This DuckTales review contains spoilers.
DuckTales Episode 16
You know I’ve been saying that DuckTales keeps changing up its format to stay fresh but after this and last weeks episode I’m starting to question if DuckTales even has a format. It just delights in telling adventurous stories, no matter what situation or format they might be.
This week we have a delightful focus on Huey, Dewey, and Louie that splits all them all up. We’ve seen them in their own side plots before but they were sharing the spotlight with someone else. Here the three plots that make up the episode give each of them a chance to shine (again with that fabulous animation. Even Louie sticking his finger out before he went in Doofus’ mansion is great.)
My favorite of the three was shockingly Huey’s and that’s only because the series has finally turned my opinion around on the Beagle Boys. In a series with such strong villains (Glomgold 4 lyfe) the Beagle Boys just seemed a little lacking. Not bad but they never popped off the screen with the same sort of gusto and humor as someone like Mark Beaks.
Here though the story affords a chance to get inside their heads a bit and what they may lack in comedy they more than make up for in sympathy. Yeah, I feel for these guys! The two Beagle Boys Huey helped will blindly listen to pretty much anyone who gives them solid direction. All they want is to be accepted and, displayed in a subtle moment that spoke volumes, don’t want to be hurt.
We take the kind of slapstick violence in a show like DuckTales for granted but here, when Huey is innocently raising a hand at them, the Beagle Boys freak out as if they’re about to be punished. I can never get enough of villains who, if they’re just shown some kindness, would instantly change their ways. It speaks to a complexity that they’re not all bad, just horrifically misguided.
It also contains a beautiful stance for the show, that maybe these “bad people” can be changed. I know DuckTales has a lot of mileage left in it so I don’t expect the Beagle Boys to switch sides or anything but it is great to know the show at least pokes at the idea of these guys being able to change.
Louie’s plot had that hilarious dark humor that I wish DuckTales could delve into even more. Doofus keeping his parents basically as slaves is incredibly messed up but it’s so hilarious! I think this exchange pretty much sums it up.
“My butler’s a ghost. He’s dead.”
“We’re dead inside.”
Doofus is a great new foil for the team (DuckTales is amassing quite a rogues gallery) and adds that variety since he’s also a kid! Most of the outright villains so far have mostly been aiming for Scrooge but Doofus has no ties to him. This is a direction I hope the series continues with its upcoming villains. I know Scrooge has been around for a long time but the kids making some enemies of their own changes up the dynamics in a fun way. It gives them someone to focus on and directly relate to, not just dealing with the fallout of Scrooge’s past actions.
And then there’s Dewey. Honestly his plot was fun but not quite as engaging as the other two. Dewey is a fun character to watch on his own but the outcome was pretty easy to guess, that he’d realize he misses his brothers (that’s kind of true for the whole episode, honestly). I did love the twist of Webby being in the robot, although part of me wishes the robot just really knew how to give out great emotional advice. It protects AND counsels!
Still, we got Dewey’s Louie Lamp voice so we made out all right.
Long may DuckTales play with its format. It may not always lead to perfect outings but this one was still really solid.
DuckTales Quotes To Make Your Life Better
– “I just wanna use a rich kid for his infinity pool! Why can’t I have this for myself?!”
– “We’re starting to think you have an unhealthy obsession with kidnapping. We’re here if you need to talk about it.”
– “Real wealth is not caring if people think you’re crazy… cause they can’t stop you anyway!”
Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Follow him on Twitter!