold itself, but unfortunately, there was no gold available to use. This leads a very annoyed Della to embark on a journey to find gold on the moon, believing that if there was any, she would find it.
Ten years after the crash, Della believed she had searched every spot on the Moon for gold, only to turn up with nothing, angering her and making her blame Scrooge for not leaving any spare gold to use in case the engine ran out. Della began to get frustrated after having been away from her family for so long, as well as chewing the same disgusting gum during the whole time and eventually her anger leads her to break a tooth. However, she soon realized that the tooth itself was made out of pure gold, leading her to believe that the times Uncle Scrooge took her to the dentist was to make sure she always had a little bit of gold on her at all times. This brings hope to Della once more as she believes that she can use the tooth as fuel for her rocket ship's engine.
Soon after, however, the Moon Mite returns again and begins taking apart Della's ship once more. Della attempted to flee from the Mite after realizing it was after her gold tooth but was knocked down and about to be killed until bolts of electricity were shot at the bug monster, causing it to flee. Della then met the two aliens that had saved her that went by the names of Penumbra and Lunaris who were Moonlanders. They then go into the underground caves of the moon where the Mite had also taken Della's ship with it.
They eventually run into the bug monster and try to fight it off, only for the Mite to spit acid onto Della's ship, burning away most of the metal, seemingly to the point where it can no longer function. This infuriated Della, which leads her to run at and fight the Moon Mite hands-on, only to be interrupted by the sounds of baby-like squealing coming from inside the ship. Della then came to understand that the squealing sounds were coming from the Mite’s baby, and the Mite was only attacking them in order to find proper metal to feed her and her baby. This lead Della to willingly give her golden tooth to the mother, knowing that a mother would do anything for the sake of her kid. Della sings a lullaby that she used to sing to her kids before they were hatched.
The baby then cheered up and was able to eat the golden tooth, with Della also giving the mother and her baby the metal weapons Penumbra and Lunaris used to attack them, for extra nourishment. The mother and her baby then leave them peacefully, as they and Della wave goodbye to one another before they burrow deeper underground. Lunaris praised Della for staving off the Moon Mites with words instead of violence. However, Della seemed to resign herself to her fate, fearing she would never make it home with her ship in its current ‘unrepairable’ condition. However, Lunaris offered her home within the Moon, saying that even though she can't get back to her own home, she can create a new one where they stand. They bring Della to their home which is made out of gold. Della has more hope that she can fix her ship but Lunaris thinks she can be useful.
- David Tennant as Scrooge McDuck
- Paget Brewster as Della Duck
- Julie Bowen as Penumbra
- Lance Reddick as Lunaris
- Kari Wahlgren as astronaut
- This is the first time Della plays a large role in an episode, after having previously only been seen in flashbacks or brief cameo roles.
- As the story concerns events that take place both before and during the main series, Scrooge is the only member of the current McDuck household to appear in this episode.
- Gyro's Oxy-Chew gum was originally introduced in DuckTales Remastered.
- This episode features various arrangements of the "Moon Stage Theme" from the DuckTales NES video game, including a lullaby version with lyrics sung by Della.
- Della being stranded on the moon is remarkably similar to the Andy Weir novel The Martian and the 2015 adaptation of the same name where a man is stranded on Mars and never giving up to get off.
- Della removing her own trapped leg after being stuck in a canyon alone also resembles the film 127 Hours.
- The theme song is not featured in this episode.
- This is the second episode that does not include the theme song and just have the title in the episode's background, since Woo-oo!.
- Note: This is the second episode to be set entirely after the events of The First Adventure! as a prequel to the other episodes of DuckTales in chronological order.