Rewatching DuckTales! Episode 68, “Bubba Trubba,” is all about how the show’s new star Bubba will (or won’t?) fit in with the rest of the regular cast. He even gets his own theme song!
Here’s what happens: In previous episodes, Scrooge and co. went back in time to undo a land deal gone wrong. Along the way they picked new character Bubba the cave duck, who’s already become like one of the family. This one begins with everybody returning to present-day Duckburg. Bubba moves into the mansion while Gyro gets to work fixing the time machine. Unfamiliar with electronics and whatnot, Bubba makes a mess of everything.
Scrooge goes on TV to argue that his marker left on the land in prehistoric times is legal, and he puts Bubba on TV to prove he was there. Glomgold and the Beagle Boys see this and plot to get Bubba on their side by abducting and then brainwashing the little guy. Bubba continues to drive Scrooge nuts, and Gyro warns Scrooge that displacing Bubba out of his time could have disastrous consequences, including the loss of Scrooge’s fortune.
The kids take Bubba to school with them, where he is an instant hit among their classmates. He takes out the boom box from two episodes ago, and there’s a rockin’ musical number about how great Bubba is. (!) The impromptu party lands Huey, Dewey, and Louie in detention, but not Bubba. Mrs. Beakeley is up next, showing Bubba some civilization by taking him to a fancy socialite party. Bubba and the Beagle Boys run amok and ruin the party. Then Scrooge gets Launchpad to babysit Bubba, where the Beagle Boys makes another failed attempt to nab him. Launchpad takes Bubba to a museum to see a dinosaur display, which freaks Bubba out. He and his pet triceratops Tootsie wreck the place.
In the Money Bin, Scrooge visited by another, tiny Scrooge. This is his conscience, who tells him that deep down inside, he actually likes Bubba. Scrooge’s conscience says that as soon as Scrooge stops blaming Bubba for his problems, his problems will go away. But then, Bubba mistakes a fire hose for a snake and calls for help, unknowingly letting the Beagle Boys into the money bin.
To be continued!
Humbug: My thesis is that the series-long arc of DuckTales is about Scrooge learning that his family is more important than his money. This episode hits on that in a big way because of Scrooge looking deep into himself (literally?) to see how much he really cares.
Junior Woodchucks: Huey, Dewey and Louie’s school is an old-timey one-room schoolhouse, as if this is pioneer times or something. Maybe this is some sort of alternative/retro private school that Scrooge has put them in.
Fasten your seatbelts: Launchpad says he won’t take any bribes for babysitting Bubba, until Scrooge offers to buy him a new scarf.
Maid and maiden: The fact that Mrs. Beakeley regularly attends high-society functions adds another interesting element to her character.
Great gadgeteer: Gyro uses a jigsaw puzzle to illustrate the time paradox thing. He says if one pieces of the puzzle falls out, more and more fall out until there’s a huge hole, which means disaster for the space-time continuum. Any physicists out there want to take a crack at this one?
Everybody walk the dinosaur: Lyrics to the Bubba theme song are as follows:
“He’s a rocker
From the past
Proving rock n’ roll really lasts
He’s a cave duck
Get some rocks so he can hit ‘em
The original rolling stone
Certified from way back home
Bubba, Bubba, you’ve got to love a Bubba
Bubba, Bubba, we choose the Bubba duck
Bubba hits rocks with a…
Bubba takes a bath in a…
Bubba likes to eat his…
Bubba makes a goof, it’s a…
Hubba, hubba go Bubba, hubba hubba go
Bubba, hubba, hubba go Bubba, hubba hubba hubba
Bubba, Bubba, got to have that Bubba
Bubba, Bubba, we choose the Bubba duck
Bubba, Bubba she’s got to have that Bubba
Bubba, Bubba, he’s the Bubba duck!”
Down in Duckburg: We see the bathroom inside the money bin, lined with sinks and stalls. This suggests that there are other workers who use the building besides Scrooge.
Reference row: I don’t know. Let’s go with The Flintstones, which debuted in 1960 and been around in one form or another ever since. Bubba is especially reminiscent of the rough n’ tumble baby Bamm-Bamm, who debuted on the show in 1963.
Thoughts on this viewing: A low-key sitcom episode that focuses on the characters’ daily lives rather than some grand adventure. It’s a glimpse at what DuckTales might have been if they’d stuck only to comedy and never did any action-adventure stuff.
Next: Welcome to the Rock.
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