Luck O' The Ducks." It was Thanksgiving Day of 1987, and I was sitting in the basement of the old (well, it certainly is now...) Barat family manse in Wilmington, having just ingested a huge (though modest compared to the feasts served up at Bud's Silver Run) holiday meal. I must have overdid it, for I wrote the parenthetical comment "Burpin' turkey all through it!" while taking my handwritten episode notes. I was less than impressed with the episode, and the state of my digestive tract didn't exactly ameliorate my state of mind. Both GeoX and Greg were able to reach their decidedly negative conclusions about the quality of this "Emerald Isle" romp without any such physical stimuli, though GeoX did mention something about vomiting. I don't think "Luck" is quite that bad, but there's more than enough lameness here to cause even the stoutest of stomachs to quiver a bit.
one exception, which might have turned up in a Gemstone pocket book at some point had the titles lasted longer). There is obvious potential in an Irish Duck story that incorporates Irish legends, myths, and, of course, treasure, in fun and believable ways. Think of what Don Rosa was able to mine out of the Finnish Kalevala. Given a completely open playing field to work with, writer Michael O'Mahony lets the ball (either rugby or "football," take your pick) bounce out of bounds, packing the episode with "Oirish" stereotypes galore. In truth, the shifty leprechaun Fardoragh (Frank Welker) and pint-sized King Brian (Billy Barty) are the least problematic of these elements. You might argue that "real" leprechauns are more like the sadistic, violent pixie seen in this movie and its sequels than they are the cuddly-cute Fardoragh, but at least O'Mahony was paying some attention here, in the sense that "Fardoragh" is a real Gaelic word meaning "black." Likewise, King Brian might be considered a tribute to the legendary Irish king Brian Boru. Welker and Barty both give very energetic performances and make these characters enjoyable in spite of their childish aspects. The "headless horseman" and Banshee aren't all that bad, either, though, as Greg pointed out, one could hardly expect a chest of drawers to keep a ghost out of a room, even in the DuckTales world.
Alas, O'Mahony can't control himself when it comes to jackhammering home the "Hey, gang, WE'RE IN IRELAND!!!" message, subjecting Launchpad to one of his most humiliating roles in the series in the process. The green plane and lepra-costume are silly enough...
Launchpad is fortunate in one respect in this ep: he gets some things to do, even though they are pretty idiotic. The Nephews don't even get that much. Honestly, for all HD&L contribute to the episode, they might as well have been left behind while Scrooge, LP, Webby, and Fardoragh flew to the "Emerald Isle." They whiz away their one moment of "responsibility" by falling asleep while on guard duty; otherwise, they're just hanging around... or lying around with a somewhat unexpected bedfellow:
The portrayal of Scrooge here, of course, is straight out of the "Occupy Duckburg" playbook. Of course, greed is part of Scrooge's character and always has been. Rarely, however, has it been presented with such a comprehensive lack of subtlety. We get the infamous dollar-sign eye-flash not once, not twice, but THREE times, just to make sure we completely understand that Scrooge is, ya know, greedy. I wonder whether there is some sort of correlation between the number of D.S.E.F.'s in a $CROOGE story and the story's rating on inDucks. If there were one, then I imagine that the correlation would be negative.
Back Out in the Outback" insofar as the "cuteness factor" goes. It's a shame that she didn't carry some of her reticence about befriending Australian animals in the latter ep into her initial encounter with Fardoragh. Instead, she's literally defending him before she even knows anything about him (apart from the fact that he's threatened to "do an Irish jig" on the Ducks' faces if they come any closer). Once he starts calling her "Princess," the (non-Irish) jig is up, and she snaps into the "Fardoragh is my friend!" mindset that she'll maintain for the remainder of the episode. At times, you almost have to agree with the kvetching Scrooge that Webby is a bit foolish to be accepting Fardoragh at face value in such an unquestioning way.
Russi Taylor. In an episode noteworthy for its ham-handedness, I appreciated the lighter touch on display here. For sure, I got more emotional sustenance out of these moments than I did from the over-the-top scene in which Webby gives her "wonderful" friend a four-leaf clover and Fardoragh promptly breaks down and bawls.
The Last Leprechaun" and Gummi Bears' "Gummis Just Want to Have Fun" weren't much better, so there's at least a possibility that a "leprechaun curse" may be involved.
(Greg) Scrooge and the nephews dive in and in a scene that
contradicts the logic they were shooting for; the nephews dive in as
if the gold was water like Scrooge's. I thought we proved in GoldenSuns episode #5 that the nephews cannot do that spot?
Perhaps Scrooge finally gave in and initiated the youngsters into the arcane mystery that is money-diving. Against this, of course, you have to weigh his refusal to teach Launchpad the same trick in "Duck in the Iron Mask." Perhaps Scrooge reasoned, "I dinna know whether you can crash a bin full of money, but I'm not aboot to take the chance!"
The Rescuers Down Under movie.
Barty also appeared in the Gummi Bears episode "A Recipe for Trouble." That one wasn't any great shakes, either.
(Greg) We then get another sky shot of the
snake [pit] and then we go to floor shot as we see the babyfaces sitting on
the edge. Okay; WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SUPPOSED TO ACCOMPLISH HERE?!
Now if the idea was to have the snakes use their tongue to tickle
their feet; then this spot would work except that the snake are about
12-15 feet below the babyfaces. And LP shoes are still on. How in the
world is this supposed to be torture for their crimes? Just sitting
there and watching the snakes hiss? I'm supposed to take this
(Greg) Brian goes to the window as [Fardoragh]
tries to escape; but Brian grabs his ankle and throws him down onto
the floor and demands answers from the infamous liar. That makes
Brian the most over character in the episode; bad plot thread be
damned. [Fardoragh] bounces off Brian's belly and admits that he had to
because they were going to tar and feather him with their own
feathers... Brian decides then not to feed them
to the snakes (WHAT?! That is lame to the extreme!) and instead they
will have a party thrown in their honor. Oh god; this episode just
made less sense now.
This switch really was clumsy, with no justification being given for Brian's change of heart at all. I don't see how the story editors could have allowed O'Mahony to get away with this.
(Greg) Okay; so we cut to the
well as Scrooge is wearing various jewelry on himself as he and [Fardoragh] are climbing up the well... And of course he's tired as hell and somehow he throws
everything down into the hole below. D'OH! This guy needs Wii Fit
The funny thing here is that Scrooge claims that he's "not as strong before [he] became a multi-zulti-zillionaire" while he's climbing up a dark shaft with no equipment or other assistance whatsoever. Heck, he's even able to save Fardoragh with relatively little trouble when the latter loses his grip and falls. Methinks Scrooge is selling himself short here. Perhaps his burgeoning greed has given him enhanced powers not normally granted to multi-zulti-zillionaires.