Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ducktales, Season One, Episode Thirty-Four: "Catch as Cash Can," part four: "Working for Scales"

Hmm. This is definitely the best of the four, though "classic" would be pushing it. The idea is that Scrooge is flying his money to be weighed on the city of Atlantis, now airborne with balloons, which certainly gets credit for the novelty factor. But here's what REALLY bugs me about this one: there's a super-ultra-contrived conflict between Scrooge and the nephews--because they're searching for Atlantean treasure to help him win, they forget that they're meant to be minding the cloud-making-machine, which shielded the island from sight. This sends him into a ridiculously over-the-top, towering rage. "And I thought that some day you lads would follow in my footsteps--obviously, I was wrong!" It's absurdly out-of-character, whether in cartoon or comic form, and their response--"We're nothing but a bunch of blockheaded, blundering, good-for-nothing, goof-ups!" is similarly hyperbolic. All this is quite dumb, but what really gets my goat is that Scrooge is never made to acknowledge that he was being a dick--the kids only get back into his good graces because they in fact find the treasure in question (as usual with situations like this in Ducktales, the "secret" turns out to be laughably obvious). Really leaves a sour taste in my mouth, that does.

Shame, because there IS a lot to recommend this episode: the sky-high hi-jinks are generally good (though those damn Beagle Boys are again the antagonists in that regard), and the interactions between Glomgold and the Indian leader-guy are priceless. I know I described him as "risibly-accented" in his appearance in the first part of this serial, but, here, well, I dunno--I feel like I shouldn't be laughing at over-the-top ethnic stereotypes (though they're pretty harmless here), but the guy's just hilarious, particularly his keen interest in Glomgold's "talking coat" (he has a walkie-talkie in there with which he surreptitiously communicates with the Beagles).

Anyway, Scrooge wins, obviously, though all of the money, his and Glomgold's, gets mixed up together, which seems like it would present problems. And it's hard not to wonder why all this weighing couldn't have just taken place back in Duckburg. Oh well! It's over now, at any rate. Overall, "Catch as Cash Can" has its moments, but in the aggregate, it's hard to think of it as anything more than mediocre.

Stray Observations

-"We're gonna steal some of Glomgold's fortune!" Only "some?" Very magnanimous of them.

-Ridiculously perfect aim when HDL use a makeshift catapult to detach the beagles' planes from the island.

-"Gee--I never crashed a briefcase before!"

-"Quick! Hide! It is a deranged water buffalo!"

-"Straw that Broke the Camel's Back" notwithstanding, ONE DIME WILL NOT MAKE THAT MUCH DIFFERENCE. Sheesh.


  1. It's been made pretty clear that Scrooge knows each and every coin and bill in his bin, and on the show, all he has to do is dive around and he can tell if even a nickel is missing. "Time Teasers" makes it clear that he can do inventory for the whole bin with the nephews' help in a single afternoon. Since Scrooge is so honest, he could probably separate his money (and the treasure) from Glomgold's in a day.

    I also think that Scrooge was unnecessarily harsh and the nephews too self-loathing. But I love how Glomgold cheats at the "guess a number" game.

    I like the No. 1 Dime making the difference. It's a shout-out to "The Second-Richest Duck" where (SPOILER!) the Dime's string puts him ahead.

  2. Yeah, the "Second-Richest Duck" connection did occur to me. I GUESS I'll give it a pass for that reason. But don't let it happen again!