Ivory Soap" certain (that is, 99.999% sure) that this was ORIGINALLY supposed to read "Wrong WAY in Ronguay." After all, the pun is directly referenced during the episode itself, when the Nephews realize that the "robot-jacked" Ronguay Airlines aircraft is literally heading in the wrong direction. I hardly think that Jymn Magon (by far, the most likely suspect among the trio of writers who labored on "Golden Suns" to unleash this kind of groaner) would go to the trouble of cracking the joke without planning to foreshadow it here as well. Someone along the production line must have slipped up here.
Thankfully, the (IMHO) spelling error is just about the only "uay" in which one can criticize this episode. Though I remember being a bit puzzled by the seeming finality of the ending -- we wouldn't learn about the rest of the Treasure of the Golden Suns until the start of part three -- Scrooge and HD&L's trek to "the tiny country of Ronguay," their search for the "sunken" gold ship, and their battle with Flintheart Glomgold and El Capitan make for some absolute captivating viewing. Adventure, rather than character development, is the main focus here; even so, we get one superb "moment of connection" between the boys and Scrooge and are also witness to the definitive revelation of the depth of El Capitan's obsession (though a few hints dropped during the episode as to the wrinkled one's past identity will not be picked up until future installments). It takes quite a bit of doing to upstage the series' first authentic treasure hunt and the first animated appearance of Glomgold, but El Cap does so. Fittingly, he gets both the final shot and the final words of the ep.
previously discussed some of my feelings as to why the DuckTales Glomgold turned out the way he did. My idea that Flinty has moved from South Africa to Duckburg to keep closer tabs on Scrooge certainly isn't challenged by Glomgold's first few seconds on screen, in which he's seen watching the doings at Scrooge's candy factory on TV and perusing a massive mainframe that (I guess) keeps up-to-date stats on how his fortune compares to Scrooge's. Imagine how much more easily Flinty could do this today with the help of the Internet. The slightly goofy office nerds who "help" Glomgold in this scene are never seen again, more's the pity; at least one of them (my pick would have been the phone-toting guy with the overbite) should have served as Flinty's laugh-grabbing "bump machine" for the remainder of the series. As it was, we had to wait until the final season's "Attack of the Metal Mites" for a guest-starring Dijon to fill a somewhat similar role.
The Money Champ," Glomgold couches his initial challenge to Scrooge (which, we are easily led to believe, is not the first such ultimatum) in the form of a money-making contest. Flinty's approach to the duel, however, is far more "John D. Rockerduck-ian" than it has ever been before (to those viewers who had not read Don Rosa's "Son of the Sun" earlier in 1987, that is). Glomgold's relatively modest use of shrinking juice on Scrooge's money pile in "The Money Champ" pales in comparison to what the DT Flinty will stoop to in order to get what he wants. Joe Torcivia once described the DT Glomgold as "a sort of Anti-Scrooge," a description which fits both Flinty's Scottish attire and accent and his flexible morals.
GeoX, I would argue that it's at least possible that the "insanely idiotic" code that the boys decipher could really, truly be as simple as this. There were more sophisticated ciphers available in the 16th century, when the ship was presumably built, but those other methods weren't much more complicated than the simple letter-number substitution used here. Besides, if a person didn't know that "Gannaw Ondat" had to be a made-up name because it was carved on a ship originating in Spain, then he or she would glance at the craft and walk away without a clue that it was meant to be a message of some kind. When HD&L do their "play dumb" routine as a ploy to convince Scrooge to let them come with him, they do so without evincing any fear whatsoever that Scrooge will be able to figure out the mystery by himself. I think they're at least partially justified in doing so.
my discussion of "Don't Give Up the Ship." Judging by the boys' initial attitude towards Scrooge, I found it rather tough to believe that this version of Scrooge, Donald, and HD&L had gone on very many adventures together. Scrooge's comment here seems to bear this observation out. It also suggests that the ensuing adventure in Ronguay will further cement the relationship between the "old sourdough" and the young ducklings, to the extent that Scrooge will never again seriously question the boys' right to accompany him on globe-trotting trips. This is correct, up to a point; the boys, after all, will have to sneak a ride aboard Launchpad's copter in order to share in the Antarctic adventure of "Cold Duck" and the subsequent trip to the Valley of the Golden Suns. But the aforementioned "moment of connection" that the Ducks will share during the low point of their Ronguayian trek will have serious reverberations...
Gwumpki's homeland of Blatismorkia in Quack Pack, but certainly more than sufficient to elicit a few head-scratching "Huh?" moments. For example, we've seen ramshackle, livestock-filled vehicles like the "usually non-stop" Ronguay Airlines plane in other "Third World" contexts, but who the heck decreed that an old-fashioned, hand-cranked speaker phone should be placed in the cockpit? What could that thing possibly be connected to?
Sam Peckinpah Moment" -- I call it such because one of the director's less successful (and more underfunded) movies was once criticized for including the same band of Mexican peasants in literally every crowd scene -- as the crowds of Ronguayians frantically leaving the country to avoid the "Monsapis" include a couple of folks who evidently decided to double their un-pleasure. Note the stork with the serape and big sombrero, the mustachioed dogface with the green shirt and blue hat, and the bird-woman with the flower in her ear in these two completely separate scenes. (To make matters worse, the first group is the one that tosses the Ducks out of the plane and then takes off, while the second group appears after the plane has departed.)
Greg commented that the adventure focused on Scrooge to the extent of making HD&L look weak. In the sense that Scrooge did most of the actual work and faced most of the actual perils, he's correct. However, I think that the writers took this approach (if it was, in fact, even taken consciously) to introduce "the adventurous Scrooge" to a TV-watching audience that may never have seen that aspect of the character up to now. The Nephews, after all, were in plenty of danger throughout "Don't Give Up the Ship," so their "quick, feisty, cunning, sharp, resourceful, etc." bona fides had already been highlighted. Unless you came to the show already familiar with Scrooge's comic-book adventures, "Ship" didn't tell you very much about Scrooge the derring-doer. Now, while taming bucking llamas, escaping quicksand (how did Scrooge get that box of scuba supplies open while buried in sand, I wonder?), and protecting the boys from the rain with the "Malaysian umbrella," Scrooge gets a chance to show his mettle and, as Geo points out, reveal some of his past exploits in a very Barksian manner.
The Recluse of McDuck Manor," but certainly along those lines. The possibility that Scrooge's adventurous chops have not been tested in the recent past lends at least some degree of credibility to what would otherwise be a rather problematic scene, namely, the disappointed, rain-soaked Scrooge's declaration that "I'm finished." A long-time comics fan would probably be taken aback by what would seem to be Scrooge's entirely too abrupt decision to abandon the "hopeless" search for the treasure ship. Seen in the context of the series, however, this scene is extremely effective, not least because it demonstrates that Scrooge and HD&L can and will function effectively in the future as a mutually supportive team.
(GeoX) [T]here are three clear Barks call-outs [in the episode]: the ship stranded in the desert recalls "The Seven Cities of Cibola"; [El Capitan], as he's taking Scrooge's gold captain's hat, refers to it as a "golden helmet;" and then at the end... Glomgold has to eat his hat (okay, so it was Scrooge's hat that he ate in "The Money Champ," but still).
I think that there's a case to be made for all of these references being intentional, but I'm most certain about the connection between the treasure ship and Captain Ulloa's "desert-ed" ship in "Seven Cities of Cibola." For one thing, there's that pesky Celestial Arts connection to consider: "Cibola" was reprinted in that volume. For another, the visuals are just too similar, though the treasure ship appears to be in surprisingly good shape for a wreck that has been alternately baked and inundated by water for X hundred years.
(Greg) So we begin this episode back outside the oozing chocolate candy factory as the woman news reporter continues to talk and police continue to surround the place. The news reporter says nothing of note as we head inside and we basically get new footage of the finish from the last episode of the Beagle Boys Chocolate Statues being carried out by two officers as one white haired dogsperson officer proclaims that the bonbon is going to Sing-Sing. Okay; this makes sort of sense from a storyline point of view, but it's a waste of time. Why not show this at the end of the first episode and show El Captain's saying beware from the start? Not a big deal; just an observation. Then logic break #1 for the episode rears it's ugly head as [Burger]'s head gets un-cracked on site with a mallet and chisel as he pops up and eats chocolate. Cute spot though; but all three Beagle Boys were carried out still completely covered with chocolate in the previous episode! We cut to the female reporter as she continues to fill in the details about the objet d'art that the Beagle Boys were after as the police continue to secure the area and clear out the Beagle Boys. And then more logic is broken as Scrooge takes the ship away from the chocolate wave and he walks off on his own even though we clearly saw him talking to his nephews during that sequence in the previous episode! Now I see why Disney started doing PREVIEWS for syndication episodes?! It was to KILL CONTINUITY ERRORS like this.
This was rather peculiar, insofar as Disney, to the best of my memory, never tried to do anything like this in any other "recap" in a multi-part story. Generally, the next part of the tale either struck off in a new direction, assuming that everyone remembered what had happened at the end of the previous episode, or used episode clips to get everyone up to speed. (In a later series, of course, "Previously on Gargoyles..." became an expected part of EVERY episode.) Perhaps it was felt that the retrofit was necessary in order to provide a fitting lead-in for the introduction of Glomgold. It would have seemed rather strange if we'd gotten our first glimpse of Flinty reacting to something that had already happened in the previous ep.
(Greg) And of course the plane goes into a nosedive as Louie has to go into the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook. If Kit [Cloudkicker] was here; this scene would be over in 15 seconds as this would be his wet dream realized. Besides; Kit doesn't need a book anymore he seems to have this down pat... Sadly; the guide book has nothing about flying an airplane. HAHA! About damn time those nephews got licked; not let's see how well they do without that damn book...or why Kit is so much better you you three combined.
And so the surprising fallibility of the DuckTales Junior Woodchuck Guidebook is revealed for the first (in "real" continuity) time.
(Greg) So now Flint throws the dynamite down the hill as he want to bury Scrooge good... El Captain tells him to forget him because it's all about the gold see... Flint wants to be [better] safe than sorry; but El Captain doesn't want to wait as Flint and El Capitan turn around and they are SHOCKED and APPALLED (in that order) as their jackass is EATING THE MAP on the rock! Wait a minute?! Wasn't it in the pouch?! That's logic break #3 for the episode.
As this screen shot reveals, the map had indeed been taken out of the ice cream cart (by Flinty) before Flinty and El Capitan's mule started noshing on it. You can see it here lying on the rock in the foreground, with the mule already eying it hungrily. Nice foreshadowing there.
(Greg) All hands on deck as the nephews get on board as the sail is also made of gold. Okay that makes even less sense along with the floor repairs. Seriously; and some question Plunder and Lightning's breaks in logic. Why? Because they are Cartoon Ducks and when you see Cartoon Ducks; you accept them without. Since bears are Russian and Russians are EVIL Communists (which is so absurd no one should be caught dead...oh never mind); they are booed. Now you understand the psychology of why people thought Ducktales and Darkwing Duck was better than TaleSpin; even if the quality would prove otherwise in hindsight (not to see the two duck cartoon sucked in any way; but still). It's the “American” way see. Then again; I'm Canadian; and that's why I'm so biased the other way.
"Sorry, lads, I dinna understand that either."