Rewatching DuckTales! Episode 91, “The Unbreakable Bin,” is all about unbreakable glass. Yet despite those two words, it predates the movie Unbreakable by several years. So I’m not allowed to make any Shyamalan references.
Here’s what happens: After having a nightmare about losing his fortune to the Beagle Boys, Scrooge is paranoid about theft. He and Gizmoduck meet with Gyro, who is inventing new unbreakable glass for eyeglasses. Scrooge decides to cover the entire money bin in the glass. Scrooge even invites the Beagle Boys over and lets them attempt to break in, just to prove the glass is unbreakable. There’s a lot of slapstick as they fail to do so.
Believing his money is finally safe from harm, Scrooge uncharacteristically plans a vacation. He also fires Gizmoduck via telegram (!) but keeps Fenton on as his accountant. Fenton considers finding other work with the Gizmoduck armor. He applies for a security job, only to learn security guards all over town are out of work, being replaced the unbreakable glass.
Scrooge and boys go on their vacation. Instead of his usual tightwad self, he’s actually spending money and enjoying himself. He boasts that only magic can break into his vault now. Cut to Magica Dispell, watching this on her crystal ball. While on safari to view exotic animals, Scrooge is fascinated with a rare bird with pink feathers. He thinks the feathers are something he can market and sell. Gizmoduck is stuck directing traffic just as Magica shows up in Duckburg. She too can’t get past the glass. On safari, Scrooge and the boys find the rare bird, only to discover its horrible singing hits a pitch able to destroy his glasses. Magica sees this on her crystal ball as well. She travels to the jungle as Scrooge sets about capturing all the birds. Magica attacks their village, knocks out Scrooge, and casts a spell to make the birds do her evil bidding.
Gizmoduck is now serving food at a construction site when Scrooge returns to Duckburg. Scrooge reluctantly rehires him. Magica is about to use the birds to break into the bin when Gizmoduck stops her. Scrooge and Gyro round up all the birds, except for one just hatched from an egg. With its first cry, it breaks all the unbreakable glass in the bin and around Duckburg.
Humbug: Scrooge going on vacation and splurging is a new side of him, something he feels he can only do when his fortune is safe and secure. Could Scrooge’s famous greed be born from feelings of paranoia?
Junior woodchucks: Huey, Dewey and Louie are shown waxing a huge surfboard while on vacation, so add that to their interests. At the end of the episode, it’s suggested that they kept the baby bird as a pet, but that’s not 100 percent clear.
Great gadgeteer: Gyro’s workshop is now in the basement of the money bin (!) and not in his usual shack-like building. He and Scrooge later fly around Duckburg in a cool hovercar that I assume he built.
Pro-rata: Fenton earns two paychecks from Scrooge, one as himself as accountant and one as Gizmoduck for security/superheroing. He says he can’t go back to just one paycheck, because he and his mother have become accustomed to a “certain lifestyle.”
Your move, creep: Gizmoduck’s gear in this one includes a drill and a magnifying glass. He has flags pop out of his helmet to assist with directing traffic. And he’s a one-man food truck with a full grill on his chest and a coffee maker on his back. He mentions super-strength and super-hearing as well.
Foul fowls: Magica is after Scrooge’s entire fortune this time, rather than just Scrooge’s lucky dime, which is her usual motivation. The Beagle Boys this time are Big Time, Baggy, and Burger.
Reference row: Googling “unbreakable glass” brings up all kinds of stuff, both real and fictional. Roman Emperor Tiberius allegedly once claimed to know the secret of unbreakable glass, after boasting that he’d killed the glass’ inventor.
Thoughts upon this viewing: This is more like it. A fun combination of high adventure with goofy cartoon logic. Special mention must be made of the opening dream sequence, which is fantastic. These later episodes had noticeably lower-quality animation, but you could tell the animators were really pushing themselves to make that dream sequence something spectacular, and they pulled it off. We’ll see more of this stylization in another upcoming episode.
Next: Walking tall.
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