Rewatching DuckTales! What day is this? That’s the question in episode 77, “Allowance Day.”
Here’s what happens: Huey, Dewey and Louie want to be a top-of-the-line scooter on sale for the astounding cost of $30, but they don’t have enough money. Scrooge, meanwhile, needs to work out a deal with the Banana Republic to maintain the lease on his cereal factory, so he sends Fenton to deal with the Republic’s leader, General Chiquita (get it?). The lease must be signed within one day. The boys ask for an advance on their allowance, knowing that the scooter will only be on sale for one more day. He tells them patience builds character.
The three boys hatch a plan to make Scrooge think the next day is Saturday, not Friday, so they can get their allowance. This means changing all the calendars in the house and resetting all the clocks. They even hack Scrooge’s radio, pretending to be a DJ saying it’s Saturday. Scrooge is confused at first, but starts believing it. Scrooge has a conference call with his executives, insisting the whole time that it’s Saturday and not Friday, and the nervous executives all start to believe it, too. Word of the date change spreads throughout Duckburg, with the whole city and then the entire world assuming Scrooge is right and everyone else is wrong.
In the Banana Republic, Fenton is baffled over having missed a day, while General Chiquita says his country now owns Scrooge’s factory. Scrooge talks with Fenton over the phone, and they both realize they’ve missed a day. Scrooge wants to fly to the Banana Republic and sort things out, when the boys come clean and admit they tricked him. Scrooge grounds the boys, but of course they stow away on his plane.
General Chiquita refuses to accept the right day, going so far as to arrest Scrooge and Fenton. The three boys consult the Junior Woodchucks Guidebook and find that a solar eclipse is predicted to happen that day, Friday, right over the Banana Republic. (Convenient!) Scrooge and Fenton are put before a cannon squad (bigger and better than a firing squad), but not before Fenton phones his Gizmoduck armor back home to say the codeword “Blathering blatherskite.” Gizmoduck “arrives” and saves Scrooge. The eclipse appears, proving it’s Friday and allowing Scrooge to sign the lease. Back home, the news reports to the world that it was Friday all along, and the boys almost trick Scrooge into getting another Saturday’s allowance.
Humbug: My thesis is that the series-long arc of DuckTales is Scrooge learning that his family is more important than his money. In this episode, he doesn’t give his nephews an advance on their allowance because he’s a tightwad but because he hopes they will develop character.
Junior woodchucks: We’re never shown whether Huey, Dewey, and Louie get that new scooter. I’m assuming not, because the sale did end on Saturday.
Fasten your seatbelts: Launchpad doesn’t crash his plane at first, but then it slips on a banana peel (of course) and crashes.
Your move, creep: The Gizmoduck armor can fly around the planet in search of its owner when it hears the codeword. Also Gizmoduck is strong enough to stop cannonballs, and has a built-in parachute.
Fowl fouls: General Chiquita is a super gross Central and/or South American dictator stereotype. Why would Scrooge even do business with this guy in the first place?
Down in Duckburg: This board of directors Scrooge speaks to have never been seen before or since, and they raise a lot of questions about how he runs his business. They’re terrified of disagreeing with him, even when he doesn’t know what day it is.
Reference row: The whole eclipse thing is a throwback to Mark Twain’s often-parodied A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, where the hero uses knowledge of an upcoming eclipse to get out of a jam.
Thoughts on this viewing: An amusing episode in how things spiral out of control so fast. During the finale, they intentionally have Launchpad fail just so Gizmoduck can be the hero. I guess this is where they show is going now, especially as Disney was deep in preparing the Darkwing Duck spinoff during this time, with Launchpad as a main character.
Next: That thing you duck.
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