Rewatching DuckTales! The show’s final season begins with episode ninety-four, “Ducky Mountain High,” just as Disney enters a new era (era).
What’s all this, then? With the Disney renaissance kicking off in theaters, interest in DuckTales was waning. Previous seasons had wrapped up production and the DuckTales movie did poor box office. However, Disney was kicking off a new initiative, The Disney Afternoon. This was a two-hour block of cartoons running five days a week, in a rather cutthroat move to dominate after-school kids’ programming. Seven new episodes of DuckTales were made to help with the much-hyped Disney Afternoon premiere, and these became the show’s fourth and final season.
Here’s what happens: Scrooge spends $1 million buying a peanut farm from Glomgold. Glomgold thinks he’s finally gotten the better of Scrooge, until Scrooge reveals his plan for an eco-friendly car that runs on peanut oil instead of gas. Back home, Scrooge detects the scent of gold embedded in some stationary. The family flies off to the Great Ducky Mountains to find the trees that made the paper. In Duckburg, Glomgold gets Scrooge’s $1 million check, and he can also sense the gold paper.
In the mountains, Scrooge and co. discover a forest of gold trees, worth a fortune. He checks the property records and discovers the trees are not on his land, but on land owned by his former flame, Glittering Goldie. Glomgold shows up in town to enlist the aid of three mountain man Beagle Boys, Backwoods, Binky, and their pet pig Bacon. Scrooge meets with Goldie, who says her claim in the Yukon dried up, so now she’s in the Ducky Mountains to pursue lumberjacking. Just as their romance starts to rekindle, Glomgold arrives to romance Goldie as well.
There’s a bunch of romantic comedy stuff as Glomgold and Scrooge both try to woo and/or swindle Goldie. Goldie finally makes a deal with Scrooge for the land, exchanging her land for a useless part of his land. But when Scrooge gets there, all the trees are already cut down and removed. They follow the trail to Glomgold and the Beagles. Scrooge and Glomgold fight on a raft before it goes over a waterfall. Scrooge wakes up in a sawmill for the classic tied-to-a-log-as-it-heads-for-the-sawblade act. The villains try to escape by train, but Bubba uses his awesome strength to destroy the tracks. Then the boys and Launchpad pull off a last-minute rescue for Scrooge at the sawmill.
Scrooge and co. return to the land and start digging, hoping to find the underground gold deposit that turned the trees gold. He finds it, except that it’s under his former land that he just traded to Goldie. Goldie shows up and admits that getting her hands on Scrooge’s land, complete with the gold deposit, was her plan all along. Even though Scrooge is out-swindled, the episode ends on a romantic note, as she gives him a kiss.
Humbug: My thesis is that the series-long arc of DuckTales is Scrooge learning his newfound family is more important than his money. In this episode, he flat-out loses. Glomgold and Goldie get all the gold. But he does, however, get his romance with Goldie going again, and that’s the episode’s happy ending.
Junior woodchucks: Scrooge puts Huey, Dewey and Louie to work digging for the gold deposit, to the point where the collapse from exhaustion. Not a good look for Scrooge.
Fasten your seatbelts: Launchpad almost gets an awesome action hero moment to save Scrooge at the sawmill. He looks cool, but he bungles the rescue. The nephews have to do it instead.
Everybody walk the dinosaur: Bubba’s subplot is that he’s discovered sports, and he’s all into them. He uses basketball skills to run circles around the Beagle Boys, he deflects an oncoming boulder as if he’s hitting a baseball, and he takes out the train tracks by rolling another boulder as if he’s bowling.
Foul fowls: Why is Bacon Beagle a pig, and not a regular Beagle Boy? We’re told it’s because he has “swine flu.” Har-har.
Reference row: There’s a lot of talk online by car enthusiasts (car weirdos?) about converting diesel engines into ones that run purely on peanut oil or vegetable oil. I guess that’s a thing, then. The Planters Peanuts’ Nutmobile allegedly runs on peanut oil-based bio diesel.
Thoughts on this viewing: A fun episode with a lot of nice continuity nods, and some of the screwy logic the old Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck comics are famous for. The rescue at the sawmill is especially good, as the animation really pops during that scene.
Next: Dude, that’s totally metal.
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