Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ducktales, Season One, Episode Thirty-Nine: "Back Out in the Outback"

Is it just me, or does Alan Young play up Scrooge's Scottish accent more than usual here? Most peculiar.

Something's wrong with Scrooge's sheep farm in Australia (the set-up is similar to "Queen of the Wild Dog Pack," but that's about as far as the resemblance goes)--weird UFO things are messing things up by shearing the sheep--so Scrooge, HDL, and Webby come in to investigate. Webby ends up getting lost, so she has to do her thing while the others look for her and try to solve the UFO mystery.

Although I know some people object to Webby's excessive "cuteness," I generally haven't found it to be much of a problem, but GOOD LORD--the whole "Webby befriends adorable Australian animals" business is just about more than a man can bear. I very nearly went into sugar shock.

Well, that part's at least memorable, I suppose, but the central mystery here isn't especially interesting. It was pretty obvious from the moment he appeared that the manager of the ranch, Duke, would turn out to be a bad guy; I hoped briefly that they'd surprise us by not having this come to pass, but no such luck. I wonder if there's an intentional critique here: sure, Duke's bad and all, but, as he explains it, "Scrooge has gotten rich off the sweat of my brow long enough" (or something like that; I didn't write it down), and Scrooge at one point remarks "you and Duke aren't just my friends--you're my trustworthy, low-paid employees." It's a funny line, but maybe if Scrooge weren't so exploitive, he wouldn't have problems like this. Then again, the other employee, Sundowner, gets rewarded for accepting his lot, so I dunno. Highly questionable, is what I find this.

It's also what I find the climax: in order to stop the UFOs (which turn out to be mechanical, remote-controlled boomerangs with blades on them), HDL come up with a plan where they use a giant slingshot to launch a bunch of regular boomerangs out of a plane to destroy them. Even ignoring the fact that a boomerang will not fly properly if you just throw it any old way (imagine trying to throw a frisbee like a baseball), there would be no reason to expect that they would actually hit the evil boomerangs. And yet…this idiotic plan works perfectly. Intelligence-insulting nonsense like this does not sit well with me.

Not painfully bad, but certainly not particularly good.

Stray Observations

-I'm giving the episode the benefit of the doubt and assuming that the animals which the characters refer to as "warthogs" (or, in Webby's vomitous case, "wartyhogs") are in fact meant to be feral pigs, which, unlike warthogs, actually exist in the wild in Australia--as opposed to the writers just being really clueless about the native fauna.

-Webby DOES ride (well, sleep, anyway, but close enough) in a kangaroo's pouch, thus following the local, state, and federal laws that require this for any cartoon set in Australia.

1 comment:

  1. I like this episode even if it wasn;t that memorable...