DuckTales rewatch – Attack of the Metal Mites

Rewatching DuckTales! Let’s all get swarmed by bugs as we watch episode ninety-five, “Attack of the Metal Mites.”  

Here’s what happens: Glomgold works with some scientists to genetically engineer metal-eating insects called metal mites, for the sole purpose of destroying Scrooge’s fortune. Glomgold then meets with culturally inappropriate pickpocket Dijon, last seen in the DuckTales movie, to sneak the mites into Scrooge’s money bin. Along the way, Dijon uses the mites to steal money from an armored truck, and then to escape the cops. The mites get loose throughout Duckburg.

The mites wreck the bean factory where Fenton once worked, which is owned by Scrooge. Fenton dons the Gizmoduck armor to rescue all the workers inside. Then they spot Dijon leaing the mites toward the money bin. The mites then attack him, eating their way through his armor. The National Guard arrives (!) and even they are no match for the mites. Scrooge goes to Gyro Gearloose for help.  Gyro is working on an automatic gum-chewing machine (!), only for the mites to get caught up in a giant gum bubble. The bubble floats towards the money bin. Dijon pops it, and the mites head for the bin.

There’s a lot of action as Scrooge and co. do their best to keep the mites out of the bin, but they ultimately fail, and the mites get in. In a panic, Fenton exclaims the code word “Blathering blatherskite.” This makes all the bugs fly to him in the shape of the Gizmoduck armor. The bugs then get scooped up by an electromagnet, thanks to all the metal in their stomachs. Fenton says he will resign if he can’t be Gizmoduck anymore. Scrooge talks him out of it, saying Fenton’s lightning-fast counting kept track of where all the mites were at all times. Fenton keeps the job, saying there will be another Gizmoduck suit.

Humbug: My thesis is that the series-long arc of DuckTales is Scrooge learning his newfound family is more important than his money. He’s back to being a greedy a-hole in this one. He shows no concern over all of Duckburg being in danger, and instead obsesses over every penny being accounted for.

Junior woodchucks: Huey, Dewey, and Louie pull a scam this episode by handing out free saltine crackers, and then setting up an overpriced ice water stand farther down the street. Scrooge approves of this new business venture of theirs.

Maid and maiden: Webby dons one of the boys’ Junior Woodchuck hats, suggesting that she’s joined the organization. Good for her.

Pro-rata: The Gizmoduck armor is destroyed, and yet Fenton (not Scrooge or Gyro) off-handedly states he’ll just get another one built. And yet, the Disney wiki alleges that this is the last time Fenton is seen wearing the armor (someone else wears it in an upcoming episode, but we’ll get to that). Could the writers have been toying with the idea of writing Gizmoduck off the show, knowing that another duck superhero, Darkwing Duck, was in pre-production?

Your move, creep: New Gizmoduck gadgets this episode include a “spritzer” which will apparently spray water on the bugs, but he confuses it with his built-in spray can, which paints a wall. Somehow, he’s also able to produce teeny-tiny handcuffs for all the mites when threatening to arrest them all.

Foul fowls: Glomgold gets his comeuppance at the end when Dijon steals a few of the mites to bring them back, only for them to start eating Glomgold’s gold.

Di-cringe: Scrooge and the nephews act as if they’ve never met Dijon before, after encountering him in the movie. I suppose this is a necessary evil, as not all viewers would have seen the movie, and it’s possible they didn’t know the movie’s release date when making the episode.

Down in Duckburg: The bean factory is the same one Fenton once worked at, but that’s not mentioned in this episode.

Reference row: The episode frequently cuts to news reports by reporter Walter Cronduck. This is a parody of famous newsman Walter Cronkite. Cronduck was portrayed by impossibly prolific voice actor Frank Welker. Among Welker’s many talents, he’s also known for his near-perfect Cronkite impersonation.

Thoughts on this viewing: Not a lot of story to this one, as it’s a series of gags as the characters think their way out of complications from a single what-if. The animators can’t quite keep up with the demands of drawings swarms of bugs throughout. There are few nice character moments, but they’re fleeting. Dijon continues to be the worst.

Next: No caper like a spy caper.

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About Mac McEntire

Author of CINE HIGH.
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