Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ducktales, Season Two, Episode Ten: "Super Ducktales," part five: "Money to Burn"

So thinking back on the last episode, I realize: Scrooge sold his mansion to Ma Beagle for one hundred fifty million dollars. I realize that having no more than that (minus various expenses) would make him think he was in the "poorhouse," but the episode--as well as the recap thing this week--seems to want us to believe that this is objectively true, which it really isn't. Also, how exactly did the Beagles lose ownership of the mansion? As far as I can tell, it was never actually demonstrated that they had stolen Scrooge's money--maybe the thinking was that it just seemed self-evident, but if so, why aren't they in jail at the end?--so what's the problem?

OKAY. So as this episode opens, Scrooge's bin is somewhere beneath the waves, and he has to reclaim it. Cue: aliens. Of course. They take the bin back to their homeworld, as one does. Aliens harvesting metal from Earth's oceans? I was harboring the hope that these would be the guys from Barks' "Lost Beneath the Sea," but no such luck: instead, they're just miscellaneous robots.

Scrooge, Launchpad, and Gizmo follow them via spaceship. Of the ship, Launchpad comments that it "gets thirty-five light years to the gallon." The show gets points for realizing that a light year is a measure of distance rather than time; it loses these points in the endgame, however, when Scrooge, defying all known laws of physics, swims through space to the bin and somehow propels it back to Earth. And even if there wasn't that, there's the fact that, with no explanation, our heroes have no problem breathing without helmets (and were so confident that this would be the case that they don't even initially wear helmets out) on the robots' planet. Sorry--better luck next time!

Yeah, the whole robot-thing is kinda left-field and arbitrary, but it does provide a good opportunity for Fenton to strut his stuff, which is portrayed reasonably well. I like the way he beats the slightly deranged chief robot (nicely portrayed) by winning a counting contest against it, and I like his newfound confidence in the end, and the fact that he gets a date with his dream girl. Go Fenton! Still…it must be said, the logic here isn't particularly, well, logical. When he loses the suit, Scrooge (having learned his true identity) laments that he's useless without it, to which he responds "But I'M Gizmoduck! He's just Fenton Crackshell with aluminum siding!" Well…not really. It's very clever the way he uses his counting ability to prevail against the boss robot, but that has nothing to do with what he's able to do as Gizmoduck--there's still no evidence that anybody wouldn't be able to do exactly what he does, Gizmowise, if they had it.

I'll overlook that, though, 'cause I like Fenton, and although it wasn't perfect, I'd still say that this was the best multi-part Ducktales thing yet by a rather wide margin.

Stray Observations

-Gizmoduck's arsenal includes, along with such must-haves as a cream pie, a crab, and a turkey baster, a live skunk, which freaks out and runs off. Poor critter--it doesn't stand a chance on the robot planet. I think that's something that would have genuinely bothered me if I'd seen this when I was a little kid.

-Funny bit: as the robot boss is claiming to be "the fastest, most sophisticated computer in the universe," it turns its head and you can see the port marked "VHF cable" on the back.

-…and Fenton's mother's actually not as old as she initially seems, as becomes apparent when she's not wearing curlers. Which certainly makes chronological sense.

1 comment:

  1. I think that it's mentioned that there is rust on the robot planet, so that means that there is probably oxygen on the robot planet, so that's how they know they can breathe– they saw rust.

    Maybe the Beagles lost the mansion in the same way Scrooge lost the diamond island in the previous multi-episode arc. The Beagles just gave Scrooge a down payment, and then when they couldn't pay him the rest in time, the rights to the mansion reverted to Scrooge. Duckburg's contract laws are crazy.

    Scrooge proved that the money was his through the serial numbers, but Ma Beagle triumphed through bribery and threats, which is further proof of Duckburg's deep-seated corruption. Scrooge recovered all of his money, so the Beagles aren't in jail because they either used their waning influence to protect themselves, or they're just in hiding.