Raiders of the Story Arc: Duck Tales
July 26, 2011
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. And welcome to another rendition of Raiders of the Story Arc!
(The Raiders of the Story Arc logo, with Indiana Jones music, plays out)
NC: You know, I was sitting at my desk about to figure out how to solve world hunger and cure all the known diseases, when suddenly, this popped in my head.
(Cut to DuckTales logo)
Singers: DuckTales! Whoo-hoo!
NC: (angrily) IT WILL NEVER LEAVE, IT WILL NEVER LEAVE!!
(DuckTales footage plays out as NC speaks)
NC (vo): Yes, we all remember the catchy theme song to DuckTales even though we tried GOD knows how hard not to. But just how well does the show itself hold up? Is it memorable as the classic tune, or will it become quickly dated like...
(Picture of Rebecca Black's song "Friday")
NC: Among others. Let's take a look at the first few episodes of DuckTales!
(DuckTales intro begins, but NC interrupts)
NC: Up-up-up-up! If we're gonna look at the opening, we gotta play different music. I still wanna keep my brain intact!
Singer: Do do do do do do doo...
NC: DuckTales is fine.
Singers: DuckTales! Whoo-hoo!
NC: By the way, if you want a drinking game that'll have you dead in a millisecond, try taking a shot every time you come across a clip that wasn't in the show.
(As the whole intro plays out, we cut to NC taking a shot every time a clip appears that wasn't shown in any episode, with a total of 6)
NC: (drunk) Ey, you think Gosalyn from Darkwing Duck is really Huey in drag? (collapses)
The first episode begins.
NC (vo): So in episode 1, "Don't Give Up the Ship", we start off this celebration of American greed with the money bin of Scrooge McDuck, voiced by Wilbur himself: Alan Young. And I can only assume that he made all this money by betting on Mr. Ed in the horse races and turning him into glue.
Poor Lady: Penny for the poor?
Scrooge: They're not worth it.
NC: (dumbfounded) Gosh! He's just like that character from A Christmas Carol, Fagin!
NC (vo): We see that he's late for meeting up with his nephew Donald, who has to leave his boys behind because he's off to the Navy. Yeah. You ever notice that? He's a friggin' sailor! (Cut to footage of various old Donald Duck cartoons) And yet, in all those years, you've never seen him in the stinking Navy! He was in the Army a few times, the Boy Scouts, even a FUCKING NAZI! How the hell did that happen?! (Cut back to DuckTales) But, never in the Navy. Give the show credit for finally putting him on a boat. I've never seen a duck so absent from water.
Donald: Give me a hug.
Huey, Dewey and Louie all give Donald a hug.
Huey: We're really going to miss ya, Uncle Donald.
Donald: Aw. And I'm gonna miss you, too.
NC (vo): So Donald, it appears, is the next in the long line of uncles that keeps abandoning these three parentless waves. Yeah. How come these boys keep getting passed around from person to person? I mean, where the hell did their real parents go?
Sherri Stoner: They're on sabbatical.
NC (vo): So Scrooge takes them to his home where his butler Duckworth, who is, oddly enough, not a duck, spends most of the time looking after them.
Duckworth: As you know, Mr. McDuck put me in charge of you.
Huey: (sarcastically while spinning his finger in the air) Well, whoop-dee-doo!
Duckworth: Pray, do not get your knickers in a proverbial twist.
NC: (British accent) You'd have to be wearing pants in order for that to happen.
NC (vo): As expected, the setup is not a favor for anybody, as the boys keep getting into trouble.
Scrooge: I told you, NO TOUCHING!!
Huey: We were gonna send that junky old boat to Uncle Donald.
Scrooge: It's a "PRICELESS ARTIFACT"!
Scrooge: Until further notice, you are grrrrrounded!
NC: Okay, I'll take them being grrrrrounded as long as there's no....
Cut to Scrooge talking with Duckworth.
Scrooge: They're such troublesome little brats!
Duckworth: Indubitably, sir!
The boys overhear the next sentence.
Scrooge: How did I let Donald talk me into taking care of those little beasts?
Huey: I told you he didn't want us.
Louie: Right! Let's get out of here.
NC (vo; imitating Huey): QUICK! Let's leave before he has any sudden redeeming change of character!
Scrooge: The worst thing about it is, the little nose-punchers remind me of meself at that age. I’ve been wrong, I’m going to make it up to them in the morning.
NC: Oh, the anvil of irony! (An anvil with the words “IRONY” falls on the Critic) Ow.
NC (vo): But the boys notice that someone is sneaking into Scrooge’s vault. It’s the Beagle Boys, who are trying to steal a model wooden ship. But what’s even stranger than that is the person they’re stealing it for: a character named El Capitan, who I can only describe as McGruff the crime dog if he was a Mexican flasher.
El Capitan: It leads to a sunken treasure, a ship full of oro...gold.
NC (vo): And by the way, if you can’t figure out what he’s chasing in this show, I’ll give you one guess:
(We are shown a montage of El Capitan shouting “Gold!” over and over again)
NC (vo): Boy, this guy is making the Psychlos look like Buddhist monks.
Terl (Spoony): Fool! While you were learning to SPELL YOUR NA- (explosion)
El Capitan: But it isn’t gold without me to interpret it for you mental midgets!
NC (imitating one of the Beagle Boys): Hey, we prefer the term: “mental little people”!
NC (vo): So the boys sneak in and steal the ship away.
Louie: Let’s get outta here!
(The boys run, but are cornered by El Capitan holding a chair and a purple bottle)
El Capitan: Give me the ship, ninos.
NC (imitating El Capitan): Or I’ll lion tame you with a bottle of purple drank!
NC (vo): They, of course, escape, and make it to where Scrooge is conducting a TV interview...at his candy factory, where no comedic possibilities could possibly occur!
Interviewer: And how do you explain your phenomenal wealth, Mr. McDuck?
Scrooge: Simple, I made it by being smarter than the smarties and tougher than the toughies!
NC (imitating Scrooge): I also embezzled Mickey Mouse out of house and home, but that’s another story!
NC (vo): But the nephews crash in, as do the Beagle Boys, to fight over the ship. This looks like a job for an old man with a cane and three constantly abandoned siblings!
Scrooge: Now, boys!
Dewey and Louie pull a lever containing a huge vat of chocolate that pours over the Beagle Boys and hardens. The Oompa Loompa song plays with footage from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.
Oompa Loompas: Oompa Loompa Doompa Dee Doo, I've got another puzzle for you...
The second episode begins.
NC (vo): So that wraps up the first episode as we enter episode number 2: “Wronguay in Ronguay”.
Footage from Ernest Scared Stupid with the guy doing the drum riff is shown.
NC (vo): We see Scrooge’s rival named Flintheart Glomgold...don’t you just love these names?...as he gets a call from (roughly) El Capitan!
Glomgold: Money talks, I listen! Speak!
El Capitan: Mr. Glomgold...
NC (vo; chuckles): I love this guy’s voice. Can you see him doing something normal like ordering a pizza?
NC (imitating El Capitan): That’s right, and a large pepperoni! And mushrooms the size of my giant novelty mustache!
Pizza server: And how will you be paying for that, sir?
NC (El Capitan): Gold! Gold! Uh-GOOOOOOOOLLLD! That’s right, I’ll be paying with Gold Card. (holds up a credit card)
At the house, the boys are looking at a name on the model ship.
Huey: Well, if this name doesn’t mean anything, then it must be a code.
Louie: Oh! Like the letter “a” equals a 1.
Dewey: Then the name is really numbers.
Huey: Double right!
Footage from Batman Forever is shown.
Alfred: Of course, 13 is M.
Bruce Wayne: 1 would be A, 8 would be H, and 5 would be E.
Back to DuckTales
Louie: Like latitude and longitude?
Huey: Triple right!
NC (vo): Just then, Glomgold drops by to make Scrooge a challenge.
Glomgold: Whoever makes the most money from scratch in-in two weeks wins. Whoever loses eats my hat!
NC (vo): You think this is what Bill Gates and Donald Trump do in their spare time? Except of instead of eating his hat, they eat his toupee?
Scrooge: Pack your swimfins, lads, we’re going for sunken treasure!
Louie: That’s where we’re going: South America! The tiny country of Ronguay.
Indiana Jones theme starts playing as a line is being drawn across a map.
NC (vo): But they then find out that the plane they’re flying on has been rigged, as the pilot appears to be nothing more than a robot.
NC: Of course! A classic maneuver!
NC (vo): But thankfully, they have the Junior Woodchuck’s Guide Book that shows them how to fly a plane. And, (sighs) for those who don’t know, this is the all-knowing plot device that has the answer for everything. (Footage of Inspector Gadget TV show) Like Penny’s book from Inspector Gadget, (clip from Home Improvement) or Wilson from Home Improvement, (clip from Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa) or the Code of the West from C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa.
(Cut to Chester A. Bum)
Chester A. Bum: Oh, my God, you watched that?!
NC: Hey, shut up! There was nothing else on in that time slot!
Chester: Jesus Christ, I’m embarrassed for you.
NC: Oh, shut up!
Chester: You shut up! Go ahead and watch Cowboy Cows, or CowCows, (the Critic looks pissed) or Boy Cows, or- My God, I can’t believe you actually watched that!
NC: Are you done?
(The Critic holds a remote control and changes back to DuckTales)
NC (vo): So they use the book to figure out how to land the plane and end up in Ronguay, where they go hunting for the treasure. But little do they know that Glomgold is there, searching for it, too.
Glomgold: He’s escaped! Oh, duck pajamas!
NC (has a surprised look on his face): And the winner (a trophy appears on screen) for absolutely strangest curse in the world: Duck Pajamas! ("Duck Pajamas" appears on-screen) What the hell?
NC (vo): So they come across a cave that eventually leads to the treasure. The only problem is, the water is rising and they can’t go back the way they came.
Dewey: But how are we going to get all this gold home, Uncle Scrooge?
Scrooge: By helping you earn your Junior Woodchuck seamanship badges.
The scene changes as the boys and Scrooge build a boat made entirely out of gold.
NC (vo): Wait a minute, they made gold planks? Wait a minute, they made gold hammers? Wait a minute, they made gold friggin’ sails?! What do they teach at these Junior Woodchucks meetings?
NC (imitating a camp counselor): Now, children, we’re going to teach you how to make a battle cruiser out of asparagus. (An image of what he just said appears)
NC (imitating a little kid): But, scout leader, why?
NC (camp counselor): I don’t know! It’s right here in the book next to make golden planks, hammers, and sails for an ancient ship. I don’t question it, I just teach it!
NC (vo): But Glomgold and El Capitan sneak aboard and try to take over the ship, but end up accidentally sinking it due to their bickering. And since Scrooge still has one golden coin left from the treasure, he technically wins. Which means, you know what!
Scrooge: How do you want it, with or without mustard?
Glomgold starts eating his hat as the closing credits to the Davy Crockett TV show plays.
Singers: They were darn good friends from that day on. Davy sold his furs, and then was gone...
The third episode begins.
NC (vo): So that ends episode 2 as we lead into episode 3 - “Three Ducks of the Condor”. We find out that Scrooge is not the only one to have that gold coin from the ancient treasure, there’s another person who possesses one and might be able to lead him to an even bigger treasure, which means the boys will have to be looked after while Scrooge goes looking for him. This leads to the introduction of Mrs. Beakley and... (sighs in disgust) Webby.
Webby: (various scenes) Oh, please, Mr. McDuck? / What do you think, Grammy? / Oh, they make fun!
NC (vo): I don’t know, maybe it’s my inner little boy, but I just hate this fucking character. (mocking voice) With her precious little bow and her cutie cute dress and those cootie filled eyes!
NC (very quickly): Boys forever! No girls allowed! I’m never going to like girls till the day I die! (A picture of a woman’s cleavage is shown) Aw, shit! Boobies ruin everything!
NC (vo): But it turns out they need a pilot as well. Enter Launchpad McQuack, hands down everybody’s favorite character.
Launchpad McQuack: Don’t worry, Mr. McD, if it’s got wings, I can crash it. (laughs)
Shows drum rift from Ernest Scared Stupid again.
NC (vo): So the boys are abandoned again. This time, not even to a family member, but to the friggin’ helper.
Scrooge: Your uncle has a three-day pass while his ship is in Panama!
NC (vo): It turns out Donald has a free pass, because I guess the Navy is very lenient towards treasure hunting, so they bring him along for the journey.
Donald: What? What’s happening?
Launchpad: It’s these freakish mountain winds. I can’t control it!
The plane starts losing control.
Scrooge: I can’t watch!
Donald: Neither can I!
Launchpad: Me neither!
NC: Oh, no! They crashed into…Commodore 64 graphics!
The scene is replayed with footage from Donald Duck's Playground on the Commodore 64.
NC (vo): Get out of there, Donald! Your loading time is atrocious! (Back to DuckTales) Okay, so after that lame 8-bit effect, they come across a tribe that apparently honors something very unusual.
The tribe is saying “gold sun” and a poster for The Good Son is superimposed.
NC (vo): Actually, they’re saying gold sun, and in keeping with the cartoon tradition that all natives are, well, stupid, it turns out they honor whoever’s holding the coin. So Scrooge finds the guy who’s been using it to control these people.
Conquistador: Welcome, fellow sun priests. I am Joaquin Slowly.
NC: Uhhhhh…just use the drum on that one.
The drum rift starts playing, but is stopped short.
NC: Yeah, it wasn’t good enough for the cymbal.
NC (vo): While Scrooge finds out that the coin was a family heirloom, Launchpad has a hard time figuring out how to fix the plane with the natives.
Chief Leader: You and your children of sun, you fly or bye-bye!
Launchpad: Uh, actually, chief, I don’t think I can flap my arms fast enough.
NC (imitating Launchpad): I mean, what do you think I am, a duck? (makes a confused look)
NC (vo): They actually make him fly a giant vulture, which he does surprisingly well. So they help him fix the rest of the plane. Meanwhile, Scrooge trades his coin for half of a map that apparently leads to an even bigger treasure, just before Joaquin turns the tables.
Joaquin: That intruder was a fake! Do as I say, destroy the evil ones!
NC (vo): But thankfully, they escape, and Joaquin loses his two coins over the cliff.
Joaquin: Climb down there, you peasants! I command you to get me my coins!
Tribe: No gold sun! No gold sun! (and repeats)
NC (imitating native): We have to establish new system of government: NOT coin-based!
The fourth episode begins.
NC (vo): So they drop Donald off and Scrooge is on his way to find the second half of the map, thus beginning the next episode, “Cold Duck”.
Huey (?): Be very, very quiet. We’re hunting Beakley!
- I do not know which boy said this, so for the rest of the transcript, whenever a voice comes from an unknown duck, it will be Huey speaking- ed.
NC (Elmer Fudd dub): They’re wucky I don’t sue for copywight infwingement. (chuckles)
Huey (?): Ready tuning forks.
NC (vo): So, in probably one of the strangest plot points in the show, they use a tuning fork to…well, watch.
The scene unfolds as the tuning fork creates a seismic event.
NC (vo): I’m sorry, but how does that work? How does a tuning fork cause a ground-shaking earthquake every time you use it? Wouldn’t that be outlawed in singing lessons?
The Critic pretends to hold a tuning fork, sings, and an earthquake starts happening. He eventually gets buried underneath a pile of rocks.
NC (vo): But then, Launchpad comes over to collect some supplies, and, of course, everybody seems to sneak aboard.
Mrs. Beakley: What are you doing on this plane?
Webby: Well, I was looking for the boys.
Mrs. Beakley: The boys?
Huey: Little tattletale!
NC (vo): So, apparently, they track him down to the Antarctic, where they come across an unhappy customer.
Launchpad: (screams) A walrus!
A walrus comes charging at them, and then a clip from The Big Lebowski is shown.
Theodore Donald 'Donny' Kerabatsos: I'm the walrus.
Back to DuckTales.
Mrs. Beakley: Stay away from them, you-
NC (vo): It seems the writers have confused a walrus for a bull...
NC: A common mistake.
NC (vo): ...and also let us know that Scrooge has been captured by an army of penguins who also end up grabbing the boys, too. Hey, as long as none of them are voiced by Martin Short (a DVD cover to The Pebble and the Penguin appears), I’m good.
The boys slide into a wall at a jailhouse made of ice. Launchpad follows with a crotch shot.
NC (vo): Whoa! Nice crotch shot there, guys!
NC: But don’t try to outdo yourself. We all know who has the real money shot around here. (a clip from Suburban Knights is shown) Adorable.
NC (vo): This leaves Mrs. Beakley, Webby, and a girl penguin to try and rescue them. And this is the episode I always remembered hating, because, as you predict, it totally goes girl show here.
Webby: But how come you didn’t say anything before, Skittles?
Skittles: I didn’t know if you’d like me. I don’t have any friends back home. That’s why I was out on the ice above.
Webby: We like you, Skittles.
(Cut to NC looking annoyed)
Skittles: You must, you-you just gave me all these beautiful colors!
Webby: So, what’s so special about that?
Skittles: Down here, everything’s white!
NC: Great, so we have Rainbow Brite, the Get-Along-Gang, and My Little Penguin. Something better blow up soon!
NC (vo): So they dress up Webby like a penguin in order for her to get around easier. And, yes, this involves covering her face completely in black makeup.
The Critic looks nervous as a drawing of a red circle with wings appears, and it says “Minstrel Show Joke”. He tries to touch it, but the Critic must resist. Eventually the drawing disappears.
NC: (sighs) The sacrifices I make for good taste.
NC (vo): They break Scrooge and the others out of jail by (the tuning fork is thrown into the jail cell), well, what else?
Louie twangs the tuning fork and the building collapses.
NC (vo): Seriously, when did the tuning fork become the fucking (a picture of the BFG from Doom appears) BFG? But they’re suddenly spotted, so the penguins send in their…Technodrome igloos-Would that be (the words appear on screen) Techno-Gloos?-to stop them.
Webby: Come on, Mr. Scrooge!
NC (vo): But they manage to get out as well as take the other half of the map with them. The only thing left to do is drop off their little friend.
Scrooge: We can’t land, Skittles! We’re gonna have to parachute you out.
The boys put a parachute on Skittles.
NC (vo; dubbing over the scene where Skittles use the parachute): No time to explain how it works, just go!
The scene cuts to black, and then we see a drawing of a tombstone that says, “Here lies one dumb penguin” along with the funeral march theme being heard. The fifth episode begins.
NC (vo): Oh, of course, she makes it out fine, which leads us to our final episode in the story arc, “Too Much of a Gold Thing”. Here, the map leads them to the Quackawaka River; a tributary to (a postcard that says The Waka-Waka Nile and a picture of Fozzie Bear has a subheading of “Home of the funniest bear”) the Waka-Waka Nile, where they land the plane and go looking for the big treasure that’s been built up all this time.
Scrooge: After all the trouble I’ve gone through, I, Scrooge McDuck, deserve this treasure!
NC (vo): We also get introduced to a sporadic new plot device known as gold fever.
Mrs. Beakley: I’m afraid, children, that Mr. McDuck is in the clutches of gold fever! It’s when you itch for wealth so much, you forget what’s important.
NC (vo): Um, wasn’t that sort of his character the whole time? I mean, are they really just noticing now that Scrooge is greedy? You think it’s just a term, too, but nope, apparently, it’s a real friggin’ disease in this world.
Dewey: How come Uncle Scrooge has that funny twitch?
Mrs. Beakley: It’s the next symptom of gold fever. The gold fever is getting worse!
Webby: Is it the gold fever?
Mrs. Beakley: Yes, Webby.
Dewey: (pointing to a group of skeletons) What happened to these guys?
Mrs. Beakley: It was gold fever!
NC (vo): Boy, they really hammer this thing in, don’t they? There’s stages, symptoms, fatal outcomes. This is some heavy-duty shit! But for something so apparently deadly, it’s also so incredibly vague. Don’t they give more detail for something so fatal?
NC: I mean, can somebody in an under-two-minute cameo explain how gold fever really works?
Doctors Tease and Block appear.
Dr. Tease: Well, you see, Critic, there are several symptoms of gold fever.
Dr. Block: Yes. As research has clearly shown... (the Critic looks astounded)
Dr. Tease: Yes. First, you develop this uncontrollable itch.
Dr. Block: Then the loss of logic.
Dr. Tease: Cartoony circles around the eyes.
Dr. Block: Uncontrollable urge to cry, "Whoo-hoo, whoo-hoo!". The need to lick cows in prom dresses.
Dr. Tease: Oh, the bowel-bashing diarrhea. Thirst for giraffe urine.
Dr. Block: The ability to say the word apple sauce.
Dr. Tease: Accompanied by 40 days of projectile vomiting.
Dr. Block: And then followed by a sexual fixation for Maggie Smith.
Dr. Tease: And last but not least...
NC: Why, thank you, doctors. I’m so much more enlightened.
Dr. Tease: Oh, we’re not doctors!
The Critic’s happy expression turns into a sad one.
NC (vo): So they make it to the temple with all the gold, but it turns out that if all the doors are opened, the temple will entrap them there forever. You know, what is it with lost civilizations that wanna kill everybody whenever someone finds their shit? They’re already dead! What are they gonna use it for?!
El Capitan: None of you will be climbing anywhere!
NC (vo): But then suddenly, they come across El Capitan!
El Capitan: I’ve waited 400 years for this!
Mrs. Beakley: 400 years?!
Louie: But how did you stay alive for all these years?
El Capitan: Sheer will power, nino!
NC (has a disgusted look on his face): Uh, yeah. Survey says: ("BULLSHIT!" appears on screen along with a ding sound) That’s what I’d thought.
Dewey: Uncle Scrooge!
Huey: A lake of molten gold!
Scrooge: This is the real treasure of The Gold- (hiccups) -en Suns!
NC (vo): But as Scrooge goes crazy with gold fever, so does El Capitan!
Scrooge: There’s more gold (hiccup) down here than in all the world!
El Capitan: No! It’s my gold (hiccups)!
NC (vo): And it turns out, he, too (in El Capitan’s gravely voice), wants the gold at the bottom of the temple!
Scrooge (throws some gold dust onto El Capitan): Here!
The temple starts to crumble.
Mrs. Beakley: The floor’s collapsing!
Scrooge and El Capitan are trying to outrun the falling floor.
Louie: Hurry up, Uncle Scrooge!
NC (vo, imitating El Capitan): Wow! This scene is incredible! They should totally overplay this in the opening credits!
NC (vo, regular voice): So Launchpad comes to save them and the city is buried forever. But that doesn’t stop (in El Capitan's voice) El Capitan from looking for the gold!
El Capitan: No!
Scrooge: The gold is buried under a mountain of dirt!
El Capitan: Fool! (he goes to the dirt pile) I will dig up the gold (hiccup), if it’s the last thing I do!
NC (vo): You know, has he ever thought about just getting a job? Four hundred years, and he’s never looked for a job. That seems kind of strange.
Webby: Welcome back, Uncle Scrooge.
Huey, Dewey & Louie: Right!
NC (vo): So as the team flies away, we see that old habits really do die hard.
Launchpad: I, uh, heard there were gold doubloons off the coast of Java.
Scrooge: Did you say gold (hiccups)?
Huey (?): Uh-oh. Here we go again!
NC: (laughs) Several people almost died because of your greed. (Last bit of Wah-Wah music is played)
Footage from the show plays once more.
NC (vo): So that’s the DuckTales story arc. Does it still hold up? Well, not only does it hold up, but actually, it really holds up. I mean, yeah, the story can get silly, of course, but for what it is, it does its job really, really well. The adventures are creative, the characters are memorable, the animation’s really top-notch, and even the writing actually can get a few laughs, particularly when it’s poking fun at Scrooge’s cheapness. In today’s world, there probably would be a lot more pop cultural references and modern spins, so it’s nice to see a show that can be really good and not necessarily rely on that. It was both timeless and entertaining. And as nostalgic shows go, it’s safe to say that DuckTales is pure (El Capitan’s voice) gold!
NC: I’m the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it... (A ding is heard) Oh, hey, a tuning fork.
An explosion is shown, and then the credits roll. We then get an extra scene with the doctors explaining more symptoms of gold fever.
Channel Awesome Tagline: El Capitan: Gold!