Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ducktales, Season Four, Episode Seven: "The Golden Goose" Part II

NO MORE PENCILS NO MORE BOOKS NO MORE…okay.

The last episode was called "The Golden Goose Part I." This one is called "The Golden Goose" Part II, "part II" outside the quotation marks. C'mon, people--it was really that difficult to be consistent here?

As I said about gold…Scrooge is trapped in this gold sack, but then it cracks open like an egg when it's struck with a gold statuette. I just do not think gold works remotely in that fashion…

Poupon has a vial of water that would turn the nephews back to normal, but this cannot be, as it is necessary to use it on the goose, to delay its apocalyptic transformations: first it comes to life and turns everything it sees to gold; then, it transpires, there's the "golden death" phase, in which the gold comes off the goose and spreads over the entire planet and everyone and everything dies. I know very well the sort of thing that freaked me out when I was small, and I can tell you that this conceit would have absolutely terrified me.

So the nephews cannot be changed back, and in fact they make no appearance (except in statue form) 'til the last minute of the episode. Seems odd that you wouldn't want to feature some of your main-est characters in your last-ever episode. Oh, and Webby doesn't play any meaningful role either: she wants to help, but Scrooge gets her to beg to stay by telling her that the most important job is looking after the HDL statues and that she can't handle it, and seriously, what is this sub-Tom-Sawyer horseshit?

Anyway, they try to recover the statue from Glomgold's extremely slapstick-y factory, but alas, it works not, and the bird comes to life. Dijon becomes persona non grata after obtaining but then losing it, and it's then that you know he'll save the day in the end.

And then the idiot Beagles destroy the vial containing the magic water and the golden death thing starts, and yeah, it's a bit frightening to see the gold spreading all over the landscape, though the tone never becomes really desperate. But apparently, the transformation can be reversed if you find the molted goose and take it back to its resting spot in the temple; I find this questionable, but I suppose it might have been a controversial decision to end the series by destroying the entire world.

So yeah, it's not bad, actually, although, in spite of the existential nature of the threat, it doesn't really have the feeling of a grand finale. I wonder whether, when they shot this, they thought they might be able to do further episodes. But hey, whatever--it could have been a helluva lot worse, so let's congratulate them for going out on a comparative high note.

Stray Observations

-Okay, so why would Dijon possibly think that the regular-looking goose that he runs across is the goose, given that there's no indication that he had any idea what the transformation entailed? Okay okay, Poupon could've filled him in on the plane ride over. I still find the whole thing Highly Questionable.

-Poupon refers to Glomgold as "Mister Gloomduck," which is what Dijon kept calling him in "Attack of the Metal Mites." Nice bit of continuity, though I'm not sure what to make of the implication that A-rabs are inevitably going to hit on that particular mistake.

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10 comments:

  1. The Golden Goose doesn't seem to change the thickness of substances, so if the bedsheet-turned into a sack was turned, it probably was like a few thickness of aluminum foil- too tough for Scrooge to punch through, but easily punctured and then ripped apart once the thick, solid gold statue hit it. I'd need to watch the episode in slow-motion, but I don't think it cracked so much as tore.

    As I mentioned in my Part 1 comments, the overseas location is in India. I'm not sure that Dijon and Poupon are meant to be Arabs. I'm not saying that there's no ethnic stereotyping going on, just that it's Indian.

    This wasn't meant to be the finale. The show's creators thought that there might be more, plus more movies, but Disney for some reason thinks that it would be a savvy business decision to only make sixty-five episodes of their animated shows (http://www.savedisneyshows.org/65/), and only Ducktales's extreme popularity bought it the extra 35. I'm not sure, but I don't think that this was even the last episode produced (I think that might've been "Metal Mites," an even less finale-ish episode, but it was the last episode aired.

    It's too bad that the monks have a vow of poverty that leaves them unable to own more than one bottle. If I were in Poupon's place, I'd take a darned aquarium worth of fountain water just in case the worst happened. Actually, when you look at all the "antiques" the ducks bought in the previous episode, maybe it's hard to find a vessel from that part of the world without a giant crack in it. You were concerned about the ethics of Scrooge's deal, but look at it this way. Scrooge was buying things from the people there that they COULDN'T POSSIBLY USE. That vase one of the nephews holds up couldn't hold any liquid. Scrooge sure as heck isn't exploiting the people of India– he's paying them good money for stuff they'd have to throw out, and they probably think they're getting the best of the deal. That and the fact that they think that Americans are idiots for buying their worthless garbage.

    I have to stress that the intended audience is for kids under ten or maybe twelve, and I can speak from experience that when you're that age, the thought of a golden plague sweeping the world IS ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING. Yes, from a grown-up jaded perspective it's not as chilling, but the idea of all these people going about their daily business and BOOM! STATUES! is freaky. Anyway, most of the episodes are all about locating a lost treasure or learning just how important family and friends are in a way that is so heartwarming you want to throw up. Most of the time, Scrooge is just adding more cash to the money bin. Now, he's SAVING THE ENTIRE WORLD. Rag on multi-quadrillionaires all you want, but all of the living creatures on earth owe Scrooge (and Launchpad, Dijon, and Poupon) their lives. This is the biggest thing they've ever done, and notice that Scrooge is too happy that HDL can move that he never thinks of using the fact that he's a savior of the world as way to get the upper hand on business deals.

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  2. Also, the recap narrator at the start of this episode isn't nearly as good as the recap/next-on narrator from "Super Ducktales." And you notice how Duckworth's wearing sunglasses in the opening scene and Mrs. Beakley's wearing earmuffs? I understand that Duckworth needs the sunglasses for the golden gleam, but is it really so noisy at night that Mrs. Beakley needs soundproofing?

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  3. Re the ethics of buying junk, I wasn't thinking about the exploitation of the Indians so much as I was about the Americans. I mean, not that *I* care if dopey Americans with more money than sense are ripped off; fuck 'em--but the show earlier seemed to think this was a bad thing, but now, not so much.

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  4. Re the nationality of Dijon and Poupon, it IS specified that they live in some sort of play on "Bangladesh" that I didn't quite catch. But I dunno--there a LOT of minarets all over the place, which certainly doesn't *preclude* India, but seems more coded towards the Middle East. Also, in the movie, the treasure was clearly somewhere in the Maghreb. Again, not that Dijon *couldn't* have been an itinerant from elsewhere, but again, I dunno...

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  5. I have a feeling that Dijon is rarely spotted in his original homeland—because he's probably got around 35,457 angry creditors waiting for him there. I can easily buy "itinerant from elsewhere."

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  6. Christopher,

    Think you're onto something about the 'ons being Indian. Poupon being a monk, their "flesh" tone (even though that's an opened can of worms...and not just because they should have FUR, or because all we're really talking about is paint!), and their vocal inflections (steretypes thought they may be) all seem to point that way. (Although, in truth, I have no clue about the vocal inflections thing...I mean, my major reference point on this isn't exactly ideal: just went to IMDB to see if Apu[!!!] is voiced by the same person.) (He's not. I should've known it was Hank Azaria. Shame on me.)

    I actually remember seeing "Golden Goose" before I saw "Metal Mites" -- pretty sure it was "Golden Goose" where, stunned at seeing both a new episode and Dijon on the show, I ran out to the kitchen and pulled my dad by his arm back into the family room with me as I raved, "See?!! SEE?!! Remember him from the movie?!!" I easily could've missed the show the day "Metal Mites" first aired, though. And I'm just going by memory here, of course.

    Further episodes and additional movies...IF ONLY! For total episodes, 130 would've been a good number. (Since it's 65 x 2 ... because of the unusual number of total episodes, for the next few years, when the series remained in syndication, the last 35 eps were shown TWICE as often as the original 65!)

    I think I used to run around the yard trying to impersonate the booming, constantly-enthusiatic, over-the-top "Time Is Money"-"Super DuckTales" recap-preview narrator!

    Ryan

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  7. My reference point for Indians-According-to-Ducktales is the guy from the "Firefly Fruit" serial. If I remember correctly, he had somewhat similar but not identical vocal inflections to the Mustard Brothers. Of course, I know little about Indian accents, and no doubt there are many variations...and in any case, I tend to doubt that the producers insisted that the show's ethnic stereotyping be all that finely-tuned.

    I do find the idea that "Metal Mites" was produced after this to be kind of disturbing: Dijon gets redeemed here, sort of, and then we're supposed to believe he immediately regresses to toadying for Glomgold? I'm not down with that.

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  8. On the subject of Dijon and Poupon's ethnicity, I like to think that they are half-British, the product of a love affair between a British army officer and a native woman. The officer later returned to England and became a suspect in a murder investigation. His name? Colonel Mustard.

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  9. Ok that screen with Webby just odd.You through for once you see Scrooge let Webby come along as chance to bond with her but instead this odd screen.Second of the fact that she wasn't also turned to gold made her of less importance .Also the fact after she was also changed to gold she was never throughout of again.Which was normal for the cartoon.I think this was suppose to be season premier and not the last show.I think Scrooge last adventure was suppose to the last one.The ending was to quick for this one.

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