Monday, February 28, 2011

Ducktales, Season One, Episode Twenty-Three: "Sweet Duck of Youth"

Based on Barks' "That's No Fable," only not really. Florida, fountain of youth; that's about as far as it goes. It's Scrooge's birthday and he's feeling decrepit, so when Beakley off-handedly mentions the fountain, he zooms off quite precipitously to Florida, as you do, with HDL and Launchpad. Eventually, he gets captured by an evil conquistador (but I repeat myself), who turns out to just be a guy in conquistador armor. Once they get things sorted out, they find the treasure map by means only slightly less inane than those they used to decipher the boat-map in the pilot episode (the map is where he thought of the riddle? Where's that? In his head! Look! A secret compartment in the helmet! Uh huh.) and go off to find the fountain. Alas, it only makes your reflection look younger, resulting in a somewhat amusing sight-gag in which HDL see themselves as eggs. Scrooge learns that You're Only As Old As You Feel, and that's that.

The episode feels pretty thin, I have to say--not that I'm a huge fan of "That's No Fable," but that story has more substance than this does (as indeed does Barks' other "aging" story, "Go Slowly Sands of Time"). There's certainly no meaningful reflection on mortality or anything like that. There is some okay business when Scrooge gets lost in the swamp (which, as Chris notes, is somewhat reminiscent of "The Swamp of No Return"), but beyond that…not too much going on here. Coming up next is an adaptation of "Land Beneath the Ground;" we'll see if they're able to do Barks better with that one.

Stray Observations

-Launchpad just blows out Scrooge's candles like it waren't no thang. Surely that's a breach of etiquette…

-Funny double-take from Launchpad: "Hmm! Not a sign of old Mr. McDee. Nothing but swamp grass…cypress trees…Spanish moss…Spanish conquistador…snakes…"

-Cool twilight swamp landscape, anyway!

-Scrooge, addressing the camera, after having rescued a dollar from an alligator's snout: "Phew! The things you have to do to save a dollar these days!"" Yeah, it doesn't get much lamer than that.

-Who's that making a brief cameo appearance at Scrooge's party? Why, it's Gladstone Gander! Vacation van Honk, also, but really, does anyone care?

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