Friday, March 16, 2012

Quack Pack, Episode Two: "Island of the Not so Nice"

Uh, well, okay, here's this again.  The idea here is that HDL--after a really irritating intro about how exaggeratedly teenage and bored they are--get a great idea to take Daisy's pet echidna iguana, Knuckles, for a walk so as to, uh, give them an opening to talk to a girl they like but are too shy/awkward to approach under ordinary circumstances.  I suppose something like this is good inasmuch as, in theory, it makes them seem a bit more human, but they do it in a predictably douchey way that reduces one's sympathy.  Bah.

Meanwhile, Daisy, as a reporter, is taking a ride on this new automatic plane, and for some reason she's allowed to bring Donald with her.  Certainly, these parts are the best part of the episode, and not JUST because not featuring teenage HDL kinda makes them so by default.  Daisy is indeed a very palatable character--certainly more so than she is in the great majority of comics--and Donald is…well, Donald.  Point being, I like them both.  And there's some amusing business here with the automated flight attendant and automated pilot.

Anyway, the iguana gets lost, and in chasing it, HDL end up on an island ruled by a mad scientist who wants to use his special ray thingie to reduce all lifeforms to a prehistoric state (which, when you think about it, makes little sense, given how divergent evolution is--there isn't just one single ancestor for any given plant or animal).  And eventually Knuckles gets turned big'n'prehistoric and heads back to Duckburg to, like terrorize it and stuff, until he's stopped in a singularly dumb plot twist--see, the ray was powered by peanut butter, so obviously it can be reversed by means of jelly.  I know it's kinda meant to be dumb to an extent, but the dumbness overflows the boundaries of what was intended.

Also, there is a joke about enormous-prehistoric-pigeon shit.

The key to this show, I suppose, is trying your damnedest to just endure HDL as best you can--which is fucking hard, because it's not just their language; it's also their awful facial expressions: seriously, if that smug, heavy-lidded, shit-eating smirk they do isn't enough to drive you into a killing frenzy, nothing is.  I just think about how good this show could have been if they had maintained the current versions of Donald and Daisy and went back to the Ducktales iterations of HDL.  Probably woulda lasted longer than thirty-nine episodes, too.  A real missed opportunity.


  1. I have seen only a little bit of Quack Pack, but I did do some research...

    It seems Quack Pack was originally intended to be a sequel to DuckTales, but some executive didn't really like the DuckTales style of humor/worldbuilding, and preferred the old school Disney cartoons and demanded something more like that.

    The original premise: Donald has returned from the Navy. Scrooge gives the nephews back to him to let him learn some familial responsibility, as well as a job higher up in the McDuck corporate chain, with the express intent to train Donald to take over his fortune some day.

    There would have been adventure/comedy stories, though it wasn't clear how much Scrooge would be in the picture, but Daisy would have been a big part of the show like she is now, and HDL would have been aged up somewhat, though not as EXTREME!!!!1111 as they are now.

    My favorite part of the original premise was what we see a big part of (as you've mentioned): Donald and Daisy, after their long separation due to Donald's Navy service, would need to get to know each other all over again. It really is a fascinating premise.

    But that was dropped. Which is why we have... this. No dognoses, no extension of DuckTales, no Scrooge or Launchpad or Gyro or anybody.

    Of course, my resources could be faulty, but it seems plausible based on other things I have read.

    If only, huh?

  2. *Siiigh* Reviewordie, if only indeed.

    It supposedly would have adapted Barks' Donald tales the way DuckTales adapted some $crooge stories. Man what I wouldn't have given for THAT.

  3. Reviewordie, your summary of the forces that bludgeoned QUACK PACK into its ultimate, lopsided shape seems to be fairly accurate. At this point in the development -- "dissolution" might be more accurate -- of Disney TV Animation, executive meddling had become a main obstacle to the creation of anything worthwhile. GARGOYLES, at least in its initial form, managed to sidestep the infighting, but BONKERS was fatally damaged by it (e.g. the switch from the realistic Miranda Wright to the semi-cartoony Lucky Piquel), and QUACK PACK suffered the same unfortunate fate.

    I would have loved to have seen a QUACK PACK that borrowed from the spirit of the Barks ten-pagers and employed traditional Barks characters (with the revamped Daisy replacing the older model). The snarky tone of QUACK PACK was a real turn-off at the time and seems even more off-putting now.

    Chris Barat