Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ducktales, Pilot Episode: "Treasure of the Golden Suns," Part Three: "Three Ducks of the Condor"

This one introduces not only Gyro, but also Ducktales originals Launchpad McQuack, Bentina Beakley, and her granddaughter Webbigail--though only Launchpad has enough screentime to make much of an impression. You know, I kind of like the character, but I still have trouble understanding why Scrooge chooses a guy whose main ability is "not dying in spite of being a really shitty pilot" to fly for him.

As I said, not much to say at this point about Beakley and and Webby--the former is to serve as a governess for the kids, and in the interview segment I was totally expecting a Mary Poppins parody that never came. I do like the way the kids try and fail to fool her regarding which of them is which (the names seem to have normalized now, but I will still be on the lookout for errors!).

Anyway, the story here kicks into gear when Scrooge shows the one coin he was able to retrieve last time to some expert, who tells him that it's part of a bigger treasure, meaning: back to South America! Oh boy! This time it's the Andes, and I was disappointed the show entirely fails to include a "Lost in the Andes" call-back. Surprisingly, HDL are not included in this jaunt, though they (Scrooge and Launchpad) DO pick up Donald on the way. It's pretty clear that the nature of the animated character is pretty unavoidably determined by his voice--the show may center on Barks' characters, but this is most definitely not Barks' Donald, for better or worse (or, really, neutral, since as I said, I don't think anything could really have been done about it).

The bulk of the episode consists of our heroes trying to get a treasure map from a descendent-of-conquistadors who uses a coin like the one Scrooge has to keep the natives in thrall. There are condor-vs-airplane battles and whatnot. It's okay, if not spectacular, but it has to be said, the depiction of the natives is kind of on the racist side: they're nothing more than monosyllabic, superstitious children who are totally subservient to anyone who has one of the magic coins. If everyone was cool with this, I fail to see why it was considered necessary to censor various Barks stories for insensitivity.

Overall, I'd say this episode is about on par with the previous one; I look forward to seeing what the deal is with Mrs Beakley and Webby when they're called on to play more significant roles.

1 comment:

  1. It's been explained many times on Ducktales that the main reason why Scrooge sticks with Launchpad is because Launchpad is the cheapest pilot in Duckburg. He loves flying so much he often works for free. Perhaps the frequent crashes offset the savings, but I assume Scrooge is insured.