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A Ducktales Valentine
Does That Mean That The Love-In Lasts More Than 22 Minutes?
Well; no one accused me of having perfect timing at all when it comes to holidays; so there you go. A Ducktales Valentine is officially the last episode aired in the pre-Disney Afternoon era as it aired a few days before Valentine's Day in 1990 on NBC's The Wonderful World of Disney. I'm not sure if it aired on the Canadian edition of the same show during this time (although I have from my memories that A Bad Reflection On You and Plunder and Lightning aired on the Canadian edition of TWWOD before); but since this is a 22 minute episode; there shouldn't be any syndication edits. Now I heard that this aired once and only once in DTVA history; but that is easily debunked since the version I am seeing is a Toon Disney edit. As for the story; it's Scrooge getting love arrows. For what reason I don't know. So let's rant on shall we..?!
This episode is written by Len Uhley and story edited by Tad Stones (!!!). Tad has been a major force in animation and was the producer behind Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck, Aladdin: The Series, Hercules: The Series and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command. Gummi Bears was his DTVA debut. He also did the DTVA OAV Atlantis: Milo's Return and Goofy In Soccermania (which I'm planning to do for The Father's Day Specials). Non Disney credits include Generator Rex, various Hellboy OAV's, The Super Hero Squad Show, Turok: Son of Stone, Bob's Burgers (his most recent credit), Neighbors From Hell among others. His official debut was in 1977 doing animation for The Rescuers which was uncredited. He has 15 production credits, five Other credits, 13 writing credits, eight director credits, and six Art Department credits.
Interesting Moment #1: Wikipedia (DANGER! DANGER! POSSIBLE BS INCOMING!) claims that the original title for this episode when it aired on NBC (I guess) was called "Amour Or Less". In hindsight; I'm glad they changed it because the episode has nothing to do with armor. You could argue that it's the old "Americans Hate British Spelling" mentality of the loser writers; but considering that Aunt Louise's and Lotta's last name is L'Amour; I doubt that very seriously. I would have personally called it "Star-Crossbow Lovers" myself or maybe even "An Arrow For Your Love" or something along those lines; if only to pay off the plot device.
We begin this one at the mansion as we head to the book room as Scrooge has apparently returned from a business deal; or something as the kids (nephews + Webby this time. There is no Bubba nor Gizmoduck in this one) show them their Valentine cards. Scrooge blows off the cards because he is grabbing a green book from the shelves and he opens it to show a Greek building as he is searching for the treasure of Aphroducky. So we are on another wild fleecing eh Scroogie? Scrooge also shows a map with a big red X on the lower left which Louie uses the magnifying glass on it and sounds generally not interested. Scrooge rolls the map up as we discover that Aphroducky is the goddess of love see. The kids want to go and Scrooge blows them off harshly. See; this is too dangerous, blah, blah, blah. Scrooge leaves as the kids go to the window and they complain about not seeing him and not being able to go on treasure hunts. Like that stopped you kids from sneaking aboard in Dinosaur Ducks. Scrooge should know better by now. Parental instincts I guess. We see outside Launchpad packing the green plane as there is a conveniently placed open box on the ground. The nephews proclaim that maybe they do and maybe they don't. So you get the idea; and they don't even bother animating the sneaky stuff anymore as we scene change to the ocean as Launchpad is splashing off the water and having fatalism thoughts...ERRRR...I mean difficulty controlling the plane. Launchpad goes into a promo about flying and Scrooge gleefully retorts him on that one and demands that he lands. Apparently; Launchpad mistakes this as "fatalism mode opened" and the green plane takes a nosedive. And we don't even bother to animate the splashdown. Boy is Wang Films being cheap today since we scene change directly to the green plane on the ocean surface and doors open as Scrooge and Launchpad as Launchpad has his diving suit on which looks very different from the ones used in Aqua Ducks. Launchpad is apparently afraid of sharks and Scrooge claims that Launchpad isn't afraid of anything. Launchpad claims that he's afraid and stupid; as Scrooge claims that he's an expert on both and uses the cane to push Launchpad into the water.
So Scrooge walks back into the green plane and Scrooge blows off the lack of good help these days and sits right on the box and one of the nephews yelps in pain; thus blowing the cover in less than a minute of screen time; a new record for these "sneaky" kids. Scrooge gets the fire extinguisher and points it at the box calling the kids stowaways. I love real comments that aren't supposed to be real comments. The kids pop from the box with their arms in the air. Scrooge naturally blows them off and the nephews climb out as one of them claims that they laugh in the face of danger. Yeah; because they are like most kids in DTVA; either too dumb to restrain; or too crazy. I pick the former for these kids, Kit Cloudkicker and Cubbi are the later of course. Gosalyn is somewhere in between depending on if CDS is infecting the episode at any given time. Scrooge threatens one month without desert. Oy vey Scroogie; that's a lame punishment. Dress them up as seals; that would be the perfect punishment for them. AHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! POW! POW! POW! POW! OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! OUCH! Ummmm...Anyhow; Launchpad calls on the intercom and claims that he has found something. So we scene change to underwater as Launchpad is manning an orange hover sub which has no dome and thus the babyfaces have to wear their underwater suits. And the kids are with them of course and Scrooge wants everyone to keep their eyes peeled for the PLOT DEVICE OF DOOM. Launchpad is more concerned about a shark biting his ass; but Scrooge blows it off because there isn't one for a hundred miles. And when the sub goes out of sight in the background; a shark comes into the foreground and mocks us in a fourth wall break that I do not personally care about. So the ducks (strangely not wearing flippers and are swimming towards a pair of statues. The right one is the blacksmith of Mount Olympus known as Vulcan. What; no duck pun here? You cannot tell me that Vulquack is offensive somehow? He's your typical Greek blacksmith in duck form. Strangely; there is no reference to him being the god of something which is weird considering the amount of references to gods in Rescue Rangers.
The duck statue on the left is Aphroducky and as GeoX mentioned; Vulcan is Roman and Aphroducky in mythology is Greek. Vulcan should be Hephaestus; although I wouldn't be surprised if this was a BS&P decision since the name could be played as a certain STI (Sexually Transmitted Disease for those in the past). Remember that Don Karnage used to be called Anthrax. Ummm; yeah, although that started as a copyright issue, it didn't really become a BS&P issue until after 9/11. And then there is the statue of Cupid which is also Roman. GeoX claims that they probably should have went for Venus with Aphroducky. Problem with that is; BS&P would just dig out the old "Venus rhymes with Penis" meme as an excuse; even though Venus would be perfect. Personally; I don't care because this is not the real world. I mean once you have half duck/half human character running around without shoes or pants; even with the kids, reality is thrown out the window. At least they are using mythology names that make sense (even if one is a duck pun) with their real world counterparts and not just throwing out booking names for the hell of it like some fanfic writers I know. (Kit: BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Projection much there Gregory Weagle?). Anyhow; Scrooge is in love with the Aphro (because it's easier to type) statue and Webby embraces the Cupid statue. Considering that Cupid is usually naked; that's pretty creepy as we pan over and here comes the mocking shark. Oh and Huey takes a picture of Webby embracing the statue just to up the creep factor and the flash of death stuns the shark. Okay; how do you use a ordinary camera underwater? Seriously; I would like to know.
Louie has the flashlight on full blast and notices a stone box half buried in sand with Greek writing on it. Launchpad floats down and he has no idea how to translate Greek; to no one's surprise. Scrooge comes down and he somehow is able to translate the writing and it's the greatest treasure as he, Louie and LP pry open the box and there is nothing inside of it; other than a Greek word written on the bottom which loosely translates into love. Scrooge is pissed off so much that he kicks the stone box and does the Gruffi foot grabbing spot. Scrooge proclaims that he could have gotten that from a sappy Valentine card and he's been robbed. Yeah; you are a greedy bastard; whatever Scrooge. Dewey however; saves this mission by being under the Cupid statue and pointing to the PLOT DEVICE OF THE DAY - the golden arrows of love. Wait; so Webby noticed the statue and didn't realize that the treasure Scrooge wanted was already in the quiver about thirty seconds ago? Damn; this episode is frustrating me. Scrooge claims that his fortunes have taken a turn and Launchpad claims that it's for the worse as we get a decent animation spot of the shark coming into view from the FPS shot. So the kids bail as LP gets a rusted shield and tells Scrooge to save the kids...after proclaiming that he hates sharks. So the shark blitzes him and bites on the shield and we have an epic, wicked struggle with the shark. Finally; a good spot and we are five and a half minutes into this thing. The shark and LP destroy columns as Huey yells that they need to help him. Scrooge agrees and motions to the kids to stay low. So the fight continues and LP gets thrown off and takes the PLOT DEVICE OF DOOM into the ass. Wow; that is so symbolic eh? LP oversells it and drops on his ass on the ground. He is dizzy and has triple vision as the shark comes to him and we have love clouds dubbed in for good measure. Yes; Launchpad is officially IN LOVE with a shark. HAHA! The POWER OF LOVE~ has an ironic twist to it.
Anime heart eyes ensue and he kisses the shark. I should point out an obvious logic break: In the opening where Webby does the same thing; Webby is wearing the goldfish bowl helmet; so the kiss should have never made contact with the shark's kisser then. And wouldn't you know it; the logic break returns. As I said before: Most shows jump the shark, Mister T cold cocks the shark; and ducks kiss sharks. Which is downright creepy I might add. So the shark bails and hated that kiss (despite not even close to making contact with his face); and we get a slow pan shot of Scrooge and the kids overturning a big ass teacup and that traps the shark. Launchpad is now officially love drunk. Now that got that Video On Trial mocking of that song in my head... (I use to write lyrics; but then they became hard, so I go: NANANANANANA! I hate it when musicians do that. MAKE WORDS!) The kids try to console LP; but LP is unconsolable as he wants to know what sign of the zodiac the shark is. Launchpad claims that he's an Aries. Scrooge and the kids pull him back and of course; the zodiac sign is a setup for Scrooge to call him an airhead again. Ummm; not quite, but it's close enough to make up the difference. The kids are forced to keep LP at bay as Scrooge swims over to Cupid's statue and grabs the golden arrows and then everyone returns to the sub and we go up as the sub spirals upward in a cute spot. Launchpad is still love drunk as usual which for some reason is better than him being an airhead.
So we head back to the plane as Launchpad is flying it as he looks legit drunk and the nephews dance over that fact claiming that he had a meltdown. Scrooge is examining the arrows even though we clearly saw him taking just one golden arrow. Bad, bad form there writers. Anyhow; the nephews deduce that the arrows are really Cupid's arrows and Scrooge blows it off as mumbo-jumbo greeting card garbage. It's hilarious that Scrooge; who is supposed to be a commercialism freak of nature and praising it to death would be rubbed the wrong way when it comes to commercialism POWER OF LOVE~! So the green plane bounces on the water as the nephews try to use logic; but Scrooge doesn't care about it. Then we get a sweeping northern pan shot of the heavens of ancient Greek mythological artwork as we head inside a Greek/Roman temple. Then we finally see Vulcan in the flesh (wearing a red cape with a brown beard. Voiced by the late Kenneth Mars) walking out as Aphro appears in the flesh acting like a jerkass. Oh lord; this episode is in trouble. I realize that Greek mythology is downright sexist and cruel; but again, this is not the real world; so why not tone it down and save painful BS&P notes while. Oh wait; never mind, Kit will ruin that for us anyway. Anyway; she's bitching of course because Vulcan is pissed off of Aphro's use of the plot device of doom on human folks. Vulcan apparently is one of those guys who thinks love is truly sacred and thus should not be abused. Fine by me; but it doesn't wipe out the fact that the writers are still acting like they got BS&P up their ass when it comes to females. Aphro flops onto a chair which is about ten feet off the ground and generally acts lazy. Look; I can accept them getting their mythology confused; but this doesn't help the writers in making the point about love which I'll explain later on.
Vulcan then shows off his obvious sexism because he's the husband and she's the trophy wife basically since the husband is KING. Oh lord and Aphro makes it worse by throwing a plant with soil right into Vulcan kisser. Which came OUT OF NOWHERE and went about the same place. Then we get a fruit salad bowl filled with fruit thrown in Vulcan's face. Good god; what an idiot these writers are. Vulcan wants the arrows and Aphro blows him off and storms out proclaiming that Vulcan is a hothead. Ye gods; what is with the weapons grade projection there madam. She goes to her look off and lies on her lawn chair on her side just to be more lazy. Then the conveniently place ALADDIN LAMP OF DOOM lights up in flames on the spout. She claims that this means there are intruders in her temple. So she puts on these golden shades and brings a remote (WHAT THE HELL?) and it turns on a monitor shaped like a heart. Yes; the Greek/Roman gods in this world are the ones who invented television. No wonder the Southern Baptists are so pissed off at Disney. Anyhow; she see that the shark is popping up from the big ass teacup and she is pissed off because apparently; Vulcan hid the arrows in the quiver of Cupid's statue which is silly since it's supposed to be HER temple! This is not one of Tad Stones' shining moments in editing that is for damn sure as she uses the remote control to rewind the footage and we see Scrooge stealing the arrows which is fine; except that the crack background stylists forgot to realize that it wasn't sunset in the damn ocean underwater! So Aphro gets up and proclaims that this prize has a price to it. I think LP already knows that madam.
So we head to Scrooge's office as the kids are decorating the office with hearts made of paper. Scrooge walks in and ignores the work as he has a surprise under a green cloth. The nephews are interested and Scrooge opens it to reveal the golden arrows on a wooden stand. The nephews sulk in response as I'm not all that amused either because; the point of this is that Scrooge cares more about the arrows then the nephews which is kind of silly when Scrooge makes a great point of Valentine's Day about commercialization. The problem with that is; it's SCROOGE F'N MCDUCK saying it! Webby does not like Scrooge's blow off at all. In term of being hypocritical; yeah. Scrooge even blows off Webby's whining as he puts Webby on the floor and proclaims that he went through a lot of trouble getting these. Then there is a knock on the door and Scrooge goes to answer it. And yes; it's Aphroducky in the flesh complete with white and Wii blue flashing lights. Geez; how melodramatic can you get? Aphro (voiced by the late Linda Gary) doesn't want to bother with the grovelling and wants the arrows right now. Scrooge no sells in typical fashion as we are redoing Raiders Of The Lost Harp. Only this one is beaten even more with the suck stick than The Bride Wore Stripes. So Scrooge basically blows her off and throws her out the door. Scrooge slams the door and turns his back on her proclaiming that there ought to be a law against people like her. Oh; that is just ASKING for a blackball to this episode and thankfully; Aphro blasts the damn door down and demands those damn arrow complete with electric sparky arms. For all the bitchiness this lady does in this episode; that spot was awesome. Scrooge and the kids bail behind the desk as Scrooge doesn't care if she's Lockheed; she's not getting the plot device of doom. I'm sure Vulcan would be happy to hear that.
So Aphro blasts Scrooge with the ZAP HANDS OF DEATH complete with the Transformer's laser sound effect (as heard in Gruel & Unusual Punishment) as Scrooge bails into the vault and closes down the door. It's just not cool without the wrestling here. Scrooge thinks he's safe; but the vault door melts down and breaks open as Scrooge gets held down with the Wii electric sparks. Scrooge gets carried back into the office as he struggles and one of the arrows falls and lands in front of Webby. Webby takes the golden arrow; blows off Aphro; gets behind her and thrusts the golden arrow sideways and sticks it straight up her candy ass. And yes; she literally does everything I mentioned in that previous sentence. Aphro sells it like she has a superball up her ass as Scrooge looks on and the magical paralyzer has ended and Scrooge flops on his back straight down. The nephews run in to help him up as Scrooge instantly gets up on his own and runs to grab the arrows. Yeah; he's fine indeed as he takes all the arrows; including the one from Webby and blows off Aphro who is now as love drunk as LP (using the same heart cloud from earlier) as she tackles Scrooge down and kisses him complete with hearts animated in the scene. The kids are in shock and somewhat flustered as this ends the segment nearly 11 and a half minutes in. This episode is just draining me of life here.
After the commercial break; we get the STOCK FOOTAGE OF DOOM as we head into the family room (I think) as Aphro is stuffing Scrooge with pillows and we have several FCC FRIENDY OFF-SCREEN PUNCHING OF DOOM to imply a struggle taking place as Scrooge keeping blowing her off. Scrooge storms out stage left as Aphro continues to act love drunk. So we cut to the kids proclaiming that they need to help Scrooge get rid of Aphroducky. Yeah; because it was WEBBY'S fault for her being love drunk on Scrooge in the first place! First death reference ensues; said by Webby of all people. Louie blows it off as the kids proclaim that the arrow caused her to go love drunk; so the solution is to stab her in the ass with the arrows and make sure she sees herself because it's love at first sight. Yeah; let's turn her into a female version of Drake Mallard. So we scene change to the hallway as Scrooge is hiding inside a tree pot as Aphro is calling for Scrooge in the background. Scrooge pops from the pot and runs into the foreground as we cut to the nephews in the book room with step ladders in opposite sides holding a green dollar sign carpet overhead. Oh; I betcha Scrooge gets caught, Webby stabs Scrooge in the ass and uses the mirror to look at himself and make him even more selfish than before. I check the video...Ah; close enough. Memo to nephews and Webby: This is exactly why adults hate children characters. Scrooge sees Aphroducky when he pops from the carpet and he's punch drunk with the POWER OF LOVE. Considering that Aphro looks middle age and Scrooge is very old; this is a wee bit creepy for my liking. They embrace and kiss each other calling themselves sweethearts as the kids think it's yucky and hide under the carpet in shame. Sigh; somethings never change.
So we fade to black (I'm guessing that was the syndie commercial break) as we head on the streets with a dogsperson paperboy wearing a yellow shirt and blue pants showing a newspaper proclaiming that Scrooge is marrying a heavenly body (man; that acting is terrible here) as we head to the mansion on the far shot as a construction crew is tearing up the front of the property just to build a new temple for Aphroducky. Oh; if that isn't an obvious telegraph to bring Vulcan down from the heavens. The nephews watch on with binoculars proclaiming that this is enough to swear off Valentine's Day. Yeah; because pure love is so wrong and commercialized love is so awesome right? Sadly; Aphro is such a jerk that it kills the effect right there. Then we see Webby walking down the hill with a Valentine's Day cupcake she probably made by herself as the nephews ask what is she doing. Did I mention that Scrooge is kissing Aphro's hand again and again? Webby proclaims that she is giving her cupcake to Scrooge; and the nephews blow her off because Scrooge doesn't give a damn about her or the nephews. Webby blows it off because she cares about him. Yeah; and act like a snob and thumb your nose in the air while you are at it too. So the construction plows plow dirt away in the foreground as Webby puts the cupcake behind her back and she gets Scrooge's attention. She gives the cupcake for Scrooge as we discover that tomorrow is Valentine's Day in this world. Scrooge approves of this and loves it so much as the animators just overdo the melodrama by giving Webby black heart eyes for no reason whatsoever. Scrooge then gives the cupcake to Aphroducky as a present. Now that is so generous of Scrooge; giving to others in the true spirit of Valentine's Day. That makes him the default babyface in this episode by proxy. Aphro takes the cupcake and drops it on the ground making her the heel by proxy and she and Scrooge walk off. Webby sobs like a baby on cue. I'm sorry; but it's difficult to have sympathy for her when she is the one who caused this love drunkness in the first place. And the nephews didn't help out one bit and made it worse; so they are pretty much getting what they deserve for being reckless brats who need to be put in their place.
So we head to the dinner table as the kids are bored and frustrated at their empty dishes while Scrooge and Aphro have eyes for each other. Duckworth comes in and informs Scrooge that someone is on the phone for the press conference he arranged. Scrooge thanks him for it and tells Aphro that he has another surprise for his lollipop lips. Oh; that is just so lame even the nephews are sick of it and they just leave the table. Jeepers; the writing team seriously needs a course in "contextual name calling". So we see the nephews heading to the front of the staircase as Webby comes down dragging a suitcase (I think) which is usually the signal for running away. Oh yeah Webby; good message to send to the kids. Apparently; taking responsibility for doing stupid things is for losers. And yes she's running away because Scrooge is gone. The nephews proclaim that Scrooge is gone because of the spell and not because he doesn't love them..or his MONEY, MONEY, YEAH, YEAH. Then we get one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time on this show as Launchpad walks down the stairs in a wetsuit with two suitcases, flippers, a packet of flowers and a bow tie. Webby asks if he's running away from home too (UGH! Adults don't run away from home Webbagail.) and LP claims that he's leaving to see the shark. BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! She's the love of his life. Now THAT is a marriage made in heaven. If they had just used LP instead of Scrooge; this would have been really amusing. Instead; it's a cranky old man and a jerkass lady and that's a marriage made in hell. And by the way; that press conference telegraphs the fact that Scrooge and Aphro are getting married right there too. LP shakes hands as Louie makes a good point about sharks as LP is about to leave; Webby proclaims that if he leaves; he'll never fly a plane ever again and Launchpad goes haywire as his heart breaks and he flops dead on the steps. Yes folks; just simply telling them their passion breaks the spell which has to be the dumbest way possible. If only because this was out of nowhere. Even more out of nowhere; the nephews call it true love which is so contrived that it's not even funny. Having a passion for something is not true love. Having an honest relationship (which most people are very short of doing) is true love Dewey. Oh man; they finally got back into a groove and now they are back to draining me of life again.
So the kids deduce that they can break the spell by making him choose between Aphro and the one passion he has: making that MONEY, MONEY, YEAH, YEAH. Umm; sure. The kids run upstairs and I hope this fails and sets up the finish as loving the family which would make the episode worthwhile in spite of the crap; but I doubt that will happen. So we head to Scrooge's Money Bin as Scrooge is looking at a picture of his love of his life as the kids practice the fine art of not being seen and make it inside the vault. They notice Aphroducky relaxing in her lawn chair on top of the gold coin as the nephews put dark glasses on and commence operation allergy. I do not like where this is going as the kids all come down and address Aphro who in turn blows them off. Webby proclaims that Scrooge is busy; so they want to play with her. Aphro calls it silly as Huey shakes black pepper on her (which would be lifted for Old Man & The SeaDuck; and done better too) and Aphro sneezes. Huey deduces that this is a bad case of Cashinitis. Well; it could be worse I guess. It could be the Tweezles and you get white spots on your body. Maybe for the next Father Day Special in 2013; I'll do the final episodes of Teddy Ruxpin starting with Father's Day. We'll see. Anyhow; this disease is caused by money and she sneezes and her skin turns green as the nephews above shine a green flashlight on the mirror Aphro is holding. Never mind that for this to work; the rest of the mirror has to be not green. And she's a GODDESS for goodness sakes. You are telling me she's also a total idiot?! Actually; what set her off and caused her to bail up the ladder was Webby claiming that her feathers would fall out and Huey uses the pillow behind her back to demonstrate and Aphro falls for it hook, line and sinker. At this point; I would have a scene showing Vulcan noticing Aphro is gone and noticing where she is and going after her with fury and vengeance.
And it does happen by the way in the next scene; but before that we see Aphro notice the gold coins on Scrooge's desk and she backs up and bails out proclaiming that the money is making her sick. The kids come in and tell Scrooge basically that he'll have to choose between money and Aphro. Scrooge proclaims that he will and he will announce it at the press conference as he walks out stage left. The nephews giggle proclaiming that Aphro is really going to get it now. You don't know the half of it Louie because Vulcan sits down on Aphro's chair in front of the heart television with flowers in hand. See; she's not here and thus he cannot apologize. Wow; sexism really bit him in the ass this time. He throws the flowers away and turns on the heart television and notices Scrooge and Aphro are outside the Money Bin as Scrooge announces that he's ready to make his decision. The kids act happy which is an indication that he will chose Aphro over the money because we have five minutes left in the episode and we need Vulcan to come down and stop being a punching bag. And I check the video....Damn; I am so good. The kids are in SHOCK and Vulcan is now officially PISSED..and I mean "I'm going to kill her for alienation of affection" PISSED. And yes; the press of fraud is around to capture the moment on film as evidence that Scrooge is gone for good. Scrooge and Aphro embrace as Scrooge does some more rhyming to piss off anime purist (money without the honey) and Vulcan gets off death reference #2 for the episode as the thundercloud storms above his head and the thunderbolt crumbles the remote to dust. Memo to Scrooge: VULCAN GONNA KILL YOU~! And I do mean kill. Unless the kids get to him first as Vulcan stands up and just crashes through the wall with his body in a fit of rage and that ends the segment 18 and a half minutes in.
After the commercial break; we head to the beach as a barefoot couple are walking on the empty beach of seagulls as the waves rise up and we have a Bugs Bunny spot out of control. Vulcan pops up with DA MAP and wants to know where Duckberg is. This was clearly put in to pad the running time. On the other hand; it's nice to know he's humble enough to ask for directions. So I cannot argue with him on that. The couple point exit stage left and Vulcan walks off as we head to the mansion. The jet plane is set up as Launchpad is inside and Scrooge has a backpack of arrows in his procession as he tells them that he is going to Mount Olympus and not coming back to Duckberg. Aphro follows her asking about the arrows and Scrooge shows them as the kids run in. Yes; I think we know where this is going and while it is really the right booking decision; the buildup to it is so awful that it's difficult to have any empathy towards the kids. This is why Kit and Molly were so special because they could pull this one off a lot better since they know heartache a lot more than these kids do. The nephews and Webby declare that they are not going to Mount Olympus with him and Scrooge is befuddled and confused as he dances around and the heart cloud breaks completely while Aphro acts like a jackass the whole time. Come to think about it; I doubt the arrow works on Aphro since she's a goddess and has some resistance to love; because she doesn't seem to be changing much since she got her ass stabbed with an arrow. Scrooge is near the fountain and we get rumbling as Launchpad notices big ass Vulcan rising out of the grave which is a really neat visual. Thunder clouds arise and it's time to kick Scrooge's ass basically. Thunderbolt forces Aphro into the fountain despite the fact that in the previous shot; she was near the plane. Launchpad cuts a promo as the kids bail and Scrooge is still punch drunk with love as Vulcan uses the thunderbolt to create a hole in the ground and the kids tumble down into it. Okay; that hole is too shallow and lame to work as Scrooge hears their screams and goes haywire and his spell is officially broken as he flops on his back dead. Good booking decision; awful buildup equals epic failure.
So Scrooge runs in as Vulcan tries another thunderbolt which makes no sense at all since he's supposed to be a fire elemental god. Besides; I thought flamethrowers were perfectly all right in this show. You think I would forget that logic break did ya? So Launchpad flies in and blows smoke (AND THAT'S BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH, MOVIE RATING, AND CARTOON DUCK SYNDROME!) with the jet plane as Scrooge helps the kids out of the lamest crater in the land. See Send In The Clones with Huey and you'll see why this is crappy. LP insults Vulcan with lava breath; which would be fine if Vulcan used fire at all. Vulcan grabs the plane; Launchpad does the lamest apology ever and Vulcan throws the plane into a crater and LP calls it a nice crash. I give it a 5.6; I've seen tons better from him. Scrooge and the kids huddle together as Louie proclaims that their problems are over...except one as Vulcan demonstrates with another thunderbolt. So the kids bail and Scrooge runs stage left taunting Vulcan as Vulcan chases him and Scrooge gets into a construction truck and drives into the new temple he got built (which explains it's existence in a nutshell) and the columns apparently separate from the temple and roll like wheels as Vulcan is so dumb that he steps on them, slips and does the MAN-SIZED bump WITH CHEESE AND BACON into the ground. Scrooge comes out of the truck and hugs the kids as it is a setup to another joke (leaving an impression). Sadly; Vulcan hates jokes and rises from the depths of hell complete with flames a blazing. Now he finally lives up to his name. I guess using thunder magic is his second elemental. Then somehow; Aphro is out of the fountain and uses the MAGIC PINK LASER OF DEATH to blast Vulcan back to normal size and he's hanging on for dear life. Yawn. Aphro grabs Scrooge and brings him in front of Vulcan. The nephews realize that Aphro is still love drunk for Scrooge as Webby takes the golden arrow; runs in and stabs her in the ass with them, Aphro oversells and drops on her ass complete with overflow of hearts. I just knew that the writers would go for that lame finish. Vulcan asks or what; and Aphro is punch drunk in love for Vulcan as he gets kissed. Sadly; this finish makes sense no matter how lame it ultimately is.
Scrooge is downright confused as Webby calls it true love. Oy vey Webby; that was godawful because they basically used the same thing as before and got a different result. And this is NOT true love by any means. If they wanted true love; they should have done the same thing with her as they did with Scrooge. Then again; Aphro is such a jackass in general that it made that finish impossible. So nice job in creating a dead end angle guys. You might as well not bother with this story and just reran Back to The Klondike; or Till Nephews Due Us Part. Those stories are a million times more effective in dealing with true love. So Vulcan and Aphro kiss and make up and Aphro still acts like a jerk as she demands her arrows back and Dewey has no problems giving them. The god and goddess leave as Scrooge proclaims that he has all the love he needs as they embrace in a heart shaped border that looks like the early visage of the jackhammering we would later see in the new Disney. This ends the episode at 21:15. Ye gods; what did we kids do to deserve such a crappy Valentine's Day special?! Even more so when they already had a Valentine's Day episode released in the first season when TMS was animating. This episode just completely drained me of life and Launchpad and Vulcan saved it from being a DUD or worse. Call it * 1/2 (30%).
THE REVIEW LINE
Wow; this might be the worst episode I have seen Tad Stones ever involved as a story editor. There were a few neat spots; mostly involving Launchpad and Vulcan wanting to murder Scrooge in cold blood; but I just could not stand this episode. It felt so hallow and the true love moral angle was just butchered to death and there was no sympathy from the kids and there were some really bad logic breaks in this one too. Aphroducky was horrifying to watch as she was a complete jackass. It's one thing for Vulcan to be a sexist; that's understandable; but they wrote Aphro to make it look like Vulcan's sexism was justifiable. That's a real black mark on the writers. The whole "true love is having a family" was the correct booking decision; but really, the buildup and execution of it was so off putting that I didn't care and wanted Vulcan to run wild and kill everyone. And he at least delivered on that count although Wang Film's animating it was not so good. Webby was downright idiotic and she just rendered melodramatic crap all over me throughout. On the other hand; Launchpad's meetings with the sharks were awesome and he did have a funny moment near the end of act II; so I was happy for him to at least prevent this episode from becoming a easy DUD. Overall; if you want a quality Valentine's Day episode; watch Back to The Klondike, Till Nephews Do Us Part, Ransom of the Red Chimp or any Darkwing Duck episode featuring Drake and Morgana. They are much better than this. If this episode has any solace; it's better than Yuppy Ducks. So next up is The Unbreakable Bin which is the only other episode I'm doing this weekend. It'll be next weekend when I'll be doing three episodes. So.....
Thumbs down for this episode and I'll see you next time.
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