Rewatching DuckTales! We get a look at where Launchpad came from in episode twenty-four, “Top Duck.”
Here’s what happens: Launchpad is preparing his old-timey biplane for an airplane stunt show. The pressure is on, because Launchpad’s family is coming for the show. We get Launchpad’s backstory: He comes from a family of stunt pilots, but he left home after failing a complex stunt and crashing. Scrooge, meanwhile, is rolling out a new high-tech airplane, the MC-X. Then we catch up to the Beagle Boys, who plan to steal the MC-X for themselves.
At the airshow, Scrooge meets Launchpad’s dad, mom, and little sister. He and Launchpad debut the MC-X , Launchpad feels he doesn’t have his family’s approval, while the Beagle Boys pose as mechanics to steal the MC-X.
The Beagle Boys fly to Scrooge’s money bin and use the MC-X’s gadgets to bust into it, Launchpad pursues in his biplane, and his family joins him in their planes. Launchpad saves the day by successfully pulling off the stunt he failed years earlier. Launchpad’s family tells him they were always proud of him, just that he never gave them a chance to say so.
Humbug: Scrooge says the reason the MC-X comes with a powerful drill is so it can “revolutionize the entire mining industry.” It then gets used to tear through his money vault.
Junior Woodchucks: There’s an extended fight scene between the nephews and the Beagle Boys, and Huey, Dewey and Louie do a pretty good job against the crooks, until the bad guys lock them up. They engineer their escape thanks to a pizza-loving Italian pilot. (This subplot takes up most of the second act.)
Fasten your seatbelts: Launchpad’s father is Ripcord McQuack, his mom is Birdie McQuack, and the sister is Loopey McQuack. I’m told that there’s quite a cult following for Loopey on some certain websites.
Foul fowls: It’s the first appearance of Bomber Beagle, an airplane-themed Beagle Boy. The other Beagles in this one are Bouncer and Burger, with a short appearance by Big Time in the opening scene.
Down in Duckburg: We see that the nephews now have a huge treehouse next to Scrooge’s mansion.
Reference row: The episode title is quite obviously a reference to Top Gun. Launchpad’s dad’s voice is quite obviously an impersonation of John Wayne.
Thoughts upon this viewing: Somebody working on DuckTales must really love airplanes. This one is all about airplanes flying around, with a nephews/Beagle Boys fight thrown in as well. An action-heavy episode, but it finds a nice balance between clumsy comic relief Launchpad and cool adventurer Launchpad.
Next: Hey, Pearl!
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