Rewatching DuckTales! We’re freezing time, we’re time traveling, and we even have a time bathtub in episode 43, “Time Teasers.”
Here’s what happens: When Huey, Dewey and Louie are late for breakfast, Scrooge tries to impart the lesson “The early bird gets the worm” to them. Later, the boys are scheduled to make deliveries for Gyro Gearloose, but it conflicts with a ballgame they want to go to. Gyro also shows off his new “Time Teaser,” which makes its user move so fast that it appears that they’ve frozen time. The kids use the device to make their deliveries and see the game. Then they use it to cheat in the game, and then they stop the Beagle Boys from robbing the stadium.
The Beagle Boys investigate, and spy on Gyro and the nephews as they explain the Time Teaser to Scrooge. The villains swipe the Time Teaser, and easily use it to steal all the gold from Scrooge’s money bin. Scrooge follows a trail of coins to the Beagle Boys’ boat, with all the gold. The Beagle Boys drop the Time Twister and damage it, which sends them backwards in time to pirate days. A pirate, Captain Blackheart (played yet again by go-to Disney villain Pete) attacks and captures the Beagle Boys.
In the present, Gyro has gone ahead and built a second time machine out of a bathtub, and he follows the Beagle Boys to pirate times. Blackheart captures them as well. It’s Blackheart’s birthday, and he wants the captives to perform for him. Scrooge and the Beagle Boys realize they must work together to escape. The Beagle Boys distract the pirates with their singing (!) while Scrooge and Gyro affix the time machine to the Beagles’ ship with the gold. It’s a mad chase to get back to the ship, but everyone gets back to the present. Scrooge gets his money back and the Beagle Boys get sent off to jail.
Humbug: During their truce, Scrooge promises not to leave the Beagle Boys stuck in the past. When Huey suggests they leave the villains behind, Scrooge refuses, saying he gave his word and “My word is as good as gold.”
Junior woodchucks: The three nephews cheat in the baseball game, but at the end of the episode, they learn that the opposing team bounced back and came from behind in the last inning. I guess that’s the timeline affixing itself.
Great gadgeteer: We learn that Gyro owns and operates the Invention of the Month Club, and these are the deliveries the boys are making. Fortunately, Gyro is not shipping time machines to people all over Duckburg. His other invention this week is a hokey combination hair dryer and popcorn popper.
Foul fowls: The Beagle Boys in this episode are Babyface, Bankjob, and Bebop. The scene where they beautifully sing “I Want a Girl” to the pirates is one of the DuckTales’ signature moments. It also sets up the Beagle Boys singing in future episodes.
Down in Duckburg: The pro baseball team in Duckburg is the Mallards, who have a long history of always losing. This week, they’re playing the Garfield Ganders.
Reference row: There’s a lot of stopwatches that stop time throughout sci-fi history. Arguably the most well known is 1963’s “A Kind of Stopwatch” episode of The Twilight Zone.
Thoughts upon this viewing: A really fun one, with some great visuals, a fun time-twisty plot, and the all-time great bit with the Beagle Boys singing. The idea Scrooge and the Beagle Boys having to make a truce and work together isn’t followed up on as much as it could have been, but other than that, this is a winner.
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