Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ducktales, Season One, Episode Seven: "Master of the Djinni"

No preliminary messing around here--we go straight into the main act! Bam! Scrooge, it transpires, has discovered the "locked vault of Aladdin" via some undisclosed means. So it's off to a non-specific Arabian milieu to find this here lamp, with Glomgold in pursuit. Scrooge and Flinty find the lamp at the same time, and there's a bit where they're both climbing up a pedestal to try to get to it first that makes me think of the endgame of the Ducktales NES game. As it transpires, they both rub the lamp at the same time, leaving the vaguely-gay-stereotype-ish genie not knowing who to serve, so they arrange a race back to Duckburg for ownership rights. Meanwhile, the genie lounges around in Scrooge's digs; family and staff get somewhat hyperbolically worried about Scrooge, presumably so the genie's nonchalance can look more evil. Not wanting to give up his life of luxury, he transports Scrooge and Flintster back in time where they have to deal with an evil sultan with the help of the bewitching "Shewebhazade." The genie is VERY easily tricked back into the lamp with the ol' "you could NEVER fit in there!" trick and the oldsters are transported back to the present. The Flintmeister wins but wastes his wishes in an idiotic fashion. Finis.

A lot happens in this episode; possibly too much. It feels a bit rushed, and the action doesn't really register to the extent that I feel like it should. The back-in-time bit is the most entertaining, but overall, the episode's pleasures are rather modest.

Stray Observations

-Everyone's pretty blasé about the idea of a lamp with a wish-granting genie in it.

-Scrooge and Glomgold's well-thought-out plan to race back to Duckburg involves sprinting through the trackless wastes. Good luck with that.

-Funniest moment is the end of Schewebhazade's story: "…and made her way across the desert, where she sold her camel and bought a new hat." These stories are apparently incredibly boring to everyone involved, as they all near-instantaneously fall asleep upon hearing them. Having put everyone to sleep in order to rescue the ducks from a crocodile pit, she wakes Scrooge up: "hurry--they're asleep," she says. "Oh?" he replies, waking up. "Yes, I can't imagine why," glaring at her in a remarkably ungrateful fashion.

-A bit odd to see a sultan lustfully "inspecting" his harem in a kids' cartoon.

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