Rewatching DuckTales! You want giant mechs? We got giant mechs in episode 9, “Robot Robbers.”
Here’s what happens: Scrooge learns he’s lost a construction contract to his rival, Flintheart Glomgold. The job, a new high-tech bank, is being constructed by four giant mechs. The job is also under the eye of Ma Beagle and the Beagle Boys. They steal the robots for themselves and cause chaos around town.
Scrooge and Launchpad investigate, while the Beagle Boys torment Glomgold. Scrooge and Glomgold work together to distract the robots, eventually wearing down the batteries. When the robots use power lines to recharge, Scrooge and company short out three of them, with Ma Beagle’s robot still on the loose.
The chase next leads back to the construction site, where the robot is buried in quick-drying cement. The mayor then outlaws the robots, and Scrooge’s company gets the job of repairing all the damage the robots did.
Humbug: Early in the episode, Scrooge sees the robots and wonders if he’s out of touch and become to unwilling to take big risks. It doesn’t appear as though this character arc has a proper resolution.
Best brains: Gyro works for Glomgold in this episode, building the robots for him and not Scrooge. In a rare continuity shout-out, Scrooge mentions Gyro building the robot Armstrong in the previous ep. Many fans have pointed out these robots and Armstrong share a similar design.
Fasten your seatbelts: Launchpad also works for Glomgold in this one by flying a banner overhead. When Glomgold fires him, Scrooge immediately rehires him.
Foul fowls: It’s the first appearance of Ma Beagle, establishing her as the brains behind the Beagle Boys’ many schemes. She was created specifically for DuckTales and did not appear in the original Uncle Scrooge comics. It’s also the first appearance of Bankjob Beagle, a musclebound brawler. Babyface and Burger are the other two in this ep. The producers made an error, though, as Burger speaks with Bouncer Beagle’s voice. This just further confuses sorting out which Beagle Boy is which in any given episode.
Down in Duckburg: More confusion about how the Money Vault building works. This time, the Beagle Boys’ robots tear away most of the building as if it is merely a shell, built around the actual vault, which is like a big metal safe. Where were all those offices from the last episode?
This is the first appearance of the mayor of Duckburg. According to the Disney Wiki, his name has never been revealed, other than just “the mayor.” We won’t see him again until the later episodes that introduce Bubba Duck.
Reference row: While it’s not a one-to-one reference, I think it’s safe to say the Godzilla franchise is at least influence on this one:
Thoughts upon this viewing: This episode is an exercise in problem solving. Both the heroes and the villains keep getting put up against a series of obstacles and then having to think their way out of them. It’s amusing enough, but not really a standout episode.
Next: Shadow games.
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