Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ducktales, Pilot Episode: "Treasure of the Golden Suns," Part Four: "Cold Duck"

"Cold Duck?" Seriously? That was the best you could do?

Can you just tap on a tuning fork and then use it to shatter glass and cause huge earthquakes? 'Cause I don't think you can, and the entire episode hinges upon this being a normal thing that doesn't even need any explanation.

In the beginning, we have HDL behaving quite dickishly, and using the aforementioned tuning fork to fuck up Beakley's and Webby's room (one of the things they break is the glass over a picture of Scrooge and two other mysterious dudes--does this signify anything, or not?). Then the action proper starts, and things get REALLY batty: it turns out Scrooge is stranded in Antarctica, where he went for the second half of the map to the treasure--how he knew that was where he had to go is unclear to me (did it have something to do with the other half? But that wouldn't really make sense, would it?). Why he went alone, on a raft, with no communications equipment is just as unclear. In general, I think it's probably good to avoid having your show hinge around people acting crazy and irrational for no stated reason.

But anyway, HDL, Launchpad, Beakley, and Webby follow after. And they meet a race of penguins. British penguins. British penguins who hate being surrounded by the color white all the time and thus beat up our heroes and take their non-white stuff and toss them in jail. Except there's one good penguin whom Webby befriends who helps them out. And the penguins have ice tanks with mechanical arms that hurl snowballs at their foes. Oh, and there's a giant prehistoric walrus who gets released from the ice with a tuning fork and wreaks havoc (the scene where said walrus gets on the plane and has to be removed may look familiar to anyone who's played Resident Evil: Code Veronica).

Anyway, everyone escapes and HDL stop hating Beakley and Webby. I still don't have strong opinions about those two, though I can see how the latter's relentless sweetness could start to grate. But really, this episode more or less just irritated me with its relentless wackiness. 'Course, I don't know what's coming up, but it strikes me as ominous that even at the very beginning of the series, they're resorting to these very forced flights of fancy. Reminds me of those old Ducktales comic serials, and not in a good way (wait...what "good way" could there possibly BE?). Just one part left of this first serial; I hope the show finds a somewhat more stable footing when the self-contained episodes start.

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