Um, guys... your titles are slipping...
Greg dubbed "The Billionaire Beagle Boys Club" "DuckTales: The Abridged Series," and there sure does seem to be a lot of old ground being plowed here. Not that there's anything wrong with giving shout-outs to past ideas. The problem is that the ep seems to gets its "messages from the past" garbled more often than not. Start with the basic premise, that of "poor" Scrooge and his family being forced to leave McDuck Mansion in the hands of a spendthrift adversary. Ken Koonce and David Weimers no doubt had memories of their "masterful" (*cough*) handling of the same theme in "Down and Out in Duckburg" animating them as they worked on this spiritual sequel. Unfortunately, to mangle a common metaphor, they overlooked a nearby tree while looking back at the in-the-past forest. "Time is Money" used the exact same notion of Scrooge being separated from contact with his Money Bin... and, while its handling of the situation was anything but ideal, it did acknowledge that Scrooge had some other sources of income from which to get the money to pay off Glomgold. Here, once Scrooge has been served with foreclosure (as if he wouldn't have paid off the Mansion long before this!) and has been obliged to sell out to "motivated buyer" Ma Beagle, he and his retinue are rendered well and truly busted, forced to bunk with Launchpad. (I guess the reticence Scrooge felt about asking LP for help in "Down and Out in Duckburg" is a thing of the past.) GeoX is right -- the exact disbursement of Scrooge's fortune has always been somewhat fuzzy -- but you honestly can't avoid "dinging" this episode for inconsistency, considering that the previous story arc provided a scenario that flatly contradicts this one.
The Case of the Sticky Money" (UNCLE $CROOGE #42, May 1963), a story that may well have been consulted here for a reason I'll amplify below. Having created a surreptitious way of stealing a little of Scrooge's fortune at a time, the Beagles of "Sticky Money" tape the equivalent of a "SUSPECT ME" sign to their collective cans and practice the most ludicrous sorts of "conspicuous consumption" for all the world (including an appalled Scrooge) to see. The Beagles are so obviously guilty of some kind of "ultra-grand theft" that Barks doesn't even bother to hold the reader in suspense, instead revealing the truth well before the final pages. The Beagles' behavior in "Sticky Money" is the four-color equivalent of, let us say, hiding your ill-gotten gains in the middle of Duckburg inside a flimsily disguised "doughnut factory." (Even if you buy the notion that the citizens of Duckburg are stupid or blind enough not to notice the obvious presence of the Bin, there's still the question of how the Beagles managed to drive the Bin from Ma's country place into town with no one noticing.)
not one, but two, posts rallying to the defense of "Duck in the Iron Mask"! The odd thing is that HD&L have more of a justification for getting themselves mixed up when they are dressed in identical commando outfits...
Pearl of Wisdom" and extending all the way through to (sorry, Greg) Quack Pack's "Feats of Clay," "BBBC" represents one of the boys' more impressive efforts in the role. They were in more actual physical peril during the infiltration of the Money Bin in DuckTales: The Movie (1990), but they showed a good deal of resourceful improvisation while trying to evade the Beagles, including imitating stuffed toys, riding the dumbwaiter (aka "The Nephew Emergency Escape Elevator") as they did in "Till Nephews Do Us Part," and even channeling the "playing 'aircraft carrier' moment" from "Don't Give Up the Ship" by sliding through and out of the Mansion on a dessert trolley.
Jymn Magon, Koonce and Weimers use the nouveau riche Beagles' "society party" as an excuse to trot out characters and other notions from "The Status Seekers." Actually, this rerun works reasonably well, all things considered, despite the painfully unfunny disguises that Scrooge uses when trying to crash the party. In fact, one could almost say that it works too well. The scenes in which Ma Beagle threatens the Mayor, John D. Rockefeather, Mrs. Pedigree, Lady De Lardo, and other worthies with dire consequences if they don't do exactly what she wants are some of the most depressing scenes of the series. I know that the authority figures of DuckTales are rarely given the chance to display mere competence, let alone courage, but standing silent in the face of blatant extortion is a cringe too far. Barks himself was rarely that cynical. The police chief's arrest of Scrooge at the end of Act Two is simply the final nail in the coffin of what remains of Duckburg's civic integrity. After these craven displays, is it any wonder that the Beagles are successful in their efforts to pack the jury for Scrooge's sham trial?
Burger: "Talk about strange cellfellows!"
Migrating Millions" would ever be put to such uses as this. You could argue that the Bin-carrier should have caused more damage to the streets and buildings than it did, but the totaling of Scrooge's limousine helps make up for the comparative lack of collateral destruction.
the legendary battle of Fort Duckburg). However, there is some question as to how effectively the Bin-sinking sets up what is to come next. It is clear that the Bin doesn't sink all that far off shore, and the location of its sinking is easily visible, so why does everyone, including Scrooge, Launchpad, and Gizmoduck, subsequently search for it as if it were a long-lost sunken treasure? One might argue that the "big machine" could have rolled the Bin some distance away from its original underwater landing spot, but that would make sense only if the "machine"'s motor continued to run, and it's highly unlikely that it would do so. Ultimately, the only reason that the salvage sequence goes on as long as it does is because the aliens need time to fly onto the scene, spot the Bin, and take it away. Whatever floats your Bin, Ken and Dave...
Bumper #9: "Bigfoot"
(GeoX) Ma Beagle has tattoos of hearts with arrows through them on both her arms. Love to know what the story is there.
You'd probably have to ask the "dear old Dad" who married her (and presumably died or disappeared at some point, perhaps because he was weary from siring all those Beagle offspring).
(GeoX) Even assuming that the tour guide is somehow empowered to sell Ma Beagle the Venus de Milo equivalent, it would sure as hell have to be be for a lot more than four hundred thousand dollars. Some Ducktales writer that we could name if we could be bothered to look up his or her name is wholly unfamiliar with the world of art collecting.
It isn't just the "Venus Dog Milo"; all of the prices in this episode seem a bit wonky. Scrooge's mansion selling for "only" $150 million? I can imagine it commanding far more than that, even given that the sale is an emergency sale. Then again, I might be projecting my vision of the Rich Mansion -- which has so many rooms that people have to literally mount expeditions to find some of them -- onto Scrooge's place, which would probably be a bit more modest, befitting its owner. (Scrooge makes a passing reference in "Till Nephews Do Us Part" to the fact that his Mansion has 42 rooms, which is a pittance compared to the Riches' massive manse.) Whatever the "fair" price of McDuck Mansion might be, one must wonder to whom the proceeds of the sale are going. If all or part of them went to Scrooge, then wouldn't he have enough money to avoid having to go live with Launchpad? Or did the bank take all the money to pay off the Mansion? K&W never make this clear.
Yeah, unless he's some sort of amateur contortionist, that scene below would appear to be physically impossible. But then, he's RICH! He can do ANYTHING!! MUAHAHAHAHA!!
I wouldn't call Scrooge's recognition of the "Spamway" money "sentimental," though Alan Young's line-reading certainly suggests that it is. Scrooge's wistful remembrance of a successful past business venture is very much in character, and he probably would have evinced the same reaction had the money been made in some other enterprise.
(Greg) We begin this one as the Money Bin on a tow truck appears with Ma and Me[ga]byte. Okay; I see an obvious logic break here: Why are the original Beagle Boys here? Shouldn't they be in jail?
I presume that they were among the escapees when Megabyte's wire gizmo opened all the cell doors in "Full Metal Duck." It would probably be too much to expect the Duckburg authorities to distribute the incarcerated Beagles to several prisons so that they couldn't, you know, cooperate to escape.
(Greg) Four furries... are listening to the pig furry sales lady from Cash As Catch Can part one ["A Drain on the Economy"] as she explains the duck statue which has its arms cut off.
She also appeared as a realtor in "Magica's Shadow War." I wonder why she wasn't used as the "Coldnose Banker Realty" representative here -- that would have made for some neat continuity. Joan Gerber uses a different voice for the character here than she did in "Shadow War," just as she altered Lady De Lardo's voice from its form in "The Status Seekers."
(Greg) The nephews are cornered right next to the conveniently placed dumb waiter and they open it and go downstairs.
Pretty decent continuity here -- not only is the dumbwaiter reused, but its non-kitchen end is still in the same relative place (the upstairs hallway). The kitchen egress isn't quite the same, and the dumbwaiter in "BBBC" has three compartments rather than one, but you can't have everything.
The firing was indeed cut. No real surprise there, I suppose, given what was done in "Liquid Assets." At least the excision played much less havoc with the plot in this case.
The sight of the toy Gizmoduck reminds me a bit of the toy Armstrong... but the toy Gizmo is used for more than just a sight gag. It sure didn't take long for someone (I'm guessing McDuck Enterprises) to start producing those Gizmoduck toys, did it?
Actually, they behave more like water cannons. Given that Gizmoduck is armor-plated and probably able to withstand "mere" bullets, the use of a water weapon makes a twisted sort of sense. Incidentally, I don't see any contradiction between this scene and the later scene in which Gizmoduck admits a weakness against water. There's a legitimate difference between being knocked down by a blast of water (which I presume the guards were trying to do to Gizmo) and submerging oneself in the ocean.
(Greg) The motorcycle and Gizmo Duck run beside the tow-dozer as the motorcycle [driver] blows off Mrs. Beakly's weight with the best thinly veiled fat joke in the history of DTVA.
Specifically, he says, "Even Superman couldn't see through THIS!". Which, to me, represents a missed opportunity to introduce a clever Barksian reference. Using "Super Snooper" in place of the "real-world" Superman would have gratified the Barks fans, and it would have been close enough to the "truth" that the "civilian audience" would probably have gotten the gist of the joke anyway.
Next: Episode 75, "Super DuckTales, Part Five: Money to Burn."