Latest posts by Blake Lynch (see all)
- DuckTales: A Look Back at ‘Bermuda Triangle Tangle’ Through ‘Duck to the Future’ - 5th August 2017
- DuckTales: A Look Back at Much Ado About Scrooge - 17th June 2017
- DuckTales: A Look Back at Jungle Duck - 10th June 2017
Where the last episode riffed on Alexandre Dumas, “Much Ado About Scrooge” offers Shakespeare to children. Only because it’s DuckTales, William Drakespeare. Only the episode doesn’t borrow much from Shakespeare’s plays other than a few references to witches, satyrs, and a few Macbeth jokes.
The episode begins jarringly enough with a little girl duck running inside because Filler Brushbill has come to town. Brushbill is a sales duck who has a bag in which he carries at least a harpoon, an oversized cauldron, and a half dozen brooms. (Cartoon logic.)
To keep Brushbill away from his house, Scrooge stops at nothing short of battery. Scrooge launches Brushbill by a hidden platform, kicks Brushbill in the butt with a robot, and then uses a moving platform like the kind they have at airports to get rid of Bushbill.
I was curious about why Scrooge, who is a notorious spendthrift, would be so drawn by Bushbill. It turns out that even though Bushbill is remarkably persistent, he still offers a good deal. If Scrooge has the money to spend and Bushbill’s good merchandise at reasonable rates, though, I’m not sure why Bushbill and Scrooge aren’t friends. Also, another question. Bushbill has a mustache. Is it a real mustache? Fake? Bushbill’s mustache is inconsistent cartoon logic.
Ultimately, Louie lets Bushbill enter Scrooge’s mansion because Bushbill is selling baseball bats. And as we learned last episode, Huey, Louie, and Dewey play on some kind of pro duck kid baseball team.
Among the many items that Bushbill sells to Scrooge are a collection of original works by the famous playwright, William Drakespeare. One of the kids finds a note from Drakespeare inside the book. I don’t for a minute believe that one of the kids would find a note like this tucked inside a book. I don’t think these kids read. They certainly don’t care about Drakespeare. But, convenient plot points are hard to find, so the note turns out to reveal the location of a lost play. At this point, Bushbill turns into a straight up villain who is intent on finding the play before Scrooge and company can.
So Scrooge and company take a boat to the island of Great Written. (I had to look that one up because I thought they just said Great Britain, which would’ve made the whole adventure much funnier if Great Britain turned out to be full of ghosts and monsters.) I’m not sure why Scrooge just didn’t fly to the island. Isn’t this why Scrooge retains a private pilot?
The secret to finding the play turns out to be that someone has to shake hands with a statue of Drakespeare. The statue is placed at an inconvenient location, which is then used entirely to make a not funny joke that Brushbill has suction cups that allow him to walk on walls.
All of the witches, satyrs, and other miscellaneous creatures that inhabit Great Written turn out to be an acting troupe. At least this episode got the note about some actors being committed to their roles correct. The players help put on the play, which turns out to be damaging to the reputation of Scrooge’s relatives. I’m not sure there’s any real harm though because all of Duckburg seems to be well aware of the fact that Scrooge is money hungry.
The episode ends with Scrooge concocting a money making scheme by putting on the play. First off, if this play is in Great Written who will see it? Also, why doesn’t Scrooge just turn the whole island of Great Written into an amusement park or something? Scrooge ends up letting Bushbill manage the play, so the two ducks appear to conclude on friendly terms eventually. Given that Bushbill has a tendency to upsell everything, Scrooge better expect something like a west end production for the ultimate show.
Also, where was Launchpad in the episode? And what purpose did the kids serve? Do the kids just get to go with Scrooge on every adventure no matter what?
While this episode lacked some of the grand adventure or weird ideas that are seen in other DuckTales episodes. So, I’d place “Much Ado About Scrooge” somewhere in the good but not great range.