Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ducktales, Pilot Episode: "Treasure of the Golden Suns," Part Two: "Wrongway in Ronguay"

Oh boy! Glomgold! Or, to more clearly indicate my level of enthusiasm here, perhaps I should say: Oh boy. Glomgold. My conviction that nobody has used the character in an interesting way since Barks himself remains unchanged. Now the character is a Duckburg inhabitant; whether it's true that this had something to do with wanting to avoid Apartheid associations or whether I just made that up in my fevered brain, I couldn't say. Really, it's probably for convenience's sake more than anything else. For what it's worth, I reckon this is the first time we've ever seen an animated version of the character.

The episode begins with the kids deciphering the boat-map in, quite frankly, an insanely idiotic way, to wit:

Hey! The name of this model ship isn't a real word! That must mean it's a secret code! Each letter must equal a number! And it MUST be a simple A=1 thing! And all this MUST provide the latitude and longitude of the treasure!

…come on, now. You guys aren't even trying.

Anyway, it's in South America, so our heroes head off in that direction, pursued by Glomgold and Sinister Foreigner. A certain amount of adventure ensues, though nothing that I found super-engaging. I DID enjoy the way the writers threw in a few of those bits you see in Barks comics where Scrooge alludes to his history ("My cattle ranch in Wyoming," "hunting uranium in Borneo"). Also, there are three clear Barks call-outs: the ship stranded in the desert recalls "The Seven Cities of Cibola;" Sinister Foreigner, as he's taking Scrooge's gold captain's hat, refers to it as a "golden helmet;" and then at the end (having lost a money-making bet) Glomgold has to eat his hat (okay, so it was Scrooge's hat that he ate in "The Money Champ," but still).

So this wasn't painful to watch or anything, but I did find it to be a bit of a step down from the first part. And frankly, it's difficult for me to see how they're going to drag this plotline out for another three episodes. But, I shall withhold judgment for the time being.

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