Rewatching DuckTales! Let’s go back to Ireland and get totally sloshed on Guinness while we watch episode 49, “Luck O’ The Ducks.”
Here’s what happens: Scrooge receives a shipment of linen from Ireland, which he plans to sell at high prices. Inside the box is… a leprechaun. The little guy takes a liking to all the gold in Scrooge’s vault, leading through a wild chase first through the money bin then around town. After saving the leprechaun from danger at a construction site, the leprechaun introduces himself as Fadoragh. Scrooge doesn’t like the thieving little guy, but Webby takes a liking to him. Fadoragh wants to return to Ireland, and he lets slip that whoever rescues him gets one wish granted. Scrooge and company travel to Ireland, where Scrooge hopes to get his wish.
Fadoragh takes everyone to meet King Brian, described as richest monarch in the world. Scrooge isn’t convinced this is true, but is impressed with Brian’s riches. Brian is revealed to be a fellow leprechaun, and he and the rest of the leprechauns abduct our heroes on charges of thievery and threaten to feed them to snakes. Brian changes his mind at the last minute, and invites Scrooge and family to a banquet.
Scrooge reveals his wish: He wants King Brian’s fortune. Brian and Fadoragh conspire to get Scrooge to change his mind. Webby keeps insisting that Fadoragh is her friend, but Scrooge insists the leprechaun is a liar and thief. Later that night, everyone is visited by ghosts warning them to leave Ireland. The next morning, Scrooge is insistent on being taken to the king’s golden cavern. Fadoragh and the other leprechauns plot to trap Scrooge inside the cavern. Fadoragh tricks Webby into disguising the entrance to the cavern for her, and then he blocks the entrance to the cavern with a boulder. If Webby hadn’t disguised it, Scrooge would have been crushed by the boulder. Scrooge decides to grant Webby a wish, and she says she wans Fadoragh to stay with them all summer.
Humbug: The episode’s conclusion wants us to think Scrooge has learned some lesson, but his wish is never undone. I don’t see what’s stopping him from going back later with a construction crew (the one from the start of the episode, maybe?), moving that boulder and taking the king’s treasure.
Junior Woodchucks: In an earlier episode, Huey, Dewey and Louie were unable to swim through money like Scrooge does. In this one, however, they swim through the cash just as skillfully as he does. I guess this is character development.
Fasten your seatbelts: Launchpad gets into the Irish vibe in a big way, first by flying a green-painted airplane, and then by wearing full-on leprechaun clothes throughout the episode.
Maid and maiden: Webby’s sole reason for trusting the obviously duplicitous is because he’s little, just like her. Webby doesn’t appear to learn any lesson from this.
Foul fowls: King Brin would seem to be the villain, what with the whole snake-pit thing, but really Fadoragh is the antagonist, constantly screwing with the other characters for his own gain. The two ghosts are really cool.
Down in Duckburg: All we see of downtown Duckburg is one construction site. Scrooge and his family walk right into the place with no one stopping him, suggesting that this is one of his properties.
Reference row: I didn’t get anywhere searching for the origins of the leprechaun myth. Seems like they’ve just always been around. This episode, however, specifically calls back to the wish-granting leprechauns of Disney’s own Darby O’Gill and the Little People (1959) based on the novel by Herminie Templeton Kavanaugh.
Thoughts upon this viewing: A mixed bag. There’s some amusing slapstick, and we get little Indiana Jones-style action with the ghosts and underground caverns. But the plot is all over the place, and the attempts at a moral are wholly unearned. Fadoragh the leprechaun is supposed to be lovable, but he remains a selfish creep from beginning to end. Is this what I’ll be saying about Scrooge once the series ends?
Next: You rang?
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