Rewatching DuckTales! Time to live out all our rock star fantasies in episode 87 “Beaglemania.”
Here’s what happens: The kids are excited about a new contest from an MTV-style rock show. They get excited about all the rock music, much to Scrooge’s annoyance. At the Beagle Boys’ hideout, Ma Beagle and her boys also learn of the contest, and Ma Beagle plots to steal the prize money and become “crime mother of the year.” When they try to steal the money during the live broadcast, they end up on stage and are asked to sing. With Ma’s help, they come up with a song, “The Boogie Beagle Blues.” The audience goes wild, and they’re an overnight singing sensation.
The Beagle Boys, now calling themselves “The Beagles,” muscle their way into a recording contract, and their album sweeps the nation. Turns out Scrooge owns the record company, and he’s frustrated that the Beagles are making him money legitimately. Ma and the boys bust into Scrooge’s office for contract negotiations, demanding more money. The contract states that Scrooge must meet the Beagles’ demands, or they’ll go to a competing company. By the next scene, the Beagle Boys have taken over Scrooge’s fortune, leaving in Money Bin.
The Beagles continue the rock star thing, with new glam outfits, producing more gold records. They begin to resent the constant on-the-go nature of being a celebrity, arguing with their mom, and firing her as their manager. Then we go the actual “crime mother of the year” event, where Ma Beagle is humiliated that her boys are no longer bad guys. She vows to get them back. She disguises herself as a reporter for Rolling Duck magazine, with a plan to get them arrested and ruin their reputation. It doesn’t work, as the Beagles get even more popular. She and Scrooge then make a deal to work together to take the Beagles down.
Now on their own, the Beagles are pressured to come up with a new hit song. Ma Beagle returns with a new song for them. All the lyrics of the song insult the audience, calling them “jerks” and “nerds.” The fans immediately turn on them. The boys go running back to Ma Beagle, agreeing to do whatever she says. Scrooge signs a new act, an Elvis-like guy, as his new hit-maker to earn back all the cash he lost to the Beagle Boys.
Humbug: Scrooge hates the rock and roll music, but he owns a rock and roll record company? I guess you don’t have like the product to sell the product.
Junior Woodchucks: The boys are fond of TV VJ Screaming Sky McFly, who is apparently also his show’s producer, arranging acts and managing the big contest.
Everybody walk the dinosaur: Bubba is one scene, to remind that he loves rock music. They’re really struggling to come up with things for him to do, it seems.
Foul fowls: Instead of a trio, this time we have quartet of Beagle Boys with Big Time, Bouncer, Burger, and Baggy. Big Time sings, Burger is on guitar, Baggy plays piano, and Bouncer is on drums.
Reference row: Parodies of the music industry abound, with characters done up as Elvis, Madonna, Elton John, Prince and more. The title references the Beatles, but other than that, it’s not really a Beatles spoof.
Thoughts on this viewing: I’ve always liked the ensemble nature of DuckTales, how any side character can get an episode of their own, so why not have a Beagle Boys solo adventure? All the pop culture gags are sign of where TV animation was going as the 80s became the 90s, but it’s still interesting to see the show try something a little outside its norm.
Next: Don’t yup your yum.
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