Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ducktales, Season One, Episode Two: "Sphinx for the Memories"

"Sphinx for the Memories?" Mmm...sorry, but I'm afraid the committee's going to have to disallow that one.

The rest of the episode was quite good, however. Partially because it features Donald (whom I still like a lot, even if he's not quite Barksian) more prominently than any other episode to date. Partially because it feels more like a more classic kind of story--none of the Ducktales-exclusive characters appear in any capacity. And partially because...well, it's just plain well-written and executed.

Donald is on leave in Egypt, where Scrooge and HDL come to visit him. Unfortunately, he is captured by some characters who mistake him for the reincarnation of their god ("the Garbled One"). They take him away, and the others have to rescue him while he himself fends off (without realizing what he's doing) the machinations of a high-priest type who resents losing his leadership role and sics a mummy on the interloper.

There's a lot of fun stuff with Donald as leader, first enjoying the life and then trying to escape. I was quite taken with this, so much so that when the perspective switched back to Scrooge and the kids I felt mildly disgruntled.

Anyway, Donald is possessed by the spirit of the original Garbled One (and there's some clever business in which the ghost's signal gets mixed with Donald's and he starts doing some seaman-type stuff). There's some capturing, some escaping, and some action before Donald gets un-possessed, and then there's a quite unexpectedly moving denouement in which the leader's spirit frees the mummy by stripping off his wrappings and they both fly off to the hereafter.

If the show proves capable of managing this level of quality on even a semi-regular basis, it will definitely have justified its existence.

1 comment:

  1. This is definitely a standout episode, and one of the few I remembered the plot of when I got the first season on DVD.