Friday, February 18, 2011

Ducktales, Season One, Episode Fifteen: "Superdoo!"

(That title should be sung to the tune of this, obviously.)

Why is Launchpad a Junior Woodchuck troop leader, never mind the facts that A) he is entirely unsuited for such a position; and B) we saw an actual JW leader back in the pilot episode? The answer, of course, is so that he can interact with Doofus. That, and they just didn't want to mess around with another extraneous character; still, it's distractingly weird. I can't say I approve.

I guess it was inevitable that there would be a bit of a comedown after "Hero for Hire," but it didn't have to be as precipitous as this. Doofus sucks at being a Junior Woodchuck; then he finds an alien artifact that gives him superpowers. He uses it to gain Merit Badges and annoy the other Woodchucks. The first problem is, Doofus is an irritating character; he's mostly tolerable when he's just backing up Launchpad, but a whole episode focusing so closely on him is a bit much. The other problem is, both he and the other Woodchucks are very unpleasant here--they're jerks to him and then he's a jerk to them. "Ever since you became super, you've been makin' fun of everybody! Like you were better than the rest of us!" they tell him. Left entirely unmentioned, both by them and the episode as a whole: their own dickish behavior before he "became super." The "moral" of this episode boils down to "sit down and know your place." It's an unsavory message and it leaves me in a bad mood.

Stray Observations

"Well, that's the end of the short, unhappy career of Superdo." I didn't note it at the time, as it seemed insignificant (and it is, really), but I swear this is the second time this show has referenced (consciously or not) "The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber." I have no idea what to do with that observation, but there it is. I guess it would be a bit overly mean to say I'd like to see Doofus meet Macomber's fate, but…well, I really don't care for the character.

-"One more, and I become the all-time Woodchuck merit-badge champion!" So…the current all-time record is nine? The "excessive Woodchuck awards" business was present in the pilot, but now it appears to have been jettisoned.

-The closed captioning identifies one of the Woodchuck extras as "Bill." I don't know why.


  1. Personally, I think that the intended message of the story is "performance-enhancing drugs are evil." If Doofus wanted to selflessly save and help people, like Fenton Crackshell does as Gizmoduck, that would be one thing. When he uses his powers to earn awards and glory, that's another.

  2. Yeah, I can see that as being one way to think about it, but it seems to me that a corollary to that is "basically, you just have to accept that, on a fundamental level, you suck, and you're not gonna get any better."