Reading the original version of "Shadow War" reveals that Lofficier and/or her story editors actually added to the planned dialogue in certain places in order to make character plots and motivations a bit clearer, while also trimming a few superfluous scenes and gags in order to bring the script in under the 22-minute time limit. It's not hard to understand why the opening business with HD&L going gaga over Gyro's new camera was downplayed a bit; the gag with Mrs. Beakley was clever enough, but the "flashing" of Scrooge didn't really go anywhere and made little sense besides (why would an inventor, even one as... er... unpredictable as Gyro, create a flash camera that has the potential of bleaching colored objects? Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of creating the camera in the first place?). Still, it wouldn't have hurt for HD&L to have used the camera once during the middle of the episode, just to remind the audience that it still existed, before bringing it (or should I say, them) during the final scene in the Money Bin. It's also too bad that no one thought to insert an "in-joke" reference linking HD&L's sudden camera-philia to their Unca Donald's newfound obsession with picture-taking (seen most memorably in "Three Ducks of the Condor").
Along with GeoX, I must confess to being underwhelmed at the ep's development of the shadows' relationship to the "real world" and the low level of plausibility of the evil shadow's "enslavement" scheme. The idea that "shadows must grab the shadows" of things in order to steal them was quite clever, and the scene involving Magica and Vacation van Honk was staged in such a way that it was possible to accept that Magica's shadow was grabbing the shadow of VVH's wallet rather than the wallet itself, but I can't for the life of me understand why the shadow would want the wallet in the first place. Was it planning to shadow-spend the penumbra of VVH's pelf at the local umbra-ella store? To say the least, this was a clumsy way of foreshadowing (hyuck) the shadow's ultimate turn to the dark(er) side.
Send in the Clones" and the later "Raiders of the Lost Harp" marry Magica's personality to far stronger plots and wind up as classics. Here, by contrast, "the saucy sorceress" carries a less successful storyline across the finish line.
(GeoX) We learn that Ratface's new name is "Poe," which would be more apropos if we hadn't learned in "Send in the Clones" that he's not a raven by birth, but rather Magica's transformed brother. Unless the writers have forgotten about that detail. Who knows.
I think that Lofficier was aware of it, as suggested by this passage from the original script:
MAGICA (VO-CONT) Poe, vake up! Come here!
Mr. Poe opens an eye, shakes himself, and flies next to the closet.
MR. POE Squawk? What? Squawk?
MAGICA (VO) Go und get help! Quack, er, Quick! Remember, you don't vant to spend your life es bird, no?
ANGLE ON MR. POE
MR. POE (vigorously) Squawk! Nevermore!
MAGICA (VO) So, go! Find zomeone to get me out ov here!
The specific reference to the scenario of "Send in the Clones" was omitted in the final script. Too bad.
(GeoX) Customs officer to Magica: "Lizard tails, bat shrieks, pickled worms--no fruit! All seems to be in order!"
I can easily imagine Carl Barks using a gag like this in one of his Magica stories. It has a certain satirical sting that he would appreciate. Of course, 9/11 has probably rendered this gag somewhat less amusing.
(Greg) So we head to the Money Bin as Scrooge talks about spring cleaning to start the day off right. I guess he had to rehire everyone after the Armstrong incident two rants ago; so it makes perfect sense. And he is doing more inside the vault as he has the magnifying glass looking for dust and debris. I only have one thing to say about this: Who in the hell gave him that apron he is wearing? That I think drops Scrooge McDuck down a notch on the dignity scale in my view.
In Lofficier's original script, Scrooge was also supposed to wear an "Aunt Jemima" kerchief on his head. How many "dignity notches" would that cost him?
That would be a problem, wouldn't it? It's also rather surprising that Scrooge didn't keep Old #1 in the Bin for safety's sake before he went out to do battle with the shadows. Not until "Dime Enough for Luck" will we see Old #1 stored in the Bin (and with elaborate defenses, to boot). Even that arrangement will prove temporary, as the dime will be right back in McDuck Mansion in "Once Upon a Dime."
(Greg) [The evil shadow] gets blown out of existence and I just realized something: If Scrooge hasn't told the nephews to return the camera to Gyro; they could have poof[ed] her out of existence without Magica's help or the dime. So this was awfully contrived after all.
This might still make sense if you accept that Old #1 wasn't strong enough to completely destroy the evil shadow, but was strong enough to weaken it to the point where the cameras could finish the job.
Next: Episode 36, "Catch as Cash Can, Part One: A Drain on the Economy."