Rewatching DuckTales! Remember when Launchpad went into space and made first contact with deadly aliens? We’re doing that all over again in episode 47, “Right Duck.”
Here’s what happens: Scrooge fires Launchpad after Launchpad destroys an expensive statue. After being called a “space case,” he and his sidekick Doofus apply for jobs as astronauts at DASA (the Duckburg Aeronautics and Space Administration). Because he’s an “Astro-not” the DASA scientists secretly want to test Launchpad alongside a chimp as an experiment to find the world’s dumbest pilot to test their new idiot-proof computerized spaceship. There’s then a series of gags where the scientists and the chimp sabotage Launchpad’s astronaut training.
Desperate to prove himself a great pilot, Launchpad takes off in the spaceship before completing his training. Doofus joins him, and the two blast off, leaving Earth far behind. They make it all the way to Mars (!). There, we meet Ping the Pitiless, king of the Martians, who is obsessed with priceless gems. Ping mistakes Launchpad and Doofus for burglars, and then threatens to invade Earth in response.
Launchpad and Doofus are put in the dungeon, but they quickly escape and highjack a Martian rocket. Meanwhile, DASA sends a rescue mission to Mars, led by the chimp. Launchpad learns DASA only chose him to be an astronaut because of how dumb he is, but Doofus encourages him to prove them wrong. Launchpad lands his rocket in Scrooge’s swimming pool, disarming the rocket’s weapons and destroying the expensive statue. Launchpad is publicly declared a hero and he thanks Doofus while on TV. The episode ends with the chimp taking over as the new king of Mars.
Humbug: We see that Scrooge has hidden safes in every room in his mansion. When he fears the Martians are invading, he locks up his valuables in them. These “valuables” include his desk.
Junior woodchucks: The Junior Woodchuck guidebook states how to diffuse a Martian bomb. I hope we get an origin for this guidebook one of these days.
Fasten your seatbelts: Launchpad is portrayed as incredibly dumb in this one. His application for DASA is not a resume, but a stick-figure drawing of him flying a plane. This is all to set up his hero moment when he figures out how to fly the Martian ship in the end.
Do the Doo: Doofus is rewarded for his unwavering loyalty to his hero Launchpad. But this is his super-power of sorts, because he succeeds in getting Launchpad to save the day.
Foul fowls: While Ping the Pitiless is a stock evil alien type, it looks to me like the real villains are the DASA scientists and the chimp for not just manipulating and sabotaging Launchpad, but also laughing at him behind his back.
Down in Duckburg: This is the only appearance of DASA and its head scientist Dr. Von Geezer. Future outer space episodes will get into space without DASA’s help, it seems.
Reference row: Not only does the title reference 1983’s The Right Stuff, but E.T., Star Wars, and Star Trek are all referenced in one way or another. Ping the Pitiless is a spoof of Flash Gordon’s nemesis Ming the Merciless.
Thoughts upon this viewing: It’s fascinating when DuckTales does and doesn’t have continuity. This episode conveniently forgets that Lauchpad both went to space and met aliens in “Where No Duck Has Gone Before.” And that was also televised within the DuckTales world as well. Beyond that, this is a goofy comedy episode full of hacky jokes, and it’s pretty skippable.
Next: Going full Disney.
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