Friday, September 23, 2011

Ducktales, Season Three, Episode Fifteen: "The Unbreakable Bin"

This episode has a really cool introductory nightmare sequence, where implacable, zombie-ish Beagle Boys are attacking the money bin and Scrooge can do nothing to stop them. The whole thing's rendered in crayonish textures and everything's filmed at odd angles. It's neat, and it reminds me of the similar opening to Rota's "Money Ocean."

The episode is an adaptation of Barks' "Unsafe Safe," and, by Ducktales standards, a faithful-ish one, but with the always-welcome addition of a Fenton subplot. The idea--as if you didn't know--is that Gyro invents new, unbreakable glass for Scrooge's new glasses (apparently, after "The Money Well," he took to heart the importance of being able to see properly); he uses this to sheathe the bin (actually, he appears to not just sheathe it, but actually replace the metal with glass, given that you can see through it to the money--cool effect; not necessarily that practical), which is liberating for him, but, oh no, there's a tropical bird with a call that can shatter even the magic glass, and now it is necessary to stop Magica (in her first appearance since "Nothing to Fear," way back in season one) from utilizing this to take his dime. In this version, Scrooge fires Fenton from his Gizmoduck job on the basis that he's no longer necessary, and he tries to find other suit-augmented work, with limited success.

I don't love the Barks story, but it's pleasant enough. That's also how I'd describe this episode: pleasant enough. Sufficiently pleasant. And that's a relief, given how brutal some of these recent episodes have been.

Stray Observations

-Hey, guess what? I've watched ninety episodes now. Just ten more, plus the movie. What a long, strange oh I'm sorry; I was momentarily channeling every high school yearbook ever.

-"But I really need that second paycheck! Mama and I have grown accustomed to our extravagant lower-middle-class lifestyle!" See, this is the kind of thing you shouldn't make explicit, guys. 'Cause if you spell out the fact that Fenton's barely able to keep afloat on the salary from two important jobs with the richest duck in the world, you're gonna make people think, wow, that Scrooge is an asshole. Which I'm pretty sure is not the idea.

-"...and in addition to withstanding three cubic tons of pressure per square inch, I also carry my own sonar equipment and intercontinental ballistic missiles!"

-I like the bad-comedian tour guide that the episode throws in for no reason.

-"Now that I've stopped worrying about my money, I don't mind spending it!" I don't think that's an accurate rendering of Scrooge's psychology.

-Gizmoduck patrolling back and forth in a variety of outfits--Rocket Gizmo, Chainsaw Gizmo, Napoleonic Gizmo, Rambo Gizmo--is funny.


  1. IIRC, the opening sequence was lifted from Pages 1-9 of Carl Barks’ “For Old Dime’s Sake”, in UNCLE SCROOGE # 43.

  2. Hmmm... Thanks to Disney DVD, I don't have the episode available to check. But, I THINK that's what that sequence was based on.