Rewatching DuckTales! Episode 18 is called “Dinosaur Ducks.” That pretty much says it all.
Here’s what happens: Launchpad is in an exotic locale, on the hunt for a rare bird, where he’s chased off by a giant lizard. Scrooge realizes that Launchpad inadvertently discovered the lost world, where dinosaurs still exist. They head off for an expedition, with the nephews and Webby stowing away.
The nephews are separated from the rest, befriending a baby dinosaur while narrowly escaping from a T-rex. Launchpad and Scrooge are then abducted by caveducks, leaving Webby on her own. She reunites with the three boys, and then the kids rescue Scrooge and Launchpad.
While our heroes befriend the baby dinosaur, Webby befriends the caveducks. Then everyone works together to chase off the T-rex when it attacks again. Scrooge then decides not to take the dinosaurs back home to his zoo, but instead offer helicopter tours over the lost world, so the dinos’ home can remain (relatively) undisturbed.
Humbug: This is the first we’ve seen of Scrooge owning his own zoo, not to mention his insistence that the zoo have its own star attraction.
Junior Woodchucks: The dinosaur that Huey, Dewey, and Louie befriend is a hadrosaur. In real life, the hadrosaur is known for its duckbill-shaped snout. This makes for a nice little in-joke on the animators’ parts.
Fasten your seatbelts: Launchpad offers Scrooge the use of a dinosaur-sized helicopter, but then reveals he doesn’t know how to fly it. Where’d he get it from, then?
Maid and maiden: Webby again shows that her “superpower” is her ability to make peace with various monsters and enemies the group comes across. In this one, she wins over the caveducks by telling them a bedtime story that’s a mashup of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. (Oh, she’s that type of Disney fan.)
Foul fowls: The leader of the caveducks keeps wanting to keep Scrooge’s hat for his own. At the end of the episode, Scrooge lets him keep the hat in exchange for Webby’s freedom. This is a variation on my thesis that DuckTales is the story of Scrooge learning that his family is more important than his wealth.
Down in Duckburg: Remember that grey-haired lady who was seen seated next to Scrooge in place of Mrs. Beakeley a few episodes back? That character gets a proper introduction this time. She’s Mrs. Featherby, Scrooge’s receptionist.
Reference row: By throwing around the phrase “lost world” throughout, the writers aren’t hiding that this episode is based on Arthur Conan Doyle’s original dinosaur classic The Lost World. The dinosaurs in this one even live on an isolated plateau, just as the ones in Doyle’s story do.
Thoughts upon this viewing: Pretty short on plot, but a lot of chases and action. I guess I liked this one, as it’s another throwback to old-timey pulp adventure.
Next: That’ll look great on a t-shirt.
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