Rewatching DuckTales! Things are getting spooky (but not really) in episode 64, “Ducky Horror Picture Show.” It’s just a jump to the left…
Here’s what happens: Scrooge owns a movie theater, and he is hosting a marathon of classic monster films. He tells his nephews that despite everything he’s seen on his adventures, the movie monsters aren’t real. He’s also rececently purchased an old mansion with hopes of turning it into a new convention center. A private club with be the mansion’s first guests. Turns out this club is secretly Monsters Unanimous, including the vampire Count Drakeula, Quackenstein’s monster, the Bride of Quackenstein, a wolfman (wolfduck?) a hunchback, the blob, and more.
The monsters’ convention is really a big party. The run wild around Duckburg, with the whole city believing they are actors promoting Scrooge’s movie marathon. Scrooge knows the truth about them and wants them to leave because of all the destruction their partying has caused. The situation is complicated by the arrival of a giant ape, Ping Kong, who intends to climb the highest building in Duckburg – Scrooge’s money bin!
Despite Kong’s rampage, the police and Duckburg residents insist that it’s all a movie promotion. The monsters then show up at the movie theater to protest how monsters are depicted in movies. When the monsters discover that movie fans love them rather than fear them, they no longer feel the need to live in secret. Scrooge and the monster set up a live show where people can come see them in person. This allows Scrooge to pay for all the damage and still make a profit, and it gives the monsters a happy ending.
Humbug: We learn Scrooge’s three rules of hotel management: 1) The customer is always right. 2) Courtesy is good business. 3) The bigger the baggage, the bigger the tip.
Junior woodchucks: At the movies, Huey and Dewey are terrified of the monsters, but Louie is fascinated by them, wishing they were real. You’d think would come up again at the end of the episode, but nope.
Maid and maiden: Mrs. Beakeley shows up as a maid at the new convention center, and there’s a funny bit where she’s cast in the Fay Wray role for the giant ape in the live show.
Foul fowls: Because the point of the episode is that monsters are just like everyone else, the actual antagonist of the story is the Duckburg cop who refuses to do anything because he doesn’t believe the monsters are real.
Down in Duckburg: Scrooge’s movie theater is called the Scroogerama Dome, and it’s making a profit showing classic films rather than new ones.
Reference row: The great Universal monsters are the big sandbox this episode plays in, and I suspect the creators are also paying homage to the 1967 cult classic Mad Monster Party, which has a similar premise. And do I really have to tell you what the episode title refers to?
Thoughts on this viewing: The big selling point here is not monsters, but monster puns. They are constant throughout the episode. The moral of “those who are different have thoughts and feelings just like you” is pretty heavy-handed, but it’s a kids show.
Next: Changing of the seasons.
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