Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Ducktales, Season Three, Episode Seventeen: "The Masked Mallard"

Scrooge as a superhero? I was actually, perhaps naïvely, hopeful that this could be something really cool, like Launchpad as a secret agent. Hmph.

So Scrooge is building a shopping mall, and there's an evil news anchor dude, "Lloyd Loudmouth" (a sort-of proto-Glenn-Beck, I suppose, though orders of magnitude less media-savvy), who accuses him of just wanting to "line [his] pockets at the public's expense." This is all very nonsensical, but he apparently succeeds in making everyone hate the shit out of Scrooge, to the extent that children hurl rotten produce at him. I won't say I don't think it would be good if the general public adopted that attitude towards investment bankers in real life, but here it's just heavy-handed and dumb, similar to the heavy-handed dumbness in the last episode of everyone marginalizing Webby, only even less justified.

So anyway, Scrooge has the brilliant idea to adopt the identity of the title character, with the help of some inventions from Gyro, and fight some crime and whatnot, before revealing his true identity to make people realize he doesn't suck so much.

But oh no, a person who is transparently the evil news anchor dude is pretending to be the Masked Mallard and committing crimes to discredit him. And there's some mistaken-identity stuff, with Gizmo nabbing the wrong one, and a climactic battle, and blah.

I should note that the episode DOES include some sort-of-cool comic-book-style backgrounds, but aside from that, this is all very unimaginative stuff. I think the laziness is crystalized in this bit of lampshading when Gizmoduck has nabbed Scrooge, thinking he's the Mallard: "Listen: did you no see both me and the Masked Mallard outside the art museum?" "Yes…" "Doesn't that give ya a clue?" "No…" Come on.

Also, while I have no problem with the characters being fooled by dumb secret identities, it rubs me the wrong way when we're meant, to whatever extent, to sort of go along with them being fooled.

Seriously, Ducktales. Just one more episode as good as "Metal Attraction." Don't make me beg.

Stray Observations

-Okay, I do like Scrooge's incredibly bizarre Masked-Mallard voice, trying to do the Gizmoduck sound on top of the brogue.

-Oh, and Scrooge is saved from being tied to a flagpole by activating his whistle-activated laser-cane that then fires lasers around wildly and just so happens to shoot clean through the ropes. You're not even trying here, guys.

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