Rewatching DuckTales! The snake eats its own tail when Disney spoofs Disney in episode 47, “Scroogerello.”
Here’s what happens: Scrooge has the flu, and his family insists that he spend the day in bed. This just makes him more miserable. Webby tries cheering him up by reading him the story of Cinderella. Scrooge falls asleep and dreams he is “Scroogerello,” with Glomgold as his wicked stepfather and the Beagle Boys as his wicked stepbrothers. The villains plot to swindle a fortune from Princess Goldie at the royal ball, and Scrooge hopes to stop them.
Scrooge gets locked up in the castle dungeon along with Huey, Dewey, and Louie, who are meager servants. Mrs. Beakeley appears as a fairy godmother, transforming Scrooge into a gold-clad prince. At the ball, Princess Goldie is being wooed by a long list of suitors. Scrooge appears, and he and Goldie start to hit it off, but then the Beagle Boys abduct her.
Scrooge pursues the Beagle Boys, but the clock strikes midnight and he loses all his magical wealth. Then we lose the narrative somewhat as Launchpad appears in the form of a frog (!) whose castle was overthrown by the Beagle Boys. He and Scrooge agree to work together as everyone is chased through the hedge maze outside the castle. Then there’s more running around as the Beagle Boys are transformed into bullfrogs, as in half-bull, half-frog.
Goldie is freed, but only finds Scrooge’s top hat left behind. Then it’s the Cinderella’s glass slipper gag, but with the top hat in place of the slipper. She tries the hat on Scrooge, and they are reunited. Then the Beagle Boys return, and it looks like they’re about to break up Scrooge and Goldie. Scrooge then wakes from his dream, feeling better, and being kinder to his family.
Humbug: My thesis is that the series-long arc about DuckTales is Scrooge learning his family is more important than his money. In this episode, he’s a jerk to everyone else at first, but then kind and appreciative to them by the end.
Junior woodchucks: The three nephews are put to work polishing shoes in the dungeon. Later, the fairy godmother’s magic later transforms their car into one made of giant chocolate chip cookies for reasons I can’t determine.
Fasten your seatbelts: They begin a whole subplot about Launchpad’s character with him being hexed by a witch and then overthrown from his castle, but this is never followed up on.
Maid and maiden: We’re told that all the fairy magic wears off at midnight, but then Webby’s fairy-godmother-in-training character makes all kinds of crazy magic happen inside the hedge maze, none of which seems to have anything to do with the plot.
All that glitters: Although Scrooge and Glittering Goldie hadn’t seen each other in years before they were reunited, and haven’t seen each other since then, she remains prominent in his dreams.
Great gadgeteer: Gyro appears in Scrooge’s dream as the king and Goldie’s father, with a crown adorned with propellers.
Foul fowls: The Beagle Boys in this one are Big Time, Burger, and Bugle. The episode mistakenly refers to Bugle as Bebop Beagle. We can explain this way by having it all be a dream.
Down in Duckburg: The mansion’s dining room has been redesigned to have giant picture windows along one wall, which Scrooge almost walks out of while delirious with the flu. Also this means the dining room is on an upper floor. Perhaps there’s more than one dining room.
Reference row: The origins of the story of Cinderella are murky, with some historians arguing that it can be traced back to ancient Greece. It was popularized in the Grimms’ Fairy Tales, first published in 1812, but this episode is all about spoofing Walt Disney’s film version, which opened on Valentine’s Day weekend (!) in 1950.
Thoughts upon this viewing: I have nothing against a dream episode or a fairy tale parody episode, but the meandering storyline full of narrative dead ends kills the whole thing. This is the weakest episode so far.
Next: Shaken, not stirred.
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