Friday, September 16, 2011

Ducktales, Season Three, Episode Seven: "Dough Ray Me"

Assuming that title is meant to be an imperative--which is the only way it parses as a sentence--it really needs to be hyphenated: Dough-Ray me, damn you!

Anyway, this one opens with the kids playing an arcade game in which the player controls the Beagle Boys trying to rob the money bin. That's a funny idea--apparently, the Scrooge/Beagles conflicts are big, public events in Ducktalesworld.

Alas, they run out of quarters and Scrooge won't give them anymore; he also won't give Fenton a raise unless he figures out a good money-making scheme, so when it transpires that Gyro's invented a gadget that duplicates stuff, the prayers of both HDL and Fenton are answered. Seemingly.

Naturally, the kids use the machine to duplicate money, but it turns out the machine has a li'l bug where anything you've duplicated duplicates again at the sound of a bell. This of course results in riches riches everywhere. It's kind of a neat idea (and this sort of thing can be done to chilling effect), but the episode can't really seem to figure out how to exploit it to the hilt--it's kind of amusing to see people brushing away huge piles of money like snow, but there's not much more to it than that.

Another thing I find amusing: Scrooge objects to this money-doubling thing even before the side-effects are made known, on the basis that excessive duplication will cause runaway inflation (cf "A Financial Fable;") which misses the more obvious point--to wit, that this would be incredibly illegal--rather comically. Seriously, there's a reminiscence on the DVD of To Live and Die in LA in which some sorta production person tells how he took a few of the prop counterfeit bills used in the film home with him as a souvenir (or something), and his son tried to spend it, and they were almost instantly swarmed with federal agents. Point being: they take this shit perhaps excessively seriously--but here, that doesn't even occur to anyone.

Never mind. It turns out duplicated things self-destruct after a while, so Fenton comes up with a plan to let the Beagles scoop up all the money, take it somewhere, and let it blow up (let's not even think about the plausibility of them being able to scoop up literally all of this currency). The thing is, Fenton really gets screwed here: 'cause the plan works. Perfectly. And Scrooge is all set to give him that raise for having dealt with the problem. But then Gyro comes and goes, oh no, the duplicated stuff won't explode as I'd thought! And everyone goes, shit! We've got to get the money back! But then it turns out that instead it implodes, which amounts to exactly the same thing, only now, for no good reason, Scrooge is pissed off and Fenton doesn't get the raise after all. Man, that's some serious bullshit.

So yeah, cute idea, but not a great episode. Skirts a li'l too close to your dumber season one episodes, though, as usual, Fenton at least helps a bit.

Stray Observations

-"Two cavities--that'll be forty thousand dollars per filling." "Well, at least some prices haven't gone up." Ho ho--not to be dismissive of the very real problem of excessive medical costs, but in the real world, getting a cavity filled costs, what, a hundred dollars? Two hundred at most?

-"Fenton, you're a genuine genius!" "Aw, I'll bet you say that to all the genuine geniuses!"


  1. "Dough Ray Me" may have become the most-watched (at least in part) Ducktales episodes of the last two years, because scenes from the episodes are used a lot in lessons about inflation.

    There is a big difference between exploding and imploding. If all of the coins exploded, there would be billions of metal slivers all around Duckburg and people would probably get killed. With imploding, there is no blown-up coin residue, just a localized mess.

    And you're right- the counterfeiting squad should've swooped in, although in this case it would be harder to prove counterfeit coins than counterfeit bills.

  2. Yeah, but Scrooge was assuming there would be explosion, and he was apparently cool with that. But then the implosion (which seems to also cause a great bit of destruction, for unclear reasons) happens, and oh no.