It’s a slow news day. Sure, we could talk about how Barry Keoghan is either the best or worst choice to play Yorick in FX’s Y: The Last Man pilot, but I don’t have much to say about it beyond “He’s a good actor, he’s not what I had in mind, I’m on the fence —let’s wait and see, or whatever, I guess!” Besides, I still don’t really believe we’ll ever see any adaptation of that comic book, ever. It’s like Locke & Key — I’ll believe it’s happening when I’m literally sitting there, watching it with my eyeholes.
But there IS something I want to talk about. The only something I ever want to talk about: cartoons. Specifically: DuckTales. Last weekend’s new episode, “From the Confidential Casefiles of Agent 22!” happened to tie into that other beloved Disney piece of nostalgia: Adventures of the Gummi Bears. You know, the one about the bears that drink that special
drug juice to make them bounce here/there/everywhere/out of harm’s way.
Based on the clip that IGN released exclusively prior to the episode, the Gummi Bears tie-in could have been nothing more than a clever easter egg:
But no! As co-producer Frank Angones promised:
In other words, this is more than just an Easter Egg.— Frank Angones (@FrankAngones) June 29, 2018
And indeed, the plot of the episode actually revolved around a villain named Black Heron trying to recreate the gummiberry juice recipe for her own gain — and ends with Webby making off with a dose of the magical elixir in her pocket. So that means it’s coming back in the future, right?!
Not that the Gummi Bears of Dunwyn were the only reference in the episode. Flashbacks reveal how Mrs. Beakley and Scrooge McDuck first met, and it’s an old-fashioned spy caper (complete with some Emma Peel/John Steed fashion choices). The covert operations at play are S.H.U.S.H and the evil F.O.W.L, which originated on Darkwing Duck (a show that also has found its way into the current run of DuckTales episodes), and their boss at S.H.U.S.H. is none other than classic Disney duck Ludwig Von Drake!
OK, to be fair, I had to do some research to pinpoint why Ludwig looked so familiar to me in the episode. And I actually appreciated that, because the show is proving adept at weaving in a lot of elements for die-hard Disney fans in a way that doesn’t detract from the story at all. Even the stunts are more than stunts, and in an episode laden with references, the emotional heart of the story still came through loud and clear. This week wasn’t just the Gummi Bears episode. It was the episode that explained just why Mrs. Beakley is so capable, and where her bond with Scrooge came from. And it was the episode that finally paired Webby up with her idol — creating a Scrooge/Webbigail adventure that tugged at all of my heartstrings.
And yeah, sure, the climax involved Webby bouncing here and there and everywhere to take down a villain with a robo-fist. BUT IT’S THE EMOTIONS THAT MATTER.
Anyway, seriously you all should just be watching DuckTales.