This DuckTales review contains spoilers.
DuckTales Season 2 Episode 6
DuckTales is very aware of the typical Christmas episode. Reflect on the past, learn something, and unite with friends and family. It does all those things but it does it in the most DuckTales way possible.
With time travel.
It’s a Christmas episode staple but DuckTales of course uses it for both comedic and deep cut references. First off we have the Scrooge plot, which has him going back in time with Christmas Past. Oh yeah, Scrooge chills with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future every year. You know, like you do.
The episode brushes up against a fascinating idea here. That Scrooge just wants some relief from his responsibilities. That after a whole year of saving the world and making money he just wants to cut loose. That’s a fascinating idea that the episode quickly jettisons in favor of an incredible mid episode turn.
Scrooge realizes the lesson he has to learn is that life’s mild frustrations pale in comparison to the joy they end up bringing you (which includes family). That would also make a great lesson to build an episode around but no, DuckTales isn’t content with that. The Ghost of Christmas past actually gets vindictive for Scrooge finally learning a lesson and not needing him anymore! He’s legit mad Scrooge loves his family now.
That is incredible. It takes a Christmas episode staple and just turns it on its head. To hear Christmas Past is bitter that everyone learns lessons every year is such a DuckTales move. It also keeps the story from falling into too much sentiment. The lesson Scrooge learns is good but the episode wisely keeps the real sappy stuff for later. Instead this plot is all worth it for this one elaborate joke and I am here for it.
Dewey’s plot is where the show allows itself to dip into the warm fuzzy feels of Christmas, although not at first. Here, Dewey goes back in time and meets young Donald (supremely voiced by original Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby actress Russi Taylor.) All the jokes about Donald being a 90’s emo kid are great and just hearing Taylor’s voice brings a joy to the episode. It’s incredible that she’s able to bring so much character to Donald with that wacky voice.
You’d expect it to be all touching when Dewey meets young Della but of course it’s in the middle of a wild action scene. For a character that dominates so much of the series’ biggest arc we’ve heard and seen so little of her. This rare peak into what Della is like shows us why we should care about her and why we should be hyped for her return.
Thankfully the series does finally give Dewey his moment and he gets to finally hug his mom for the first time. He even tries to let her in on the future but, of course, this isn’t the Duck family’s first brush with time travelers. It really hits home just how much adventuring circles this family and how they’ve embraced it.
I do wish Dewey’s desire to just be alone on Christmas hadn’t been viewed as something negative (dude is going through a lot!) but the payoff was worth it.
But let’s talk about the most important running plotline the show addresses here. Scrooge’s deep seated hatred of Santa Claus. I found that joke hilarious way back in ‘The Impossible Summit of Mt. Neverrest’ and it’s dialed up to a ten hear. I never want the actual explanation for why Scrooge hates Santa, I just love that with every passing Christmas episode Scrooge’s rage grows more and more. It’s the perfect running gag.
DuckTales’ Christmas outing was a delight. Playing with the conventions of these types of episodes is perfectly in DuckTales’ wheelhouse and it makes me sad we might not be getting episodes for a while. DuckTales is a constant delight week after week. The care and time put into these episodes by the crew shows tenfold in the final product. You can tell they work their butts off.
Take a rest, DuckTales. You deserve it. Thanks for gifting us with so many amazing episodes this year. (And give whoever had Scrooge take out the Wendigo with his classic NES DuckTales move a raise.)
DuckTales Quotes To Make Your Life Better
– “Dear Santa…. Look, I can explain.”
– “So you don’t actually hate Santa Claus?”
“No, that chumlish chimney chaser is not to be trusted!”
-“Take that you wistful wisp!”
-“Plus I’m this close to writing the perfect song.”
“You’re really not.”
-“Why aren’t you with your family?”
“The answer to that is complicated and full of paradoxes.”