This DuckTales review contains spoilers.
DuckTales Season 2 Episode 5
Perhaps DuckTales‘ greatest strength is that it has something to say. While having fun, going on adventures, and making hilarious one-liners is integral to every episode, the fact it’s able to impart messages that don’t feel like they’re beating you over the head? That’s something to respect.
Especially when the messages of this episode are to find solutions in business that are sustainable, treat workers right, pay them enough, and that big businesses will do whatever they can to stay alive even if that means creating problems to keep themselves alive.
That sounds really dour and the subject of Robert Reich’s next documentary (which I’d totally watch) but when it’s wrapped up in Louie’s hilarious ego and Storkules’ misguided attempts to be the best roommate ever it’s actually fun! It’s fun to watch Louie learn he shouldn’t manufacture a problem solely to boost his profits. It’s fun to watch Storkules be shocked at Louie’s slimy business practises. It’s fun when Webby just punches Louie for finally coming to the enlightened notion of asking what the Harpies wanted after she’d been saying it all episode.
Much as it did in ‘The Ballad of Duke Baloney!’, DuckTales is not playing around with its condemnation of the wealthy, although in this case its more targeted on the pursuit of wealth. Louie’s desire to maintain a thriving business solely to make money comes at the cost of his family (who he only sees as employees) and taking advantage of the kind hearted Storkules. As I said in that previous episode, it’s shocking that a lot of this commentary could be leveraged directly at Disney and other businesses like it. Big business has a way of just chewing up its lowest level employees with no care for their livelihoods. They destroy the Earth with little regard for any kind sustainability. It’s all just to make money for the man on top.
It’d be laudable enough for DuckTales to simply condemn all this, to just knock big business down and pat itself on the back. No, DuckTales offers a solution. Business in of itself isn’t bad, in fact it can be very good! You just have to be ethical. Like with the lemonade it was lauded for being fair trade, organic, and sustainable! Plus it caused low to no emissions because they learned to work with the harpies instead of fighting them! That’s so good! Louie can make money while also not being garbage to everyone else.
In all this I’ve barely touched on how great Storkules and Donald were! I’d watch a whole sitcom of those two being odd couple roommates. They make a great double act! I wasn’t quite as enamored with Storkules in his first episode but here? I’m sold. Let him stick around.
DuckTales is also smartly utilizing the world it’s been building up since season one. Even the small montage of Storkules wrangling the harpies with quick cameos from the series’ side characters makes the world feel fuller. The characters have lives outside of episodes that focus on them.
But still, the greatest strength of this episode is its message. Other shows could strive for what DuckTales is doing here. It isn’t just content being a half hour of mindless TV for kids. That’s what a bad show does. A good show might be content just identifying a problem in the word (ala business can be bad) but that’s it.
DuckTales however identifies that problem and offers a solution. So really, Scrooge had the right idea all along and I can’t help but wonder if his words were the DuckTales writers expressing part of their philosophy in the writing the series.
“Turn problems into solutions.”
I love it. DuckTales is on another level from most TV out there, not just kid’s stuff. Long may it reign.
DuckTales Quotes To Make Your Life Better
– “Did you just do an internet search for the word business?’
– “We’re not your employees. We’re your family.”“At Louie Inc., family are the greatest employees of all. Except Dewey, he’d make a terrible employee.”
– “I gotta tell you. Selling out is everything I’d dreamed it to be!”
– “My beloved merch!”