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#fpb dt 2017
fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - “The Last Adventure!”
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Christian Magalhaes, Ben Siemon, Bob Snow
Written by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Christian Magalhaes, Ben Siemon and Bob Snow
Storyboard by: Vince Aparo, Kristen Gish, Stephanie Gonzaga, Victoria Harris, Sam King, Kathryn Marusik, Stephan Park, Krystal Ureta, Matthew Carbonella, Johnny Castuciano, Hayley Foster, Catherine Harman, Ben Holm, Antony Mazzotta, Brandon Warren
Directed by: Matthew Humphreys, Tanner Johnson, Matt Youngberg, and Jason Zurek
Well, this is it.
(As much as I don't want to make these reviews spoiler-fests or mere summaries, the commentary pretty much requires that I spoil a few. There will be major spoilers for this episode in this review. Sorry.)
With all of the build up throughout not only this season but the first two as well, I had no doubt that DuckTales 2017 was going to have an epic finale. I mean, Gravity Falls had a great finale, why not the show that's like Gravity Falls but with the Disney Ducks? I had no doubt, especially with the sheer length of this episode being just over an hour without commercials, that they were going all out with this one. However, should I have had doubts that this was going to live up to the hype.
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It all starts at Webby's long-awaited no-numbers-given birthday party at Funzo's, and right from the start, the idea that everyone is here for the finale shows itself here. Everyone is here with their own purpose. Donald is here to have his last bit of fun with his family before he secretly leaves with his love to sail the seas, or at least it would have been secretly if Fethry Duck did not blurt it out. Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera is there, worried about Gandra Dee after her sudden disappearance, and Drake Mallard is comforting him with the knowledge that his friends will help him far better than that incompetent GizmoDuck, who did not even show up at this party. I don't know what's funnier: the scheming kid being one of the last people to figure out GizmoDuck's identity, or the only person who doesn't know that secret identity by this episode is the fellow person with the secret identity. Huey gives everyone a party hat. That was clearly a secret word, as they know fully well that F.O.W.L. is spying on them.
Underneath the Fun Zone is a hidden camera room with all of the F.O.W.L. members together, who laugh maniacally as their leader, Bradford Buzzard, tells them not to do that. See, he's not "evil" evil. As the two other Caballeros sing a birthday song they didn't need to research on whether they can play it or not, Lena, Gosalyn, and Boyd use their magic, crossbow, and lasers respectively to destroy all of the security cameras, correctly assuming that FOWL was spying on them. As we cut to a dark, red room with all of the FOWL agents wondering what to do next, Bradford says that they're only one step away from victory, and that it's time for...the last adventure.
There's a lot of meaning to that. It's the last episode of DuckTales 2017, Bradford intends on this being the last adventure of Scrooge McDuck, and, even if his plans succeed, he does intend on this being his last adventure beyond business. Before Webby can have even a little bit of cake, she is immediately pulled into the ballpit alongside her honorary siblings and a few superheroes. Webby's intuition was correct: Scrooge definitely wouldn't be paying full price for a real party, but it's not that a secret spy raid isn't a complete improvement for her.
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The people given the party hats jump into the ball pit. Even the party hats are pieces of a map of F.O.WL.'s secret lair, drawn by Huey based on Launchpad talking in his sleep about that one really hard level in Double-O-Duck. This is a callback to Launchpad and Dewey going through this same room under the impression that they were playing a VR game, and a list all of the callbacks this finale makes to the previous episodes would be an article in itself. While I will not say people will be completely lost if they have not watched all of DuckTales 2017 before this episode, though I would not recommend watching this special before any other episode, this finale is going to be appreciated even more by people who have been following this reboot since the beginning.
They split up into two teams, one team to find the stolen Missing Mysteries, and one to capture F.O.W.L. before they end up continuing their plans for McDuck domination in their hidden camera room. The latter team, after the danger of a self-destruct sequence making Mrs. Beakley want to abort the mission and a destructive bubble that does not need further explanation, only find an empty room. The former team were just as successful at finding the Missing Mysteries, but were successful in finding a mystery of a different sort: two vats containing two children who look a lot like Webby. Cue the "wait, what?" of this episode.
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These two clones of Webby, as Lena's magical analysis and Gyro's scientific analysis have proven, are named May, the yellow one, and June, the cyan one. Their names reference Daisy's nieces in the original comics, with one missing for reasons I won't ponder about right now. We have different situations to ponder about, like if these clones that were suspended in goo in an evil lair are evil or not. Mrs. Beakley immediately sends the kids out of the room, as she doesn't even want to humor the idea of the kids hanging out with the potentially backstabbing clones. She has been suspiciously trying to get the kids out of adventure in this episode so far, with her trying to abort the mission in the evil lair and now this, and it is not because she is intentionally doing it so that their adventurous nature would defy her like she did with Webby in the first episode. Clearly, once again, something is going on with that, though unlike last time, it will be a while before we figure that out.
Needless to say, this doesn't last. While Huey barges into the room demanding answers that will not be given to him, leading to a pretty big outburst that ends with Huey calling Mrs. Beakley by her first name, Webby manages to find the clones in the "designated play area" before they end up choking on the bag of marbles that was still there since the first episode. Unfortunately, even they do not know why they were made, but they are invited into the room with Webby's big family map. Hey, they are kind-of-sort-of family, there's no reason for Webby to believe these girls are evil. Huey walks by Donald's houseboat talking to himself about how he can't figure out anything, only to find an open window. He looks inside, and he finds...
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...June holding the Sword of Swanstantine, complete with the most evil expression this art design will allow without making them deliberately off model. Don't think about the twist that the Sword of Swansantine only wanting to be held by those who it deems worthy, because it is never brought up. Huey tries to tell his brothers and Webby about this, and Webby doesn't want to believe they are evil.
Webby eventually finds them with the Sword of Swanstantine and the Blessed Bagpipes. May reveals that Bradford told them before they were "left behind" that if they steal the missing mysteries, he'll reveal their origins entirely, and offers Webby the chance to join them. It is a little confusing. Webby not wanting to betray those who are essentially her family, end up not accepting it, leading to May leaving with the bagpipes and June getting into a big fight with Webby. For being suspended in a vat for so long, it's amazing that June not only knows how to fight a trained-by-the-best super-spy, not only knows that a beaker of juice turned out to be the Gummiberry juice, but also knows exactly how to control herself as she's using it. I know, she's a F.O.W.L. agent and she may have been trained by Black Heron in its use, but everything suggested that she was in that vat for quite some time. As May and June carry the captured Webby into Don Karnage's plane, with Huey following them as he manages to see this happening, we get a startling discovery.
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As it turns out, no, Webby didn't get captured; that captured Webby is June, and June is actually Webby dressing up and acting as June, as shown with "June" wearing the friendship bracelet! It took me a couple tries to realize how this could be the case. I originally assumed that the clothes swap happened before the fight, which would have explained how Webby was defeated so easily, but there was no point where that clothes swap could have happened. The only explanation that makes any kind of sense is that Webby somehow managed to defeat a Gummiberry juice powered June with, at most, a golden mace that she could barely hold. Usually, she's not weakened by being on-camera. This does lead to scenes where she has to act like June in front of both May and, once they land in their destination, Black Heron, which adds a bit of humor, but this switcharoo is still a bit confusing.
While that switcharoo was happening, Donald was trying to get out of any kind of adventure, preparing his best vacation clothing that looks suspiciously like his clothing in Quack Pack, and the best thing Della could convince him to do was change into his sailor outfit instead. Mrs. Beakley tells Scrooge that she's going after F.O.W.L. alone, and Scrooge, as the only person that can call her by her first name, tries to get her to spill what she deems classified to him. He had a reason for this; him keeping a secret from his family led to a bunch of problems. Mrs. Beakley appears to oblige, only for her to knock out Scrooge with a nerve pinch. Scrooge, knowing his friend has gone rogue, decides to get everyone to join him in the Sunchaser/Cloudslayer to save Webby, Huey, and the rest of his family. Donald tries to weasel himself out of this until he's told Huey is missing, and he just can't keep himself from that. All the adults are there, including Gyro, Manny, but Duckworth, being left to defend the Manor while they're all away, implies they're all pretty incompetent. Even Donald and Della can't help but start fighting as he questions if this is the team he's really going to go with.
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Thankfully, the kids show up, including the remaining two of the triplets, Lena and Violet Sabrewing, Gosalyn, and Boyd. The kids, including family and friends, show up and convince Scrooge to allow them in with their reasons, some more implied than others.
Gosalyn: Fenton tried to help me get my peepaw back. I'm going to do the same for him.
Boyd: Huey made me not a killer robot!
Lena & Violet: (in unison) It's Webby.
As much as I am not really that interested in pairings, anyone wanting to pair up Webby and Lena or Webby and Violet will have a lot to like in this episode. It's not just because of that line, either. Scrooge decides to allow them to join pretty much immediately after this. Mrs. Beakley seemingly betraying him probably had a hand in him deciding not to do something she was doing throughout this episode.
As the Sunchaser flies off, the plane carrying May, "June", "Webby", and Huey makes it to the Lost Library of Alexandria, where they see Black Heron and Bradford. Huey being there fits in Bradford's plan. As Black Heron sends him to a room, he reveals a part of his backstory in what is one of the many twists in this episode. We never really did get Bradford's backstory before he became the world domination-obsessed executive at S.H.U.S.H. until now, and it turns out it fits it perfectly well with the Isabella Finch plotline. Time for the first big spoiler of the episode, though not a complete one as we will soon see.
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Bradford explains to Huey that he is the first Junior Woodchuck, the grandson of Isabella Finch, and that he wants the Missing Mysteries to not only complete his grandmother's work, but to use them for knowledge, understanding, and for the good of mankind. We can tell this is not just a costume he's wearing for some devious plan, as he has a portrait of his younger self by Isabella Finch's side, a self-made desk, and a carpentry badge to prove that he made it.
This ends up leading Huey to helping him out, because, hey, maybe he was just a misunderstood guy after all. Besides, how can one resist the allure of a Woodchuck that is the most Senior, a descendant of a legendary adventurer, and one who is still wearing the outfit and a sash that is conspicuously lacking any badges besides that aforementioned one for carpentry? Could it be foreshadowing, or is it just convenience for the animators? It doesn't take a genius to realize something is going on, and Huey would later find out this is something he would regret. I know I said "something is going on" a lot in this review, almost like a running gag, but that's what this episode is all about. In fact, that's what this series was all about: solving mysteries, rewriting history...
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...and lots and lots of fighting as Scrooge, Donald, Della, Gyro, Manny, Darkwing, and Gizmoduck parachute out of the Sunchaser, cloaked with a cloaking spell courtesy of Lena, and fight off a bunch of F.O.W.L. henchmen. Okay, maybe that was not in the theme song, but that does continue a trend that was constant throughout this series. Just like in previous episodes, they are oddly trusting in children piloting a plane, but Dewey has pretty much proven his piloting skills in the Kit Cloudkicker episode. I won't get into this part of the plot too much, but I do like how every major member of F.O.W.L. has a role in this here, with The Phantom Blot, John D. Rockerduck and his baby Jeeves, and Steelbeak factoring in the plot, all using their unique talents. Don Karnage's is a little bit disappointing considering the potential of the Stone of What Was he managed to get a fragment of, as there's no weird fusion monsters here, and he does not even get to sing, but hey, at least he gets to have one last dogfight with his arch-nemesis.
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Getting back to the true mystery that is about to be unraveled here, Webby, still dressed up as June, managed to escape to a scene very reminiscent of the computer scene from The Incredibles. As she tries her hardest to search for "Vanderquack", "Agent 22", or "Super Top-Secret Secrets About Webby And Our Evil_Plans", apparently falling into the same trap a lot of people do when they decide to just make their fruitless search terms even longer, she does find a different folder. Going back to the original May and June from the comics, there was another one of them. The separate part 1 of this special is going to be called "The Tale of Three Webbys!". All of this makes this twist a little too obvious, but trust me, it's a lot deeper than I or anyone else thought. Webby is very much the central character of "The Last Adventure!". Much like Bradford's backstory, her true past is revealed more and more as the episode goes on, and she ends up being a huge key in Bradford's plan to get the "last Missing Mystery."
Back in the other scene, they do manage to reunite with Mrs. Beakley, who still does not want to. Unfortunately, her duty to stop F.O.W.L. made her completely ignore that Webby got kidnapped, and with the utter shock of looking at May and seeing her as another Webby, which she may have been seeing all along, Black Heron knocks Mrs. Beakley out.
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Next thing she knows, she's in a room with "June", who is actually Webby though neither Black Heron nor she knows this yet, and she has to be in the room with the Harp of Mervana, who knows if she's "correeeect" or "fibbing, fibbing, fibbing." Apparently, the former Agent 22 did not even want to humor the idea of hearing the latter, and it's here where we get to see the true flashback beyond F.O.W.L.'s security camera footage.
Unfortunately, even Mrs. Beakley does not know the true meaning of her origin, but Bradford does, and, left with no choice, she ends up joining Bradford all for the sake of solving a mystery. She too would learn to regret it, as she is led right to a spot where the final Missing Mystery shows up. A mystery that was supposed to be missing until an heir of Scrooge would find its final resting place, and Webby somehow managed to fit the bill. I'll explain it more later, as this becomes a confusion in-universe as well.
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We get a similar scene with Bradford's backstory, which expands on his earlier speech to Huey in the same way Mrs. Beakley expanded on the computer's bio of her. I could see the hate with Bradford. He is a downgrade from an all-powerful sorceress in Season 1 and a commander of a Moon army in Season 2, and he is unlikeable even by villain standards and a horrible person to not only Scrooge but his own creations as well. However, I can't lie and say he is not a good criminal mastermind as much as he wouldn't want to be known as one. Bradford's plan isn't about deceit, at least not in the way where he just lies to people. That would go against his nature of being a by-the-book businessman. He never really lied when he was coercing Huey and Webby to do his bidding. He was the first Junior Woodchuck; he never said he believed in its foundation. He is Isabella Finch's grandson; he never said he liked being with her during her adventures. He was trying to collect the Mysteries for knowledge, understanding, and the good of mankind; he never said what he thinks is for the "good of mankind."
I really do not want to do any more major spoilers, so here's some quips about the last few scenes before I get to a twist that I had to think about for a bit.
I remember Launchpad saying, "maybe they're going to put us in boxes" from earlier in the episode. Considering how specific that line was, I immediately knew that was going to be foreshadowing even if I did not know how.
Manny, I am so sorry. On a not-so-unrelated note, I really wish I watched that one other Disney Afternoon show, because I probably would have been even more excited.
I love that the one person who doesn't know Gizmoduck's identity by the end of the episode is the guy that insults him all the time.
I didn't see the Tenderfeet, though I am sure he's somewhere. I didn't want to look any harder for him. He's not heard, that's the best part.
Anyone expecting any of the non-F.O.W.L. villains to have a major role, much like Glomgold's role in the Moonvasion, are going to be very disappointed, as they're just mindless slaves throughout the final fight with them. There is a good reason why this comes after a filler episode featuring some of them. But hey, no Mark Beaks.
Anyway, let's just skip to one of the major twists, which I have to talk about. If anyone has read this far, they probably don't care at this point, but I'll put in this huge text just in case.
START OF MAJOR SPOILERS
That mystery turned out to be the Papyrus of Binding, a paper that can grant anything that is written on it. According to what Scrooge wrote on it in "The First Adventure", leading it to become lost before Bradford's plan came to its conclusion, it wouldn't be found until an worthy heir finds its final resting place. In this episode, they decided it had to be someone who is a direct descendant of Scrooge. I've rewatched that episode: it was originally just an heir to Scrooge that was supposed to find its final resting place. There's no stipulation that the finder of the paper has to be a direct descendant. In fact, Scrooge actually wrote that into the Papyrus to protect Donald and Della, his nephew and niece. Nephews and nieces are not usually considered direct descendants, and this also means Huey, Dewey, and Louie, despite all of their buildup of their working relationship with Scrooge through the entire show, were never going to be a part of this plot at all.
I understand that maybe having him write down "direct descendant" would make it a little more questionable, because, as far as anyone knew at the time, Scrooge doesn't have a child. Making it an heir would leave it open for Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby. By making it a direct descendant, they now have to make someone who could be considered a child of Scrooge McDuck, and, sure enough, the show reveals a character we all knew and loved to be one in this episode. I would outright say who, but I believe one can do the math. I do not disagree with the twist, even if it seems more like something that comes out of a "wouldn't it be funny if..." scenario than something that was planned throughout the series, and it does lead into some heartwarming moments between father and descendant. It was still something I felt "eh" about. Do not get me wrong, I do not think this ruins the episode, nor does it ruin the series.
END OF MAJOR SPOILERS
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It all ends in this huge final scene, and a pretty major scene as expected from a finale. The stakes are very high, and those stakes are proven even in earlier scenes. The way Bradford deals with his foes and how his foes deal with him is very fitting for a guy who was by-the-book and knows how to make contracts. The way he looks as a huge man in dark armor, which is given to him by the Sword of Swanstantine amplifying his inner, is also fitting for a guy who is undeniably evil to everyone but himself. I praised him for not lying, but maybe the biggest lie he tells is to himself. I would not consider it a major spoiler that the good guys will eventually win even with an all powerful man and his all powerful found mystery, and I thought "there is no way they're going to actually go through with that" through one particular scene, but it is still tense to watch, and I love it.
One thing that does not disappear, unlike a certain other event that happens in this episode, is the feeling that everyone is here. It started with the beginning of this episode, and it continued throughout up to the very end. Even better, the series ends in a way that keeps everything open for another adventure. It just would not be right for this to be the last adventure for Scrooge, even if it may be the last one in this continuity unless the Darkwing Duck cartoon decides to continue it. This is not just because Scrooge is the adventuring sort and it would be against his character, but it's because he's with his family, and family is the greatest adventure of all.
How does it stack up?
Some might think the twists come out of nowhere with no real foreshadowing to get some cheap shocks out of the audience, and the one in particular. However, regardless of all of those nitpicks, it is an excellent finale, and I had no doubt in my mind what I was going to give this episode when I finished watching it. This finale gets 5 Scrooges, easily.
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Is it my favorite of the season finales, though? I would put Moonvasion a little above this one. Even if this had way more of a connection with Clan McDuck, tying into everything Scrooge had to go through, the Moonvasion did have more interesting scene. They're both excellent, though.
Any last thoughts about this series as a whole?
My original plan for this show was to just review the first episode as a fun diversion from the norm. I was not even planning on doing this huge undertaking to review every episode of this show. However, it was just that fun to watch that I ended up doing it. It is an excellent reboot all around, definitely recommended for anyone who likes shows like Gravity Falls.
I'm not done yet, though. There are very few episodes I would consider mediocre, and none of them I would consider as bad as some of the worst that some other shows have given me. I do work with a relative scale, with a rule that only the objectively bad and objectively good episodes get the lowest or highest rating, respectively. It was hard to even consider episodes I would give a 2. In fact, the only 2 I've given in this whole season, that last Mark Beaks episode, I decided to walk back on because there was just too much good in it to rate it as low or lower than the episodes I would have given 2s before I decided to make that rating change. As for those episodes, that will be for a different article.
I would take a little break, but I decided I'll do an article on the shorts that have come out since the last time I did a shorts article. It'll be short, but I feel it'd be better than taking the week off entirely. The week after that (4/10), the least best. The week after that list (4/17), the absolute best and I can finally wrap this entire project up. Stay tuned.
← The Life and Crimes of Scrooge McDuck! 🦆 The Shorts! (Part 2) →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - The Absolute Best!
After doing the least best this series has done, it's time for a much, much harder list to put together: the absolute best episodes of DuckTales 2017. I am not going to lie: this was hard to put together. Anyone could guess that based on how I once planned to have this list alongside the worst list and that did not happen. I can also see myself forgetting about other really good episodes of this show. However, after days of pondering, I believe I have a good list here.
Same rules as the last list.
It has to be an episode of DuckTales 2017. No shorts, even if the shorts combined can make up a full episode.
With this list, I have to say something bad about each of these episodes. Not necessarily the worst part of the episode, but a bad part nonetheless. These are going to be more nitpicky, but it is only fair to prove the constant that there is no such thing as a perfect piece of media and it is a decent challenge for me.
This is my opinion and my opinion alone. There are episodes I didn't like as much that a lot of people did. The last list should be a huge hint at that.
Alright, let's begin.
10. Jaw$!
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I mentioned this episode in my Least Best as the better example of the show establishing the relationship between Lena and Magica De Spell. It establishes Magica De Spell better than either of the episodes that featured her before this one. One was a tease put in the very last minute of the episode to show how Lena is going to be far more important than the "cool new goth girl", and the other was the Terra-Firmians episode that used her as a way to improve what would otherwise be a not-so-good filler episode. This one is a far better example, and it's not just because a money-shark is a lot more interesting and threatening than a bunch of cutesy rock creatures.
It also has a B-plot about Scrooge's Board of Directors scheduling an interview to improve his PR, and hilarity ensues when Scrooge has to defend his zillionaire antics when a shark made of his own fortune is causing havoc throughout the town. Glomgold also makes an appearance during this, which only makes it better. Along with some neat Jaws references along the way, this is not an episode to miss.
Bad thing: They really did not want to mention the obvious plot hole of the kids being able to go into the money bin. This was long before F.O.W.L. began their plans against Scrooge or even the 87 cent problem, but still, one would think this would be one of the most highly secure places at Killmotor Hill considering all of his enemies. Considering I didn't particularly love the Impossibin episode, as much as I love the idea of it, it might be for the best.
9. The First Adventure!
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Going from an arc from season 1 to an arc from season 3, though some may argue the F.O.W.L. arc has been happening since season 1. Anyway, this is an episode that brings back the younger Donald and younger Della that was first seen in "Last Christmas!" in their first adventure with their Uncle Scrooge. It's very interesting to see the similarities between their first adventure with Scrooge and the first adventure with Huey, Dewey, and Louie.
Even though this does give good development to the arc, arguably even bigger characters in this episode are Bradford Buzzard and Black Heron, as this episode details the origins of the Fiendish Organization of World Larceny. Their antics throughout this episode are very entertaining, with the plot toying with the dynamic of the more chaotic evil Heron and the more lawful evil Buzzard. With all it all ties together, I had to put the First Adventure on this list.
Bad thing: The sense of time in this episode is odd. We get a title card showing that it's the 60's in the opening scene, and yet there is very little suggestion of any passing of time between the opening scene and the scenes that I assumed took place in the 80's.
8. Quack Pack!
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It would be too easy to just put in episodes that are important to any of the various story arcs that went throughout this series, so here's an episode that could be taken out of the series without harming anything. However, it is still a very memorable episode of the show, where the cast of characters have to be in this weird sitcom. There's also a mystery element, as there is a culprit to why these characters are in this sitcom world.
I really like the whole meta element, with the characters picking apart all not only the clichés in sitcoms, but sitcom production as well. I also really appreciated the "special guest", another sitcom staple, being a character from a different Disney Afternoon show with some great references to it. Quack Pack turns out to be the antithesis of the show it was named after; it's not dated, it's really funny, and it realistically portrays how freaked out these characters would be if they saw those weird hairless apes.
Bad thing: I wish they did more with the concept of this world being made up by someone who was locked away from the world since 1990. Maybe not references to the era of Disney that gave us "Gotta Be Gettin' Goofy", but more jokes about how the 90's were different from now. They kind of ignore this, as if they only mentioned 1990 because of the DuckTales movie they were referencing.
7. Last Christmas!
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Wait, a Christmas episode in a Top 10? I have my reasons for including this one. It's not just because the idea is pretty great, as it uses the very tale that inspired Scrooge's entire character in the first place. Obviously, we already had one of the best cartoon renditions of A Christmas Carol, and this episode does not try to recreate that. Instead, we get a different tale, mostly featuring Scrooge and Jiminy Cricket, er, the ghost of Christmas Past, going back to the past to experience a good Christmas party. If only we can do the same, like Dewey accidentally does in the episode.
This was also the first time we also got to see a young version of Donald, who, in this episode, is voiced by none other than the late, great Russi Taylor. It was almost like having one of the siblings from the old show interact with one of the new ones. This is also the first time we got to see and hear her outside of a painting, and it's heartbreaking and yet understandable when we get to the scene where Dewey has to say goodbye. It's a good scene, and they weren't afraid to even throw in a joke that does not ruin the moment.
Bad thing: No, episode, this is the Scrooge they were looking for. Were they trying to make it seem like Scrooge was always a hero and not a miser who would deserve getting three ghosts to visit him with that line? I don’t buy it.
6. The Ballad of Duke Baloney!
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Got to pay some respect to Scrooge's arch-rival with an episode that really shows off his character, which is a bit ironic as this is an episode about him getting amnesia and getting a brand new, at least to us, persona named Duke Baloney. Amnesia episodes tend to be a dime-a-dozen, and anyone could predict this new persona is not going to last, but the way this episode develops is actually much more interesting. This is the episode for Glomgold character development, with dream sequences, flashbacks, and a great scene in the ending that takes place in a storm that he may or may not have made up in his head. I may not have given a lot of his episodes high-rated reviews, but this is easily not only one of his best appearances, but one of the best episodes of DuckTales 2017.
Bad thing: The dream sequence really subtly implies that Duke Baloney is about to become Glomgold again. How? By having him outright say "this gold, it's GLOOMING onto me!" ...okay, I'll admit, that was a stretch for a bad thing, but with a dream sequence with subtleties, that took me out of it.
5. The Last Crash of the Sunchaser!
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I called this episode "the best episode of the series so far" when I reviewed it, a pretty late episode in a season with lots of good episodes, I would say that's a good sign that this one was going to be a shoo-in for at least the Top 10. What I love most about this episode is that it gives a little more humanity to the legendary Scrooge McDuck. Sure, this was shown a bit in "Woo-oo!" and "Mount Never-Rest!", but I felt this episodes was one of the best examples of that. Throughout this episode, he sees himself as this legendary figure, as everyone sees him, and he ends up failing to live up to those impossible standards by crashing in a plane in a way where they may not survive.
Much like Quack Pack, there's no traditional villain like Glomgold or Magica. Eventually, this leads to Scrooge finally bringing up his biggest failure: his loss of the Spear of Selene and a certain relative that was piloting it, and it is one of the biggest emotional moments of the series, both in and out of universe. It's one of the most important episodes in the series, and it is also one of the best.
Bad thing: The Last Crash of the Sunchaser is a neat title, but it doesn't really fit the episode. The Sunchaser will certainly crash again. At most, maybe it could be referring to Scrooge crashing down to the lowest point he gets to in the series, but that's not the Sunchaser's fault.
4. Moonvasion!
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My big hot take: the season 2 finale, the best of the season finales in my opinion, is not the best episode of the series. However, it is very close. It's actually kind of funny; I had plenty of criticism against the build-up to his finale, especially the Louie Inc. plot that led to an episode that was just kind of lackluster to me, and of all the, some alien commander from the Moon who thinks the Earth revolved around his "planet" wasn't exactly as threatening as an all powerful witch or the scheming businessman who knew Scrooge's every move. Okay, when I put it like that, the alien does sound more threatening, but trust me, even Bradford had his moments.
The biggest thing about this episode is the sheer scale of it. It really did feel like every major player in the series had a part in this, from Scrooge and the nephews, to Dijon and Amunet, to the new Darkwing Duck, to Donald and Della, to even the Greek pantheon! Oh, and Glomgold, too, in what may be his finest moment in the series! It really does feel like a finale for the series, and I say this even if I felt The Last Adventure was a great one as well.
Bad thing: In hindsight, this would have been a good time for the Terries and Fermies to come back. They're in the earth! That episode wasn't bad because of them.
3. Let's Get Dangerous!
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I'll tell you a secret: I did not watch Darkwing Duck as a kid. It was just DuckTales '87, and even then, I did not remember a lot of episodes of that. This show was made for people who did not grow up with DuckTales '87, because they were not even alive. Though there are parts of this episode that can be appreciated by those who were familiar with the heroes of the Disney Afternoon, I will still say this episode works very well as its own superhero movie. That is what it is, really!
This special is the true continuation of another episode, though we saw this defictionalized-within-the-fiction Darkwing Duck in the Moonvasion, and it may as well be a pilot for a Darkwing Duck reboot that spins off from this show, with its villains, its origin stories, its sidekicks, and its memorable catchphrases. It all works very well. Who knows where the new Darkwing Duck reboot will go, though I would at least imagine that they would eventually get to certain Darkwing-related plot threads that never got resolved.
Bad thing: Outside of using a few cliche moments to extend the episode that end rather predictably, in the attempt to make Darkwing Duck as cool as he wants to be, the regular cast essentially become jobbers in their own show.
2. What Ever Happened To Della Duck?!
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It's the question everyone wanted to know ever since Dewey said the last line in the first episode: what ever happened to Della Duck? This is one of the more artsy episodes of the show, focusing on one duck on what she assumes is a barren moon until she finds a monster that seems to do nothing but impede on her quest to get someone to save her. It does heavily expand from there, to the point where we get to see some more new characters, one who I thought was going to be way more important than the other. I decided to call that guy "General Not Penumbra", and that name could still be fitting as an insult.
This episode would be made or broken by how good Della is, and this is a very good episode for her first voiced debut as an adult. We did get to see her in the IDW comics, but this episode is where her character is developed. Throughout the episode, she has elements of her kids and especially her brother Donald. While there are future episodes that develop her further as a mother who wants to make up for all of those years she missed, one of the biggest defining moments is right in this episode, where she sings a version of the Capcom game's famous moon theme. An amazing episode all around.
Bad thing: Do I have to? Uh, flares do not work on the Moon? No, seriously, I can't think of anything worse than that.
Honorable mentions from each season:
The Shadow War! - An excellent way to end Season 1 that would only be topped by the Moonvasion.
Nightmare on Killmotor Hill! - A dream episode that really works with the concept, especially how Lena is the one involved with it.
Double-O-Duck in You Only Crash Twice! - This is an action packed episode where Launchpad really shines.
And now, #1:
1. The Duck Knight Returns!
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Yes, I decided to put the prequel episode to Let's Get Dangerous as higher than the big Darkwing Duck episode, and part of this may be a little bias on my part. While it was not the very original intention of it, Fly Pow Bye started as a project to review a reboot, so of course an episode about Darkwing Duck, a fictional show within the fiction, getting a dark and gritty reboot would be right up my alley. We have Launchpad, a Darkwing Duck superfan, reacting to how they're going to ruin Darkwing Duck. We got the conflict between what the big studio execs wanted Darkwing Duck to be and Dewey's version of it. Finally, we have the conflict between Jim Starling, an obvious reference to original Darkwing Duck voice actor Jim Cummings who is even voiced by him, and his replacement, who appears to be some guy named Drake Mallard.
A lot of these plots converge in very interesting ways, with plenty of twists. Drake Mallard, the guy Launchpad was trying to replace with the original, turns out to be very worthy of the role by also being a superfan! Dewey's version has dancers, just like that Batdance music video! Okay, maybe that last one isn't that great, but it does not overstay its welcome. And, of course, Jim Starling ends up causing a huge cliffhanger that, despite the show being over, we will still be hanging from. We can only wonder what was going to come next, but I do not have to wonder what the best episode of DuckTales 2017 is.
Bad thing: I can't really think of a bad thing for this episode, but I can say that it is odd that there's no real transition from "TV character" to "real hero". It does help that it's not the TV actor that ends up becoming Darkwing, but "fanboy of TV character turning into a real hero" is just as much of a leap, even with an incompetent hero like Darkwing. I would also consider the show never following up on this episode's cliffhanger a bad thing, but that's not this episode's fault.
How does the whole show stack up?
It is an excellent modern take on the Disney Ducks. Opinions may vary on how this will compare with the original, since it is very much a modern take, with a different style of humor than the one from the original or the one in the original comics. Anyone who loves shows like Gravity Falls will be right at home here. Any fan of the original comics or the original cartoon may balk at some of the creative decisions made with the characters, but I would say it pays some good respect to them.
Oh, and before anyone asks, no, I am not going to give a rating for the whole series. I've already imposed a 10 image limit on myself, and since I grade on a relative scale, the average is always, in theory, going to be in the middle. It's a good show, that's what you're going to get from me.
And that's it for DuckTales 2017. Hurrah for Disney and Clan McDuck. Bye.
← The Least Best! 🦆 n/a →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - “The Lost Cargo of Kit Cloudkicker!”
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Christian Magalhaes, Ben Siemon, Bob Snow, Tanner Johnson
Written by: Colleen Evanson & Tanner Johnson
Storyboard by: Vince Aparo, Kristen Gish, Victoria Harris, Ben Holm
Directed by: Tanner Johnson
Spin it!
Before doing research when Don Karnage first came to the series, my knowledge of TaleSpin began and ended with me having that awful Genesis game as a kid. I do know that the show took place long before the modern day, which is when DuckTales 2017 takes place, and it appears that the events of TaleSpin in this universe still goes with that. Why do I know this? Because this episode does not start with Baloo piloting the Sea Duck...
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...but a grown-up version of his surrogate son, Kit Cloudkicker, who is now running Higher for Hire by himself. However, while things have definitely changed for Higher for Hire since Baloo's apparent retirement, mostly for the worse, some things remained the same. Namely, he is still being tormented by the nefarious Sky Pirate of the Skies, the corsair of the air, Don Karnage. Or Dan, as he calls him much to Karnage's annoyance. The good news is that Kit is now an ace pilot who can easily fight off sky pirates like he did back in the glory days. The bad news is that he can still do what he did as a kid with a giant cargo plane. He even says it, and with most of his dialogue in this cold opening suggests this is going to make him look foolish.
Even worse news for the business is that the fragile box addressed to F.O.W.L. is just sitting in the center of the cargo bay with no security whatsoever aside from a caged chicken and a goat. After rocking back and forth due to Kit fending off against Don Karnage, the box breaks to reveal a rock with a blue lion carved into it, and when that aforementioned chicken and goat touch it, they both turn into some sort of chicken-goat hybrid that Kit has to fight. How is able to fight this goat-chicken while piloting the plane? Simple: he puts a crowbar in the steering wheel, just like Baloo did in the original. Here, the idea is played as silly as it would be to someone who had never heard of TaleSpin. It is doubly sad when one considers Kit treats this crowbar like his only crewmate, because it is.
I do like that this first scene introduces this show's version of Kit very well. He's obviously an incompetent pilot, and not one that is lovably incompetent like Launchpad, and this incompetence is pretty well known among his customers judging by this line:
Kit Cloudkicker: Who's the terrible pilot now, everyone?
He's surprisingly cheerful about that, which, again, makes him look foolish. Despite all of this foolishness, he does appear to still be competent at coming up with plans to defeat his enemies, whether they be sky pirates or mutated goat-chickens, even if those plans end up putting the cargo he was supposed to deliver into the water. This includes that lion stone. He looks onto this and says "my bad" in a way that shows that his business is definitely going to be in the red in a few years.
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A few years later, we see that Della is taking Huey, Dewey, and nobody else to Cape Suzette, and she's even allowing Dewey to fly the plane along with her. It is easy to see why Huey is extra prepared even if Dewey is doing surprisingly well, as Huey is not only using extra seatbelts, but having a Safety Boy helmet as well. Huey's also prepared with the knowledge of that Lion Stone we saw go into the ocean in the previous scene, which, you guessed it, is a Missing Mystery of Isabella Finch. Specifically, it's the Stone Of What Was, which was described with the mysterious phrase "what was once two becomes a-new." Huey does not seem to figure that one out. The good news is that it was found, but the bad news was that it was found by F.O.W.L, but the better news is that they lost it, but the worse news was that the stone was made of potassium benzoate. Okay, that last one was made up. There's a few throwaway lines to fill in how Huey even knows F.O.W.L. had the stone in other scenes, and those plot holes are really not that important.
After nearing their destination, which we learn was based on a clue from an intercepted F.O.W.L. transmission from a throwaway line from Huey slightly later in the episode, Della has the bright idea to let Dewey land the plane. Letting a little kid fly a plane? Not a good idea. Letting a little kid land a plane? Also not a good idea. Telling that little kid that there's nothing wrong with a basic landing? May be a good idea in the off chance it could even come up, but definitely not a good idea when it comes to Dewey. To Della's credit, at least it was Huey that did that last one.
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After the crash landing, and not a Launchpad-type one, they arrive at Higher for Hire, which shows an advertisement showing its legacy playing on a television screen with plenty of TaleSpin references. This includes one shot of Baloo and another shot of a younger Kit and Molly Cunningham riding on an airfoil done in the style of the original show. This is great for people who were not aware of TaleSpin, which the target audience for this show may not have seen unless they have Disney Plus. Kit, still shown to be the sole employee years later, assumes anyone knocking at his door is the bank demanding payments, but he's delighted to see one of his former classmates at pilot school. He constantly has to tell Della that he is an ace pilot now. Most likely, he's telling that to himself too, as we'll see in the next scene. He at least has reason to believe he's a better pilot than his former classmate, as it doesn't look like her plane is in good shape. Della could have explained that this state was because she let one of her less competent sons fly the plane...and that would have probably made her case about a thousand times worse.
That television commercial also inspires a sort of B-plot that also ties into Kit's character arc, as seeing young Kit cloudkicking makes him want to do it, too. Despite his failure at even mimicking it, Kit is happy to see a fellow cloudkicker and would be glad to teach him the ropes. Della is not too excited by this prospect, but ends up allowing it, because she doesn't want to be the mother that does not support her kid. They aboard the plane, which ends up being a very bumpy ride, and Della goes to investigate, only to find that Kit was in the bathroom, letting his only other employee, the crowbar, be his substitute.
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Kit tries to stop what he calls "mutiny" by saying that he's the only one who knows where the cargo could be, only for the crowbar to slip and reveal that he's been keeping a map in the glove compartment. The map actually has some Xs and a circle on it, which suggests that Kit may have been trying to correct his previous mistake, but either never getting the motivation to go through with it, or, more likely, he isn't competent enough to deal with whatever is on that island he circled. Maybe I am thinking about this too hard, but I would say it would be fitting.
Kit decides to distract everyone from him getting kicked out of the pilot's chair by giving Dewey his airfoil and the cloudkicking rope for him to hold onto, and a shot of Dewey's excitement instantly cuts to Dewey screaming for his life, holding on for dear life as he can't seem to. The parallel between a former cloudkicking guy who isn't really a good pilot, and a kid who can actually fly a plane who isn't really a good cloudkicker is easy to notice, and the episode plays around with this. For starters, similar to Kit and his not-so-ace piloting skills, Dewey also tries his hardest to hide how terrified he is at the cool new thing he wanted to do. Of course, it is very possible that Kit is acting the way he does because he's in a certain someone's shadow. Dewey just does it because that's how he is.
Despite that difference, this parallel is enhanced even more when they get attacked by the Sky Pirates, and Kit has to intervene and show that he, at the very least, can get Dewey out of the danger that Kit himself has caused. And yes, Don Karnage's Sky Pirates are now working for the very organization that they indirectly harmed years before by attacking that cargo plane and making them lose that precious stone. That does not come up at all, not even as a throwaway line. What does come up is that Don Karnage is delighted that one of the people after the Stone of What Was is his new arch-nemesis, Dewey. It's a long story that started all the way back in Don's debut in Season 1. It's neat to see these old references. After they all make a landing on the circled island, some more safe than others, they get to meet the wildlife of the island. Let's say there's a good reason why this island was circled, and why Kit could not handle it by himself.
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It's a rhino and a gorilla crossed together, either a rhinosorilla or a gorillanoceros depending on whether one likes Dewey's word for it or Kit's. Clearly, this is the result of the Stone of What Was...what was...Wuz...Wuzzles! Admittedly, the Wuzzle was also not a show I grew up with, though that could be because it lasted only a season. In fact, I just now notice the lion carved into the Stone of What Was happens to have bumblebee wings. These animals are a little more realistic here, as they don't talk, and they're not cute or fuzzy like the original Wuzzles were. In fact, the character this gorillanoceros was based on was actually a monkey-rhino. There is a difference, even if they are very similar species genetically!
They eventually get to the stone, only to see that Don Karnage and his crewmates have found the stone first. Hiding, they see Don Karnage command Hardtack Hattie, his strongest crewmember, to lift it up. Unfortunately, she happened to lift it as a bunch of ants were crawling on it, turning her into an ant centaur to her and Don's horror. Despite that horror, and fitting for someone who just wants to finish his mission, he tries to get some of the other crew members to lift it...
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...leading to these freaks of nature, which is what Don Karnage actually calls them. DuckTales 2017 isn't too afraid to show the horrifying nature of some of these fusions, continuing with the theme of how they portray the Wuzzles as these monstrous beasts. I would not call it nightmare fuel, but I would not be surprised if it already has an entry on TV Tropes. What makes these even worse is that there is no way for these guys to revert back to their normal forms. There's no "if the stone feels like it, it'll separate you" clause here, that snail-dog is permanently a snail-dog, and that pirate will have to live with a hand for his head for the rest of his days. These guys just end up getting forgotten.
Della tries to sneak by climbing around this horrific scene, only to be caught on some sort of sticky rock. Dewey decides to try to save her with his airfoil-riding skills, much to Huey's disagreement. Dewey's got to Dewey it! Oh yeah, I forgot, Dewey ends up doing "Dewey" puns for most of the episode. It's not funny, but I have a feeling it wasn't meant to be funny, and it's certainly not funny when he ends up falling down near the pirates. Face to face with someone who considers him his arch-nemesis, he tries to save face when he notices Kit stole Don Karnage's plane...which he immediately crashes into a rock.
As for the rock that Della was stuck on, it turns out it wasn't a rock. Nor was it a rock lobster, either!
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It hatches into another classic Wuzzle character: the Butterbear, or the Bear-terfly as Don Karnage calls it. They never quite match the original Wuzzle names, and it is not like they would know them. There is one part of this where Kit and the Bear-terfly cross paths, and it almost seems like they're going to bond because they happen to be a similar race. Then, it instantly cuts to Kit running away from a rampaging Bear-terfly. How are they going to continue from this? Have the Bear-terfly get caught in some rope, and have it run in a way that ties up the stone, and have it fly away with Della still on its back. It is a bit convoluted, but it works in the end as it is a way for the stone to travel without it mutating even more people. Whether any of these fusions can use the stone to combine into other fusions is left unanswered, which is for the best.
One may notice I didn't talk a whole lot about what Huey did, and that's because he really didn't do much for most of the episode. He delivered the exposition, he tries to stop Dewey from "Deweying it", and that's about it. However, he does have a major part in the episode: he gets to take part in the scene where the two bumbling fools realize what they have been doing was foolish. Namely, they needed to realize that they should do what they were good at: Kit should cloudkick and Dewey should fly the plane. It is a good lesson that had some good buildup. Sure, they were pretty much failing throughout the episode, but there were scenes where they were surprisingly competent, like the scene where Kit rescued Dewey with his Cloudkicking skills, and Dewey managing to fly the plane in the beginning before he decided to "Dewey it" and crash it. It does not come out of nowhere. Speaking of which...
Dewey: Okay, let's do it.
What would be an unremarkable line actually works really well here, mainly because he decided not to make a pun on his own name, which he did way too much. It does show development, as if this fun-loving showboater is actually learning his lesson throughout the episode. I expect this from DuckTales 2017, and there are certainly cartoons where I don't.
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Fittingly for a TaleSpin episode, this all ends with a flight chase scene. No, not the usual DuckTales 2017 fight scene, though there are some fights here and there, especially with Kit and Don Karnage, armed with that crow bar and sword, respectively. The scene actually manages to make Dewey keeping the plane steady an action packed scene, as he has to save his Mom while trying not to let the stone fall into the ocean and make an octopus-fish-squid hybrid that would rival the Eldritch horrors. Again, whether any of these fusions can use the stone to combine into other fusions is left unanswered, which is for the best.
It's not really a spoiler to say the good guys win, but I will say the TaleSpin part of the plot is very much all tied up in the end. If Kit only makes a minor appearance in the finale, and I'd actually be surprised if he didn't appear considering how packed the clips were, it would be completely understandable. Also, there's a cliffhanger and we finally get to hear Don Karnage sing another song, if a very short one. It seemed like he just couldn't do it in his other appearances.
How does it stack up?
With the genius way of using not just one Disney show's legacy, but another Disney show as well, there's a lot to love about this episode, though I wouldn't say it's among the absolute best. Four Scrooges.
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Next, Scrooge gets indicted.
← Beaks In The Shell! 🦆 The Life and Crimes of Scrooge McDuck! →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - "The Life and Crimes of Scrooge McDuck!"
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Christian Magalhaes, Ben Siemon, Bob Snow
Written by: Bob Snow
Storyboard by: Stephanie Gonzaga, Krystal Ureta, Brandon Warren, Hayley Foster
Directed by: Matthew Humphreys
I'm not the only judge around here.
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The episode begins with Scrooge and Louie dealing with a bunch of furry, multiplying monsters that are in no way supposed to be the Tribbles from Star Trek. They're Gribbles, they're completely different. Before they can deal with them entirely, and almost immediately after Scrooge tells Louie how he should accept responsibility, they are suddenly summoned into the All-Powerful Karmic Court. This otherworldly court features a seemingly all-powerful bailiff, and a giant Lady Justice holding a scale that will hold Scrooge's innocence and guilt. Who was responsible for getting Scrooge and Louie into this Karmic Court?
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None other than Doofus Drake, who is just as creepy as he always was in this reboot. He makes his entrance by being wheeled in while wearing a strait-jacket, an obvious reference to Silence of the Lambs, he puts chap-stick all over his face, and, right before a commercial break, he appears to start an attempt to lick Louie's face. We get it, the character was bad and unlikeable in the original, so the new version of the character has to be disgusting and intentionally unlikeable. They could have just not have him appear, put him on a milk carton somewhere, or, since this is a reboot, they could have made him a different character entirely like they did with Burger Beagle, but instead, we get this Licky McCreepo.
Using the combined money and supernatural powers of him and his witnesses, Doofus, wanting revenge, er, justice over losing his inheritance to his own family, managed to get a supernatural summon to sue Scrooge McDuck out of the fortune, land-holdings, and treasure that would have been Louie's inheritance. Why? Because he ruined their lives! Scrooge immediately balks at these accusation that he can be guilty of ruining anyone's life, saying that he got everything fair and square and he has done nothing wrong. The Bailiff, acting as the judge as the giant Lady Justice can only nod or shake her head, has to keep telling him to sit down and be quiet as the plaintiff and his witnesses bear their case. As Scrooge can't help but make himself look guilty in the face of the all-powerful and all-seeing Karmic Court, it's up to Louie, the irresponsible schemer that Scrooge was scolding minutes before, to help him against three different shorts, er, three different witnesses! Our first one is...
Witness #1: Flintheart Glomgold!
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Or, as he puts it as he jumps out of the door:
Flintheart: FLINTHEART GLOMGOLD, HA HA HA HA HA!
Yes, he even introduces himself with lightning strikes behind him. I'd like to think he requested the court supply those, as that was also the explanation for the Hannibal impression. It does not matter to the Karmic Court that the plaintiff and witnesses are acting like villains, as the case is supposed to be that Scrooge's actions have led them this way in the first place. We get a flashback, courtesy of the Karmic Courts power to get video clips of anything that happened in the past. Having video clips of things that couldn't possibly have been recorded is a reason for the supernatural element to this court. It is magic, it does not need to be explained.
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No, this isn't about his former Duke Baloney persona, though I like how they mention that right in the beginning, but how he managed to steal the heart of Duckburg from him. It happened all the way back in 1987, as they sure liked that year for reasons that should be obvious. Back then, Duckburg was in a state of Glomgold Fever, as reported by Webra Walters. Her joke, besides being an obvious parody of Barbara Walters, is that she has a lisp. In the beloved adventurers latest adventure, he's going into a cave full of sharks and booby traps to get a large, sharktooth-shaped diamond for the people of Duckburg. He even takes Webra Walters and a cameraman with him, all so they can report on his benevolence. He is trying so hard to make himself look like a hero, though I'd argue putting a reporter in danger for the sake of his own ego is a hint that things are not right with this. Well, besides the fact that he's Glomgold, but the people in 1987 didn't know that.
However, that unapproachable and miserly billionaire, Scrooge McDuck, shows up with a grappling hook, swinging effortlessly. Glomgold, in his anger, accidentally pushes Webra off the rock she was standing on. As she grabs onto the ledge for dear life, Glomgold sees this reporter struggling to not get eaten by sharks and accuses her of being in cahoots with Scrooge, and jumps away to that diamond without even trying to save her. As Scrooge manages to get to the diamond and Glomgold ending up holding on to a stalactite after accidentally hitting a booby trap that caused that rock Webra barely managed to climb back up to start sinking. As Debra starts with what she thinks is her last report on how Glomgold has revealed his stupidity and cowardice, assumedly ending Glomgold Fever for good, Scrooge uses the grappling hook to save her and the cameraman, the diamond still strapped to his back.
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Needless to say, Scrooge becomes the hero of Duckburg as Webra reports that the originally "miserwy" Scrooge is now showing his "herowic" side, while Glomgold Glomgold then laments at the days he had to hang on to the stalactite, eventually having to make friends with the sharks that infested the cave's waters. It's here where we learn why Glomgold loves sharks so much: because it's the only love he had after that fateful day. Revealing key moments of the villain's past that shaped them into the villains they became is going to be a theme with all of the witnesses, bringing some more importance to this episode. I'll admit that this part is the weakest of the three to me, though I can't deny Glomgold's charm in his reminiscence of his friendship with the sharks. Also, his unforgettable intro.
There is one moment that definitely did not shape them into the villains they became: Scrooge. At least, according to Scrooge himself, who continues to blast the court for even considering this to be evidence against him. The bailiff has to conjure up a muzzle at some point, though even that does not last. Louie eventually comes up to the court and tells them that he was clearly evil even before this incident, and the court. This goes to show that the court is indeed all-seeing, though I do still have a feeling that this court seems to be really easily convinced, as they seem to accept it. They probably should have accepted the "dooming Webra to a shark-caused death" as evidence against the Plaintiff, but this isn't even the worst the court gets with this sort of thing. There's no reason to complain, it's currently Innocent 1, Guilty 0.
Witness #2: Ma Beagle!
Next, it's Ma Beagle, and she wants to get the deed for the town the Beagles rightfully owned before it was stolen by that crook. While the last story revealed Glomgold's shark affinity, this one is the very backstory for how the Beagle Boys became the enemies of Scrooge. We finally get the story behind that painting of Scrooge McDuck and Grandpappy Beagle on how he managed to get the deed for the place. It's been shown in that picture that hangs on Scrooge McDuck's wall, but this is the first time we actually get to see what events that picture depicted, taking place long ago in a place known as Fort Beagleburg.
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To make a long story short, it was an arm wrestling match, with Grandpappy as the undefeated champion. Scrooge shows up, talking about how this place used to be known as Fort Duckburg, and he offers to buy the town with his endless riches. Putting his money down on the table, Grandpappy and Scrooge agree to an arm wrestle for the fort's deed, the former getting praise by his daughter that he never lost. However, Scrooge proves that "never" rarely lasts, as much sense as that makes, and manages to defeat him using his wit. He also reveals him to be a cheat, once again revealing some villainy on the part of the Plaintiff that the all-powerful Karmic Court seems to ignore. In fact, unlike Glomgold and his former Glomgold Fever, there's no sense of heroism with these guys at all. In fact, they're all wearing the masks that would be made famous by their descendants.
Scrooge: Pleasure doing business with you! (Takes deed and the cup of juice Young Ma was drinking)
Young Ma Beagle: (crying) Aw, I can't believe you-
(video pauses)
Sure, Grandpappy Beagle was a cheat, but Scrooge does admit that it was unnecessarily mean to young Ma Beagle, and this would be a major cornerstone in her becoming the evil mastermind that headed the Beagle Boys. Lady Justice decides this is a win for Guilty, teleporting Ma to the Guilty side. Much like the wrestling episode, the episode's tension would be completely gone if one side went 2-0 unless they were planning on more than three witnesses. However, Louie isn't going to deal with that, and points out that the young Ma Beagle's line was clearly cut off, which it was. Again, for an omnipotent and omniscient karmic court, not only can't they keep a muzzle on Scrooge, they sure like changing their mind. Then again, this seems to work for the villains as well. At 2-0, it seems like Doofus is doomed to have his case dismissed, but he has one more short, er, witness:
Witness #3: Magica De Spell!
Right from her appearance and despite Louie gloating that he can totally take her case on, Scrooge realizes this is the one that may outweigh the other two. We flash back to a time where Magica is currently controlling an entire town's wealth and food with the power of her magic. In fact, she's not alone, as she reveals she's not an only child.
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We get to meet a brand new character: Magica's brother Poe De Spell, making his first appearance in the series. One may guess by the amount of guilt Scrooge is showing that it is also his only appearance, and they are correct. To give more of a description, these twin sorcerers are causing chaos among the people they ruthlessly rule over, turning people into various animals, including a daddy goat that is expected to give them milk. Don't think of that too hard. While Magica is just as evil as she ever will be, it's Poe that ends up being the closer to Earth one. This all changes when Scrooge comes up, and, much like the Beagles, he manages to defeat Magica and Poe with his wit and make off with the money. Some of it went to rebuilding farms.
Of course, the worst part is the reason why Poe is missing. I'll keep this one vague as it is a major crux of the episode, as this is mainly caused by Scrooge being selfish. Even though Magica and Poe are clearly villains, this is one true The episode does build up more and more in both Scrooge's guilt and the quality of the segments. One may guess Poe's fate judging by the author he's clearly named after, and if they can't guess, they haven't gotten to that part in their English class.
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What's important is that this is the one where even Louie has to admit that he can't weasel his inheritance, er, Scrooge's innocence out of this one. The ending seems like it's going to go into this cliche where they just admit Scrooge's guilt and the court decides that's good enough to let him off the hook, but they throw a few curveballs at that. As much as I don't want to spoil it, it's hard to believe Scrooge and Louie are going to lose their fortune, land, and treasure, especially an episode before the finale, but I think the way the episode ends, while feeling a bit rushed as a lot of events happen in the last minute, is good enough for me to judge this episode as innocent.
How does it stack up?
I debated whether this should be 3 or 4 Scrooges, and I felt this shouldn't get the same rating as Kit Cloudkicker despite being a good showing of Louie's cleverness. With an okay first part, a second part that is good to see, and a third part that's quite interesting, I'd put this at the same level as the decent Split Sword of Swanstantine. Unfortunately, with DuckTales 2017, decent can only go so far. 3 Scrooges.
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Finally, after facing off against all of these non-FOWL related villains in a Karmic Court, the McDucks get to face off against FOWL once and for all.
← The Lost Cargo of Kit Cloudkicker! 🦆 The Last Adventure! →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - The Shorts! (Part 2)
For completion's sake, let's look at the remaining DuckTales 2017 shorts as of this writing.
A few more shorts have come out since the big batch of shorts from before. Unfortunately, none of them are mini-adventures split up into segments like The World's Slowest Death-Trap or Dewey Dew-Night. However, as mentioned before, I should still bring these up for completion's sake. I did leave out the Top 4s and the Marshmello "Fly" music video, but that's because the former is self-explanatory and the latter is just cool and well animated. Let's go!
Theme Song Takeovers
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There were two of these for DuckTales 2017. One of them is with everyone's favorite incompetent pilot, Launchpad McQuack. It does it in an interesting way: he's not taking over the Theme Song despite the title, he just wandered into it. He does have to act the part, not only singing his own version of the theme song, as he's certainly not one to memorize any lyrics beyond the Darkwing Duck theme, but he's desperately trying to catch up with everyone else in the best way he can. I like this feeling that this is what he was doing during the parts where he was off-screen. It has a pretty weird ending, too. As good as this one is, it is only of slightly lower quality than the next one. There may be a reason for that: because it was actually used in the show itself.
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The other one is Glomgold's Theme Song Takeover, where he sings his own version of the DuckTales theme song all about himself and how much Scrooge stinks. One of the lines is "Scrooge stinks, Scrooge stinks, Scrooge stinks." Highlights include the first part being in the style of his infamous blueprints, the stylistically bad 3D render of him as a muscleman, and him running out of budget for the last part to where he had to use popsicle sticks and paper. It's no wonder that the theme song was used in the episode called "GlomTales!". Watch the internet version, too, it has a few extra scenes, including a scene where Glomgold curses copyright law.
Random Rings
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DuckTales 2017 characters appeared twice in this series, and by characters, I mean just Launchpad. He sure was meant to be the breakout character. The first is a little chat between him and Big Hero 6's Baymax after he accidentally calls him instead of a pizza place. Baymax tries his best to be Launchpad's personal healthcare companion and tries to help him after Launchpad gets a bump in his head, not knowing he's referring to the head of the Sunchaser he just crashed, and Launchpad misinterprets his suggestion of using frozen peas as a recommendation of what to eat. It's about what one might expect from the not-too-bright character and a robot, but it does not last long enough to where it would be annoying. It's only a minute.
The other one involves Launchpad trying to call "Mr McD" only for him to accidentally call Cricket from the show Big City Greens. I should note that the vast majority of the segments involve this show, most of them involving Cricket, the show's lead character and trouble-maker. This does have a significant difference from the other one: Launchpad almost manages to realize he probably should not be talking to some random kid, only for that random kid to try to take advantage of him after he mentions the giant gemstone his plane is carrying. There's a different joke here other than Launchpad does not have a lot in the brains department, and I can appreciate this one a little bit more. I will admit: it is possible I would have appreciated this even more if I actually watched Big City Greens, but that is not this short's fault.
I should note that these shorts are also perfect for those who want to know what DuckTales 2017 would look like in Adobe Flash. Just wanted to point that out.
Chibi Tiny Tales
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Chibi Tiny Tales was a series of cutesy little cartoons based on Disney Channel shows, itself loosely based on a series of shorts made for Big Hero 6. These are all simple concepts done in a very quick, no dialogue, gag-a-second way, all done in a pseudo-anime style as implied by the word "chibi", complete with the face faults they were not allowed to do on the real show. It's a little funny that they didn't make any Chibi Tiny Tales for DuckTales, a show with the word "Tales" in it, until the time the very last episodes of DuckTales 2017 were airing.
The first one has Scrooge McDuck, the nephews, and Donald raiding a tomb for some treasure. The second one has Magica and Glomgold trying to steal the Number One Dime while Scrooge is reading the paper. The third has Launchpad and Webby go on a quest for the ultimate burrito. All of these follow a similar pattern of them getting into different situations throughout the minute-long short. It is very Looney Tunes, funnily enough. There really isn't anything to say about these. They're cutesy, they are only sort of witty, but they do not overstay their welcome either. Much like the DuckFails shorts, I can imagine enjoying these during commercial breaks, and they are the perfect length for them.
This Duckburg Life
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This isn't a short, but there is nowhere else to talk about this.
The newest addition to DuckTales 2017's canon is a parody of NPR's This American Life, and our Ira Glass equivalent is Huey Duck. The first episode, titled "Adventure Calls", is about Huey listening to Launchpad's answering machine, which ends up being filled with various calls. The vast majority of them are about an adventure involving Dewey and Louie getting kidnapped by the Beagle Boys. The Beagle Boys did not really make a major appearance in Season 3 beyond Ma Beagle in "The Life and Crimes of Scrooge McDuck!", so this could be an apology for that. Eventually, this adventure gets into the strange when they find the Hand of Hammurabi hidden in the stash of treasures the Beagle Boys stole, and they end up getting teleported to Tibet and then another dimension. While all of this is happening, Big Time Beagle is trying his hardest to be a threatening kidnapper despite losing the people he was kidnapping.
Even without the images, it still feels like DuckTales 2017 in a different format. It uses the podcast format very well, with the sponsor featuring Webby and Scrooge and Donald Duck reading the credits like it's one of those "support for" segments on NPR, and it would be neat to see where this goes. Even if one wants to know how this would look animated, the YouTube video that has this does have an image that shows off some imagery that fills in some of what people might want to know. For example, yes, the Hand of Hammurabi does look like the Infinity Gauntlet. Oh, and it's important to note that it's likely this podcast takes place before "The Last Adventure!". I am not going to say why that is, and maybe that might change with future episodes.
And that's it for now. This Saturday, the least best.
← The Last Adventure! 🦆 The Least Best! →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - The Least Best!
Well, here it is, the second to last article of this project, and it's one that's going to be controversial. I'm sorry, I have to do a worst list along with the best list, but I decided against actually calling it the worst list. Simply put: calling it a worst list implies these episodes were bad. Do not get me wrong, there are episodes I feel qualify for that, but not more than 10 of them. Alas, it has to be done.
I must have some rules for this list, and here they are:
It has to be an episode of DuckTales 2017. No shorts, even if the shorts combined can make up a full episode. I am also not putting in anything from This Duckburg Life, either.
I have to say something good about each of these episodes. Does not have to be the best thing about the episode, but a good thing nonetheless.
This is my opinion and my opinion alone. I am sure there are fans of these episodes, I just disagree with them.
Let's begin with #10, and I can already tell I'm going to lose some people over this, but I am not sorry.
10. Beaks In The Shell!
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I did get some flack for giving this a 2 initially, and I did walk back on it simply because there are worse episodes I have given 3s or would have given 3s, but I just did not think of this one as highly as everything else in the third season. I do not hate it, as it has some clever moments here and there, like Louie's shock about GizmoDuck's identity.
She has a great design, and I do like how she's the hacker girl as a counterpart to Fenton. She just seems to do a complete 180. In the last episode she was in, she was not above blinding children in order to keep her job, and now she just wants to leave F.O.W.L. just like that? I do not really buy it, and I never really found her that interesting in execution, at least in the show itself.
Good thing: Out of all the flack I've given this episode, the ending with the character's individual Gizmo suits is top notch. I like how everyone has an ability that either fits them or is a reference to a previous episode.
9. New Gods on the Block!
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This is another "not really one of the good ones, but not really one of the bad ones" episode to me. My decision to put this one below "Beaks In The Shell" goes more with me thinking the Gizmo suits were a little more creative, and how I think this episode could have done better with this idea. Plenty of scenes with Storkules and Donald being a little too close, much to the chagrin of the latter.
There is also this plot where Scrooge wants to make a different team, implying that the kids are not good enough. This may have been a misinterpretation on the part of the kids, making this one of those "misunderstanding" episodes, but it is really vague here. It seemed to me that Scrooge really was trying to get a different team that did not involve his family for the most part. I am not going to say him being called out by Della when he's climbing the Titan is not a powerful scene, but I feel like it goes against the series entire arc of family being the best adventure of all. This isn't a Season 1 episode where Scrooge had to learn that, this is in Season 3!
Good thing: It was cool to see this plot expand the pantheon of Greek gods in this series. The DuckTales 2017 version of Hades, their reaction to Zeus being depowered, it’s all good.
8. The Split Sword of Swanstantine!
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Unlike Gandra Dee, or any of the Olympians, the Sword of Swanstentine ended up being a major part of the finale. It is a shame that the hunt for that sword is the least best of the three shorts episodes. The first part with Dewey and Webby features the aforementioned child blinding plot that leads to a couple of cool survival scenes and a clever use of the big fight between Black Heron and Scrooge that happens throughout the episode, but is mostly just okay. The second part with Louie and Violet is a little weak, it's a one-idea premise with a character that I felt needed more development, period.
Huey and Lena's part may have been the highlight of the episode, but it only leads to an ending that is a bit predictable as soon as it comes up. Oh no, the villains have the sword! Nah, just kidding, the heroes have it because of a technicality that they certainly did not remember in the finale. I am a little glad they did not remember the sword's ability to not be used by people who have not earned it, actually, but that's not something that pertains to this episode specifically.
Good thing: As mentioned before, Huey and Lena's part is good. It's mitigated by The Duke of Making A Mess never really appearing again, but that is also not something that pertains to this episode specifically.
7. Happy Birthday, Doofus Drake!
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The crew of the show have shown their disdain for the original Doofus. They could have just said that Doofus wasn't indicative of the kind of messaging they wanted to show, much like the original Burger Beagle, or the witch doctor stereotype who first summoned the Bombie, but no, their response to a character that was hated in the original was to make an even less likeable villain out of him! He was alright in "Day of the Only Child!", his debut, and I think that might be because he only had a third of the episode rather than more than half. While the ending is good, and there are some funny scenes with some of his other party guests, there's a lot of awkward scenes to work through here.
There is a plot that does not involve Doofus, but it does not do much good. The B-plot is pretty much shoe-horned in here, with no real connection besides involving characters that are not trying to crash the party. It is about Huey learning to step out of his comfort zone, and we know this because he goes into a video game world and having to learn how to step out of something that is outright called a "comfort zone". There just is not a lot to this plot other than some really cheap references. There's certainly nothing on the same level as Dewey Dew-Night, which is what "Day of the Only Child!" gave us. I guess I decided to put this episode in the Honey Bin after all.
Good thing: Glomgold's scheme involving his puppet son is a good Glomgold scene, and this is the episode that gave us Boyd, so I can't hate on it too much.
6. The Rumble for Ragnarok!
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When I decided to re-rate Beaks in the Shell to a three, I was also specifically thinking of this episode as one of the worse episodes that I gave a three. This is a problem with having a series as consistently good as DuckTales 2017 is; there's a little to like in almost every episode, and this episode really knows how to handle pro wrestling as a setting while also making it fit in with the universe. I could see something like this happening in the old comics.
However, lots of neat references to pro wrestling can't hide that the way they implemented this plot is just flawed to me. The plot to me seemed to go with the moral that one should follow with what is right even if it does not lead to popularity. It does start well with Scrooge, as the villainous Millionaire Miser, telling Dewey to "embrace the boos" of the people that want the world to end. Then they decide that the crowd doesn't like Jörmungandr anymore because...he was being too harsh on a kid? They did not have a problem with Hecka beating up two kids, but when Jörmungandr ties him up with his tail, that's a heel turn? Conveniently, Dewey did not have to learn anything! I can appreciate that they didn't go with what any other cartoon would do and make a farce out of the form of entertainment, but I can not shake that off.
Good thing: Not only does this episode do a great job with wrestling jokes, it manages to throw in a reference to the original that seamlessly fits in with the wrestling jokes. It's too bad the Shield Maiden didn't get to do much, but it's still a positive.
5. The Richest Duck in the World!
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I did say I wanted to only rate episodes, but if I was rating DuckTales 2017's arcs, the Louie one from Season 2 is definitely the lowest. Do not get me wrong, the Louie Inc. arc did have some good episodes, Storkules in Duckburg being a highlight, but it is definitely the least memorable arc in the series, and its finale is the worst of that arc. Sure, it was a big shocking moment in "GlomTales!" that he was able to swindle his own uncle's fortune, especially an uncle as sharp and smart as Scrooge McDuck, but the way this episode follows up on that is to make a hundred jokes about Louie being a lazy billionaire until he learns his lesson in a way that returns everything back to the status quo as soon as the real arc of the season comes back in the last minute of the episode. The finale of the entire show made this even more worthless, and I would rather not get into any more detail than I already had in that review.
I think what really gets me about this is how well Scrooge takes this plot, especially when compared to an episode that is coming up in this very list. I know a part of this is because of the villain of the episode, but there was also a feeling that Scrooge just knew that the status quo was going to come back. That just made this episode's conclusion just that much more foregone. The fact that the Tenderfeet had to show up to remind us that he exists does not make this any better. There is another plot about Della trying to call Penumbra, who is not answering her phone calls for reasons she could not have known. Revealing why she can't before kind of made the conclusion of that plot just that much more foregone. For an episode that comes before a major, major finale, it is so unmemorable to me.
Good thing: When Bradford was talking about "magical defense" in the first episode, I was thinking it was a reference to Magica, but this episode does a great job of retconning that into something less predictable. Retooling the Bombie, a villain with origins that are not necessarily acceptable by today's standards, into something more akin to a force of nature is great.
4. The Depths of Cousin Fethry!
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The very first Disgusted Donald I have ever given, and, to be honest, it's because I have learned to raise my standards for this show. Don't get me wrong, this show's version of Fethry Duck had a bit of potential, especially as a sort of mentor to Huey, and the idea of the episode could have went to places, but I just found this episode boring at best. At worst, it just exaggerates Huey to an unimaginably nerdy level, up to licking trees to find out what their resin level is and kissing giant plant monsters. Outside of one particular monster near the end of the episode, that is all this episode has: grossout humor and boredom. As much as I get the joke that Launchpad's journey was just so awesome that it could not have been animated, I still stand by the running gag I made in that review.
Good thing: One good thing about the payoff is the camerawork. The viewer never sees that giant krill "monster" in full. They forgot about that in Moonvasion, though I can see the argument that the Moonvasion would make anything look small.
3. The 87 Cent Solution!
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The second Disgusted Donald I have ever given, and also the last. Was I afraid to get the wrath? Well, I am certainly not afraid now, as I rate the episode where Scrooge gets "gold fever" over 87 cents getting stolen from him as the third least best episode. I mean, I get it. Scrooge did not get "gold fever" because he lost money. He lost plenty of money trying to fix his own mistakes. He got "gold fever" because someone outwitted the smartest of the smarties and the sharpest of the sharpies. However, I just couldn't find Scrooge's descent into that madness funny. It's not like the "sea monster ate my ice cream" scene from the original that the reboot decided to mock in a different episode, I just feel sorry for him in a way that just does not fit with the rest of the series.
Having the ending be Mrs. Beakley saying "oh, I would have dealt with those silly manchildren by myself" just felt bizarre compared to the rest of DuckTales 2017's endings. It felt more like an ending to that other reboot. It certainly had that "ugh, men" vibe.
Good thing: One scene that one might think I hated was the dance scene with Glomgold set to DJ Khaled's "All I Do Is Win." Not only is Glomgold the best part about this episode, that scene is among the best Glomgold scenes ever.
2. Terror of the Terra-firmians!
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This was the episode I considered giving the first Disgusted Donald to, or in the new ratings terms, a 1 Scrooge, but I decided against it because it just was not as bad as the worst that I have seen before I took on this project. I was sure there was going to be an episode worse than this one, because every cartoon is going to have that one episode that does not measure up. Turns out, this was the one episode. The major plot of this episode is Huey and Webby just bickering over the existence of magical creatures who are clearly causing all of the problems of the episode. All this really leads to is the same ending one gets with the M&Ms Santa commercial, except the build up is not as funny. That's not a good sign when this episode is much longer than a commercial.
They throw in a part with Lena and Mrs. Beakley that ends up becoming a major piece of development for Lena. I'll admit: this was the part that made me not want to give it a Disgusted, but now I realize what happened. Lena's plot does not really interact with the Terra-firmian plot, with only the train crash being the only real interaction. It's like they knew this episode would not amount to much in the overall arc nor would it be particularly funny, so they put in this awesome Lena part. I will not get fooled again.
Good thing: As mentioned before, Lena saving Mrs. Beakley is better than the rest of the episode combined.
I was really hard pressed to consider putting in dishonorable mentions. It was hard enough picking 10 episodes for the actual list.
The Infernal Internship of Mark Beaks! - I just never really liked Mark Beaks as a villain. Smartphones may be around for a long time, but YOLO certainly will not.
Raiders of the Doomsday Vault! - The worst of Season 2 is already on this list, so I really stretched to find another episode that was any worse. This is just a case of Della Duck having better episodes than this.
Challenge of the Senior Junior Woodchucks! - In a series that had good season openers, this was decidedly not one of them. Other than introducing Webby 2, er, Violet, it was only good for starting the "Missing Mysteries of Finch" arc.
And now, the absolute least best episode of DuckTales 2017. It's plot important, very much so. It's an episode with Lena in it, usually a bright point of any DuckTales 2017 episode and a very beloved character. It's an episode I felt that was not good at all by DuckTales 2017 standards. That episode is...
1. The Other Bin of Scrooge McDuck!
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I know this is the one with that hugely emotional scene of Lena seeing her best friend die in front of her eyes. Of course, neither Disney nor the overall arc of the series would ever allow that, as this is merely a dream sequence that shows that Lena is afraid of her aunt and what she will do to her new best friend, which clearly hasn't been shown in every one of her last appearances. Clearly, we needed this over-the-top dream sequence to really show the kids that Magica is the bad lady and Lena is the good girl. Everything good this A-plot did was done better in "Jaw$!"; they could have just tacked on this episode's ending to that episode, and it would have worked.
Oh, and the B-plot is the dreaded devil in plain sight plot. Huey, Dewey, and Louie befriend a Tenderfeet, the Tenderfeet turns out to be a jerk who tries to sabotage Louie, Louie gets blamed for it to the point where Huey, the usually sensible one, punches Louie in the arm as apparently bullying the Tenderfeet is the worst action he has ever done, and the cycle repeats. After reviewing a reboot that, despite all of its flaws, never managed to fall into it, I was shocked that DuckTales 2017, the reboot that really could, toyed with the worst plot in any cartoon ever and played it straight. I could see the argument that this is one of the better implementations of the forsaken plot, as Louie is already an untrustworthy person even among his brothers and he does manage to solve the problem in a way that fits with his scheming character, but, I am not sorry, it's still a devil in plain sight. Next. Oh wait, there is no next!
Good thing: At least I can admit that this show doesn't pull any punches. Oh no, I'm not talking about the dream sequence, I'm talking about the ending. At first, I did not really like it, as I thought it was another way for the villain to just snatch everything away at the last minute. However, once we learn more about Lena in the next episode, it makes a lot more sense.
And that's the least best! I really did not want to leave this negativity up for too long without its opposite, so the best list will be up on Wednesday rather than next week. Stay tuned!
← The Shorts (Part 2) 🦆 The Absolute Best! →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - “How Santa Stole Christmas!”
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Christian Magalhaes, Bob Snow
Written by: Colleen Evanson
Storyboard by: Sam King, Kathryn Marusik, Stephan Park
Directed by: Jason Zurek
The Last Christmas...episode of DuckTales 2017.
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Twas the night before Christmas, and all throughout the night, The kids are reminded of Scrooge and Santa's fight. Previous episodes have brought up Scrooge's Santa furore And this is the episode where we get the whole story.
The episode starts with Della, tucking her children into bed, Feeding them stories to put in their head. It's not the usual story, as her children moan, but reasons for that old elf to not be allowed in their home.
But outside of Webby, the kids aren't Santa-haters Even if he's known by the McDucks for being among traitors They hear thumps on the roof, and the kids will go to the Manor's ceiling, where they see a shadow
As the figure shows himself, their childlike wonder was not blessed...
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...as it was someone else whose name starts with S.
Scrooge was preparing his defenses against any reindeer, and ensuring on Christmas, no Claus will be near. He ensures the kids they don't need him, as he is rich. See, he's able to give them all hats that itch.
It's practical, he says, though the kids think it's lame As they wanted a trampoline, a cell phone, and a video game. Before Scrooge can explain, he hears the doorbell. Carolers, Scrooge assumes, and the lies that they tell.
He opens the door, Webby readying weapons she possessed and it turned out to be our jolly old guest. Scrooge grits his teeth, and the children shout with glee...
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...and then Santa falls down, nearly crushing Dewey.
It's here that I realize this rhyming is annoying you, and that's okay, because I'm getting tired of it, too. I can really only do this for a short review-ey, So the rest of this are normal paragraphs, ah phooey.
So Santa falls down and breaks his leg, and even Scrooge, with his pretty low opinion on Santa Claus, is concerned for his well being. He even has to motion to Webby to put down her grappling hook that she was apparently was preparing to put into Santa's chest. She then slowly brings out a sword. It's a joke on the same level as that spork one from a previous episode; it's a classic Webby moment.
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After hearing that Frank Sinatra-esque Christmas-themed opening from the last Christmas episode, now with 100% more Della, Santa wakes up near the chimney fire. I like the detail that it's barred up to prevent Santa's usual Christmas travel, though as I was told as a kid who lived in a house that didn't have a chimney and this episode proves, he can use a door just fine. In this universe, he's real, and he proves this by giving Huey, Dewey, and Louie their video game, trampoline, and cell phone, respectively. He tries to do the same with Webby, but she pretends to like her hat better. Got to look good for the man she idolizes, after all.
That man, Scrooge, decides to reveal exactly what Santa did to get his ire: he stole something from him. All but one of the kids can't believe it, and the one exception couldn't figure out exactly what that something could be. Don't worry, this is not going to become one of those Christmas Carol pastiches, as DuckTales 2017 is a lot more clever than that and didn't feel like competing with that rat that must not be named. Instead, it's more like Santa Claus is Coming To Town, where we get to hear the origin of the holiday that Scrooge says was stolen from him. The title isn't wrong, it really is actually Santa that stole Christmas this time!
Santa doesn't have time for this, as he needs to get Christmas finished before sunrise. It is still Christmas Eve, after all. He asks Scrooge, with his belt so tight, to drive his sleigh tonight, and it takes some begging from Huey, Dewey, and Louie for him to oblige. Well, that, and Santa offers him to never come to the McDuck Manor if he does the deed. That's not the only offer, as Santa decides to tell the kids a story I thought would be the noodle incident of the cartoon.
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The story begins with Scrooge during one of his business stints, selling heat-giving coal to the populace of a snow-filled village, with no buyers in one particular cottage. He finds a polar bear with a sleigh singing about bells that jingle, and Scrooge comes over to help him out. Introducing himself as Santa Claus, Scrooge finds out that he does have similar goals, though Santa prefers to warm people's hearts with toys rather than coal. Santa tries that same cottage, offering a gift for free, and they happily let him in, and he was so kind that they even allow him to bring that guest that was yelling at them to buy his coal.
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The big guy ends up being the life of the party at the cottage with his new hit song, filled with people of short stature with colorful costumes, until the fire burns out. Scrooge's coal ends up saving the party, though Santa had to use his own way of selling it by just grabbing it right out of his bag and throwing it in the fireplace. This warms the hearts and the house of the cottage dwellers, though Scrooge could tell it's more because he's a friend of that jolly guy than anything else. It's quite clear Scrooge has more reason to start his hatred of that red guy beyond being named after that classic Christmas-time villain.
The hatred doesn't start just yet, though, but he is a little bewildered by an idea that Santa Claus has: not only does he want to bring this heat source to this cottage and the people who were just visiting it, but to everyone in the world in one night! Scrooge knows this is impossible, but Santa feels he knows some way he can do this. This begins a brand new friendship, and this is where Webby is confused.
Webby: Wait, Scrooge doesn't have any friends!
Understandably, Goldie is more of a frenemy, being friends with Launchpad is far too easy to count, and it's debatable if anyone is Gyro's friend, either.
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We cut to what's happening in the present, where Scrooge gets on the sleigh with all of the reindeer kids would know. All the kids know Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. If they think of any other reindeer's name, well, let's let another Christmas special sort that one out:
Olive, the other reindeer: By the way, where's Rudolph?
Comet: There's no Rudolph. It's just one of those urban legends.
Along with Santa and himself, Scrooge decides to only let the one kid who knows Santa is a fraud, Webby, on the sleigh. The kids protest, and Santa implies to them that if they go to bed, they would be on the nice list. They already got their gifts, and if Santa ends up doing his end of the bargain, it wouldn't even matter, but the nephews decide to go back to bed. One could argue that Santa could boop his nose and instantly turn the video game, cell phone, and trampoline into coal, and that one is confusing this episode with another special with siblings that wear the primary colors.
As the reindeer fly into the sky, Webby continues her anti-Santa creed, saying that she wouldn't be wooed by dolls, candles, or crossbows. That last one does end up piquing Webby's interest enough, and Santa does reveal that, yup, that's what she was getting. Scrooge tells Santa it's going to take more than that, and Webby isn't trying too hard to prove that's true. In fact, she actually blurts that she's worried that Santa wouldn't be able to finish Christmas in time, and Santa tells her, and it's all because of another artifact from that legendary Finch journal. No, I'm just kidding, there's no journal in this episode; along with the Halloween episode that also doesn't feature it, this episode was written before anything else in this season.
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That artifact is the Feliz Navidiamond, a diamond that can slow down time to the point where the mission to give coal to everyone on Earth is a possibility rather than pure fantasy, and Scrooge happens to have a map that leads right to it. Said map leads to Cascabel Cavern, a cavern known for having creatures of legend defend it, including the Los Renos Voladores. Those who know their Spanish, as Scrooge does, may see where this is going. Santa didn't just have the flying reindeer show up at his doorstop one day, he had to encounter them at the cavern along with his new friend. While Scrooge attempts to use his cane to fend one of them off, he notices that Santa appears to be taming the flying beasts with his jingle bells. Again, the contrast between the charitable and caring Santa and the practical yet uncaring Scrooge shows itself here, along with the contrast between how much they're enjoying this partnership.
Webby says she can figure out why Santa decided to keep them, as reindeer are known for their long horns and good efficiency. Scrooge asks her why she even cares about this, and Webby, once again, tries to say that his fantastic flying reindeer aren't really her thing. For a super-spy in training, she is surprisingly bad at this. Her Santa hatred breaks throughout the episode as she slowly develops from someone who blindly goes with what Scrooge says to realizing that this elf may be a little more than what her idol says he is. I could see parallels with this character arc in this one episode and her development from the sheltered Scrooge fangirl who can't figure out how the real world works of Season 1 to the caring girl with some Scrooge fangirl tendencies she is in Season 3, and that's neat to see. I do think her just blindly believing in Scrooge’s stories in the beginning is a little bit of a negative, though.
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While the story is happening, the episode decides it's montage time. To the tune of Scrooge's least favorite song, guess which one, we see Webby and Scrooge give gifts to various people, including Webby taking her time to give both Violet and the still-looking-like-she-did-before-that-one-episode Lena a kiss, though the latter is understandable because, as mentioned before, they wrote these holiday specials first. We also get an extended scene where Scrooge has to wade through all the Beagle Boys in the naughty list to give a gift to Bouncer Beagle, who somehow managed to get on the nice list. I did question at first how time appears to be flowing quite well in these scenes judging by the giftee's reactions, but I could understand that the Feliz Navidiamond only works when they're on the sleigh. After Santa saves Scrooge from the Beagle Boys, he says they're even, referring to something that happened after the taming of the not-Rudolphs.
In the Cascabel Cavern, we get to see the rise of a guardian, who some people might call Jack Frost though they don't call it that. No, not the Jack Frost from those guardians, I say to the people who still remember that movie exists.
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No, it's a Jack Frost like the movie with the snowman. I'm sure Santa could sense that Michael Keaton film from nearly a century later, as he tries to calm the roaring snowman with a delightful gift. Hopefully it's Campbell's Soup, and then we'll find out inside that guardian was just a really, really cold little boy that's mother decided to leave out in the cold for way too long. Unfortunately, that too was the wrong Jack Frost, as this one's more like the 1997 one that had 100% less Michael Keaton and 100% more killer snowmen.
We get our big fight scene of the week, as Scrooge rescues Santa by pelting the snowman with his flaming coal, riding a flying reindeer. Which reindeer is it? It's so awesome, nobody really needs to care. With this help, Santa grabs onto the Feliz Navidiamond, slowing down time to the point where it almost seems like time has stopped, and they can just waltz out of the cave with it. In their words, they're running on Christmas time. I should point out that they don't create Christmas, as they refer to it all throughout this flashback, they just create the tradition that happens on Christmas. They don't go further than that, and that's all I will say on that subject. Rule of three dictates that there should be some other monster after this, and...well, let's just say the next enemy Christmas has to face may not be a monster or some animals with abilities beyond regular animals.
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As Scrooge leaves to deliver one final Christmas present, telling Webby to keep a present as he's got it, Webby decides to ask one question that's been on her mind: why would Santa do all of this without getting paid? Santa replies that he gets the greatest gift of all, and I jokingly thought this was going to lead to him talking about the Santa Bills that he sends to the children's parents. Of course, that would deter kids from asking for those Disney playsets, so we get a heartwarming speech from Santa about Christmas being about the warmth of the heart one gets from giving gifts. A much better alternative, I'd say, it's a good speech and one fitting for a Christmas special.
There is one major thing in this Christmas origin story that hasn't been brought up yet: how did Santa giving coal to everyone to warm up their homes become only giving coal to the bad children and giving toys to the good children? They really only show the idea of the latter once, with Doofus getting a nasty looking box in his stocking, and even then, it doesn't look like coal.
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The next Christmas, Scrooge barges in the door, singing his own version of Jingle Bells involving his favorite practical black rocks, and Santa has a small suggestion to make about Christmas. Instead of just giving out coal, why not bring them a special surprise on Christmas morning: a special gift for free as a promotion for their coal distribution business! Scrooge immediately balks at the idea of giving out handouts. Oh, rich people. This eventually leads to Scrooge getting into a big fight with Santa, and they break up.
This isn't the monster part, as that happens much later in the history of Christmas. In fact, they're remembering it right now, as they find that Santa's sack appears to be still filled with Christmas presents. If those are the presents with all the toys, what did they gave the children? No, not just a practical gift meant to warm people's homes rather than their hearts...
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...but a practical gift meant to warm people's homes rather than their hearts and an invoice for it, too! We even fade to Scrooge, making a rather evil grin that feels like it came from another famous Christmas special. He really is a mean one, Mr. Scrooge. Now, being an outright villain may seem a bit out of character for him; he's usually only a villain when he has to play one in a wrestling ring. But, come on, do you expect a guy named Scrooge to be the good guy in a Christmas story, never mind give out handouts? I will say that his evil grin does go against any interpretation that he's doing this for good, as he implies. I mean, he's so much of a Grinch...
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...he even has his own Cindy Lou Who named Jennifer, a poor girl in desperate need for anything, including warmth. She even takes this lump of coal he gives her and turns it into a toy. She's that desperate for some warmth in her heart, and no speech from Scrooge about how practical that coal could be to warm her home could change that. It doesn't take a genius to find out if this causes Scrooge's heart to grow three sizes.
To make a long story short, we get another speech from Santa about why he even bothered to have Scrooge help him, and there's even another twist about Santa here that makes this trip just that much more special. The ending is quite clever, too, and it does fit into the family side of the Christmas tradition. Since this is most likely the last DuckTales 2017 Christmas episode, it's a great ending in many ways.
How does it stack up?
I was greatly entertained as this episode arrived, As I humbly give this episode a Scrooge number of five. Now I'll say, to everyone reading this site, Happy holidays to all, and to all a good night.
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Well, that's it for now, as DuckTales enters yet another hiatus. In fact, this is the last big review I'll make this year. Have a Slightly Better New Year, because it sure couldn't be worse than this one.
← The Fight For Castle McDuck! 🦆 Beaks in the Shell! →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - "New Gods on the Block!"
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Megan Gonzalez, Christian Magalhaes, Ben Siemon, Bob Snow
Written by: Megan Gonzalez
Storyboard by: Sam King, Kathryn Marusik, Stephan Park
Directed by: Jason Zurek
Does this episode have the right stuff?
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Scrooge and company have reached the Helmet of Hengis Khan, which is currently being guarded by a bunch of giant silkworms! Just take my word for it. However, Scrooge is ready, and knows that his nephews and honorary niece are up to the task to take on those mere worms. He's got Huey, the planner, Dewey and Webby are good as the distraction, and Louie is just good at doing something greedy like snatching the helmet while the silkworms are distracted. They lock hands together, a universal showing that they are an inseparable team, and Dewey does one of his classic one-liners to start this amazing fight scene.
In fact, the fight scene was so amazing, it just couldn't be animated.
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Instead, we suddenly cut to the kids walking through the door of the Manor, where we learn that the fight scene would have amazing for the silkworms rather than the Ducks, as they have apparently failed. Outside of a few lines suggesting that Huey's inability to predict the unpredictable was a major factor in it, they don't go much further than the mission was a failure. They didn't seem to get any battle damage from them at the very least. I'm obviously not expecting blood, but I would think their hair would be a little messed up.
While Della couldn't predict that this mission would be a failure, as she had confetti cannons and a giant banner ready for what she assumed would be their triumphant return, she does tells her kids exactly what happens when Scrooge fails, something she should know from participating in countless adventures with him. First comes the wallowing, then the anger, then he just shakes it off and comes up with a new plan. Webby decides to add to that; each failure is just a reason for the team to grow. Scrooge tells Webby that is a great idea: he should grow the team by getting better, more experienced people to join it!
In other words, after trusting Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby ever since they proved themselves in the first episode, this one failed mission that didn't even get a scratch on their clothing gives Scrooge a reason to abandon them for a different team. On one hand, a team of non-children would be better for Scrooge's PR, but on the other hand, this just feels like an overreaction to make this plot work. Della seems to agree; she tells the kids that they would be able to handle whatever is going to barge through that door. No, she did not put it that way, but she may as well have.
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In comes Zeus, Selene, and Storkules, a trio of gods from the Greek pantheon. The moon goddess Selene and the demi-god Storkules have successful taken the now former god of lightning/king of the gods Zeus's godly wreath, and now he's merely just a powerless jerk rather than a jerk that can smite people. As Selene says, he hasn't done anything good since locking up the Titans, a reference to the original myths, so it was coming to him.
Why are they here? Because they now need a god who can take his place in the Olympus pantheon, and they each have their own idea that happens to currently be in the Mansion. Storkules thinks it should be Donald, Selene thinks it should be Della, and Zeus thinks it should be himself. I can't help but think Storkules and Selene are not even trying to hide who their true loves are among the mortals. Nobody tell Penny.
As the children mope about how the gods surely wouldn't choose them if even Scrooge couldn't, Della decides to reject it and say her kids and kids' friend deserve it instead. What Della would do if she had the powers of Olympus will forever remain a mystery. Selene is convinced because, while they're children, they're still less immature than her father, who still threatens to smite people with lightning despite not having any powers anymore. I still like this slightly more accurate to the original myths version of Zeus.
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As the children mope about how the gods surely wouldn't choose them if even Scrooge couldn't, Della decides to reject it and say her kids and kids' friend deserve it instead. What Della would do if she had the powers of Olympus will forever remain a mystery. Selene is convinced because, while they're children, they're still less immature than her father, who still threatens to smite people with lightning despite not having any powers anymore. I still like this slightly more accurate to the original myths version of Zeus.
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Storkules wasn't there to see this plan change, as his candidate for godhood was still in the houseboat preparing his houseboat. After Donald takes out the garbage, Storkules bursts through the door and gives his friend of friends the biggest hug, and is impressed that he even prepared a celebratory feast as if he knew what Storkules was about to offer him.
Much like Della, what Donald would do if she had the powers of Olympus will forever remain a mystery, because he's got bigger plans on this day. That celebratory feast was actually him preparing for a big date with the only person who can stand his singing.
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Don't worry, Storkules takes his friend of friends going on a date with someone else very well. Maybe a bit too well, and it's not just to Donald's chagrin, as he decides to do a labor worthy of being among the twelve he did that one time: make the perfect wedding feast! Anyone who knows this character will know where this is going.
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It's also pretty predictable where the other half of the episode is going, even if I did think at least one of them would have done better than the others. Selene decides to give Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby each a chance to prove their worth on being in the pantheon. They each decide on an ability similar to the ones in the myths, they get a little test run at a random location, and, if they fail, Selene can just clap or snap her fingers and everything reverts back to normal. Even if she didn't reveal the last one, it would be just too good this early on if we had any victors here.
Louie wants to be the God of Fortune, so he gets the Louie Touch, which he instantly trademarks despite being a clear knockoff of a certain king's. This is most likely because he never really heard of the tales of King Midas's golden touch, as he ends up turning the entire park he was put in into gold. This includes a dog. Not a dog-person, a dog much like in real life.
Huey wants to be the God of Intuition, so he gets the power of prophecy, similar to Cassandra minus the "nobody believing him" problem. In fact, he has the opposite problem; Huey doesn't seem to catch the hint that telling the misfortunes that are going to happen to people aren't going to make people happy. It doesn't help that his powers are causing his brain to expand.
Webby wants to be the Goddess of Friendship Sunshine Get-A-Long Time, so she ends up being able to control the weather. Oddly enough, controlling the weather was one of Zeus's specialties in the original myths, so this should give her the biggest chance out of all of them since this is supposed to be "who is going to replace Zeus." Unfortunately, just giving the boardwalk a sunny day and getting Glomgold off of a kiddie ride he had been hogging doesn't cause everyone to hug, so she ends up striking everything with lightning in the end. With Webby becoming mad with power in the span of a minute, I don't wonder how Zeus ended up the way he did.
Dewey apparently wants to be the God of Dance, and tries to woo the judge with a dance. Even if he didn't manage to torment a random location to the point where it would have to be reversed by a moon goddess's snap, the lack of any god powers disqualifies him as well. I know it can barely be seen in that screenshot, but that reaction from Selene makes this whole scene even funnier.
It's not like these abilities aren't fitting, but it's such a foregone conclusion that they were going to fail these tests spectacularly that it just felt predictable.
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While these trials are happening, Zeus decides to call up one of his more notorious brothers: Hades, god of the underworld. Despite only showing up as an unknown number, which would make sense even if Zeus was calling from a cell phone of his own rather than Scrooge's house phone, he picks up to hear the voice of the guy that trapped him in a world surrounded by bones. He's not too happy about his situation, needless to say.
Following in the footsteps of not following the Disney version of the Greek pantheon besides Hercules being treated as a 100% god, Hades is more like a goth who doesn't really care about anything. He doesn't go with Zeus's idea of causing an undead rebellion, reminding Zeus that he's too busy keeping the Titans locked up, which gives Zeus a different idea. Hades won't be involved with this idea, as, other than revealing that one of the few things that delights him now is Zeus being powerless, he decides not to do anything else. Despite this, it's neat to see this amount of world-building with the pantheon, and it makes me wonder if we'll see him again.
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Being failures at being Scrooge's teammates and Greek gods, we get another mope scene. Scrooge actually calls this his "special ops" team, which makes me think that Scrooge actually wanted a different team for different situations, and it seems like they're hinting at an ending that would cast Scrooge in a better light: he was just planning a B team. Such a shame that doesn't really come up anywhere else.
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I think the other plot is better, with Hercules acting like the unwanted friend getting in the way of Donald and Daisy's date, and it eventually falls apart. Even with Storkules in the background holding a tied up Cupid, a part of one of his earlier plans, one can really feel Donald's pain as he floats in a garbage-filled pool. This feeling of pain is even shown in-universe, as the normally oblivious Storkules decides to get some help.
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Sadly, he goes to his father, Zeus, completely devastated that he had forsaken his best friend, and asks what he could do to help out two people in love. Zeus tells a story about how Hera fell in love with him after he defeated the titans, and that if Storkules can defeat one of them, maybe they'll be impressed. He laments that it's too bad there's no god with god-like strength that can unleash one of them.
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To make a long story short, Storkules hits the ground, a titan comes out, Scrooge and the rest come out to see this madness, and the titans ends up eating Donald right in front of Daisy's eyes. I love this line that reveals, among other things, that Donald is still okay:
Storkules: (keeping the titan from eating Daisy) Don't worry, we can salvage this!
Daisy: You killed my boyfriend!
Donald: "My boyfriend"? (reveals to be in the Titans see-through stomach, still indigested) Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!
It reminds me of that scene in Coco. I can't spoil it, but there's a similar line there that also made me smile.
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Della and Scrooge are climbing up the titan, Shadow of the Colossus style, where they talk about the other plot. This is their way to get the plots to converge, and it’s a good idea. In fact, while this goes against the idea that Scrooge was merely trying to expand his team rather than remove his kin from it, Scrooge getting confronted with his negligence while trying to deal with an even bigger problem is a pretty powerful moment.
The stakes are set pretty high, as the titan manages to turn pretty much everyone except for Daisy and the kids into dinner. Even Selene, the one that could reverse problems with the snap of her finger and the character that was pretty much treated as the Queen of the Gods until now, as Hera is only mentioned, manages to get caught in the titan's grasp, dropping the godly crown on the ground as she joins the rest of the party in this titan's stomach. Considering all of this eating of his fellow gods and mortals, maybe this titan is meant to be Cronus. He even manages to do what Cronus wanted to do in the original myths.
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Whether or not that generic titan is Cronus or not, that victory doesn't last too long, as we get this really cool scene where Daisy manages to startle the titan with her own roar, and, using that as a distraction, Webby takes the crown, splits it up, and gives herself and her friends the god powers they wanted. While I wasn't that much of a fan of this plot, I can safely say it ends really well. Not only does Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby prove themselves as helpers of Scrooge, but kids worthy of have the powers of Greek myth. The latter doesn't last, of course, but still, it's great.
In the end, everything seems to work out just fine, and I really do mean everything, as the other plot also ends very well. While I don't want to ruin the moment, I'll say this: I find it very funny that Zeus ended up helping with Storkules' problem in the end, even if it wasn't his intention.
How does it stack up?
At first, I was a little miffed on this episode; I just don't think Scrooge would just throw away his team just because they failed miserably on one mission, especially in an episode after he trusted them so much, and especially after the episode after the one where he outright recruited one of them to go through his deadly danger dungeon. However, this episode has plenty of ways for me to forgive that: the scenes with Donald and Daisy, the cool god powers in the end, and Zeus being Zeus all throughout.
Still, this ended up being just merely in the middle for me.
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Next, we get to see an Scrooge adventure with young Della for the first time outside of the IDW comics!
← The Split Sword of Swanstantine! 🦆 The First Adventure! →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - “The First Adventure!”
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Christian Magalhaes, Ben Siemon, Bob Snow
Written by: Christian Magalhaes
Storyboard by: Vince Aparo, Kristen Gish, Victoria Harris, Aaron Austin
Directed by: Tanner Johnson, Vince Aparo
Another adventure with Scrooge McDuck and those kids...but not those kids.
This episode begins with a helpful establishing shot that not only shows the S.H.U.S.H. headquarters, but tells us that it's the 1960's. Agent 22 has foiled a Red Heron plan to blow up Mouth Neverrest, and Bradford Buzzard, before he ganged up with his board of directors, has been doing what he would do when he would eventually work with McDuck.
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That is, complaining about how much money the company he's working for has been spending to a very uninterested elderly man. In this case, it's Ludwig Von Drake with a Rubik's Cube. That's amazing; he's playing with something that wouldn't be invented until the 70's. Anachronisms are going to be pretty common here, and it's not just because this is a super spy organization.
After seeing the huge amount of expenses the organization has been spending, he proposes a different plan: to have S.H.U.S.H. take over the world. This pretty much proves that his disinterest in breaking the stereotype of anthropomorphic vultures being completely evil has been with him at the start, and wasn't the result of Scrooge or Louie driving him insane. Right at the beginning, we get some necessary character building.
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Also, there's some evil organization building! Bradford was not to be deterred with the disagreement over a potential world dominating empire, and decides to go to a currently locked up Black Heron. He decided to give up on his wishes to have S.H.U.S.H. become a force that runs the world from the shadows with an iron fist, and decides to instead use a three letter acronym that has a W in it. No, not N.W.O., or nWo for that matter, it's O.W.L: the Organization of World Larceny! One may know it better after Black Heron adds an F to it.
One aspect of Bradford's character also shows in the beginning of F.O.W.L.'s origin story, as he complains about having an organization outright call itself fiendish. In the Darkwing Duck special that takes place decades after this episode, he outright joined his enemies to stop an outright villainous plot involving supervillains. That may be more to save his own behind and revealed his true alliance after that was solved, but still, he's merely lawful evil. This contrast is a major theme with this duo, and it's neat.
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After the full intro, which I'm surprised they have time for considering all that happens in this episode, we cut to the McDuck Manor. We can still see that we're in the past because Duckworth is still alive. Also, Scrooge is carrying those really old large cellular phones that existed in the 80's. I should note that there's no title card suggesting this is taking place decades later, so it's easy to get confused to when this part of the episode took place.
As he gets into his office, he finds out someone decided to participate in Take Your Kids To Someone Else's Work Day.
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This is our first time seeing Young Donald and Young Della since Last Christmas, and I'll answer one's biggest question about this: Donald is now voiced by Cristina Vee, and she did a great job. The second question is that they're here because their father was in the hospital after a firecracker incident that was definitely their fault. The letter still says they're angels, which is a reference to the first cartoon with Huey Dewey and Louie.
Della is excited to be with their rich uncle that's known for adventures, though Scrooge thinks of them as expeditions that no child should be involved with. As for Donald, he's still a grunge rocker, wallowing songs about how we should eat the rich. Once again, I do question what decade this takes place in, as grunge started in the mid 80's. Before we think about this further, he gets a call with his super spy-like S.H.U.S.H. pager, and he has to leave the room.
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Agent 22, who still looks the same as she did in that 60's scene, is telling him about a lead she got about the whereabouts of Yellow Beak's ship, the location of a certain Papyrus of Binding. She's telling him this through what looks like a video call being played on one of those Powerbooks from the 80's. We are looking at a super spy here; they definitely have technology well beyond what even ordinary billionaires would have. We do get a hint that this really does take place years later, as she also says this Papyrus is the key to get rid of F.O.W.L. for good, suggesting that F.O.W.L. went from a business card with the letter "F" written on it to a notorious evil organization that S.H.U.S.H. wants to, well, shush.
Scrooge may not be the best S.H.U.S.H. agent, as he decided to talk about this with the door slightly ajar. Thankfully, no potential world dominating forces were there to listen in, but we do have two firecracker wielding rascals who would be very interested in the concept of a Phantom Island in the Bermuda Trapezoid, which just so happens to be that aforementioned location Agent 22 was talking about. They barge in the door and tell Scrooge that they're willing to go, and Scrooge responds that he's ready to make that business trip to the Bermuda Trapezoid...solo.
It's interesting to see some parallels between Della and Donald's experience with Scrooge and the pilot episode's plot, where Huey, Dewey, and Louie also had to deal with a not-too-interested-in-calling-his-expeditions-adventure Scrooge. This is shown even down to an earlier scene, where Duckworth throws down a bag of marbles for the kids to play with. Apparently, Scrooge's knowledge of what kids like hasn't improved over the decades.
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Their disappointment doesn't last too long. Throughout a sort of montage, though there isn't really any real music here besides Donald's continued songs about the evils of rich people that may include his own uncle, he's eventually convinced that he has no real choice in the matter and lets the kids in on the expedition. He's going along with these two not so suspicious looking pilots, one of them not really looking sure of his role in society, and they're ready to journey to the Bermuda Trapezoid.
While they're in the plane, we finally get our explanation to what this papyrus really is, as he happily exclaims what is implied to be a secret mission about how mystical this papyrus really is: it's a paper originally offered to the pharaohs that can grant any wish it is written on it, and it grants them literally like a genie. Before he can marvel any more, he gets another call from Agent 22 talking about how Black Heron was spotted near his vicinity along with some other conspirator that apparently wasn't noteworthy. Bradford kind of stinks at being evil, it seems.
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Black Heron and Bradford reveal themselves, much to the surprise of Bradford, and decide to jump off the plane, leaving Scrooge and two children to die in a plane crash. Bradford is complaining about this all the way down, because, as we later learn, he wanted to land the plane safely and then reveal themselves to be the traitors and capture them, but Black Heron went with the plan that involves skydiving. While I don't doubt Bradford wanted them dead, too, there's still a sense of lawful vs. chaotic evil here.
With no pilot, Scrooge has to think quick about what to do, and decides with his smarts that are smarter than the smarties to...
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...just let a little girl fly the plane! Hey, it's fine, she had practice with a flight simulator game she played! Yes, Microsoft Flight Simulator existed in the 80's. This is the 80's, right? I honestly don't even know or really care; all I really care about is that it's a good thing he brought those kids over, with their skills and their catchphrases.
Della Duck: Nothing can stop Della Duck!
Yeah, it's cool to see their catchphrases existing even when they're little kids, too. We get some "oh boy, oh boy"s and "ah, phooey"s from Donald, too, along with another trait of his much later. Unfortunately for Della, there is one thing that could stop Della Duck: the ground, and we get a commercial break as they seem to be heading towards a crash that may not be as safe as Launchpad's. Of course, no time paradox happens, and Della manages to land perfectly. Black Heron manages to see this, and her reaction is a mere jaw drop. Sometimes, that's all you need.
...and then Scrooge tells her what she did was dangerous, but doesn't really punish her or anything. I guess he realized midway it was him that decided this plan anyway.
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As they search in a misty forest, Donald accidentally triggers a Rube Goldberg machine-styled trap that eventually ends up flinging Donald right up into the sky. Bradford looks at this in horror...because this trap is just too complicated, costly, and slow to work. Flinging him into the sky allowed him to see a crashed ship on top of a peak, which must be the ship of Yellow Beak they're looking for.
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It's no matter that their enemies now know where their treasure is, this was all a part of Black Heron's plan anyway. They let them go to that location, and then they swoop it to take the Papyrus for themselves. After Bradford actually praises her for that wit, the Lawful vs. Chaotic trope shows up again in a more literal sense, as Bradford protests against actually using that Papyrus because it is chaotic. Black Heron just rolls her eyes at the penny-pinching guy who doesn't even want to call himself a supervillain. They may not be the best villain duo, but the contrast is still interesting.
After a scene where Scrooge uses his Von Drake-invented pogo cane to jump across a gap, just like in the Capcom game, they reach the ship and find the rotting bones of Yellow Beak with his will and testament written on that very Papyrus. Scrooge celebrates by stacking a bunch of barrels and calling up Duckworth on his giant indeterminate-decade cellular phone to reschedule his meetings. Oh, cell phone signals!
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Before Bradford can sneakily grab the Papyrus while the kids are bickering, Black Heron just bursts through the ceiling. Scrooge manages to notice and recognize Bradford from the Christmas party, and is confused on why he's working with the evil organization rather than the good one. Before he can warn Beakley about this, Black Heron takes the big phone with her big metal claw, and then takes the papyrus and writes down that Scrooge's sidekicks will perish on his mission.
...and it does nothing, because apparently the papyrus doesn't consider family members to be sidekicks. Once again, no time paradox here. Black Heron could just reword the phrase so that the family would actually perish, or she could do something far more chaotic and interesting. Like, say, reviving Yellow Beak as an undead skeleton, leading to him and Scrooge in a sword vs. pogo cane battle?
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This leads to our weekly fight scene: Donald and Della fighting Black Heron, Scrooge and Yellow Beak fighting with their cane and sword in hand, and nobody really caring about what Bradford was doing. This is where Donald gets to show his violent side as well, and he's just as good of a fighter as a kid as he is in the episodes set in the modern smartphone days.
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Eventually, its final-for-now fate is literally written by Scrooge McDuck, who grabs the Papyrus and writes down that it will remain lost until his rightful heir finds its final resting place. It doesn't get torn up, or destroyed in any other way, the Papyrus may as well be something that could fuel a great grand finale in this F.O.W.L. arc.
The episode ends with another indeterminate flash forward, where Scrooge ends up shaking hands with Bradford Buzzard. Why did he eventually hire him and his board of directors if he knew he was a villain? This episode answers this question very well, and it does involve the artifact of the week. I'll say this; there's a bit of irony that a character that didn't even want to use a wish granting piece of paper because of its chaotic nature was the one to use it so well.
How does it stack up?
One knows this is a great episode when the only real problems with it are based on anachronisms. Lots of good twists and turns, including one twist that really changes a perspective on one of the villains, some neat references to past and future adventures, and it's entertaining and clever all around. 5 Scrooges.
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Next, another fight.
← The New Gods on the Block! 🦆 The Fight for Castle McDuck! →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - “The Forbidden Fountain of the Foreverglades!”
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Christian Magalhaes, Ben Siemon, Bob Snow
Written by: Madison Bateman
Storyboard by: Vincent Aparo, Kristen Gish, Victoria Harris
Directed by: Tanner Johnson
The frenemies re-unite...kind-of!
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The episode begins with a history lesson, where Spanish explorer Ponce De Leon, who is a lion in this universe, set out to find the legendary Fountain of the Foreverglades. The fountain was said to have the power to grant youth to anyone who drank from it. This story is told by the manager of the Conquistador Inn, who uses this legend to advertise his inn's theme of rejuvenation. "Where the years melt away", says its tagline in the universal language of MS Comic Sans. Maybe it's the way he's dressed, but it already feels like something fishy is going on, and we're not even a minute in.
The newest patrons of this inn, besides the many teenagers celebrating spring break, are none other than Scrooge McDuck, the nephews, and Webby. Scrooge is here for rejuvenation, but not necessarily the rejuvenation the inn provides, but the rejuvenation of the lost Fountain of the Foreverglades that this Inn is near to. Scrooge also adds that this Inn is cheap; a statement that not only shows Scrooge being a penny-pincher, but also another sign that this Inn must be holding a secret. The Inn doesn't look run down or anything.
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Before people think that this is merely another filler episode before the F.O.W.L. arc can truly begin, Huey happily points out that this is one of the lost legends that was in that journal of Isabella Finch. We even got a sneak peek of it in the two other episodes that featured the diary so far, though it was just labelled as the "Fountain of Youth" in those. The first thing on Scrooge's agenda is a little bit of peace and quiet at the pool, but that's not happening because of all those teenagers. The good news for Scrooge is that he won't be alone in his annoyance that those young whipper-snappers can't keep quiet. The bad news for Scrooge?
Goldie O'Gilt: Huh, fancy meeting me here.
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This is another episode where Scrooge has to cross paths with Goldie O'Gilt, his ex, who has a habit of jumping Scrooge on the opportunity to find a lost legend. Luckily for Scrooge, the journal was the biggest clue to its whereabouts...which was promptly stolen by Goldie because Huey doesn't really know how to hide things. Left with the choice between making sure those little kids in his care are safe and being the first to rediscover the fountain, Scrooge goes with option B. Webby does get sort of a role in this, and it's not much, but at least Scrooge can safely say one of the four kids are okay.
As Scrooge chases after Goldie, in the "got to get to the fountain first" way, not the "oh, I secretly do miss that Goldie" way, we see what looks like a familiar large dog-man looking ominously hiding in the bushes.
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The unsupervised kids gets to participate in the B plot, where Huey has a specific schedule for fun in the inn. It's not just because he's the smartest one and usually the "good guy" of the three, but also because, in his eyes, he's the eldest. The joke is that they're triplets. Dewey tries to go against this schedule by heading right towards the pool, but sadly only getting one of his feet slightly wet due to all of the spring break teens taking all of the space. Dewey ends up getting some rest.
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Back at the A plot, the chase is on, but their bad knees and bad back gets the best of them. This episode reveals the universal truth that getting old sucks. As Scrooge begs for water, Goldie pulls out a canteen that she happily points out was filled with water that she stole from the hotel. Goldie's habit of not only admitting to stealing, but also admitting on where she steals may be a slight weakness, but this detail will end up being important.
As they fight over the canteen, Scrooge getting that hotel water squirted at him in the process, Webby just looks on and calls this cute with a face that suggests sarcasm. She also suggests, in the same tone, that she can't wait to get old. Anyone hoping this is foreshadowing that she'll end up aging in this plot will be slightly disappointed. This isn't to say that the kids won't be aging up in this episode, because someone's about to get a growth spurt. A very, very, very slight one.
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Specifically, Dewey wakes up and finds out that he's slightly taller than his brothers. Clearly, Dewey must have done something that Huey and Louie didn't do, and he assumes the thing he did was, despite being in the egg that hatched later, he may have been in the egg that was laid first. Something similar to this conversation happened with the Pines twins in Gravity Falls, too. He's the new leader now, and hijinks are about to ensue between Dewey and Huey. As for Louie, he has different plans that end up being slightly more important to this plot.
Definitely important to this plot: Goldie and Scrooge keep on their chase after that much needed water break, and they end up rolling on a log in a river commenting on how bad their old bones are. After Scrooge uses his cane to trip Goldie into the water, and Goldie responding by forcibly taking him with her. As Webby follows along, we see they do manage to climb out of the rapids...
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...and they are looking better than ever, as this lake seems to have the same de-aging effect as the fountain! I was expecting Webby to start fangirling over seeing young Scrooge with her own eyes instead of just hearing tales of young Scrooge, but that's more Season 1 Webby. Season 3 Webby's totally different, as she'll spend the rest of the episode getting into pratfalls that end up making her look and act older.
Speaking of tales of young Scrooge, the guy hiding in the bushes reveals himself entirely, and he is a figure from those tales. There's two of them, in fact, and it's an expansion on the answer to a question that was answered with a cameo appearance in Moonvasion. I'm going to wait to reveal them here, but I guess they needed something to entice people since they don't really get to do anything until after the commercial break.
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From getting younger to getting slightly older, Dewey decides to rip up Huey's plans and decides the first thing on the agenda is some brunch. Unfortunately, there's a bunch of seniors that seemingly came out of nowhere in line. In fact, those teenagers, who were certainly gang up on this little buffet, are nowhere to be found. Louie lowers this eyes and ponders on this, and his usefulness in advancing the plot goes from 0% to 100%.
While Dewey tries his best at ping pong, and Huey eventually devolves into the wacky character as the new middle son, Louie unwittingly ends up investigating the clearly suspicious hotel manager. He does look like he just wants to relax, but the adventure just keeps coming back at him. Much like his rich uncle, it seems.
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Speaking of that rich uncle, after a lot of chasing, some rope swinging, and tons of lovey-dovey moments between the two to the point where they gradually end up collaborating rather than competing. As she pours out the remaining water in the canteen on a plant, she's ready to replace it with that sweet, rejuvenating waters of the legendary fountain. Unfortunately, they are stopped by the previously revealed bad guys of this A plot who managed to beat them to it: John D. Rockerduck and his assistant, Jeeves.
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Yes, Rockerduck is still alive, despite not being involved in the kind of age-reducing time adventures that Goldie and Scrooge went on. Instead, he used his riches to do some experimental freezing and surgery to keep him young, which didn't do very well for him in a funny joke involving receipts. Jeeves still has his strength from all of those years ago, too, as Scrooge ends up finding out, but that may be more to do with him being more re-animated than rejuvenated. They don't explain the "how" here, but I think the way he looks and the way his mouth never closes says it all.
With Scrooge and Goldie,. "Who stole my youth tonic?", he exclaims, as he immediately smash cut to that Conquistador from ages ago that clearly stole all the youth tonic for himself and became a hotel manager! Okay, maybe I'm jumping the gun. I mean, it not like he's going to make the same pose that Ponce De Leon made in the intro, posing right in front of some sort of fountain...
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Oh, come on! I did think, "okay, he's clearly the guy, but maybe they might throw a curveball in the end", but no, let me confirm everyone's suspicions: this hotel manager is Ponce De Leon. It's almost like a parody at this point; I'm half expecting him to just turn to the camera and monotonously say, "yes, I'm Ponce De Leon, and I'm aging everyone in this hotel and de-aging myself with that stolen youth using that fountain water I stole years ago. Oh, forget I said that."
He doesn't quite do that, but Louie says something similar, as he says what he figured out real loud to his brothers within earshot of De Leon. Louie wasn't even involved with the fountain plot until now, but I'll let that slide as it is a neat convergence.
By the way, "where the years melt away". That's clever, as that could also mean years of youth.
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After Goldie defeats Jeeves with the power of a over-the-head wedgie, there isn't that much context beyond that, Scrooge and Goldie managed to figure out the power of the hotel water, too. Even De Leon says how people seem to have a knack of figuring him out, which does add credence to the "parody" theory.
They do point out the big elephant in the room of how this whole plot is about people drinking water that is usually made up of at least 25% urine, but De Leon does say he filtered it out. This could be how drinking it out of the canteen has the opposite effect of how the teenagers experienced it like that one scene in Indiana Jones. We do get to see those aging scenes in detail, by the way; DuckTales 2017 doesn't play around.
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Anyone can guess this leads to a big action scene between Scrooge and Ponce De Leon, anyone can guess, since this is Disney, that Ponce will lose in a nightmarish way, and anyone can also guess this will lead to the inevitable return to the status quo as Scrooge and Goldie wonder if they should give back their newly regained youth and age themselves back to their old selves. Could one imagine anything else happening?
In the end, the kids get freed from their inner tube, watch the episode for context on that, Scrooge and Goldie are back to their old selves after a bit of bickering, and everything is back to normal. Well, there may be one big hook here. Let's say he may not have gotten that receipt, but that one guy got an even better deal. Also, we learn that DuckTales 2017 couldn't exist the baby craze, either.
How does it stack up?
Sure, the twist is made a little too obvious and it’s not too clear that it was meant to be a parody, and I think there are a few missed opportunties here and there, there’s not much to the Dewey plot, for starters, but I did not feel myself aging one bit watching this episode. 4 Scrooges.
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Next, it’s time to get dangerous.
← The Trickening! 🦆 Let's Get Dangerous! →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - "Let's Get Dangerous!"
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Christian Magalhaes, Ben Siemon, Bob Snow
Written by: Francisco Angones & Colleeen Evanson
Storyboard by: Stephanie Gonzaga, Kathryn Marusik, Krystal Ureta, Matthew Carbonella, Ben Holm, Rachel Paek, Sam King, Stephan Park, Brandon Warren, Haley Foster, Diana Huh, Jake Wyatt
Directed by: Matthew Humphreys and Jason Zurek
Alright, going back to superheroic comedy.
The episode begins with Launchpad doing a monologue about the city he's about to drive to: the crime-ridden city of St. Canard. Thankfully for the citizens, the driver talks about a new purple protector there to save them, and he's ready to get dangerous. That is, the driver is being dangerous by driving into oncoming traffic, interrupting Scrooge's video call. Oh, that Launchpad.
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That video call is with Bradford Buzzard, who Scrooge McDuck is still at least on speaking terms with, not really knowing anything about what his plans are besides attempting to get him to not go on this trip to the St. Canard Research Facility. He assures him that this trip is important: he's there to meet Swine magazine's Bull of the Year, who is about to show off a scientific breakthrough. Huey and Louie are in for the ride as well, as this Bull of the Year has invited them for his own reasons.
Launchpad and Dewey aren't in the guest list, though, and it doesn't matter because they have a secret meeting to get to. They're meeting a new super guy that will bolster Dewey's live stream ratings to a blistering 25 viewers. Wish I got that much. The others figure out exactly who this person is, it doesn't help that Dewey outright says he's the kind of person that "gets dangerous", but they try to pass it off with a "what, nooo!" It's not convincing in the slightest.
As the camera pans up to that super guy in the shadows that can't seem to figure out how to fly with his cape, the DuckTales logo fades in, in Darkwing Duck purple. Even though this is an hour-long episode, we have no time for any kind of intro, whether in full, shortened, or a Darkwing Duck intro homage. Sorry to say: there's no actual sax solos in this episode; what a missed opportunity. We do to get to that Bull of the Year: Taurus Bulba, who opens his doors in a rather menacing way...
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...and greets everyone with a selfie, with each of them doing a different reaction fitting of their character. Why wouldn't he be excited, he's about to meet the current richest duck in the world, the Junior Woodchuck's robotics champion four years running, and the former richest duck in the world that ran Louie Inc! The one in the middle is the odd one out, as there's no robots in this entire episode; they had to find some excuse to get Huey in there so he can find what this bull's plot is. Even if one doesn't know the original version of this character, they toy around with this guy being potentially evil throughout most of the first act. I would say this is just giving it away, but it is what anyone would expect.
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Meanwhile, Dewey and Launchpad enter the secret base of the Darkwing Duck super-fan turned Darkwing Duck actor turned actual Darkwing Duck, and he really prepared for this moment ever since the Moonvasion. He's got the motorcycle, he's got plenty of costumes and purple smoke bombs, and he even has a computer named Wanda, who has the wit and sarcasm fitting of someone who has to live with a crazy guy who thinks he's a TV show character. This is all courtesy of Fenton Crackshell, to DW, merely a buddy who also does work for that mysterious hack known as GizmoDuck. Considering the usual running gag with GizmoDuck is that everyone knows who he is, it's funny to hear that DW is one of the exceptions. He hates him that much.
Darkwing also hates crime, and Launchpad is ready to see how he's going to face his dastardly foes. He even has the trading cards to show them off, which look just like the actual Darkwing Duck trading cards from back in the day. If there's one thing the real Darkwing Duck knows, it's that there's no actual Quackerjack or Megavolt to fight, but surely there must be some crime in the supervillain capital of the world known as St. Canard!
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Wanda says otherwise, showing 0 results for every section of St. Canard. Ever since Mayor Owlson was elected, she cleaned up the place real good. Dewey is disappointed that his docu-drama isn't going to be that great, but Darkwing Duck decides that they will get dangerous anyway. Got to leach some clout off of those 25 viewers, after all. He might get Twitch affiliate at this rate!
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Back at the St. Canard Research Facility, Bulba is here to show off his new invention: the Ramrod. In this episode, it's a device that can generate anything; just put in the key, a literal one, type anything into the computer, like haggis, and it generates it. Needless to say, that haggis was Scrooge's idea. Also needless to say, Huey is about to get very confused, and it's not because of the taste of the sheep's bladder.
I almost immediately got the feeling what was going to happen with this thing, and Huey seems to agree: there's something fishy about a machine that can create something out of nothing. I already thought, "they're going to use this machine to bring those trading cards to life somehow, just like that episode of The Fairly OddParents." Will I be right? Well, we'll see.
A little later that night, we see Darkwing Duck on patrol, and it's not going so well. After beating up a bunch of movers who just looked like a bunch of thieves, and having to finish their work as punishment, Darkwing wonders if he's really a sham. Launchpad and Dewey then see a suspicious-looking figure in a hooded jacket going up the St. Canard Research Facility and carving a circle in the window, and they point it out to DW. Darkwing's sobbing turns into his usual heroic musings, including another "I am the terror that flaps in the night" speech that doesn't go as planned as the thief decides not to just wait around while he says it. As he manages to catch the criminal in the act with the help of LP and Dewey, it turns out to be...
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...a little girl. They don't reveal who she is immediately, though anyone who saw the hype surrounding this should know that this is DuckTales 2017's version of Gosalyn, but she does reveal that she does not want Taurus Bulba to see her. She manages to escape, but DW, his sidekick, and his camera-man get busted by Taurus Bulba and his security guards. Scrooge and the two other kids run in as well, and Scrooge has completely forgotten this one combatant in the Moonvasion. However...
Taurus Bulba: Oh, I know exactly who he is!
Once again, he says this in a menacing tone, as if this was going to be the big reveal that he is actually some sort of crime lord.
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But no, he's going to declare him a hero for stopping the criminal that was going to steal the Ramrod, and Mayor Owlson is even here to give him the key to the city. It seems that, at any point, this guy would show off that he's an evil mastermind, and, in the original Darkwing Duck, he was. He sure wasn't using that show's version of the Ramrod as an infinite haggis-making machine, that's for sure. It is true that characters have changed from the original, especially characters like Webby, who is not in this episode beyond a mention that Gosalyn is being a Webby, but there's nothing as drastic as a complete heel-face changeover.
While Huey and Louie are debating on whether they should figure out how the Ramrod works or that they should just use it to create infinite gold, which Huey, being Huey, points out would devalue the gold, Dewey has other plans. He decides to do a special edition of Dewey Dew-Night, which desperately needed a big ratings grab like the super guy who just became the celebrated hero of St. Canard, and DW has a self-published cookbook he needs to hawk. One can easily see that he's in on himself already, despite not stopping any kind of crime yet. Dewey Dew-Night had another special guest, but not an invited one.
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Gosalyn was able to find DW's secret headquarters, because she tested out the gas and it was filled with saltwater, so it must be by the sea. Also, Dewey is live-streaming this, and Dewey's the kind of person who would probably leave far too many hints on where he streams from. He does have a question for DW, though: when is he going to take down that crook, Taurus Bulba? Dun dun dun! Okay, they're not that blatant.
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According to Gosalyn, the Ramrod was something her grandfather, Dr. Waddlemeyer, built under Taurus Bulba's leadership. However, her grandfather found a major flaw in its programming: it's too unstable, and the last time she saw her grandfather was when he suddenly ran out to tell Bulba to stop that crazy machine before it goes haywire. While it's clear we're not hearing that much of the story, we have no reason not to believe her. I mean, she even has video for the viewers.
The episode then stops for a minute, because Darkwing Duck doesn't believe her, and doesn't want to risk such a great man's reputation, especially a great man who gave him the glory of being recognized as an actual hero. He doesn't say that last part, but Gosalyn sees through it so well. There is a powerful scene where Dewey instantly believes her just because, leading to this line:
Dewey: Let me be your Webby!
...which does remind me that Webby doesn't even exist in this episode beyond that mention. I could see why; Gosalyn is essentially Webby in all but backstory. I can't help but notice this as another missed opportunity along with the lack of sax solos, though it is an opportunity that could come up in future episodes. With Dewey and Gosalyn on the same page, it takes a talking with Launchpad to get Darkwing on board.
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They're not alone, either, because Huey decides to use his Junior Woodchuck levels of persuasion to get Taurus Bulba to divulge all of those Ramrod secrets that he probably doesn't know. Scrooge enters the room, and he tries to get this kid off of him, but thankfully, this reboot is way too smart to turn Scrooge into a sitcom dad-type character who would just believe any other kind of authority over his most trusted kid. Left with no choice, he leads them to a room where he'll give them a book so big that may contain something about the Ramrod that they would just get bored before finding it.
Before he gets to that room, we see that Darkwing Duck, Launchpad, Gosalyn, and Dewey have managed to sneak into the vents and go into this very room to find out about the Ramrod. This episode doesn't really do A-plots and B-plots; everything is centered around the Ramrod. While this gets rid of some variety, which hour-longs desperately need, I feel that makes this plot just that much more important. Everyone is affected by this.
After getting into a filing cabinet to hide from Taurus Bulba when he walks into the room in the "giving Huey the book" scene from the previous paragraph, Bulba expresses his surprise that Darkwing managed to show up. Almost like a villain would do, but that can't possibly be the case.
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While he feigns ignorance that he was trying to steal information, showing that his heroic reputation is still on his mind, he does ask him about Dr. Waddlemeyer. With Gosalyn hiding on top of a ceiling light, Bulba tells his side of the story. Waddlemeyer came in, Bulba thought it was fine, Waddlemeyer tried to reprogram it to fix the error, and poof, he was gone. Yes, that's how he puts it, "poof."
Gosalyn calls him a liar, jumps from that ceiling light, and steals the key. She knows she can bring him back, because the Ramrod can pluck him from another dimension, leading to this episodes, "wait, what?" moment. Back in that room where Huey, Louie, and Scrooge are looking through all of that information, Huey swears he's seen a circuit design, as shown on the key and one of the blueprints, before. Could it possible that they can somehow tie that journal in this plot, too?
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Of course they can! Huey finds out that this was all prophesized in that journal, and that circuit is the Solego circuit. To make a long story short, Solego, a mad scientist from long ago, believed that any story must have existed in some alternate dimension, and he found a way to make portals into them. Hmm, any story. Dr. Waddlemeyer somehow must have stumbled onto the same idea by accident, Huey theorizes, which does make me think this link to the diary arc is a little weak. This does add more tension, because the diary also detailed that the Solego circuit could potentially destroy the world, but it is tension that's already implied before.
As Darkwing figures out the same thing, he leads Gosalyn to the Ramrod, and she puts in the key. It almost seems like Bulba is just going to let them have what they want out of it. Despite his menacing looks, he seems like a nice guy in the end. He even indirectly gave Darkwing Duck the key to the city. He can't possibly be as villainous as his old counterpart...
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...and yes he is, as he punches both DW and Gosalyn out of the way for asking too many questions. That running gag with him looking like he's evil does help out; it shows that this side of him always existed even before the Ramrod partially zaps one of his horns off to give him a more evil design. That’s a neat effect, I’m not going to lie.
This leads to the big action sequence that would end this episode if this was a two-parter. They did do that with the other hour-long episodes. This does work for both of the "parts"; each half of the episode has its own three-act structure.
There is one other little thing that ends this first "part": while Gosalyn is saved by DW, DW did not save the key, which is still in the hands of Bulba. All I can say is that I was onto something when I thought of that Fairly OddParents thing from before, and that "every story is an alternate dimension" only cemented that. I guess the diary added another aspect to this story after all!
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I knew it: the Ramrod was going to be used to bring Darkwing Duck's rogue's gallery from the small screen to the reality's...screen. I guess it's technically a screen. On Darkwing Duck's screen, he gets to see Launchpad's dreams come true as St. Canard becomes plagued with supervillains, and even Gizmoduck, famed superhero of Duckburg, is having trouble with them. Mayor Owlson addresses the public to stay in their homes, and assures them with this:
Mayor Owlson: But, if I remember one of Darkwing Duck's multiple catchphrases correctly: when there's trouble, you call DW.
That was forced, and even she seemed to know it. On the other hand, I would have been disappointed if they didn't sneak that somewhere in here. But, better watch out you bad boys, because Darkwing Duck is here...
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...to panic at the thought of actually fighting supervillains instead of regular crime. Gosalyn tries to calm him down by playing them down while showing videos of each of them tormenting a rather interesting cameo. So yeah, it's another time the episode had to screech to a halt. Not the first, and it won't be the last. I can't be too harsh on it; the episode did need its downtime, and hey, that cameo gets a much deserved beating.
Eventually, he's convinced, not just with some pep talk, but with a suggestion that he could just beat up one of the less powerful villains: that silly little clown named Quackerjack. With the uttering of his catchphrase, we know that Darkwing Duck is about to give it his all...
Darkwing Duck: Let's get dangerous!
Gosalyn and LP: Yeah!
Darkwing Duck: ...in the safest...way...possible!
Gosalyn: Boooo!
...but not quite. There's still quite a character arc to go here.
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The second "part" of this episode does have sort of a B-plot, but it also converges very well with the A-plot, and it's still mostly focused on the Ramrod, so my earlier praise still applies. Taurus Bulba has become mad with power and "muhahaha" villainy; not only has he commanded his new group of villains to kill Darkwing Duck, he locked up the kids and his boss, who turned out to be Bradford Buzzard!
This all leads to an interesting scenario. Bradford doesn't really like being an outright villain either, so he's deciding to help out the kids of the very Clan McDuck he was supposed to be conspiring against. Huey does get suspicious about him, and he assumes that this is all because he's worried about Scrooge McDuck's money getting wasted. To be fair to Huey, he had no reason to believe he's a part of a new evil supergroup. Why would they suspect a vulture capitalist to be an evil mastermind? I mean, just look at his smile!
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...okay, maybe don't look at his smile. Not helping his case is that his communicator/tracking device keeps going off, and he has to use escalating ways to hide it from the kids. One of them is him trying to pass it off as a pretend sax solo. That's as close as we get to that; I said actual sax solos. After running away from Bushroot, who happened to be in a dark room, they notice the communicator, and he tries to pass it off as his "brain medicine." They tell him to take it, and he does. It actually gets a bit disturbing how much he goes with this act.
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After some encounters with Quackerjack and the Liquidator that don't really go too well, seriously, if I detailed every scene in this special, this review would be about 50 paragraphs long, Gosalyn and DW get into a fight, causing them to go into a sort of mope scene. It's just like the scene from before with Darkwing not believing her story, except it's Gosalyn that needs convincing this time.
Launchpad convinces her to get back in the fight, because it turns out that Darkwing actually does care about her grandpa, and happens to be talking to best buddy and not horrible hack superhero Fenton about it. He was willing to stay up all night to find a way, and Gosalyn goes back to tell him to get some rest. The Mope scene is over, and Darkwing Duck is ready to fight when Wanda tells him that, yeah, he's activating the Ramrod again, and this time it looks like this could be it for the world. In stark contrast, he manages to get dangerous in the most dangerous way possible, and even the supervillains are confused to why he's not using any smoke bombs.
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Launchpad and Gosalyn wake up and see Darkwing get his tail handed to him. This time, it's Gosalyn that has to be less dangerous and do something more akin to stealth. Launchpad even gets to use his knowledge of Darkwing Duck for that big stealthy plan. This episode sure uses every character very well, and that even applies to the siblings. Huey had that diary, Dewey's live stream was the carrot on the stick that made Darkwing go out and fight crime for the first time, and Louie...well, he let himself out of the cell with his keypad hacking skills, letting out his brothers and Bradford as well. Because he's the scammer. They can't all be that great. Oh, and as for Scrooge...
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...he got teleported to the universe of DuckTales '87, reenacting the infamous "sea monster ate my ice cream" scene from the original's "Catch as Cash Can". Huey, Dewey, and Louie end up here as well, getting designs closer to their original selves down to the identical hats. In other words, in this Darkwing Duck-focused special, the faces of DuckTales ended up being jobbers in their own show. At least Huey, Dewey, and Louie had some good scenes with Bradford Buzzard. Speaking of which...
Bradford: Huh, that idiot put villains out of one fictional dimension and put Scrooge into another!
...so DuckTales '87 is a fictional show in the DuckTales 2017 universe? Maybe I shouldn't think too hard about this.
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After sneaking past the villains with their disguises of two of the more obscure Darkwing Duck villains, Darkwing Duck gets to the Ramrod, with Gosalyn and Launchpad in tow, and this leads to an awesome fight scene. This time, he's way more confident, and most importantly, Launchpad finally gets to team up with him, because it takes two Darkwing Duck dorks to beat up a bunch of Darkwing Duck villains.
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While all of this is happening, there's also the "finding the grandfather in the alternate dimension" plot as well. I must commend them for not going with the safest ending here. It's definitely an emotional scene, and that's as far as I'll go with that.
This isn't to say that the non-Darkwing Duck-focused DuckTales 2017's plot arcs aren't majorly affected by this episode. That communicator does become a major factor to a major reveal, a major reveal that will be at least alluded to in the next episode, so, again, that's as far as I'll go with that.
What doesn't take genre savviness to figure out is that the day will be saved, and, much to Darkwing Duck's chagrin, GizmoDuck ends up getting all of the credit in the end, adding to the very reason why Darkwing Duck hated him in the first place. It's funny because, even if Fenton did manage to be a factor in Darkwing Duck's return to fighting crime, GizmoDuck didn't really affect that much with this episode's plot. That really adds to that joke in the end, really.
One feeling that I really got in the end isn't just that this could lead to another great Darkwing Duck episode, but possibly even some sort of Darkwing Duck mini-series. Hey, it could happen!
How does it stack up?
In the end, I could still think of a few nitpicks. The episode does have a habit of using clichés to slow down the episode at times. The biggest disappointment of them all is that it doesn't really follow up the huge reveal at the end of the last Darkwing Duck-focused episode that wasn't Moonvasion. It's understandable considering the stakes of this episode, but still.
However, the episode's strengths greatly make me ignore these faults. Even as someone who didn't really grow up with Darkwing Duck, I still felt amazed by this episode's twists and turns. 5 Scrooges.
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Next, it's time to secure the bin. Again.
←The Forbidden Fountain of the Foreverglades! 🦆 Escape from the Impossibin! →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - “The Trickening!”
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Christian Magalhaes, Bob Snow
Written by: Christian Magalhaes
Storyboard by: Stephanie Gonzaga, Vaughn Tada, Brandon Warren, Krystal Ureta
Directed by: Matthew Humphreys & Stephanie Gonzaga
Can't be any worse than the Squashening.
This year's Halloween may not be like any other Halloween, but we'll still get Halloween specials. We can still watch scary movies, watch our favorite cartoon characters go trick-or-treating, and think about all the times we said "maybe next year" last year and shake our heads.
...let's get our minds away from that.
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Our episode begins with the nephews and honorary niece planning the best Halloween ever, with a candy haul so good that it would last them all year. They got everything, maps showing all of the houses that have candy, plenty of glowsticks, and, of course, their costumes, each fitting of their personality. Huey is Gizmoduck, Dewey is a pirate on vacation, showing off his creativity with little effort, Webby is the Demon King of the Evil Eye, trying to replicate the spirit of the original Halloween by dressing up as one of the demons that supposedly plagued Europe and was only appeased by candy, and Louie, the jerk that he is, is going to mimic Huey by stealing his red hat.
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The adults have their share of Halloween fun as well. Scrooge McDuck is taking this opportunity to have the most candy in the town just like he did back in Glasgow as a kid. Scrooge leaves out a little bowl with a paper saying "take one" right by it. No, he doesn't have any giant squash monsters ready to strangle any rascals, his strategy is to fool kids into thinking someone already took all the candy. As shown several times throughout this series, he really doesn't like handouts.
This plan goes against Donald and Della's plans, who wanted to hand out candy and have a haunted house to scare them so bad that they'll never sleep again, respectively. I have to say, the angel and devil costumes, also respectively, are really on the nose. Since the manor is off limits, they decide to go to Launchpad's house instead. Della assumes Launchpad is more into the cheesier side of Halloween, much to her detriment, but she goes along with Donald anyway.
We cut to the kids starting their trick-or-treating. Louie decides to throw all of the plans they did in the first scene away, because legends have said that there's one house that has all the candy they would ever want. Dewey assumes they're going to rob a candy store. Never thought Dewey would be the one to suggest criminal activity; I would have thought that would be Louie's thing.
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Louie's actual thing is that they're going to The Hazel House, the most haunted house in Duckburg, and with all the racecars, lasers, aero-planes, and other things that are like hurricanes, that's really saying something. This is a reference to Witch Hazel, a witch voiced by the late great June Foray who appeared in Trick or Treat, a Donald Duck short. No, not the Looney Tunes character that also happened to be a witch voiced by the late great June Foray.
However, despite having the distinction of being the most haunted house in Duckburg, the Hazel House may have some competition. There's this house that looks more like a giant barricade, with large signs saying "go away". What's worse is there's an evil mechanic with a Mighty Ducks mask and garlic around his neck, holding a large electric saw ready scare away any weirdly dressed intruders.
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That mechanic turns out to be Launchpad, and Della is so delighted that Launchpad saw Halloween her way. Donald, Della, and Launchpad's first set of trick-or-treaters don't seem to take it so well, as Launchpad calling them blood-sucking ghouls and holding his electric saw scares them away before Donald can throw candy at them. There's more of a story here, and Della's delight pretty much disappears. We get to see this B-plot unfold little by little as we switch between the antics at the mechanic's house and the antics at the Hazel House.
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Switching right now, Louie, acting as the Huey that he's dressed as, leads the way. Even when the others aren't too thrilled to be in a house that literally opens up its creaky doors for them, he almost outright tells them that their adventurous characters wouldn't be scared of a haunted house. He even brings up the Manor's haunter; if they're not scared of Duckworth, why would they be scared of a door a bunch of candy wrappers, which all have "no escape" written on them, lead to?
Louie: Soooo...go for it, Dewey!
...and it would be very fitting of his character to be the one that's actually scared, but be the best hider of that. This is relatively speaking; the animation does subtly show that Louie is not exactly thrilled either with the facial expressions he shows when nobody is looking at him. It could be out of guilt. Does he even know what guilt is?
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Not as subtle is that it's quite clear that Huey does not want to be here. Right from the beginning, a fallen door knob makes him say in an unconvincing tone that there's no way in, and he immediately wants to leave. In the reflection of a doll's eyes, he talks about how he really wanted to have fun during Halloween, like bobbing for apples and doing regular trick-or-treating, not action scenes involving them running away from creepy puppet men with creepy puppet versions of themselves. There's a little more to this, actually, but that's the main gist.
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Hazel House turns out to be just as haunted as its reputation, with killer clowns, puppet masters, slime monsters, and other creepy stuff that is definitely meant to evoke the horrors shown in modern-day horror movies. Webby tries to use her costume to scare off these nightmarish ghouls, trying to fool them into thinking she's some sort of demon king. It almost looks like it works for about one second, but, just like in the Cornelius Coot episode, Webby is not as savvy of this episode's plot as she thinks she is.
Speaking of savviness of a different sort, Launchpad gets Donald and Della into safety to talk about the Hungries, the blood-sucking ghouls that plague this specific night that he accidentally unleashed on Duckburg. Della asks if he's talking about the trick-or-treaters, but he ignores that and tells his story, giving us a very rare look at a young Launchpad.
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Years ago, he ended up at the same Hazel House after crashing his tricycle into it. Wandering into it, he steps on and reads an ancient scroll written in a language readable and yet unknown to him, and then, after a lightning strike, the Hungries appeared to torment the living by stealing their souls and putting them into bags. Ever since, he spends every October 31st hiding in his bunker, aware of the horror he had unleashed.
Even though Launchpad believes whatever parchment he read was an ancient scroll with weird text, and that the kids in costumes with bags are "Hungries", the "scroll" and "Hungries" are shown as they are to anyone else's eyes rather than what they looked like to young Launchpad's. It is pretty obvious to Donald and Della that he's talking about the trick-or-treaters, so this could be how the story is happening in Donald and Della's heads. However, I kind of wish we could have seen what the Hungries looked like in Launchpad's eyes; he can't be so stupid that he sees kids in costumes as de...actually, maybe he is.
Also, we get to see young Launchpad for the first time. He had a mullet, he was just as klutzy as he is as an adult, and he manages to cause fires just by landing in bushes. All of these traits are rather fitting for him, and I would like to see more of this. We also see Scrooge interact with Launchpad's paranoid self, and all I can really say about that scene is that it is rather odd to see Scrooge as the butt of the joke.
When I first watched this episode, I thought this was the origins of the horrors at Hazel House, but we get a very different explanation for that. After the reveal that Huey knew everything Louie knew about the Hazel House and hid it so that they would have a normal Halloween, which only slightly enhances Huey's motivation, the real reason for the horrors reveals itself as soon as Louie shouts that he has no candy when they're all cornered.
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I might as well spoil it, because it is kind of a let down. After Louie reveals they don't have candy, one of the monsters, an obvious parody of Sadako from The Ring, tells everyone to wrap it up as the movie lights turn back on. We zoom across to reveal that the fog came out of a fog machine. They even reveal their true identities: a vampire not too dissimilar from the one from Nosferatu, a wereduck, a Frankenstein-esque monster, and this reboot's version of Witch Hazel who looks more like a green vulture here.
Yes, I was just kidding about the let down; this is actually genius.
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Why? Well, there's definitely some comedy in the idea of an old-school Monster Mash group of monsters talking about how all the kids of today are only scared of childish things like killer clowns, puppet people, and girls in wells. They then show their anger that, since it's already well past most kids bedtimes, they didn't get any candy.
After a scene where Huey mopes about how he missed Halloween, the monsters become far less silly with their childish costumes. Since the kids didn't go to any other house for candy, and the monsters would have to get an alternative treat. Turns out, Webby was slightly correct in that Halloween was inspired by appeasing monsters with candy. As Webby puts it:
Webby: (cheerfully) Usually, they fed on children! ...oh dear.
Child sacrifice in a TV-Y7 cartoon. Cartoon Network wouldn't even let characters say the K word. That's the power of Disney.
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Thankfully for the would-be monster dinner, that gets pushed aside from an even scarier monster: Launchpad in his Mighty Ducks mask. It's masterful how everything comes together in the end. He even tries to, just like it happens in episodes of Are You Afraid of The Dark, reverse the years-long curse that is actually Halloween.
I can't help but not ignore Launchpad's resemblance to Jason Voorhees here, adding even more dimension to the "old school Monster Mash" plot. 50's and 60's era monsters dressing up as modern day monsters being scared off by 80's and 90's era slasher villains. Well, okay, Pennywise, who the werewolf in the clown costume was trying to mimic, was also sort of an 80's slasher villain too, but one could still get the idea.
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Eventually, everything ends up alright, with the monster's hunger for candy, and Launchpad's lack of education on Halloween all fixed when Scrooge decides to have trick-or-treating at the manor once and for all. Wait, Scrooge giving out hand-outs? Well, not exactly, as it is revealed he is charging for admission. Kids paying for candy at night also makes Dewey's wish come true, as he wanted an all-day candy store. Yeah, that was one of the running gags, and I forgot to say anything about it until now. Whoops.
The episode ends with a slow zoom in on a family picture of Clan McDuck and the Hazel House monsters, with lightning in the background. Not sure what the point of that was, to be honest. Is it a cliffhanger? I would say these guys are good as one-offs, but who knows. There are a few other Holiday characters I’d like to see come back; maybe we will find out what really happened between Santa and Scrooge. Or maybe not.
(EDIT: That end scene was actually a reference to the end of The Shining that I completely missed because I never saw it. Thanks, whenimgoodandready on Tumblr, for letting me know.)
How does it stack up?
All in all, it's a pretty neat Halloween special with quite a few good jokes. 4 Scrooges.
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Next, it turns out Launchpad's not the only person we're going to see a younger version of.
← They Put A Moonlander On The Earth! 🦆 The Forbidden Fountain of the Foreverglades! →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - “The Fight for Castle McDuck!”
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Christian Magalhaes, Ben Siemon, Bob Snow
Written by: Madison Bateman
Storyboard by: Stephanie Gonzaga, Krystal Ureta, Brandon Warren, Hayley Foster
Directed by: Matthew Humphreys
A family feud!
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This episode begins with Scrooge, the nephews, and Webby making another trip to Castle McDuck to meet Scrooge's parents. How are they able to visit this castle with that mist that only disappears every five years, as explained in the last episode that featured Scrooge's parents? Apparently, there's a fritz in the castle's mist, and Fergus, Scrooge's father, immediately blames Scrooge for giving them a lemon. As Webby narrates this clenched-teeth meeting of father and son into her tape recorder, Downy, Scrooge's mother, goes up and hugs the two.
Downy McDuck: Oh, let's just be thankful for this unexpected family visit! Group hug! (hugs Scrooge and Fergus, not really accepting of this)
Just in time for Thanksgiving weekend! Okay, it's not really a Thanksgiving special and it may be just a coincidence as there's no proof of Disney swapping the intended order of episodes this time, but it is an episode where someone is thankful for a family gathering that will involve some food; I've seen flimsier excuses to air episodes at certain times. Webby isn't the only one happy to see Scrooge's family again, as Huey, Dewey, and Louie are after yet another artifact: the Blessed Bagpipes of Clan McDuck. Yes, it's not just one of Scrooge's catchphrases, it's also an ancient artifact that was foretold to Huey by a druid somewhere between Mount Neverrest and that place where the Terrafirmians went after that one episode.
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No, just kidding, it's yet another artifact in that journal that seems to be used to make filler episodes to feel more important. This is not to say this episode isn't necessary. These Blessed Bagpipes have a bit more potential than, say, the Sword of Swanstentine: the bagpipes are told to be able to bring life to the lifeless. Louie doesn't interpret this as zombies, but instead just hears is that this is a rare and potentially expensive artifact, and since they already dealt with this castle's traps before, it should be easy to get! As for Dewey, he's going to be important later.
Scrooge isn't really here for Thanksgiving or the bagpipes, though, he's here essentially as a magic castle repairman. Using his cane, he pokes the druid stones that usually power that mist that keeps his parents out of his sight, and he comes to the conclusion that it seems like the magic was sucked out of it. Even if we didn't see the cause right before the opening, which we do, this is a good enough hint to what could have possibly happened. Fergus doesn't believe him, and Scrooge replies with him asking why he even asked him to do this instead of getting one of his other children to do the dirty work. Short answer: he tried.
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Meet Matilda McDuck, the youngest sister of Scrooge, who likes to start random businesses like emu farms. The very sight of a new McDuck neither she nor the audience has seen regresses Webby back to her Season 1 "McDuck fangirl" persona. Why wouldn't she still have that? Most of all, to her, there's no such thing as sibling rivalry in Clan McDuck, as McDucks always stay together! I'm assuming the sibling fights Huey Dewey and Louie sometimes get in are because they're merely Ducks.
McDucks, on the other hand, don't really do fights, as exemplified by Scrooge handing his sister a whole bill to invest in this empire of giant emu eggs. Wow, Scrooge must have been impressed: usually it's just a coin that's worth less than even if it was just one dollar! She immediately rejects the bill because she doesn't do family investments, unlike Scrooge and his Number One Dime. She then puts him in a headlock. Webby pays this no mind and talks about this sibling friendship, while Dewey just sits in the background and sarcastically says, "yeah, sure." No, being the stand-in for the audience isn't his important bit.
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Huey and Louie get into a sibling rivalry of their own, as Huey plans to do this epic adventure to get the bagpipes, with plenty of strategies that Louie calls, and trademarks after a long yawn, "boring nerd stuff". Louie, on the other hand, decides to do the "ask really loudly to the great-great grandma where the magic bagpipes are" approach, and Great Great Grandma Downy just tells them that bagpipe must be in the junk room, and she'll even show them where it is.
Louie's faces during these scenes are top-notch; there's a fine line between "off-model to the point where it's disturbing" and "off-model enough to be funny", and the scenes are more in the latter. We might even see it with Huey, who seems to be desperately trying to keep that inner Duke of Making A Mess in control.
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If one hasn't guessed yet, our villain of the week is none other than the Phantom Blot. We saw the Phantom Blot earlier in the episode, sucking up some castle magic with his magic-sucking gauntlet. He's joined by one of the Eggheads, a charismatic, overly happy sidekick named Pepper. The first time I watched this episode, I thought this was Matilda in a disguise, but then I noticed she didn't have those circles under her eyes. This is a totally different duck.
Blot didn't want any duck to be his partner, or any partner at all, but F.O.W.L. won't allow Missing Mystery taking alone. The Blot has his own vested interest in destroying anything magical, especially something as dangerous as a bagpipe that can turn something that's lifeless into living things. This is the second episode in a row where someone wants to take an artifact they feel is too dangerous, though it's done in a different way.
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Unknowing of any kind of evil, Webby, Scrooge, Dewey, and Webby are going on a tour through the castle. Webby stops at a room full of statues, including one statue of Danny McDuck that happens to be holding a bagpipe with symbols on it. Webby is completely enamored by all of this, but Dewey questions which one of their ancestors is invisible. Matilda explains that this space was left blank until a worthy McDuck can be immortalized in this room with a statue. Webby talks about an obvious candidate for such an immortalization: Scrooge McDuck!
Matilda laughs at this nomination, saying that it would be more fitting for someone who actually takes care of the castle, while Scrooge fights back by saying not only has be built this castle, but he built the castle that gave her and their parents immortality. This is where Webby's main conflict in the episode lies: she can't believe two McDucks can talk to each other like that, and, despite being told that sibling rivalry happens all the time by Dewey, she vows to fix this.
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Her first attempt at doing this? Let Scrooge look at an old family diary. This appears to work pretty well, as Scrooge is reminded of his first brother-sister mud pie business. Unfortunately for Webby's plan to let this feud end so early, one of the photos happens to be Whiskers, Scrooge's pet hairball, being around his sister, going against the story he was told that Whiskers ran away. Not only is Whiskers still around...
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...Whiskers had a new fur dying session, too! The emu eventually biting it ends up being the last straw, causing him and her to get into a sibling quibble. It's funny to see these people acting like children, even yelling out to their mom to tell on each other. It's not so funny to Webby, who thinks that she's going to break her beloved Clan McDuck, though Dewey insists this is normal. It's good that Webby isn't perfect, but one knows she's going the wrong way here.
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Meanwhile, in the junk room their great great grandma led them to, they see a whole bunch of bagpipes stacked onto each other. Once again, we see Huey trying to think of a good strategy to find out which one is the real bagpipe, and Louie just runs up and jumps on the pile. This massive bagpipe blowing this not only causes does cause a mystical bow and arrow to break a canister of tiny green flying lightbug beings that exclaim their freedom, but it also proves that all of these bagpipes are just ordinary bagpipes. That mystical bow and arrow also causes Huey to drop the book near a cardboard box that Pepper and the Blot were hiding in. Must have learned that from some snake.
This scene with Pepper and the Phantom Blot does show us one thing: she may seem like an incompetent sidekick, and the Blot sure treats her like one as he didn't want a sidekick to begin with, but she knows a clue when she sees one. She takes a picture of it with her smartphone, and deduces that the symbols that were drawn on it represent different rooms of Castle McDuck. This begins a slow bit of character development for the Phantom Blot, who was merely just "I hate magic and everyone" before this.
Meanwhile, as Webby is watching the family aggressively eat their dinner, she comes up with a plan. She even ropes Dewey into this for his big, important moment. Dewey gets to show his best talent...
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...pretend he accidentally died while trying to make everyone happy by making two statues! See, it's a win-win situation for everyone: Matilda and Scrooge would believe they're both deserving of statues, and Scrooge basically confirms what Dewey always knew: that he was the favorite. Honestly, I'd say he's only saying that because he's supposedly dead, but don't tell Dewey that. By the way, Scrooge falls for this even though Scrooge did fake his death before in this series. I should also talk about how Webby would have to find a way to show that Dewey didn't actually die for potential future adventures, but she won't need to even think about that.
Huey and Louie end up in this room, too, and Dewey just couldn't resist telling them that Scrooge said he's the favorite. This leads to even more bickering amongst Clan McDuck. This ends up being a perfect distraction for the Phantom Blot and Pepper to sneak around the room, too. Webby doesn't notice those two, but she finally decides enough is enough, and outright calls out the family for their bickering, saying that it just isn't the Clan McDuck way. Scrooge decides to agree, and says Matilda is worthy of being the next Clan McDuck statue...
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...because he's no longer going to be a member of Clan McDuck! This part feels like it should be in the trailers as a misleading line, as anyone would guess this would eventually be reversed, but even I'm not so sure if it was in the end. It really goes to show that Webby pretty much did what she feared she was going to do. It's going to take a miracle to fix up this family, and it has to be something blessed.
Remember that Danny McDuck statue with the bagpipe? Turns out, that's where the bagpipe was hiding all this time. Unfortunately, it wasn't any of the Ducks or McDucks that figured this out first, but it was Pepper. Admittedly, she had to smash through the bagpipe of the statue to find it, and I'm sure even with their bickering, degrading one of the statues would be a huge faux pas. The good news is that, while she may be able to figure out a mystery, she's still somewhat of a klutz, as she drops the bagpipe. Not only does this finally reveal the sinister villains behind what caused that fritz in the mist, we get to see that ability to give life to the lifeless that was foretold by that book.
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No, not zombies, but the bagpipes give life to the lifeless statues! It seems like this episode was going to go to a rather predictable ending, showing the now separated family that Webby was right all along, and that Clan McDuck is all about being together. Just let those statues show what being a family is all about. This could very well be, but the bagpipes gave them the vocal cords of the people they're based on, too.
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They immediately start fighting, starting with who stole the bagpipe, and Webby lets out an "oh, come on!". Not only does this lead to a big statue fight, this leads to a bunch of other fights. The statues are fighting, Clan McDuck are fighting, and even Huey, Dewey, and Louie are fighting. The last one seems a little tacked on, but it does add a little more power to the scene where Webby talks into her tape recorder about how, in her quest to strengthen Clan McDuck, she managed to ruin it. Even if I wasn't as big of a fan of Webby's antics in this episode, as I think she should absolutely know what she was trying to fix in the beginning was normal, it's still a powerful scene.
There's also a scene where The Phantom Blot and Pepper, hide behind a pillar, and Blot uses this opportunity to scold Pepper on nearly ruining the entire mission. It's nice to see the Phantom Blot actually getting a little development here.
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Of course, in the end, they do make up. A lot of this is due to the situation that surrounds them, and Scrooge even uses that to get those ancestor statues to finally stop fighting and get these F.O.W.L. agents out of their hair. Because, and I'm sure people will see this line coming a mile away...
Agnes McDuck (the one in the royal dress): Nobody fights our family but US!
Heh, get it, because all they've been doing before this is bicker. Nonetheless, it's still a good lesson, and it's good to see Webby still learn lessons from Clan McDuck that she wouldn't have learned anywhere else. In the end, the villains get defeated, and the family does find some way to get together and do something, even if it is as simple as cleaning up the mess everyone did. Happy Thanksgiving...kind of.
How does it stack up?
Matilda is entertaining, and while I feel Webby is the weak point of the episode, her actions do lead to a good lesson in the end. Four Scrooges.
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Next, ho ho ho, oh no no no.
← The First Adventure! 🦆 How Santa Stole Christmas! →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - “The Split Sword of Swanstantine!”
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Christian Magalhaes, Ben Siemon, Bob Snow
Written by: Christian Magalhaes & Bob Snow
Storyboard by: Stephanie Gonzaga, Krystal Ureta, Brandon Warren, John Conway, Hayley Foster, Ben Holm
Directed by: Matthew Humphreys
Scrooge and Co.'s Bazaar Adventure.
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Our episode begins in the Grand Bazaar of Instanbird, not Duckstantinople, where Scrooge, the nephews, and Webby are here to find yet another missing mystery of Isabella Finch: the Split Sword of Swanstantine, a sword that can channel one's inner strength. It's the split sword because King Swanstatine wanted it to be split into three pieces hidden in places in his town that represent the heavens, the underworld, and the splendor of the Earth. It's a magical sword, too: it would only accept those in tune with their inner strength. Scrooge admits it's going to take the inner strength of all five of them together, which is a perfect continuation from the last episode.
This journey has to be interrupted by some uninvited guests. The good news is that two of them are Lena and Violet, who decided to sneak into the plane after Scrooge ordered everyone to get in it. Glad to know Lena got over her fear of accidentally getting her friends caught in her nightmares. While the show does give an explanation to why they're here, the real reason is so we can have a number of kids dividable by three. The bad news is that there's another uninvited guest that probably wants to divide Scrooge up into three.
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Turns out, F.O.W.L. wasn't done stealing mysteries, and Black Heron and her cohorts are here to take that sword before Scrooge can. As this leads into a fight between Scrooge and Black Heron, the three of the groups run in separate directions, where they will each go on an adventure that inevitably has them cross paths with one of F.O.W.L.'s many fowl members.
Yes, this is a three shorts episode. It is technically four shorts, but the Scrooge and Black Heron fight doesn't really lead anywhere besides link the other three. Unlike previous episodes that did this, we get to see each of these "shorts" in their entirety before we see the next one; there's no constant switch between them. I did complain about this whiplash, so seeing the opposite is a little better.
Short 1 - The Furious Flash Bombs of Gandra Dee!
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Our first plot is with Dewey and Webby, who is trying to find the piece of the sword from the heavens, and that hint leads to the grip being held by a statue on a tall building. They see that Agent Gandra Dee is already heading up there with her Waddle headphones, and Dewey just can't help but do a one-liner about how she's about to get Ctrl-Alt-Dewey-ted. Unfortunately for Dewey and Webby, those headphones were not on her ears.
Gandra Dee turns out to be one of the less evil members of F.O.W.L., as, while she can see that one of them is a threat using her bionic eyes, she doesn't want to hurt little children. Instead, she throws a flash bomb at them, which causes them to go blind. Without their sight, Webby admits they have to use their inner strength of their other four senses.
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Part of the humor of this plot is that anyone would assume it's Webby that takes command, because Dewey, a boy who likes to shout out his plans to his enemies, is a doofus. In fact, he's such a doofus that he's just going to "Dewey it" and just run up a bunch of wooden platforms and swing across ropes that he assumes would be there. However, it's actually Webby that ends up struggling here, as Dewey's way of "just Dewey-ing it" somehow manages to work. Webby is amazed that his confidence has led him as far as he gets, and realizes that's the real inner strength here.
Eventually, Dewey does mess up trying to find a sword on the platform he was on and ends up hanging on a wooden support beam over a bunch of garbage bags. At first, he doesn't see the danger because he's blind, but then the plot decides to give him his sight back so he can see it, and his confidence fades to nothing as he screams that he's going to die. Webby decides to scream...
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...and that use of echolocation allows her to jump towards a giant curtain, save Dewey from throwing himself in the garbage. Even better, it gets them right up to that statue. It's also a good thing the plot gave Dewey his eyesight back, because he's able to be Webby's "Web-Eyes." He can't help himself but make puns in this episode.
I also noticed that him announcing that he has his eyesight back right in Gandra's earshot turns out to be a good strategy, unlike his strategy to announce that she would be Ctrl-Alt-Dewey-ted while she didn't even know they were trying to beat her to that grip. Gandra would have just kept climbing and get the grip, but she had to try to get rid of their sight again with another flash bomb that Webby, with the help of Dewey's "Web-Eyes", could kick right back at her. Not sure if that was an intentional call-back, but I still found it neat nonetheless.
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They realize this friendship is the true inner strength that allowed them to get the grip. I guess if one did not believe that it was confidence, there's another potential inner strength there. Honestly, I prefer confidence because the power of friendship is such a cliché, but I could see Disney not wanting to tell the kids that confidence will allow them to make dangerous leaps of faith.
This plot is alright. There's also this running joke about Dewey confusing a snake to be a hairless cat, which comes back even when Dewey has his eyesight back. It's really just a case of "it's funny because Dewey is stupid." They also add in a scene where Black Heron and Scrooge's fight causes one of the platforms to collapse.
Short 2 - The Sinister Spices of the Spice Baron!
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Louie and Violet are hunting for the guard of the sword, and the hint this time is the underworld. Here, they go to a criminal underworld that is literally under the world: a Spice-A-Torium filled with various bad guys, including some cameos like Glomgold on a poster and Astro B.O.Y.D.'s punks. How are they going to infiltrate this underworld? Louie's way of deceit, of course, much to Violet's disagreement.
To the criminals in this place, this green-jacketed kid is the Silver Tongued Serpent, and he brought his friend, the sleepwear-wearing Notorious Violet Sabre. Louie didn't need to be too creative; it's not like she ever did anything too notable before besides do exposition on mystical things. He tells Christof, the leader of the Spice-A-Torium, that he wants the guard for his torture dungeon. Unfortunately, this wasn't the first time Christof was asked about that.
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Rockerduck, still the same age as he was back when Scrooge was fighting him in the old West thanks to a little drink from the fountain of youth, is our F.O.W.L. agent of this plot, and Louie has to battle him in the Spice-A-Torium's way of battle: a spice-off. First person to sweat loses. Violet, essentially being the Webby of this plot, recognizes these spices and realizes Louie should probably give up the act before it kills him.
One question that could be asked is why Rockerduck is fitting for this plot. Yes, he is a F.O.W.L. agent, but I never really saw him as this risk-taker. It turns out, this is no risk to him, as being cryogenically frozen in one of his many, many ways to stay young before finding that fountain of youth has destroyed his taste buds. His mouth could be on fire, and he wouldn't even feel it, but he'll never get to taste anything good either. It's sad to hear.
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Louie is completely caught in this lie, and there seems to be no way to get out of it. He even tries to throw it into someone else's mouth when nobody is looking, but they see through it right away. They don't like any cheaters, pronouncing it in a way that leads to a rather obvious pun. Thankfully, Violet just ends this plot immediately by suddenly knowing how to get out of this situation despite warning Louie against eating spices: by eating the spices and using Tibetan focus techniques to make her not sweat. That feels like a cop out, really, though I do appreciate that she actually did something in this plot besides exposition.
However, there is one part of the ending I really like: after Rockerduck tries to reveal their true identities, the criminals are even more scared of being in the midst of the boy who defeated an Egyptian god and crushed the force of nature known as the Bombie, and the girl who conquered the Shadow Realm and the biggest threat to that powerful. While they still embellish their roles, their false identities turned out to be less of a threat than their real ones, and that's pretty powerful coming from everything this series has put them through.
In the end, Violet says that their true strength was just the truth! Yeah, they do mix "true strength" with "inner strength"; it's as if they forgot what they went with for the line they threw in to make this fit with the plot. This short is the least of the three in my opinion, but I wouldn't call it bad. It has a decent ending, and Rockerduck is just as good as he was in his last episode. I only wonder where baby Jeeves went.
Short 3 - The Perplexing Possibilities of Steelbeak's Strikes!
Okay, I'll admit, that alliteration was a stretch.
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Huey and Lena's part of the sword is the blade, which is in the splendor of the Earth, and they don't even have to try to find it. I may also mention that this location is so obvious that this sword becoming missing is a little too hard to believe. The only idea I can think of is that the mystery is itself a mystery to everyone. There is one other exception to this, though, and it's a guy not really known for knowing anything: Steelbeak!
Unlike Gandra Dee, he has no problem pummeling children, as he instantly drops his cup of tea and lunges towards Huey. Huey gets ready to get his beak caved in like a duck from another company, but then this adventure in a Bizaar ends up becoming bizarre.
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Turns out, Lena can freeze time and put someone in their own mindscape. The latter makes sense; she did have a habit of invading people's dreams and getting people stuck in them, as much as she wanted to avoid that for the sleepover this adventure interrupted, and this isn't too far off. Unfortunately, she can't just use her magic to grab the sword before he can, because, as she explains to Huey who suggests this, she didn't have time to think about that. Can't have her be too powerful to the point where she ruins the plot, after all.
Because Huey's in his mindscape, he can plan various forms of strategy to avoid this conflict. Lena suggests good old fashioned fisticuffs, but Huey is beyond that. Using Lena's ability to reset the simulation with a snap of her fingers, Huey tries to do many different ways to get Steelbeak to not dunk his head in the pavement and steal the blade and his lunch money.
In other words, montage time!
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Huey tries to run away, tries to reason with him, tries to hide the sword behind his back, and he even tries putting on costumes that he would not have on him. Despite all of those strategies, Steelbeak strikes, and strikes, and strikes, and strikes, and strikes, and strikes, and strikes, and Huey doesn't hear the sound of victory. Lena just rolls her eyes at his while she looks at her phone.
Much like the last plot, this also involves a character suddenly showing a power they didn't show before, and, in fact, uses a power they said they weren't going to do. This one's a lot better for reasons I can explain, though.
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Huey doesn't just have a desire to have really long legs, he also has a hidden side of him that just wants to be the Duke of Making A Mess that he keeps locked in a mental metal door. Lena tells him that this being of pure emotion is his true strength! Yeah, they completely forgot they said "inner strength" before, when this is as inner as it gets! Thinking about it, those two terms have nearly the same exact meaning, but they were emphasizing inner strength in the first scene.
Originally, I thought this came out of nowhere, and was something invented just for this episode. However, a helpful commenter has brought up that scene in "The Infernal Internship of Mark Beaks!" where Huey gets a mental breakdown and tears apart his office, and, sure enough, he calls himself the Duke of Making A Mess in that one, too. He didn't get this different look, but still, it's definitely a reference to that past scene. Plus, I could imagine Huey having some inner rage with dealing with someone who makes horrible leaps of faith and a self-proclaimed con-man. You want to know one of the biggest reasons why I like this twist, though? The very minute the Duke of Making A Mess comes out in the real world...
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...he fights just like his Uncle Donald, even using his circling around enemy moves. Until now, none of the nephews have gotten Donald's penchant for whallops. It's very unexpected that it would come from Huey. Unfortunately, it starts to not work too well, as he can't really control his inner being. Lena tells him to get a hold of it.
Lena: Channel your inner strength!
Oh, so now it's inner strength? At least the last one only went with "true strength"; I'd say this lack of consistency is even worse! But never mind about that. After a neat symbolic scene of him shaking hands with his inner demon in his own psyche, he finds a new form of himself that combines the Duke's chaotic nature with the strategic mind of Huey.
This is the best of the three plots. The first one felt throw-away, the second one felt thrown together, but the third one is a good episode about inner psyche. It may be the most fitting of all the plots to be about a sword that's powered by one's inner strength.
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They all come together, but so do the F.O.W.L. agents, and even the Duke of Making A Mess has spent all of his energy. Having no choice, they have to hand over the sword. It looks like all is lost, but...honestly, this ending is extremely easy to guess, and I guessed it as soon as they decided not to just hot-tail it out of there. It is fitting, though.
How does it stack up?
3 shorts, one's alright, one's kind-of okay, and one is pretty good. I'd say that averages out to 3 Scrooges.
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Next, the return of Daisy.
← Escape From The Impossibin! 🦆 New Gods on the Block! →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - “They Put a Moonlander on the Earth!”
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Christian Magalhaes, Ben Siemon, Bob Snow
Written by: Sam King & Bob Snow
Storyboard by: Sam King, Kathryn Marusik, Rachel Paek, Stephan Park
Directed by: Jason Zurek & Sam King
Actually several, but we'll let that slide.
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Our episode begins with Webby getting caught eyeing Penumbra in the backyard, who is busy getting things together for her rocket. This initial scene sets up the plot very well; it's clear from this scene how much Penumbra hates being on Earth and wants to leave just by her trying to lift up a bunch of rocket parts by herself. It also gives her some resemblance to Della back when she first got back to Earth; she also had to get used to Earth's gravity after being gone from it for so long. It's a neat touch.
Webby goes to another room, where Dewey and Louie are watching Ottoman Empire. Specifically, it appears to be an episode where Johnny is crying over how he's all alone. The hidden Ottoman Empire arc continues...I think? I don't remember if they broke up again after they reunited in The Richest Duck In The World, but it is also said that it's an old rerun. I don't know, and it's not that important, but I still like the little touches of continuity.
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Before anyone could think about that, a commercial suddenly comes on, featuring self-proclaimed Earth's Greatest Hero, Flintheart Glomgold. The funny thing is that he's not entirely wrong there; he had a not-so-small part in the fight against the Moonvasion, so he has every right to gloat this time. He might be taking it a bit too far, but it's Glomgold; this is exactly what he would do if all he did was trip one of the Moonlanders.
Speaking of trips, he's here to advertise the Flint Ferris Glom Wheel he built. Webby is immediately excited by the prospect of a giant ferris wheel even if Glomgold's behind it, and wants to take a trip to the fair to go ride it. Dewey appears to have second thoughts, because Glomgold's last venture into amusement park rides, broke down almost immediately and caused a giant news cycle about the poor kid that rode it first. He then subverts our expectations by saying that it should have been him getting that news coverage, and agrees to go to the fair. Classic Dewey.
As for Louie, he just disappears after this scene. As for Huey, they didn't have a spot for him in this plot, so he just doesn't exist. It's better than wasting time; there's another character doing that in this episode.
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As Penumbra, or Penny as everyone around her calls her, continues her building of a new Golden Spear to take all of her friends back to the superior "planet", Della shows up to attempt to persuade her to not leave. She tells her that she hasn't even experienced any of what Earth has to offer, and Penumbra counters that she went out to have Earth coffee with Launchpad. I'm assuming she needed an Earth friend to teach her what coffee shops are all about, though we'll see that Launchpad saw it differently. Della also accuses her that she's afraid of trying new things, and Penny assumes this is one of those Earth jokes. The cultural barrier between Moonlanders and Earthlings does come up a lot in this episode, which should be expected.
Dewey and Webby show up and simply ask to go to what is clearly a death trap, and Della instantly agrees. This isn't just Della's lack of concern for her and other people’s children talking, as she also sees this as an opportunity to get Penny to see what Earth has for fun. She tries to pull an excuse that she can't go because she has an important meeting with the other Moonlanders...
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...but Gibbous and Zenith's new 80's-esque Earth outfits aren't the only thing indicating that they're having a "barrel of monkeys" on their new planet and don't want to leave at all. In fact, Gibbous even got that dog he wanted. Love that little nod to his past appearances, even if it could be a bit confusing how a real dog could exist in the same universe as the Beagle Boys. Also, yes, "barrel of monkeys" is going to be a running gag throughout the episode.
With even her fellow Moonlanders mocking her for her fear of "Earth fun", and Penny not wanting to have any kind of fear whatsoever, she bursts through the McDuck Manor's door to tell Webby that she will go. Or, in her words, she must "conquer this Earth fun." She's fitting into that "overly strong viking warrior woman" trope.
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While Dewey, or "blue Della" as Penny calls him, is still going on about how he wants to be the victim, and Penny is currently trying to fight a fly that went into her throat, we get to see where Launchpad fits into this episode. As hinted in Moonvasion, Launchpad has fallen in love with Penny, and after that horrible coffee date, he tries to get Dewey's advice on how to handle this situation.
Launchpad: Should I drive slower? (gasp) Should you drive?!
Dewey: LP, why don't you just talk to her?
Launchpad: Yes! (unbuckles seatbelt and climbs out the window) Thank you, wise Dewey!
This leads to a neat action scene where Webby and Penny have to stop a car from rolling down a hill into the ocean. It only really adds to Penny's misery on this planet, but it's neat nonetheless.
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A subplot I will pay attention to is the Flint Ferris Glom Wheel subplot, where it's quite clear that Glomgold is paying more attention to how famous this ride will make him than how it is already falling apart. Also, he got Gibbous to work for him, who is completely oblivious to Glomgold's villainy. Not to say that he doesn't have any concern about safety, but Glomgold tells him off.
Glomgold: Ha, safety! I guess you better "call the safety inspector"! Ha ha ha ha ha!
Glomgold always hams it up with all of his appearances. Gibbous laughs along with him, but it's quite clear this is another case where that cultural divide shows up again.
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We go back to the "Penny tries to have fun" plot, as they get to Duckburg Pier despite everything else. It's no secret this episode was born out of ideas of what Penny, a warrior from another "planet", would do on Earth, so it's no wonder why there's a giant montage of Penny experiencing all the fun in the fair in the way a strong warrior from the Moon would experience it. She throws a street performer, who she thinks is an evil robot, in the ocean, she rips apart a shirt featuring the Earth's savior by flexing, she tears a plastic bear's head off at a carnival game, et cetera. One quite funny moment in this montage fits in with that dog from earlier, as Penny as just as confused as we are seeing anthropomorphic ducks feed popcorn to other ducks.
Launchpad does follow behind and fail miserably to even get close to Penny to continue that romance plot from earlier, and it's just there. One's mileage may vary on this, but I'm not a fan of forced romance plots, and there's not that much here for me. Who Penny is going to date wasn't exactly on my top 5 reasons to watch a Penny episode. Besides, let's just say Penny is very unlikely to give any thought to Launchpad romantically; if there's any romance in Penumbra's eyes, it's with the one she's nicknaming all the kids with.
...yes, I know, Della probably isn't looking for love either. It's easy to assume Della is no longer married, since we don't even know if the husband still exists in this plane of existence. Whatever happened to Mr. Duck? Not even the comics wanted to bring it up.
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Going back to whatever happened to Captain Penumbra, After attempting to roll on rollerskates, and failing just as miserably as Launchpad's romantic exploits, Penny is nowhere near wanting to change her plans. In her words, she's not giving up, she learned that she was right, and everyone else is wrong. It's a interesting character trait as a proven warrior that the thought of "giving up" or "showing no fear" applies to even giving up on finding fun in Earth activities or the fear of changing one's feelings.
We get this heartfelt scene where Webby talks about how she used to be nothing but a shut-in, solely focused on learning everything about the owner of the manor she lived in, but then she learned by going outside with her honorary family. Even with this obvious statement of their similarities, this doesn't really move the great space Captain Penumbra at all.
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Getting her addicted to hamburgers ends up doing a lot better with that, though. Funny how something so shallow would get her to change her mind about giving up on being a good Earth Penumbra and a good Moon Penumbra, as Webby puts it. Maybe it might be too shallow, actually. Webby finishes it off with a good serving of ice cream, though she forgot to warn her about eating it too fast.
Unfortunately, this leads to a big brain freeze, and all of the good will of the hamburgers has been completely undone as she starts tearing apart the restaurant's booth. I guess it was too shallow.
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This is a perfect distraction for Flintheart Glomgold to start his new Glomwheel to show off what it could really do, despite the safety inspector showing up. Turns out, Gibbous took the "call the safety inspector ha ha ha ha ha" quip literally, without knowing what the finger quotes meant. There's an additional twist with the Glomwheel besides it falling apart. I'm not going to spoil this, as even I was surprised I couldn't figure this plot out, but it is very fitting for Glomgold. Despite being the self-proclaimed savior of the Earth, there are some things that never change.
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The Glomwheel plot, which mostly hinged on how great Glomgold thinks he is, and the Earth Penumbra plot converge in this final scene where Penny decides to save who she calls the "Little Dellas". Even the Launchpad plot, which I did not entirely care for, ends up contributing a little. It all comes together, and that's one thing a lot of DuckTales 2017 episodes have in common.
Also, there's this line right after the scene, where Penny says this to Launchpad, trying to tell her that he's very sorry for being an enemy to her. It's another running joke with him throughout the episode.
Penumbra: What? We're not enemies! I just wish not to date an Earth...(looks aside)...male.
Ha, I knew it, he didn't have a chance after all, and not even Launchpad misses the implication. She even looked aside, possibly at the Russian censors who will inevitably make this episode a second shorter, before saying it.
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In the end, everything worked out alright. The kids are fine, much to Dewey's annoyance, Della realizes that maybe it wasn't a good idea to let her kids go into obvious death traps, and Penumbra reconsiders her plans to leave Earth, to say the least. Much like the other Moonlanders in the earlier scene, she shows this by wearing an earth t-shirt and showing off her hair instead of wearing the helmet associated with her protector of the Moon personality.
This is not to say this is one of those character arcs where her personality completely changes, though. Launchpad ends up becoming best warrior pals with Penumbra, as he will help out with destroying what little work she was able to do on that ship, and she's completely willing to do that. Apparently, there's not going to be a lot of the Moonlanders in this season, but if this is their last major appearance in this season, it's a pretty satisfying end.
How does it stack up?
Even with my issues with the Launchpad plot, this is still a fantastic episode, and a good continuation from the "aliens existing on Earth" sort-of cliffhanger Moonvasion had. Y'know, besides the whole F.O.W.L. one that will probably be continued later. 5 Scrooges.
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Next, it's the big Halloween episode.
← The Phantom and the Sorceress! 🦆 The Trickening! →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - “The Phantom and the Sorceress!”
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Christian Magalhaes, Ben Siemon, Bob Snow
Written by: Colleen Evanson
Storyboard by: Adam Henry, Krystal Ureta, Brandon Warren
Directed by: Matthew Humphreys & Stephanie Gonzaga
Well, I’m back.
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The return from the hiatus begins with Scrooge attempting to sit down, only to have to fight a boss from Legends of LegendQuest because Lena's magical amulet caused the video game to come to life. One minute in, not only do we get a giant monster fight with Scrooge using his wits to defeat him, we even get one of Dewey's classic one-liners that is only important to himself.
Dewey: (slides in the room, thinking he's the coolest guy ever) ...game over!
Louie: Boo!
Classic Dewey; not particularly funny, but that's what anyone would expect of him. Needless to say, Lena isn't happy to be the cause of this monster invading the real world, as she yells at her magical amulet that it is ruining her life, and threatens to get rid of it. Webby tries to convince her otherwise, because magic is an important part of what she is, both figuratively and literally. Violet seems to be somewhere in the middle; not suggesting she should get rid of the amulet, but suggesting that they should just stop having sleepovers.
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Webby reacts as well as one might expect someone who is usually obsessed with them. As much as the last sleepover Lena went to also went into a pretty bad place, that's still kind of rude of Violet to try to leave another Sabrewing from future sleepovers. Lena's last name is now Sabrewing; she certainly didn't want to share the last name of her most hated "aunt", nor would I imagine "Le Strange" would have been any better. Yeah, I still remember that.
Meanwhile, Scrooge and the nephews have to go into a portal to Goat'Hool, just like they did in "The Golden Spear!". Violet wanted to go too, but reluctantly decides interpersonal relationships can be just as much of an adventure, too. No, this goat-related adventure does not become this episode's B plot, as, just like in that aforementioned episode, Goat'Hool is apparently one of those places that is way too fantastic for normal, non-adventurer eyes. In fact, this episode does not have a B plot at all.
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The closest we get is a character barging into the door during the night: Gladstone Gander, who, uncharacteristically for him, manages to slip and fall and not land on a pillow filled with 20 dollar bills. We get a flashback explaining what happened to him: after a weird feeling, he tries to go to a bank only to find that it was closed that day, only got $20 from an ATM that usually gives him a bag of rubies, and goes into a restaurant that had the gall to charge him money instead of declaring him the one thousandth customer and give him a free meal. That last one is very similar to a scene in the original, except his luck did give him that free meal.
Outside of a rather fitting line for this year ("Because the world is broken!"), the unlucky Gladstone plot doesn't really add much to the episode besides giving DuckTales 2017's answer to the question of "What would happen if Gladstone Gander lost his luck?" This isn't to say it's not a satisfying answer; he bumbles around and trips over things throughout the entire episode. It's easy to interpret that he now has extremely bad luck now, but I would like to think it's actually because he's just used to never getting into pratfalls and never prepares for them. It's an incredibly rare sight in this show to see Gladstone in pain, and it's sad that Donald isn't around to see it.
Turns out, Gander wasn't the only unexpected guest, as they hear someone sucking up that portal into Goat'Hool with their golden gauntlet. After a short battle with this mysterious stranger that ends with the stealer running off to fix their gauntlet, Violet knows very well who this is. Hooray, she's actually important in this episode; she has the knowledge of evil magic stealers.
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This episode introduces the Phantom Blot after his small cameo appearance in "Moonvasion!". DuckTales 2017's version is wildly different from the original, with his all black costume being the only real resemblance to the original character in the comics and 87 cartoon. Even his clothes are a lot more detailed, giving him more of a look of a silhouetted Cobra Commander than, well, a blot. That magic-sucking gauntlet clashes with the rest of his design, too; why not make it black? I guess Disney just wanted to show off they can just put the Infinity Gauntlet in their cartoons.
His actions do give some urgency to the plot, as sucking up that portal has trapped Scrooge and the nephews. The viewers will never know if they even knew about this, as, as I implied before, we never cut to their adventures. In fact, we never even see that mystical goat this time. Honestly, there is more than enough in the A plot to where I didn't really care.
They deduce that he must have also sucked up Gladstone's luck, which even they outright say must mean his luck is magical in origin, and they have no choice but to stop that Blot before the Blot can stop them. Violet comes up with the idea that a good magical defense is a good magical offense, and, since Lena isn't good at controlling her magic, she needs someone who could help her with that. Everyone immediately knows who to go to, and Lena is none too thrilled with who exactly that person will be.
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That certain who being one of the two people the "Sorceress" in the title could be referring to: Magica De Spell, who greets her niece by instantly grabbing towards her magic amulet to get her magical powers back, with Webby and Violet pushing her away. It makes perfect sense why she wants it so bad; going from being the Big Bad of the first season to a downright joke villain outside of that one nightmare episode must have really hurt her psyche. There's a few not too subtle hints of this in the background, and I'm not complaining about that.
Lena is wanting none of this, and almost immediately attempts to run off and tell Magica that she can handle the Phantom Blot all by herself. Being a former master of the dark arts herself, Magica realizes the seriousness of this situation by the mere mention of the villainous blot's name and decides to grab everyone for an emergency shadow puppet session. That is, actual shadow puppets, not the kind of shadow puppets she used in the Shadow War.
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Not only do we get to see this reboot's version of the Phantom Blot, he gets an origin story as well. To make a short story even shorter: he was a villager who had his village taken over and eventually destroyed by Magica, and he has been chasing after Magica, and any other kind of magic, ever since. It's one of those cases where the villain has a legitimate beef with another character who is also kind of a villain, but he's taking it way too far.
Eventually, Lena and Magica have to settle their differences to defeat their common enemy, but not before they have to do an argument, with Webby and Violet having to relay the messages as they don't even want to be face-to-face. The episode just kind of stops for a bit here, but it's easy to understand after everything Magica put her through.
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This all leads to an 80's movie-styled montage, complete with a song that overly describes everything that's going on. There's a scene where Magica makes her wipe the windows. It's sort of like the Karate Kid, except I have a feeling she just wanted her lair's windows cleaned. After learning the magic of doing zero-handed push-ups, turning her head into a spider, and putting Gladstone into more torment that he never knew until this episode, she can control her magic so well that she doesn't even need the amulet. Almost like the magic was inside her all along, but they don't quite make that cliche...right?
One of the last tests is to have Violet, hooray, she's useful again, use the amulet to shoot a laser beam at her. At first, she just gets hit, leading to Magica scolding her. Magica then tells her to use her hate to fuel her magic, and Lena uses this hate to throw a magic Hadouken. Okay, they don't call it that; Disney doesn't own Capcom. Yet.
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Her magic fireball only. Webby tries to then try to tap into good magical things, like a unicorn. Well, considering the last time Lena and Webby saw a unicorn in this show, it wasn't exactly a positive experience, so it leads into the same result. In comes the Phantom Blot, his gauntlet all charged up and ready to steal magic away for good, but Magica decides to do her own kind of magic...
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...the same kind of magic she was doing at Funso's. Wait, didn't Phantom Blot also have a job at Funso's, as implied with his cameo appearance in Moonvasion showing he was Funso, and therefore should have already been in contact with Magica already? Actually, there is a reason for that; there was going to be a scene that explained that Blot's stint as Funso really only lasted for that one episode, and that he was just keeping tabs on her.
In other words, Disney decided not to fill a plot hole here. They don't have to stop the episode to fill every plot hole. I didn't even notice the Phantom Blot in Moonvasion until I did the research, so the question didn't even come up in my mind when I watched it.
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After a few failed attempts to get that gauntlet off of his hands, this leads to a magical tug of war between Lena and the Phantom Blot, amulet against gauntlet, good at heart against somewhat justified evil. Magica and Webby try to convince her to use her potential, using the times she had with Magica and Webby respectively. It's here where the episode becomes a mini-clip show, perfect for the viewer to figure out that Magica is bad and Webby is good. Jokes aside, it does show the contrast quite well.
Of course, it turns out that her true magic was the friendship she made along the way. Yes, this episode goes with that "the true magic was the friends we made along the way" trope. It's easy to see this all coming a mile away, alongside the "hey, maybe I LIKE magic now that it isn't an inconvenience to my friends" angle. What I didn't see coming a mile away is how this affects Lena in a visual and character way. I'll say that it's a pretty cool design.
There's another twist, which leads to a scene that may be a little bit of a sore point for some. It's kind of like having a new character just show up and blow away a villain that was supposed to be super-powerful. Honestly, considering the context of it all, it was more cathartic than anything to me, and I didn't mind it. I can't wait to see what both of these twists would lead to in future episodes.
How does it stack up?
This episode does have a pretty predictable ending, but the ending is still satisfying nonetheless. There’s some potential here for the future. 4 Scrooges.
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Next, we get to find out Whatever Happened To Captain Penumbra.
← The Commercials! (Part 1?) 🦆 They Put a Moonlander on the Earth! →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - “Escape From The Impossibin!”
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Christian Magalhaes, Ben Siemon, Bob Snow
Written by: Madison Bateman
Storyboard by: Vince Aparo, Kristen Gish, Victoria Harris, Ben Holm
Directed by: Tanner Johnson
Press start.
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This episode starts right after the events of the last episode, where it has been revealed to Scrooge what we knew since the Season 2 finale: Bradford Buzzard is the head of F.O.W.L., and he is on his tail just like that alien from the original's intro. It's such an important matter that we get not one, but two speeches; one for each of this episode's plots. The opening switches between them. Even though they end up being about different aspects of the F.O.W.L. conundrum, it does give an effect that this is all about a central threat on the entire family.
Mrs. Beakley is focusing more on her instinct that someone they know could also be a traitor. Could it be Lil Bulb, Fenton Crackshell, Bluescreen Beagle, "Louie", or "Uncle" Donald? Don't worry if you haven't heard of one of them; being a suspect on a whiteboard is Bluescreen Beagle's only appearance so far. Donald immediately jumps out and tries to erase this needless accusation from the whiteboard with his hands. They decide it can't be him because of this, though I'd argue this would just incriminate him further. The possibility that it could be Mrs. Beakley herself is completely ignored.
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However, there's no reason to believe she could be the traitor. I mean, she's training Huey and Dewey to handle a traitor, telling Webby to act like one and attack at any moment as a sort of training mission. Despite knowing who exactly the culprit will be, the thought of an unknown possibility still gets to Huey. As for Dewey, he spends most of the time trying to lift up a sword that he could use against the traitor and failing miserably. It's not really a gag, but it is something that could be considered "running", and it does have a payoff in the end.
If one is concerned that Dewey is using a big sword against the housekeeper's granddaughter, don't worry; this is Webby we're talking about, and he never gets to use it anyway. Besides, this is far from the most dangerous thing someone from Clan McDuck does in this episode. Just ask Scrooge McDuck and his murder room full of saws!
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No, really, in the other plot, Scrooge is enlisting Della and Louie to test out if the titular Impossibin's traps can keep out even the most cunning of F.O.W.L. agents, and the very first room is a room full of purple saws. The purple is not because they're holographic; it's because the room would be filled with purple light that obscures them from any would-be thief. The way they saw through a can of Pep shows they are 100% real, and Scrooge is definitely planning to just straight up cut up any potential F.O.W.L. agent. I can't say that wouldn't be fitting for someone who would go crazy over 87 cents, but either Scrooge must really think Della and Louie could get through this, or he would sacrifice his own family members, even the one he spent a lot of his money trying to find, to protect himself. The latter isn't out of the question.
To be fair to Scrooge, he does have a remote that will turn the Impossibin off just in case his test subjects don't make it. In fact, those test subjects give up almost immediately after Louie tries to dowse the saws with Pep and Della uses her metal leg only to get stuck in one spot. It would be a rather short and boring episode if something did not go horribly wrong with that remote. Imagine that: Scrooge turns off the Impossibin, and the rest of the episode is a 15 minute shot of a jar of mayonnaise.
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Unfortunately for them and fortunately for this episode's sense of adventure, something went horribly wrong. That off switch happens to be password protected with something only Scrooge would know, and the password he's trying isn't working. This references a rather common problem that can affect people's lives: forgetting passwords. That's why this review is brought to you by...me treading through this episode and writing about it. I don't have any sponsors. It's not my choice.
Because of this password-related blunder, Della, Louie, and Scrooge have to team up to get past this Impossibin, and they can't get help because their communications have been blocked. Not even Scrooge knows what's going to happen, because this Impossibin was made by Emily Quackfaster, librarian/crazy game engineer. No, they don't reference the Saw movies in this one, as it would be way too obvious, but this plot does feel like a game. A video game, perhaps, and not just some Minecraft DLC.
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The one other level we see is this gravity room, which brings to mind games like VVVVVV or Metal Storm. There's a lot of creative ideas here, like Scrooge and Louie having to synchronize their feet so they can walk on each other, and Della ends up falling horizontally, which is used to great effect.
Unfortunately, that's pretty much it until the final boss. This isn't to say there are just two rooms; whenever we cut back to this plot, we see them escaping a room they just talk to us about. These are the time loop room, which just leads to Della repeating her lines over and over again, and some sort of sea monster room, and a line by Louie suggests that they treaded through so many rooms that even he can't believe the money has to be protected that well. However, there's no montage, or even any additional scenes, it's just these two rooms.
Is this really a problem? Well, at least the two rooms are done very creatively, and it'd be probably be easier to do a boss that uses two gimmicks rather than a ton of them. Hint hint.
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The B-plot is a little less interesting, but it's worth it just to see Webby freak her best friends out by her various methods. She was trained by the very best, after all, and even with the predictable "Webby ends up doing really well against her relatively incompetent honorary siblings", there's arguably just as much variety in this one. It's like a Bugs Bunny plot...or whatever the Disney equivalent of that is.
Near the beginning of this plot, Huey tries to bring up that he's afraid of all of this uncertainty to Mrs. Beakley, as he's more by the book. Literally, he's by the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook. During this talk, he's horrified to find out about a room he has never been in, as he gets a sneak peak at the...
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...oh no, not The Other Bin! Quick, get out of there before the Tenderfeet shows up and turns this into a Devil In Plain Sight episode, too! Also, Donald's there. He makes a few appearances throughout the episode, trying to set up the security cameras. I don't know, that still makes him pretty suspicious, and yet Mrs. Beakley never gives him any suspicion beyond making him a suspect she just decides to disregard. Maybe she feels Donald Duck would be too likely to be a red herring.
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Eventually, it gets to the point where she finally does the attack, and, of course, she annihilates the other two. I mean, it makes a lot of sense: Webby has been trained by Mrs. Beakley, a super spy; Huey just has the knowledge, and Dewey...is Dewey. Mrs. Beakley comes up to congratulate her as Huey tripped and broke his leg, and tells her to finish him off. While Mrs. Beakley probably isn't the betrayer, or at least this episode isn't hinting at it, she does kind of become the bad guy of the B plot, as Webby stands her ground because Huey is family and Mrs. Beakley isn't having any of that.
Meanwhile, in the A-plot, Louie and Della finally get to the final level, much to the chagrin of Scrooge, who wanted them to fail despite not having the choice to get them out. The final boss shows up, and it turns out to be huge, robotic version of Scrooge who says “curse me kilts” in a robotic voice. This very fitting for Scrooge robot turns out to have something more than A.I., though.
It turns out, that password Scrooge apparently forgot ended up being the sum of his entire wealth, something only Scrooge would know as putting a number on it is something Disney would rather not reveal. There might be one other person who could figure that one out, though...
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...his old accountant/leader of his board of directors, Bradford Buzzard. Not only does he put his own family through death traps, he chooses a password that can easily be figured out by the very person he knows is a threat. This is not an episode that puts Scrooge in a good light, that's for sure. I also have to point out a very minor problem that's been bothering me for a while. Throughout the comics, the original cartoon, and this reboot, the Disney Ducks see themselves as people. So, uh, what's with lines like this?
Della Duck: What do you want, you sourpussed scavenger?!
(later)
Scrooge McDuck: Never, you curmudgeonly carrion!
I know that vultures aren't exactly the kindest of animals, and they are known for circling around and eating dead animals, and, because of those two things, I do not think there ever was an anthropomorphic vulture that wasn't at least a pain. However, these insults seem to be based on his species rather than his character. I know Scrooge is an old man and may be, um, "old-fashioned", but that's not the Disney Duck way!
...and yes, I know I kept calling him a vulture capitalist, including in the very last review. Consider this my apology to any vultures reading this. I also know this is incredibly minor, but I really wanted to bring that up. Maybe a peek at the B-plot will distract us from this.
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After Huey's leg miraculously heals as it's never brought up again, they all run up to the ceiling. I could believe that Huey managed to perfectly act like his leg got broken and that it was only an act to catch the traitor off guard. The only thing against that theory is that we do hear the bone cracking. Not sure if there's a Junior Woodchuck badge for making a good enough bone cracking sound with your tongue that even one who was trained by a super-spy would be fooled by it.
Said super-spy seems to continue her way into the "bad guy" by getting into a fight with the rest of the ducks.This is not a slapstick fight scene, but a real fisticuff fight scene, something that is unlike most of the fights in DuckTales. It even almost ends in the most shocking way, which I won't spoil here, though, of course, they don't go through with it. It does work here, because this shouldn't be happening, and, in the end, it's seen as a bad thing. It eventually resolves with a big hug, and they immediately get called to the A-plot. Almost literally; they manage to get an alert call, and they correctly assume that the bin is in trouble.
Wait, weren't their communications blocked while inside the Impossibin? They do explain and bring up that plot hole. The plot hole that isn't explained is how they could manage to get to the bin with all of those rooms protecting it. It hasn't been deactivated yet, as Scrooge is still fighting that robot.
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The final fight scene is just as good as any good final boss fight in a video game, with the robot having to be defeated with everything Scrooge, Della, and Louie have learned from the previous rooms, like how to deal with gravity and how to dowse robots that can become invisible with purple light. They don't quite fit in the time loops or tentacle monsters, which makes me think those transition scenes were an afterthought. The way they finish it is even fitting for an evil capitalist.
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It all ends with the McDuck family united. They even tie in Dewey's big sword plot with this: it turns out that they needed more than one person in the family and honorary family to lift it up. Yes, I get it, they have to be together as a family in order to defeat F.O.W.L.
That alert call from earlier actually refers to a big cliffhanger here, this time tying this F.O.W.L. plot together with the Missing Mysteries of Isabella Finch. As much as I don't want to spoil it, I do have one minor gripe: this cliffhanger does involve the Fountain of the Foreverglades getting stolen. Yes, the one that's completely dry because the waters were stolen by the Conquistador Inn and therefore should be completely useless. Either there's still some magic in that fountain, they stole the fountain just because they could, or I'm thinking too hard about this. Probably the latter.
How does it stack up?
I may seem a bit nitpicky with this episode, but I found this episode fun. The A-plot has clever moments and good action, and the B-plot has some good gags and a rather serious fight that is done very well. I give it 4 Scrooges.
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Next, even more F.O.W.L. foulness!
← Let's Get Dangerous! 🦆 The Split Sword of Swanstantine! →
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fly-pow-bye · a year ago
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DuckTales 2017 - “Beaks in the Shell!”
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Christian Magalhaes, Bob Snow
Written by: Ben Siemon
Storyboard by: Sam King, Kathryn Marusik, Stephan Park, Emmy Cicirega
Directed by: Jason Zurek
We go virtual!
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The episode begins with GizmoDuck and Huey chasing after Gandra Dee, who just stole a cube that causes shockwaves. While he does end up grabbing the massive short circuit-causing cube before it drops into Duckburg's water, Gandra Dee ends up getting away in the end. He wasn't really too competent in this quest, either, as he got caught in a trap and he had to be told by Huey that he can fly out of them. Huey's like someone who yells at the TV when a plot hole happens. Whether this failure is because GizmoDuck is still not as competent as he wants to be or something else is not too obvious, but anyone who watched the previous major Gandra Dee episode can guess that something would have affected his crime fighting when it comes to Gandra Dee.
Back in Gyro Gearloose's lab, Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera has another project in the works that is a secret from everyone: a new virtual reality cloud space that is both a space for scientific collaboration and a potential romantic destination. Let's just say that it may as well have been that something else, and that something else is hidden from everyone else, including his own M'Ma, about as well as his secret identity. Not that he was going to tell his special someone that they didn't buy it.
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We go into the aforementioned virtual reality cloud space, where Gandra Dee is already generating beakers full of green chemicals, the universal sign of science in children's cartoons. They can also kiss under the happy little pixelated trees, because they are still an item despite Gandra Dee's record of blinding children and threatening to short-circuit all of Duckburg. Fenton is almost ready to share this scientific breakthrough to the world, but Dee doesn't want to do that because she thinks people would shut it down because of all the purple glitches. This plot point made me wonder if there was going to be something more than just "oh, Gyro can fix those", like if they were going to be a major part of the plot, or that it was supposed to represent that this romance is not going to last.
We later learn that this cloud is also important because they can do dangerous experiments without worry of injury, and, combined with their ability to generate anything they can imagine, this could be a good set-up to an interesting creativity vs. creativity battle. Maybe the purple glitches will come to life as monsters, or maybe FOWL will find out what's going on here and invade it with their own creativity. I mean, who else would have the idea to invade this Gizmotopia?
Fenton: (putting his arms around his one true love) This is going to be...
Mark Beaks: ...the greatest scientific achievement in his-zizz-tory!
Oh, it's Mark Beaks advertising a new Waddle phone update that partially fixes a bug that makes the phones explode into flames. Granted, there's no hint that there's going to be any convergence between these two plots besides Beaks coincidentally finishing Fenton's sentence, with an extra "zizz", but, really, it's inevitable.
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Now, Waddle only has one investor, and the investor tells the CEO that he has to come up with an original idea, which he simply can't do as every idea he can come up with, like coffee cups with apps, was already taken. This isn't really the episode's B-plot, and, as said before, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that he's just going to give up and attempt to steal whatever Gyro or his intern are doing. One other thing that's a bit confusing is that nobody seems to recognize Mark Beaks anymore despite being the CEO of a company that apparently still makes phones a lot of people use. It could work as another sign that his company is going down, and that's why he seems so desperate here.
Meanwhile, Huey ends up barging into Fenton's office with a new discovery about Gandra Dee that could lead to her capture, only to see Fenton doing a kissy face while wearing his GizmoDuck helmet. He puts two-and-two together and realizes this must be some sort of virtual reality cloud space. Fenton tries to get him away from that by saying that the GizmoDuck helmet only works on his head, and he just does not have any additional VR headsets for guests. Manny the Headless Horse makes his appearance in this episode with a bunch of VR headsets, apparently hearing that excuse as a request for those, and Huey comes into the world to marvel at all of its wonders, including that very special guest.
Gandra Dee: What...the...f...
Huey: FOWL?!
I see what they did there. Gandra has to generate a weighted blanket to calm Huey down after that revelation. At first, I was going to make some joke about how this is a really bad way for the Duke of Making A Mess to go out, but it makes sense. Stress will be one of the major parts of Huey's part of the plot, and weighted blankets are a good way to relieve that. It's also another reminder that this is a world where ideas can come to life, even if it's just a virtual one. I would question how a virtual weighted blanket would work, but this episode does seem to go with the "one's mind makes it real" scenario.
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As Huey keeps asking questions on why Gandra Dee is working with Fenton, we get the little sad backstory on Gandra Dee courtesy of her generating a flashback of her losing a science fair to someone making that one volcano experiment. People just don't understand that she wants to push the boundaries of science with...okay, I'm not sure what that is supposed to be, but it does shoot a dangerous death ray. Because of her experiments need for danger, she can only do experiments on herself, which is why she happens to be a cyborg, and the only people who would fund her work happens to be people like the evil buzzard bent on world domination. She adds an additional comfort to Huey that she already plans to quit FOWL for good after using their resources to make this. After making puppy dog eyes at the little kid like a little kid makes puppy dog eyes at their parents, Huey accepts this for the sake of both science and love.
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This leads into our actual B-plot: Huey trying his hardest to keep a secret, and his anxiousness and stress is really getting the best of him even in the beginning. One of the first people he has to confront is none other than Fenton's M'Ma, who, despite Fenton's words to Gandra Dee, did not buy that his project was not some sort of romantic exploit. This leads to an interrogation scene. Crackshell then shows up before M'Ma could actually interrogate him further, and Huey has to try to motion to him what exactly his lies were. It's the usual set up for plots like this, the guy gets caught up in the lie, and he tries desperately to keep the secret a secret. There's not a lot that I haven't seen before, but I can not say this is bad, either.
One creative thing they do end up doing is the very next scene where, after Huey "goes to the bathroom", Huey comes in a room with confidence to answer the big question on why Fenton would keep secrets from his own M'Ma. Eventually, he has to bail again after hearing that one of the secrets is that Fenton is GizmoDuck. Why? Because that was actually Louie playing the part of Huey, and somehow, the schemer of the three nephews is the last person in Duckburg to know GizmoDuck's secret identity. He tries to go back only for M'Ma to ask "Huey" about "Louie's Kids", that fake charity he had in The Other Bin, and Louie cracks under pressure and reveals Huey put him up to it. Huey runs to Fenton's house to essentially yell out that he can't take hiding this secret about the GizmoCloud anymore, thinking the only person in there is a still-in-the-GizmoCloud Fenton. He has no reason to believe there's any desperate CEOs hiding in the wastebasket.
We cut back and forth between this plot and the "Gandra Dee not wanting to open the GizmoCloud" plot, and it turns out to be more about her than anything else. We get the lines about how she doesn't want the world to think of her badly, and how he doesn't care what they think about her, and this heartfelt moment doesn't last too long. Mark Beaks may not be a creative man, but he at least knows how to hack into things. Honestly, it seems like this world didn't have that much security to begin with.
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Mark Beaks shows up, locking them in a hashtag captcha before Gandra Dee can defeat him with the combined power of a Terry Bogard power wave and a Rolling Stones reference, and he decides he's going to use his new "WaddleCloud" to steal other people's ideas without anyone telling him. Fenton can still use his creativity powers, and he tries to do that to summon the GizmoDuck suit...only for Mark Beak's stealing powers to take it right from him, giving him the power suit and the ability to add Waddle logos to all the buildings in the skybox.
Fenton Crackshell can still use his creativity abilities to sneakily motion his hands to tap Morse code for help. By the way, yes, he is comatose. It's just like Sword Art Online or that one episode of Black Mirror. Also, how lucky that the one person taking a stress rest in the room, Huey, happened to know Morse code. He tries to take the VR headset out of Mark Beak's head, only for it to give him an electric shock, and the computer displays a little Mark Beaks head telling him that, "ah, ah, ah, you didn't say the magic word." I'm not going to give any hate on this episode for lazy references. If anything, this joke is perfectly fitting for Mark Beaks.
All of this convinces Huey that he doesn't need to keep the secret anymore, which pretty much ends the B-plot with him just randomly yelling out to a mail carrier about how Mark Beaks hacked into the GizmoCloud. He then says he's going to find people who can actually help. It's like he's aware what he did made no sense. Before GizmoDuck can use his finger lasers to delete Fenton and Gandra from the program, or whatever that would entail, his world is suddenly invaded by Huey, M'Ma, and Gyro. How did they manage to get in this hostile cloud takeover when it's implied Mark Beaks put Dennis Nedry-levels of security on it? Pineapples. Well, or Gyro helped them. Either way, it's not really explained.
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It may seem like I didn't like this episode that much, so I'll say one thing I did like a lot besides the Louie scene: the weekly final fight scene all of that buildup led up to. The people all use their creativity in a pretty cool way here that I won't entirely spoil here. I also like how Mark Beaks' lack of creativity fits into what he does in it; he just combines everyone else's ideas into a super robot form. I was expecting him to fall over due to so many conflicting ideas, but they end up doing something else that was also pretty funny. Funny by Mark Beaks standards, anyway.
It's not much of a spoiler to say that the good guys win, but there is a little bit more to the ending. Namely, there is a major cliffhanger at the end of the episode. While it's a good cliffhanger, It does feel a little disappointing that a character that was built up in this episode essentially becomes a mere damsel in distress. Then again, I felt the same way about Lena in The Other Bin before the big revelation about her in The Shadow War. We'll just have to see what happens.
How does it stack up?
There's some good scenes here and there, like the blanket, the Louie scene, and the final fight scene, but with everything else, I just found it mediocre by DuckTales 2017's high standards. I'd put it below New Gods On The Block, which has a fight scene similar to this one, and I didn't really love that one either. I can see people disagreeing with this one, especially if they were really into Gandra Dee or Mark Beaks, and I'm sure the last minute of the episode is going to lead to somewhere fascinating. I really debated on whether or not this should be the first two Scrooges episode of Season 3, and I originally gave this a 2 just because I didn't think it was as great as everyone else thought it was. However, I then thought about some of the episode I would give a 2, and I think the good scenes in this episode are just too good to give the whole package a two.
Long story short, Three Scrooges.
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Next, we meet some friends for life, through thick or thin, with plenty of tales to spin.
← How Santa Stole Christmas! 🦆 The Lost Cargo of Kit Cloudkicker! →
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fly-pow-bye · 2 years ago
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DuckTales 2017 - The Commercials (Part 1?)
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Had to find something to talk about during this inevitable hiatus, how about some commercials?
Before it started to air, I actually didn't really pay that much attention to DuckTales 2017. I was at least vaguely aware of its existence. Honestly, my reviews of DuckTales only really happened because I thought it would be a good comparison to the other show I was reviewing at the time; a reboot that also involved a trio of characters that wear the primary colors.
Now that I’ve reviewed all of the DuckTales reboot so far, I guess I should go all the way back. No, not to the first episode of the series, though I guess that would be interesting to look at considering what I know now, but to the very first teaser Disney released for the reboot.
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Yup, that's a logo, alright. In fact, they didn't even have the new intro song ready for this one, as they use an instrumental of the original 1987 DuckTales theme song instead. No look at the new designs, just a logo and a "coming 2017." However, even this very simple teaser shows off two rather important aspects of this reboot.
The big one is that Donald Duck's voice is very prominent in this, with him going "YEAH" right at the end. That was pretty important since he was pretty much an afterthought in the original 87 cartoon, never appearing past the first season. This shows off that not only is Donald Duck far more prominent, he's practically a main character in this version of the show.
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The other aspect is that those little dots one can see in the logo isn't just a reference to how DuckTales, both the original and reboot, are based on the classic Scrooge McDuck comic books, but that those dots are shown to be dimes. The Number One Dime did end up being a big part of the first arc of the series, even if it was in the shadow of the search for Della plot.
Once the show was getting closer to that first airdate, we got a few more teasers, this time actually showing off the new versions of all of our favorite characters. Alongside the other shorts doing the same thing, we got this fully animated set of teasers:
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Before the series started, a set of 15 teasers aired on Disney Channel, all with unique animation showing off the new personalities of all of our favorite characters. It's not all new; one of the teasers has Scrooge and Glomgold climb up a mountain, just like they did in the original intro, except the mountain is a stack of giant coins. It's all pretty neat.
The company behind these and many of the others in this article, 2veinte Studio, have uploaded them to YouTube, including one megacut of all of these 15 teasers seamlessly going into each other. They also did the Wand IDs as well, which is a neat throwback to an era of Disney Channel that I'm surprised could still exist with their new logo. They managed to make it work.
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There's this promo focused entirely on Donald Duck, with an interesting "stabilized face camera" idea, as Donald goes through several adventures, clearly not enjoying a single second of it. I notice the theme of Donald Duck being in some sort of discomfort, which is pretty much fitting for his entire life.
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Let’s go to something a little different. This commercial starts with Scrooge running towards a dime, motioning to everyone to chase after him, including the siblings, Webby, Donald, and a bunch of villains. They eventually see this demon creature creep up behind them. Hey, remember when we all thought this guy was supposed to be just some random demon creature? Good times.
...wait, this is just the intro! I guess I made a mistake here...
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(RIIIING!)
Scrooge: Curse me kilts, whose phone is ringing?!
The Kids: Louie! Busted!
Louie: No, this is my gaming phone! My ringing phone is back in that lava somewhere!
Huey: The Junior Woodchuck Guidebook says all phones must be silenced before any public movie screening!
Oh, it's actually one of these.
As a way to cram even more commercials before the movie starts at a movie theater, companies have made ads that both promoted a product and also acted as a PSA against those annoying people who bring their not-silenced cell phone to the theater. In this case, it was the then upcoming DuckTales 2017.
Also, for those reading a year from now: we used to watch movies in a crowded room where they way overcharged for food, parents would bring their children to cry over it, and despite, there's always going to be that one guy who actually wants to take that one supposedly important call. I'm sure we all give thanks to those Trolls that made us realize that, hey, maybe these big budget movies should premiere at home to avoid all of that.
Jokes aside, this is a pretty decent idea, though I would imagine the confusion of people going to a movie, and thinking they're going to watch an episode of a TV show. It is sort of obvious where the animation that was made for the intro ends and the animation made for this PSA begins, but that's kind of unavoidable.
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Speaking of PSAs, we got a trio of them, this time made for the Disney Citizenship Be Inspired campaign. All of these are about convincing kids to consider eating their vegetables. This one has the best balance between PSA and something that could be in the actual show, as they go to the ruins of Aspagaragustus, who claimed that a diet rich in vegetables can make one live forever. Not really a great commercial, considering these are ruins that can be harmed by a mere smartphone camera flash, but I guess they had to be somewhat realistic.
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In this one, they go to the Italian Zucchini Festival to figure out the DaVeggie Code. Get it, like The Da Vinci Code? It just kind of ends with Dewey holding up a bell pepper. There's this lovely shot of Louie holding up a golden artichoke that takes itself apart to reveal the message "Veggie Power." This one does a better job. It does it far more blatantly, but I think that's what these PSAs were supposed to be going for.
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The last one has Scrooge, Donald, Webby, and the siblings going to Japan, or possibly Tokyolk, to find the Crazy Neon Guitar Fish. This one deviates from the vegetables and instead focuses on the benefits of a diet rich in fish. Outside of one very crammed in line from Huey about how healthy eating fish is, this may as well be a scene from an episode. Not a particularly great scene, but a scene nonetheless.
Going away from the PSAs, we have a whole series of shorts for the Radio Disney Music Awards, or the ARDYs. I'm assuming it's like Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards, except it solely focuses on music. Also, I have no doubt Arby's would be upset if they could even remotely think about suing Disney.
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Here, we see Huey, Dewey, and Louie gathering around the couch to watch the ARDYs, and they all say their classic timeless lines.
Louie: Do you guys ever get Sofia Carson and Sabrina Carpenter mixed up?
Huey: Never.
Dewey: All the time!
Huey: Okay, maybe just once.
If you don't know any of these celebrities they're referencing, you're not alone. Maybe my enjoyment of these is probably mitigated by my ignorance of the then current pop culture of the time, especially with tween pop culture.
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There is a subplot for the ignorant anyone can pretend to appreciate, though: Webby gets into the room, and thinks the ARDYs are some sort of container for the souls of ancient warriors. I mean, look at those awards, they have no faces! We then see lightning show up on the TV set to accentuate how terrifying these awards look to Webby. Not sure how Webby managed to make lightning appear; maybe she learned something from Lena.
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While Webby uses her grappling hook to investigate, the boys get to a celebrity I do recognize. They recognize him too, as they recognize Charlie Puth walking down the runway. They don’t actually show these celebrities, but he’s apparently making duck lips, and the ducks wonder if this is offensive to their people. I did wonder how they would react if they saw those hairless apes Ludwig Von Drake would eventually warn them about, and that's not exactly the joke I envisioned.
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Totally in character, Webby infiltrates the ARDYs. She notices all of the "guards", and she tells herself that she has two hands that can deal with them. She's going to beat the crap out of all of those kids in the audience. She probably could; she's pretty OP.
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We switch back and forth between Webby's plans for ARDY domination and Huey Dewey and Louie reacting to the ARDYs. Did anyone know Dewey is so addicted to the Disney Channel Original Musical Z-O-M-B-I-E-S, that he can't help but sing the songs? I mean, I can't say that's not fitting.
Wait, is the ARDYs just a way for Disney to give their own made-for-TV musicals awards? That'll be like an awards show hosted by a kids network, and they always gave the award for best cartoon to one of their own cartoons. That would be silly; as everyone knows, Spongebob was always good!
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After they fumble the remote, they see that Webby ends up taking the ARDY, and the apple from Descendants! Z-O-M-B-I-E-S, Descendants, I'm sure the tweens are happy with these references, and that's what this is made for, so I can't really complain.
This will be a multi-part series I may continue eventually, but I might as well end on one more from an entirely different country: Taiwan! I was thinking Latin America, but that's more of a Cartoon Network thing.
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This actually features a bunch of Disney shows, as two characters, starting out as Star from Star Vs. The Forces of Evil and Cricket from Big City Greens, use a remote control to transform each other into different characters. Yes, it is essentially that commercial Cartoon Network had with a similar idea, but that similar idea didn't have such wonderful animation. It really is a sight to be believed, and can be watched right here.
That's pretty much it for now. Maybe I will do another one of these later when more commercials sprout up, but for now, we have to say goodbye to DuckTales 2017. It won't be a permanent goodbye just yet, though, it will return soon.
← The Rumble for Ragnarok! 🦆 The Phantom and the Sorceress! →
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fly-pow-bye · 2 years ago
Text
DuckTales 2017 - "Louie's Eleven!"
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Story by: Francisco Angones, Madison Bateman, Colleen Evanson, Christian Magalhaes, Ben Siemon, Bob Snow
Written by: Madison Bateman and Francisco Angones
Storyboard by: Stephanie Gonzaga, Rachel Paek, Brandon Warren, Krystal Ureta
Directed by: Matthew Humphreys
Will they make a spinoff of this with April, May, and June in a decade? Maybe not.
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Our episode begins with a special performance by the Three Caballeros. Donald Duck begins to sing, only for Panchito Pistoles to take over for him for pretty obvious reasons, much to Donald's annoyance. Jose Carioca changes the song completely before he could get to the good part, much to Panchito's annoyance. Eventually, they get into a fight, knocking down their curtain and revealing they were performing for Scrooge, who was busy with his bath.
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Unfortunately, Scrooge wasn't too impressed with this bath-interrupting showing, and he wouldn't have been impressed even if he wasn't bathing. He summons Duckworth from the afterlife to kick them out of the mansion, using his ability to turn into a demon ghost. For those just joining the series, yes, this is completely normal.
Apparently, performing in bathrooms is also normal for them, implying that they're getting desperate for that big break. They could accept an offer from anyone, even one of Donald's nephews, who is followed with music fitting for a heist. Donald's a little hesitant, but Panchito and Jose go along for the green one's scheme.
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That scheme? IT. No, they're not going to get a job where they tell people to turn their computers off and on again, nor does this scheme involve any sewer clowns promising candy, rides or balloons that float, but it's "it" spelled with all caps. Specifically, this is about The IT List, a website run by "famous taste-maker" Emma Glamour, who we will see later.
Dewey butts in to talk all about why this is so important: anything on the IT List becomes super famous, and he should know because she tells him exactly what he likes. That's some interesting commentary; people can blindly go with trends without forming their own opinions. That's partially why I'm doing these reviews in the first place. While DuckTales 2017 being "the good reboot" is a popular consensus from what I can tell, I want to see if that's really the case. So far, yeah, I agree with the trends in that case. There are some others I don't, of course, but that's a different story.
A great way to get on the IT list is to be invited to her exclusive party at the Duckburg Museum, and Louie has a scheme just for that.
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Louie's going to help them out under the condition that they sign a contract giving him half of the money they make when they get famous. Of course, Louie still has that Louie Inc. inside of him despite no longer owning the company. Donald is hesitant again, but Panchito and Jose sign it immediately. It seems like the Three Caballeros and their constant disagreements would be a major plot point just from these last few scenes, but it's merely more of a running gag than anything major.
This plan is titled Louie's Eleven, a reference to Ocean's 11, a 1960 film, which inspired a whole series of films in 2001, involving a heist involving 11 different people trying to steal a highly guarded casino vault using their individual skills. An Ocean's film did come out when this episode was in production, and it was following the then trend of having an all-female ensemble. Louie decided not to go with that idea.
Throughout the episode, he introduces these eleven people, one by one as soon as they become relevant:
Louie - The brains behind the operation and the closest character to Danny Ocean from the films this episode is a parody of.
2-4. The Three Caballeros - The talent(?), with a question mark that suggests that Louie isn't so sure of this. Apparently, he didn't have very many flattering photos of any of them; not even his uncle, whose photo portrays him being chased by bees.
Dewey - The specialist. He wanted to be the inside man, even having a photo ready of some person in a tuxedo with his face taped over it to show that he's the guy with the license to chill. Can't really blame him; he is now a certified Dew-ble-O-Duck. He accepts the specialist role, just because it implies he's special. Also, he wants to do yo-yo tricks, even if he's not very good at it.
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We get two more of Louie's Eleven already, only to show up for one little scene each. That will be a theme with most of these members, actually. I should cut them some slack; it's not like they have 90+ minutes to spare.
Huey - The forger. Despite being the real brains of the triplets, he doesn't suspect a thing even if he's specifically told to copy Emma Glamour's signature.
Gyro Gearloose - The tech guru, who clearly is only in this just to test out some earpieces that he promises will not explode in their ears. To his credit, they never do.
They make it to the party, sneaking around the outside and peeking into the window, giving us our first shot of Glamour's personal assistant: Daisy Duck. Louie fills him in on this personal assistant of Glamour, but...
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...it looks like he's already lost in her eyes with romantic music in the background and a fitting expression. Prepare for the endless amounts of daydream sequences where they just do stereotypical things without any reference to their previous character traits. After we see him with bubbly eyes, he then returns to his normal expression and says...
Donald: (shakes head) Whatever.
It's hard to buy this sudden lack of caring, but at least there's some sort of resistance to the "love at first sight" cliche that anyone would expect when these two shared screen time. Not that the cliche would be out of place as just pairing two people of the same species together; Daisy is Donald's girlfriend, after all, and that was established since her first appearance. In this series, he's not quite there yet. Daisy is unaware of this, as she is busy getting this party to be...
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...perfect, as Louie unknowingly says in unison. Dewey immediately jumps out and saying he's going to dance on the red carpet, only for Louie to pull him back and say that he should be following his plan. It's Louie's Eleven, after all, and as long as there's no surprises, this party crashing will be just fine.
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As to tempt fate with that last sentence, they find out that Falcon Graves is there, showing off what happens to people who violate the "no party crashers" policy. He's throwing out Percival P. Peppington, who already tried to crash a party before. I wonder if we'll ever get to see him in a major appearance; his resemblance to Willy Wonka can't be just because of that purple outfit.
Dewey definitely recognizes him, as the last time he encountered him, he made him lose a lot of money and he threw him off a building. We can even see Graves do a double take when he thinks he saw him, proving that he does remember the events of that episode, too. What are they to do?
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Dewey dresses up as DJ Daft Duck, a costume he apparently was carrying with him this whole time, and the Caballeros switch their hats and wear sunglasses to pretend to be his entourage. Graves doesn't really get the chance to look closely at the forged invitation, as Daisy tells him to move the line along. Even with how much fear Dewey had, he still couldn't help himself but show off that he's ready for the fun time, much to Louie's annoyance.
This does give a little more of a point to the Caballero's disagreement on how they're going to perform, which shows up again here, as it mirrors Louie and Dewey's conflict with how they should do this plan. This conflict shows up again when they attempt to get past a different guard, only to get pushed out of the way because they don't have a stage pass. Louie has just the plan to do this, as much as Dewey wants to attempt to woo the guard with his yo-yo tricks, and it involves his number 8:
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Jane - The inside woman, who managed to get a gig at this top of the line party despite being an employee at Funzo's Funzone. Considering what kind of crazy things have happened there, though, she may be overqualified at this point.
Her only action in this scheme is to spill something on Daisy, who has that all important stage pass, so that she can go off in a corner so that Donald can distract her long enough to get it. With Daisy out of the way, Louie wants to use his Louie charm to get Glamour ready for the big performance.
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Falcon Graves is now right next to Glamour herself, with him showing off to a random passerby of what happens when someone violates the "no photographs" policy. She does look a little familiar, actually, and there is a reason for that.
Thankfully for Dewey, it's here where Louie decides the specialist needs to do something to divert that skilled bodyguard's attention. Unfortunately for Dewey, it's not as cool as what he thinks his yo-yo tricks are, as Louie's #9 turns out to be...
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Harpy - The diversion. Yeah, it's a long story how they ended up with a harpy on their side, even if this particular harpy seems to be unwilling.
There are several reasons why the Harpy is here. First, the harpy does indeed distract Falcon Graves, getting him out of the room. Second, it shows how little Louie wants to have Dewey do anything cool. Third, hey, it's another reference to a previous episode! Other than that, yeah, she just kind of disappears after this; other than those three, she's only here so Dewey can be miserable.
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Meanwhile, Daisy goes to the elevator, letting out her rage on a poor vase, something Donald would totally do. Donald, sneaking behind her, runs towards the elevator, getting his foot caught in the door. Not before he motions to Daisy to let her in first, of course; he has to show he's a gentleman!
With Donald and Daisy in the elevator, Louie tells Donald to grab the card sneakily and get out of there. How Louie thinks his Uncle Donald is that careful is beyond me, but he does know that he would need to stop that elevator in order to keep Daisy out of his way. With who? His number 10!
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Webby - The tactician. Wait, wouldn't Louie be the tactician? I'd say the technician would be more fitting, considering what she does. She appears for a little bit more than the harpy, at the very least.
Donald immediately says he's got it, as he feels he could easily grab that stage pass right off of her, and Louie interprets this as that he's got the card and he's already out of the elevator and tells Webby to cut the power. Needless to easy, nothing is easy for Donald, and he eventually gets caught up in Daisy's bag. He eventually admits to Daisy that he's crashing the party, and unfortunately for him, she understood that perfectly.
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Louie, who decided to go radio silent so he doesn't know what's not going down or up with his Uncle Donald, runs up to Glamour, ready to use his charm. He does this right after telling off Dewey, who felt he would be perfect because he likes everything she likes because she tells him what to like.
As a bit of karma, Glamour's first word to this random kid showing up at her literal throne and pretending he's some sort of hotshot like her suggests that she figured out his entire plan. The only thing she got wrong is that she assumed he was the one that wanted to be on the IT list...though that may not be wrong, either; there's certainly some subtext for this.
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He doesn't get to ponder about that for long, though, as a bunch of mercenaries show up and tie up everyone with rope, including most of Louie's Eleven. Much to Louie's mismay, it turns out there's somebody else doing a scheme tonight. Considering these are the same mercenaries that were in the first episode, it must be the self-proclaimed scheme master himself...
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...Falcon Graves?! What a twist! Much more than terrified that this seemingly invincible bodyguard is now an unavoidable villain, Louie is disappointed that Louie's Eleven isn't the only scheme in this building.
In reference to that, Dewey points out that there's still one more member in Louie's Eleven we have yet to see! Who could this 11th member be? GizmoDuck would be too heroic to participate in this scheme, they probably don't want Glomgold anywhere near them, and we already got one person associated with Greek mythology. Could it be Launchpad, possibly with the help of what remains of his inner Double-O-Duck? As everyone hears galloping in the distance, we get to see who it really is, and it's...
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Manny the Headless Man-Horse - The enforcer or muscle depending on whether you go with Louie's line or what he put on the photo.
Admittedly, I wasn't expecting him to show up in this episode, so he does bring the element of surprise. Does he add anything else, though? All he really does is show off how terrifyingly strong Falcon Graves is, as he defeats him in about as long as it takes to read this sentence. After he's defeated,the episode seems to continue as if he didn't even exist, with only a mere "that was odd" from Graves before he demands to have Glamour's phone.
We cut back to the elevator, where Daisy is still quite angry that this crazy man has crashed the party. However, she reveals, along with a nice dress that she designed herself, that she wishes Glamour would listen to her, too. Donald connects with this, saying that nobody seems to understand him. There's some seeds planted here and there, with that Daisy getting into a Donald-like rage scene from earlier, but this scene is where this romantic subplot really starts to bloom. It even leads to Donald singing a song, as Daisy specially requests it.
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The thing is: Daisy doesn't seem to mind his speech impediment. Not only is she the only person who can understand it, she loves Donald's singing voice! Don't worry; Dominic Lewis, the series' composer, fills in for Donald for the sake of anyone else's ears for everything but the first and last lines. This amazing voice inspired her so much, she decides to throw her bag up to the ceiling, revealing an emergency ladder, helping them escape.
Meanwhile, we get to learn why Graves wanted the phone: he wanted to sell it to a very, very wealthy high bidder. A bidder that couldn't possibly be one of his former employers, who would have a vested interest in knowing what is IT, especially himself.
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It turns out to be Mark Beaks. He's even revealed to be Glamour's son in a way that totally suggests he has certain issues. Dewey says this actually makes sense, and I can only assume this is referring to how they're both people who seem to be associated with the internet, and not just because they're the only gray birds in Duckburg.
Don’t worry or unfortunately depending on one's point of view, he doesn’t get to do much. As Louie is moping about his failed plan, Dewey finally decides to do his plan.
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Following in the footsteps of K-Strass the Yo-Yo Guy, Dewey manages to sneak onto the stage and do his not-so-well-practiced yo-yo tricks. Even one of the mercenaries manages to be memorized by how terrible he is, as is Graves. He's so memorized, that he doesn't notice when Donald and Daisy are ready to kick him right in the face.
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Much like the last episode, which was also much like the last episode, this ends with a massive fight scene with everyone in the room. It seems like almost every episode seems to end with some massive fight scene with everyone in the room. There's even little scenes with some of the seemingly forgotten characters, including Webby, who fights one of the mercenaries. I'm not complaining, this is cool.
This fight scene also proves that Daisy is a force to be reckoned with. It does kind of make Manny even more useless, being shown up by a lady with a great dress, but I kind of expected that at this point.
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To make a long story short, Graves ends up losing the battle, and a few other plot threads get their conclusion, too, including the Three Caballeros finally performing with no creative differences whatsoever. They didn't really do anything to resolve that one; it just kind of happens.
After all of this, do the Caballeros get to be on the IT list? Here's a hint: Donald finally gets to sing, and Dominic Lewis is nowhere to be heard. At least one person likes it, though.
How does it stack up?
I haven't had a good track record with romantic subplots in rebooted cartoons, but I'd say DuckTales 2017 did pretty well with this. It’s not boring, it doesn’t go too far in either direction, and we got a good performance out of it, even if it was only one in-universe to Daisy’s ears.
The Ocean's Eleven plot is pretty good too. I'm not against a good movie parody, even if I'm not that familiar with the movie in question, but it is entertaining nonetheless. 4 ducks.
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Next, come on and slam, and welcome to Japan.
← The Lost Harp of Mervana! 🦆 Astro B.O.Y.D.! →
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