Rewatching DuckTales! Duckworth goes to space and gets an adventure of his own in episode #50, “Duckworth’s Revolt.”
Here’s what happens: In space, vegetable-based aliens are abducting creatures from all over the galaxy and they set their sights on Earth. On Earth, Scrooge and his butler Duckworth get into a spat after Duckworth says a job well done is more important than money. Scrooge fires him on the spot. As Duckworth prepares to leave, he and Scrooge’s nephews are abducted by the aliens.
The aliens have put their captives to work against their will in a giant garden on board their ship. Duckworth wants to lead his fellow captives in a revolt, and they laugh at him due to his status as a servant. Duckworth continues to plot, however, eventually winning the captives to his side. The aliens take Duckworth aside and tell him that the work in the garden is needed because their homeworld has fallen into an ice age. Duckworth argues that the captives shouldn’t be forced to work against their will.
Duckworth and the boys lead the aliens on a chase through the ship. When it looks like they’re cornered, Duckworth sends a message for the captives to revolt. This time they come around and all fight back. The ship flies out of control during the battle, crashing on a “gourdy green planet.” This world, rich with plantlife, is a new home for the aliens, and everyone learns to get along. Duckworth and the boys return to Earth, where Scrooge apologizes and rehires Duckworth.
You rang? I haven’t written about Duckworth on this blog, but he has been part of the show since the start, never affecting the plot but always on hand for a droll wisecrack. If the Disney wiki is to be believed, Duckworth has no origin or backstory, all we really know about him is that he’s Scrooge’s lifelong butler, chauffer, and jack-of-all-trades.
Humbug: My thesis is that series-long arc of DuckTales is Scrooge learning his family is more important than his money. In this episode, he fires Duckworth due to his love of money, but he doesn’t quite dial back on that.
Junior Woodchucks: While Duckworth tries to reason with his alien captors, Huey, Dewey and Louie are more about action. They press buttons randomly to cause chaos (something they say they learned from Launchpad) and the lead the aliens on a chase in these cool space-cars.
Down in Duckburg: When Duckworth returns to Earth, he appears at a bus stop next to perpetual tourist Vacation Van Honk, who by this point was clearly a beloved background extra for the animators.
Reference row: Look closely and you can see one alien is totally E.T. from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Thoughts upon this viewing: I guess the characters are so used to meeting aliens by this point that they take this space adventure in stride. It’s a really simplistic plot with equally simplistic themes, but it’s always fun when the show expands its ensemble like this.
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