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Blue Collar Scrooge
The Template To Old Man & The Seaduck...
Which is fitting considering Scrooge's age at this point. Other than that; I have no witty retort. How does this episode do? So let's rant on shall we..?!
This episode is written by David Weimers and Sam Locke. The late Sam Locke (passed away in 1998) wrote episodes for Studio One (in 1951), The Donna Reed Show, McHale's Navy, Tammy, The Patty Duke Show, The Brady Bunch among others. Ducktales is his only DTVA appearance and his final writing appearance as well. He has 27 titles to his resume. He also was in the documentary Resisting Enemy Interrogation as an uncredited Nazi (!!!).
We begin this one with the STOCK FOOTAGE OF DOOM and head to Scrooge's office as Fenton flips through the account books. Apparently; he has made almost six trillion dollars and Scrooge proclaims that it's not way, way ahead of expectations. Fenton explains that his overseas competition put a dent in his finances and Scrooge wants a pox on them and their cheap labor. BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Projection much there Scroogie?! Fenton gleefully points out the projection and Scrooge doubles down of course. The nephews enter and we discover today is the day Scrooge inspects the skateboard factory. Scrooge apparently likes making workers squirm with their necks cut off. Just to note: I am watching the Toon Disney version and Scrooge clearly has his hand around his own neck as if he's wringing it. So apparently; you can wring your own neck as long as you are an adult. If it happens to a kid in anyway; Toon Disney cuts it out. Anyhow; Scrooge and the gang leave for the skateboard factory (clearly shown with a sign of Donald Duck on a skateboard. Don't ask me why). We head inside as a beaver fury called Mr. Beaver (LAME-O!) wanting his employees to actually do what Scrooge wants them to do. Yes; Mr. Beaver knows Scrooge is coming and as a surprise; they are going to pretend to do exactly what Scrooge wants. Why? I have no idea. The employees are not liking this; but Scrooge and company yell surprise, everyone panics and runs around. What is the point of this? Mr. Beaver (Brian Cummings by the way) is “shocked” as Scrooge is not amused by this. Huey asks if the new model of skateboard is ready (?) and Beaver is ready for that surprise as the girls bring out a red skateboard which looks like a hot rod. It's called the Sidewalk City Slicker according to Beaver as it apparently brakes automatically for ice cream trucks. The nephews are impressed. I personally am not. Beaver even offers to let them take it home as Scrooge proclaims that he will destroy the competition in six months. The nephews love the skateboard and then Scrooge blows it off because they have enough toys and the nephews do not like that at all. Scrooge uses the cane to wring Fenton's neck as they walk stage left to inspect the factory some more. Mr. Beaver; the sneaky toy maker that he is; gives the skateboard to the nephews and whisper yells that this is his little secret. The nephews practice the fine art of not being seen and tip toe out of the factory with it.
So we head back to the mansion and into the hallways as the nephews are “testing out” the Sidewalk City Slicker behind Scrooge's back who is in his office (which seems to change room in each and every episode I might add) as he is making a house of dollar bills for his amusement. Fenton is giggling at his expense much to Scrooge's disdain. See; Scrooge is so senile that he doesn't realize that Mr. Beaver is screwing with Scrooge's mind and therefore Fenton claims that Beaver and company saw this one coming. HAHA! Might as well call Mr. Beaver Bryan Alverez. The phone rings and the house of dollar bill crumbles in kind. HAHA! Fenton gleefully retorts that one for me. Scrooge answers the phone and it's Mrs. Featherby (Susan Blue this time; although she doesn't exactly speak here) as apparently; Mr. Trumpcard is on the phone from his overseas skateboard company. We do not know where his company is located; only that it's overseas. Apparently; Scrooge has considered his offer and he will sell his skateboard company to Mr. Trumpcard who is a pig furry in a blue suit at his desk in an office. Trumpcard proclaims that he's coming to Duckberg via plane to seal the deal and both greedy bastards hang up the phone. Fenton cannot believe this as we discover that Mr. Beaver's full name is Eger Beaver as Scrooge calls this business because he wants his profit now instead of later. He walks outside the hallway and trips on the Sidewalk City Slicker (who lives up to the last name at least) which appears OUT OF NOWHERE. WHAT?! Oh come on guys; that is so contrived and forced. Scrooge rockets down the hallway; down the steps; out of the mansion, chases an ice cream truck and rockets off a cliff and drops into the drink somewhere in a junkyard of sorts. Scrooge pops up and shows off his acting skills of anger and rage and then the skateboard invokes a MAN-SIZED bump right in the back of Scrooge's head. Ummm; yeah. Scrooge swims out proclaiming that he's going to sue and put people in jail for a million years. And he's lost his Scottish accent; although you have to hear very closely to tell the difference since Alan Young's accent is very thin. Oh; and he cannot remember his name and has amnesia. Apparently; he also lost his spats and top hat as well. In fact; it sounds more like Scrooge from the classic shorts instead of the Scrooge we hear today. Interesting indeed.
So we scene cut to Scrooge walking on the sidewalks of Duckberg as Captain Jack from Down & Out in Duckberg arrives and before Scrooge can speak; Jack throws him a quarter and calls him a bum before walking out. Oh; now I see why the spats and hat are gone. Although; it's pretty contrived to me. Scrooge walks around feeling that money is familiar to him and makes it to Scrooge McDonalds and walks in as he wants three Scrooge Burgers. I see he has Ash's over the top food fetish. It comes to $15 and Scrooge is not amused as the lady (who is wearing a top hat natch) isn't amused either. Scrooge of course doesn't have $15 and gets kicked out easily. Scrooge should only be so lucky. It could have been worse; he could have washed dishes like he did in Down & Out In Duckberg. He then goes inside Scrooge's cafe and gets instantly thrown out before he had a chance to order. Now that is just cold guys. Scrooge is pissed off as he walks to a phone booth and uses a quarter since he's going to give Scrooge a piece of his mind. So we head to Scrooge's office and Duckworth is answering the phone. How hilarious that Scrooge cannot remember anything; and yet he can remember the phone number to the mansion of all places. Logic break #1 for the episode nearly six minutes in. Duckworth tells him that Scrooge is not here which is a real comment that shouldn't be a real comment. Mrs. Beakly, Fenton and the nephews are worried as Scrooge missed his dip in the Money Bin; so you know this is serious BABEE! Scrooge tells Duckworth that he will punch himself in the nose and hangs up the phone. The nephews want to split up and search for him. So Fenton wants them to search high and low, Mrs. Beakly far and wide and Fenton here and there. And then they have a meeting of the minds and it was at the STUPID GAGS OF DEATH. So we head to the Money Bin as the nephews search the vault; Gizmo Duck searches the streets and Mrs. Beakly we don't know yet because Gizmo Duck's Go Go Gadget Legs tip over spot is funnier than her. Although; that is perfectly true; so HAHA! Scene changer as everyone returns inside as Duckworth asks for Mr. McDuck and of course they cannot find them. I'm guessing Mrs. Beakly was in the restroom searching for him since we never saw her during that sequence. On the other hand; Duckworth did nothing but stand at the door; so screw him you lazy Mr. Jeeves wannabe.
Gizmo Duck's tire is flatten since he found a nail. HEE HEE! Everyone wonders where Scrooge is and we segue to the milk factory as Scrooge has somehow sneaked into the factory and is looking at the milk cartons on the conveyer belt. A fat dogperson guy wearing all white with a yellow shirt and red bow tie demands answers and Scrooge claims that he's looking for his picture on a milk carton. Why? Don't ask, I don't know and I'm sure Scrooge doesn't either; memory shot or not. The dogperson calls Scrooge a wise ass (my words; not his, but implied) and kicks him out of the milk factory. Good; this was a dumb padding time sequence anyway. Scrooge walks off towards the sunset out of sight and we segue to a sky shot of the trailer park AFTER HAPPY HOUR (after dark) as Scrooge is digging up stuff from a trashcan. If only Kit Cloudkicker was around to see this. Why is Scrooge looking for a picture on a milk carton? Even if he finds one; will he remember who he is? Scrooge then sees Mrs. Crackshell cooking something in her trailer as he looks out the window and panics as we see Mrs. Crackshell taking out a TV dinner. Nice selling from Mrs. Crackshell. Scrooge praises her cooking and ash if there is enough for two and Mrs. Crackshell proclaims that she does but asks why she should do this. Scrooge claims that he has a normal pulse, might be single (which is true actually – although Goldie will not like this one bit) and is trustworthy. Mrs. Crackshell leaves the trailer and grabs Scrooge from behind and helps him inside. Now that is a nice lady; maybe Fenton being annoying to her is why she blows him off a lot of the time. So we head inside the living room as Scrooge and Mrs. Crackshell sit down eating TV dinners and watching soaps. Remember my crack on Scrooge apparently liking the Loveboat? Well; here we go I guess. Scrooge praises the TV dinners and Mrs. Crackshell asks for a name; but Scrooge has forgotten his own name. Mrs. Crackshell calls it exciting because the guy has amnesia and she got the experience from watching 20 years of soaps as we see a duck in a green shirt crying his eyes out on the television screen. Scrooge claims that he only remembers a skateboard and Mrs. Crackshell deduces that he works at Scrooge's Skateboard Factory. Ah; close enough. She goes to her phone to call Fenton at the mansion; but the phone is busy for some reason.
Mrs. Crackshell wonders what Fenton is up to and we segue to Fenton at the green phone in the office as he's talking to Mr. Trumpcard as he is sweating and stammering. Then he hangs up the phone as the gang surround him and Fenton proclaims that Mr. Trumpcard is flying here in two days and if Scrooge doesn't make it; then the deal will fall through. That ends the segment ten minutes in. Okay; wait a minute here. Fenton wasn't so keen on Scrooge selling the factory in the first place, so why is he worried that the deal will fall apart. What are the consequences if the deal falls through? This is never explained; just like the scenes with the milk carton. Why is it that in most cases when Ducktales writes a redo plot device they screw it up somehow; while when TaleSpin does it in most cases; they think every single thing out?! This is another prime example of it. Seriously; why?
After the commercial break; we get a closeup of a picture of Scrooge as the babyfaces all pace around wondering what to do now. Mrs. Beakly goes to the phone and wants to call the police; but Fenton blocks the phone access. Because if everyone knows Scrooge is missing the business world will collapse. Geez; if Occupy Wall Street wanted to force change on everyone; they should have just kidnapped Scrooge McDuck. That would make the business world submit. Okay; it wouldn't. Huey suggests that Fenton disguise himself as Scrooge McDuck. Yeah; apparently; the different voice, look, age and other stuff would absolutely fool everyone. Even Fenton thinks this is stupid; so you know this is stupid. The nephews ask if he wants to save Scrooge's Skateboard Factory and Fenton agrees to it. Wait; what? How does that work? Fenton agrees to it and then we fade to black for no reason whatsoever. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? That is the weirdest thing I have seen in Ducktales. So we return to Scrooge's Skateboard Factory and Mr. Beaver's office as Scrooge is sitting in a chair and Mr. Beaver explains that he looks familiar and Scrooge admits that he only remembers skateboards. Mr. Beaver proclaims that he's overworked and needs to get back to work. Scrooge goes to the door; and then asks Beaver how much he gets paid and Mr. Beaver laughs it off because he gets minimum wages plus benefits. Scrooge asks about said benefits and Mr. Beaver claims that it's the honor of working for Scrooge. Scrooge is shocked as we head to the factory conveyer belt and Scrooge is working and the whistle whistles. Scrooge keeps working anyway as one of the workers orders him to stop because it's lunch break see. Scrooge tries to get his lunch bag which contains leftover TV dinners and tries to eat them as a sandwich, but the bell rings again and we are back to work. The worker claims that this is Scrooge's doing and Scrooge blows himself off as a slave driver. I see Scrooge is using a portable red jigsaw saw to smooth off the surfaces of the skateboard design. He goes in rapid fire and his head spins all the way into another segue...
...as we return to the trailer park with Scrooge looking dizzy as hell. Mrs. Crackshell goes over to console him and she shakes up too. HEE HEE! Scrooge is motioned over to the couch as Mrs. Crackshell throws a minute meatloaf into the microwave to nuke. Scrooge claims that he will be shaking three years after he retires. Scrooge then shows the OUT OF NOWHERE dollar bills and offers to take her out to dinner. Mrs. Crackshell is astounded so much as she bails into the next room and offers to put on her to court fishnet stockings. Oooookkkkkkaaaaayyyyyy; I think that was more disturbing than the writers have intended. So we head to Scrooge's Pizzaria which leads to Mrs. Crackshell and Scrooge doing the spot from Lady & The Tramp which has been so iconic over the years and yet none of the new Disney kids know why. Mrs. Crackshell's formal gear is exactly the same color as her normal gear; only slightly more classy. Scrooge proclaims that he would put aside his hatred for Scrooge for her and Ma is excited as the patrons watch some soccer (which even Scrooge calls a football game; which is a big no-no in American cartoons by the way Alan Young and logic break #2 for the episode since he's supposed to sound American and not have the Scottish accent) and Scrooge is tired of it. He asks someone to change it to “The Young & The Featherless” which surprises Mrs. Crackshell. See Scrooge wants to see it because he wants to know if Ginger Snaps recovered from her tax audit; divorce and triple gizzard bypass surgery. So we head back to the mansion and Scrooge's room as Fenton is behind the FCC FRIENDLY CHANGE ROOM OF DOOM as Fenton changes clothes into Scrooge McDuck. He comes out and he's almost there actually; and Mrs. Beakly still blows him off. She find the feather duster and rips it apart and slaps a plunger on Fenton's head to make the top hat rise a bit. Why? I don't know. She then puts the feathers to use as side whiskers which looks nothing like Scrooge at all. Mrs. Beakly approves of it of course and now the nephews proclaim that Fenton must now sound like Scrooge.
Fenton agrees that Scrooge has a funny accent and attempt #1 is a German accent. HAHA! I still can clearly tell it's not Scrooge in that disguise guys. This could be worse than Baloo in All's Whale That Ends Whale. Fenton tries again and it sounds like a French accent. The nephews don't buy it; so Fenton tries again and it's an British accent this time. The nephews admit that the sayings are correct; the accent is still wrong. Fenton puts the mirror down and does a full of himself promo about Scrooge being unique and as that happens the Scottish accent easily comes out. HAHA! The nephews dance around as Mrs. Beakly has this urge to dance. Fenton looks in the mirror asking if Fenton know what he is doing and Fenton claims that he's ready to take care of business at the skateboard factory. The nephew ask about allowances and Fenton of course cuts the allowances, and Mrs. Beakly's pay cut and he wants the lights turned off to save money as he walks out of the room. The nephews proclaim that Fenton is more of a Scrooge than the real thing. HAHA! I guess that means Fenton will go along with Scrooge's original plan after all. That ends the segment 15 minutes in. This is a fine episode thus far; but it's another template to a much better episode in another series later on. Mainly because Karl Geurs and Libby Hinson know how to write a Disney product; instead of a Disney product by name only.
After the commercial break; we head to the Money Bin as Fenton is at the front door and the green car arrives and out comes Mr. Trumpcard. Wow; he's cheaper than the real Donald Trump; at least the real Donald Trump rained money down on fans on an episode of RAW. Fenton wants to talk; but Mr. Trumpcard wants to do business right now. They walk into the office as Mr. Trumpcard notices that Scrooge is under the weather. Fenton Scrooge admits that he is and he pretty much states that he's ready to sell the skateboard company which is caught wind by Mrs. Featherby (Susan Blu this time) as she gets on the telephone and calls Henryetta (the female office worker of the Skateboard Company with red hair we see running in the beginning of the episode) as Mrs. Featherby warns them that Scrooge IS indeed selling the factory. So you can blame Mrs. Featherby for the motion of events that are about to turn. So we head to the factory as Scrooge and a worker are making skateboards of course on the conveyer belt. The worker brings out his number two pencil and then we hear noises as Scrooge and the worker notice that Henryetta has the troops surrounding her as she explains that Scrooge is in fact selling the factory to...wait for it..The Overseas Competition Company. Ummm; yeah, that name is so lame and so hilariously misnamed; just like Liberty University. Scrooge barges in and he thinks that they will all get the pink slip and be out of a job. Henryetta agrees with him. Now the problem with this is; if Mrs. Featherby overheard this; then how did she know that the OCC is going to cut all jobs? We haven't even heard the terms and consequences of the deal yet. Everyone panics; but Scrooge rises up and wants to fix Scrooge's red wagon. Somehow; that sounds like a bad idea guys. Don't give new Disney ANY ideas; we already seem enough from Kaboom as it is. And this is downright silly since there is no evidence yet that Mr. Trumpcard is going to shut down the factory. Scrooge wants to do an illegal strike (and I'm waiting this rant in the middle of a Metro Transit Strike no less; how charming) as Henryetta agrees to do it for nothing.
We get chants of strike and out from his office comes Mr. Beaver demanding everyone to get back to work. So wait; Henryetta forgot to inform Mr. Beaver about this? Isn't that kind of stupid to not inform the supervisor about this beforehand since his job is at stake too? If of course; those are the terms of the sale which we haven't heard of yet. So everyone no sells and Mr. Beaver is in shock. We head back to Scrooge's office as Scrooge shows the contract to Mr. Trumpcard and offers him to sign on the dotted line. The problem with this is Fenton is clearly losing the Scottish accent in places; but Mr. Trumpcard doesn't notice anyway. Mr. Trumpcard calls him the coldest Scottsman he ever knew. Well; they don't call it the “No True Scotsman” logical fallacy for nothing you know. Mr. Trumpcard is about to sign and in comes Mrs Featherby much to the disdain of Fenton Scrooge. Mrs. Featherby tries to explain to him that they are on S-T-R-I-K-E; but Fenton takes it as streaking. HA! Trumpcard blows him off as Fenton thinks that they are bowling. Trumpcard tells him to think again and throws the pen down. I see Trumpcard has no sense of humor which is funny considering how cold hearted Fenton Scrooge is supposed to be. Fenton Scrooge finally get the LIGHTBULB OF BLOODY CLAIRTY and runs out of the office asking Trumpcard to continue signing.
So we head to the factory as the workers have started their strike and in comes Fenton Scrooge with four police officers. Oh; this ought to be fun. Fenton Scrooge blows off the crowd and demands them to work and the workers no sell as Scrooge refuses to work. Fenton Scrooge orders the police officer to arrest Scrooge (Geez; that didn't take long at all to notice?); and Scrooge bails swinging like Tarzan on a chain calling Fenton Scrooge a bully and a tyrant. There's projection; and then there's PROJECTION~! Fenton Scrooge demands Scrooge be arrested as Scrooge no sells and blows off Fenton Scrooge who almost keeps blowing his cover as he pulls on the chain and we have a tug of war in a vertical sense. Fenton Scrooge pulls Scrooge down and slips on a skateboard and rides around striking down the police officers like bowling pins and that's a strike. You wish you were Cubbi Gummi sir. Fenton gets MURDERED twice and then Scrooge takes a MAN-SIZED bump into the wall with his head and drops onto the ground in a daze. Man; that is not going to help his mental health that is for sure. I'm sorry; but Baloo regaining his memories was a lot better and a lot safer too. Scrooge wakes up as Henryetta is trying to help up pops; but Scrooge is back to normal and orders everyone back to work.
So Fenton Scrooge grabs Scrooge and tells him that he's under arrest and Scrooge shoves him so the police arrest him for inciting a riot, resisting arrest and assaulting Scrooge McDuck. Scrooge is pissed and grabs the glasses and top hat which shows the plunger which in any other universe would prove that he's not Scrooge. But the police don't sell as Fenton Scrooge grabs everything back as Scrooge blows off Fenton for stealing his accent. HAHA! Fenton Scrooge wants Scrooge to prove that he's Scrooge; so he asks what size is his hat and Scrooge gleefully answers that one. Scrooge then asks Fenton Scrooge how old is Mrs Beakly and Fenton's head whistles which indicates that Fenton Scrooge is screwed big time. Fenton doesn't answer and bites his fingers; but it's a standoff and they need court to decide it. So the police are about to take Scrooge away and here comes Mrs. Crackshell blowing off Scrooge for not coming home; and Fenton finally blows his cover calling him Mama. HAHA! Mrs. Crackshell demands answers to why Fenton is dressed like Scrooge. Answer: The nephews; who caused Scrooge to lose his memories in the first place. Scrooge gets his stuff back and everyone is in shock. Oh whatever; it's not like the denizens of Duckberg can tell they are screwed by the Beagle Boys; so this makes perfect sense in the context of the characters. The workers are frightened now as Scrooge wants a word with him as Fenton cuts a full of himself promo about being fired and Scrooge blows it off. See; he needed to do some soul searching and realized how greedy he was. He then gets onto the conveyer belt and informs the workers that he's not selling the skateboard factory after all. Everyone cheers on cue; but there is one problem with this because Mr. Trumpcard is still with the contract at the office. He probably already signed the contract and the workers are still screwed; unless Fenton Scrooge forgot to sign it himself.
Scrooge then agrees to give them a half hour lunch period and after some Gruffi poses and dizziness from Scrooge; he raises their salaries a dollar an hour and everyone cheers. Since lunch was five minutes tops; that's an improvement in itself. Scrooge flops into Mrs. Crackshell's arms as she is unhappy about losing Scrooge and dating the richest duck in the world over a pizza. HAHA! Scrooge however still wants to return to the trailer to watch some “The Young & The Featherless” because he wants to watch Ginger Snaps defy the odds. Well; it could be worse. Scrooge could suddenly love watching The Loveboat. Scrooge and Ms. Crackshell walk to the door and we circle fade out to Scrooge's face as the episode ends at 21:08. For what it was; this was a good episode with some funny moments; but there are a lot of plot holes that needed to be resolved; but weren't mostly due to the pointless milk carton gag. Mainly speaking; the plot hole about if Fenton Scrooge signed the contract or not; and Mr. Trumpcard signing the contract. There was no indication that Mr. Trumpcard was going to shut down the factory; making the strike look silly in comparison. Call it *** ½ (70%).
THE REVIEW LINE
Well; this was clearly a good template episode; as Fenton made it funny as usual. I will say that Scrooge and Mrs. Crackshell do have fine chemistry and they should have had more secret episodes together; but it wasn't to be. However; this episode is no where near as awesome as Old Man & The SeaDuck for a lot of reasons: (1) Scrooge's way of getting the bump on his head was contrived and forced as it required the nephews to carelessly leave the skateboard in front of the door in a convenient spot. That is just silly and makes the nephews clearly look stupid. Baloo getting the bump on his head was a lot more convincing; and it wasn't because of Kit being careless; as much as it was Baloo being late again. Plus; Baloo had clear injuries shown too. (2) The whole milk carton gag was pointless and it hurt the episode because it created plot holes later on which were unresolved and the setup to Mrs. Crackshell was out of nowhere. Compare that to Baloo playing in the SeaDuck which makes perfect sense and the setup was more convincing because Kit and WildCat realized that Baloo was screwed up in the head. And Kit felt responsible for it. (3) The third act was rushed as Mr. Trumpcard's terms were never discussed; it assumed that we all knew and made the whole strike sequence look silly and unjustified. If Mr. Trumpcard flat out said that he was going to liquidate the company as GeoX claims that would happen and Mrs. Featherby (who started this riot no less) heard it; then fine. But I didn't hear that at all. (4) The finish has Scrooge take another bump to the head and regain his memory which thanks to research is actually worse since if you have a concussion; you are prone to more of them and also; it can cause mental health problems. If I have time; I'll explain it further. Baloo's memory was regained naturally through his joy of flying and thus it was built slowly and in dramatic fashion that it was worth while.
Of course; even if this episode was able to fix these plot holes and mistakes; it still would have to compete with the finish of Old Man & The Seaduck; and I don't see it happening. In other words; Blue Collar Scrooge was a comedy of errors; while Old Man & The SeaDuck was an epic drama that made us openly weep when we discovered that Joe Mcgee was dead 20 years ago. Then again; Libby Hinson and Karl Geurs were behind that story and Libby was at her peak in 1990; a peak she never really got to afterwards. The only thing this episode did better was animation as both episodes were done by Wang Films; and this one was better animated. So it's a middling episode. Next up is Beaglemania which should be great. So.....
Thumbs in the middle for this episode and I'll see you next time.
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