Michael Keyes and Margaret Osborne (the latter yet another of those mysterious "one [credit] and done" DT contributors in the noble/vague tradition of James A. Markovich and Judy Zook) couldn't seem to come to a consensus regarding how to handle place names and landmarks. Thus, Dr. J.'s abandoned mansion is located in "Hyde Park" and the crazed "Uncle Moneybags" version of Scrooge is domiciled at "Scotland Yard," but the Queen lives at "Duckingham Palace," the resident genius detective is "Shedlock Jones," Jones' evil archrival is "Professor Moodydoody," and Scrooge is corralled by bobbies at "Tra La La Square." (I suspect a possible Barksian shout-out in the latter.) The last-named euphemism is particularly peculiar because the background artists appear to have made a concerted effort to at least approximate the look of the REAL Trafalgar Square:
St. Paul's Cathedral isn't directly referenced in the episode, but here, too, the background crew appears to have been paying reasonably close attention to the real thing:
Big Ben and Dr. Jekyll's mansion are very close together...
are actually separated by three or so miles. Apart from making no geographical sense, this scene makes a hash of the idea that Jekyll's estate is stone broke and that Jekyll's effects had to be auctioned off to pay "outstanding debts and taxes." There's no way in the world that a prime piece of real estate like that would have been permitted to go to seed to such an extent.
Aside from the hit-or-miss use of and/or references to real landmarks, the DT London reminds me of nothing so much as... St. Canard! Aside from the sighting of one limousine at the start of Act 2, the streets, fog-bound or otherwise, are utterly deserted. In a Darkwing Duck episode, this would mean that the field was clear for hero-on-villain violence. Here, it gives the animators a chance to fancy up their visuals by showing characters moving towards the camera from a distance. The trick was executed quite well in the top scene below, less well in the scene at bottom (at one point, the oncoming bobby noticeably lunges forward a few paces). I agree with GeoX that the animators do manage to capture a certain "late-Victorian-style fog-and-gaslight ambience" in a number of their scenes, particularly Jack the Tripper's nocturnal assaults on the banker at the beginning of Act 1 and on "Lord and Lady Somebody-or-Other" at the start of Act 2. The problem is that even the London of the late Victorian era would have had people and conveyances on the streets at pretty much all hours of the day and night, so the empty London seen here gives one a decidedly uneasy feeling, as if one is reading a Conan Doyle story in which a neutron bomb is suddenly set off.
the previous episode. It doesn't help that the gag forces credulity to be stretched when the auctioneer calls Scrooge "the man in the funnier hat" rather than recognizing him as Scrooge, as he surely ought to have done (thanks to Greg for noticing this).
Literally tearing Dewey's cheek away from his beak?! That's gotta hurt...
Greg seemed to have some issues with the logic behind "the madness of kinked Scrooge" -- specifically, the mechanics of how the "Moneybags mania" is triggered and then halted. It doesn't seem that complicated to me... at least, not up to a certain point. It's tolerably clear that:
1. The initial spray with the "Jekyll formula" brings on the first episode of madness. "Lord and Lady S.O.O." experienced the same effect at the start of Act 2.
2. Being doused with a liquid causes the madness to abate, but the "Jekyll formula" remains in the victim's system until the next contact with money.
4. (Here, there be speculation) After a certain point, the "Jekyll formula" completely compromises one's system. Scrooge's rapid-fire transformations at Tra La La Square were an indication that he was about to permanently switch into "Moneybags mode." Once in jail (or, should I say, "gaol") at Scotland Yard, Scrooge would have become permanently mad had HD&L and Shedlock Jones not brought him the antidote in time.
The Great Paint Robbery." Jones' use of a huge signboard to advertise his existence to all and sundry, criminals included, surely indicates a Darkwing-sized ego...
the return to bonny Scotland that's right around the corner (and the oncoming presence of which is duly signaled by the piercing sound of "electric bagpipe" music). I'm looking forward to the latter in the same manner that I would relish a hot, steaming haggis... which is to say, not a-TALL.
(Greg) The bobbies go to the iron gate as the tall bobby tries to get the lock open but the short one tells him to let it go. The tall one is addressed as Chucky as he explains that no one would ever hide in Doctor Jekyll's old mansion; not even Jack the Tripper. Well; he just did you idiots! Then again; I'm not surprised. In DTVA; the police are even dumber than the heels sometimes.
Actually, it's fairly clear that Jack slipped over the gate and into the shadows of the Jekyll estate far enough in advance of the bobbies that they might legitimately have missed him.
Why, Chucky, how transparently phallic of you!
(Greg) The auctioneer starts with fifty dollars and Scrooge gleefully blows him off. Then we go [to] $40 and Scrooge blows him off on that one because he's not called Shirley see. Now here's an obvious logic break: Don't all auctions in real life starts with a low bid and then the bids INCREASE as they go on? Doesn't this auctioneer realize that he's LOSING that MONEY, MONEY, YEAH, YEAH?
My understanding always has been that the increasing of bids only begins after the first (minimum) bid has been received, and the auctioneer has the option of lowering the proposed minimum bid if the original minimum bid is not given.
(Greg) So we go back to the auctioneer again as there are items recently received from London. We cut to see a black trunk on the pillar and the auctioneer asks for $100, and Jack's voice beckons as Scrooge cannot put his bid in. The auctioneer proclaims that Jack is “the man in the funny hat”. Big logic break #2: Why didn't Jack just STEAL the trunk from the house from the start? Unless the writers are implying that the stuff was already in Duckb[u]rg beforehand... And why would he be stupid enough to appear in an auction without a proper disguise so he doesn't obviously look like Jack the Tripper?
I'm assuming that everything of importance in Jekyll's mansion (with one or two highly notable exceptions) was carted over to Duckburg for the auction. As for the lack of a disguise, people in Duckburg (as opposed to people in London) naturally have no clue as to who Jack the Tripper is.
(Greg) And so we cut to inside Scrooge's room as Scrooge (in red pjs) walks to the picture of Goldie with her blunderbuss and opens the frame as it is a hidden safe.
We'll be seeing that portrait of Goldie again -- in a different, and more prominent, location in the McDuck Mansion -- in "Till Nephews Do Us Part." I wonder who painted it? Images of an itinerant, starving artist wandering the Klondike for random commissions come to mind.
(Greg) Dewey asks what will happen if there is no antidote; and Scrooge proclaims that he can never touch money again. He goes to the closet and then it open and a wave of dollar bills and some coins entomb Scrooge. Oh; that wasn't contrived in the very least no siree.
Yeah, as if every (visible) closet and room wouldn't have been thoroughly vetted for valuables long before this.
(Greg) Shedlock Jones is voiced by Clive Revill...
You can't possibly list Revill's credits without including Matilda (1978), the notorious -- or it would be, if anyone remembered it -- "family-friendly" movie about a boxing kangaroo that was supposed to be a monster Summertime hit and the source of a major crossover promotion with McDonalds (at a time when such tie-ins were still relatively new). Instead, the finished product turned out to be so hideously awful that the movie barely made it to any theaters at all. Revill, who plays Matilda's trainer, can be seen in the video's opening scene.
(Greg) Interesting Moment #1: And then history is made as Shedlock Jones is actually SMOKING HIS PIPE and there's smoke coming out of it! And Disney DVD doesn't censor it at all! I don't know if Toon Disney cut the scene out; but Disney is one of those companies that has been painstaking[ly] strict when it comes to smoking to please anti-smoking groups for years now. Huey does blow him off with a health promo; but so what?!... Shedlock claims that he doesn't smoke the pipe; even though he clearly DOES in that scene. He's not fooling anyone.
Early version of an e-cigarette, anyone? It would have been so much easier if they'd simply nixed the Meerschaum and showed Shedlock engaging in one of his other pastimes, such as shooting cocaine into his... um, er, such as playing his violin! Yes, that's the ticket. We've had enough drug references in this episode already.
Actually, Dewey is the one with the brainstorm, a very fitting choice given past practice (cf. "Duck in the Iron Mask").
The immeasurable coolness of the following two "mash-up" videos (made by two completely different people, as far as I can tell) goes without saying.
Next: Episode 62, "Once Upon a Dime."