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Fungus Amongus

Reviewed: 07/29/2012

Morgana MacCawber: Drug Enabler.

Well; we continue on with the Disney Channel/ABC first season episodes with the first official appearance of Morgana as a heel. Yes; Drake's sort of girlfriend is running a mushroom production factory and in this episode various familiars are stealing food used as toppings for pizza. How many TMNT reference will there be? So; let's rant on shall we...

The episode is written by Dev Ross and story edited by Tad Stones. The animation is done by Walt Disney Animation OZ.

We begin this one with the STOCK FOOTAGE OF DOOM AFTER HAPPY HOUR (after dark) we head to a pan shot of the city which leads to a top of a building with a smoking chimney. We see a ghost hound howl at the moon and then leap towards a second phantom hound and they howl at the moon. Then we see them jump together and then run and float on air as we cut to a sky shot of the streets of Saint Carnard and see Drake and Launchpad in the Rat Catcher. Launchpad is complaining about the noises. Drake tells him to relax; but he is baffled because various animals are swiping stuff that sounds toppings. Yeah; this is weird and scary. No, not really. Launchpad proclaims that it's going to get a lot weirder as the phantom hounds are shown in front of Drake as he turns the Rat Catcher around and we chase after them. Launchpad calls Drake crazy and cannot believe he said that. Nah; Drake is just really stupid. This goes on until the dogs rush past an intersection and we have a red light forcing the Rat Catcher to stop. Because Drake is not stupid enough to break the law; but stupid enough not to realize that there is NO ONE at the intersection. Drake is whining about those dogs getting away and Launchpad is relieved much to the disdain of Drake. Drake is Freddy Jones and Launchpad is Shaggy and Scooby put together; what a surprise? Drake is pissed off at the longest light in history; and after seeing the Penhorn Terminal red light; it's hard not to have some sympathy for Drake here. So then the babyfaces notice a stream of black bats rushing past the intersection (although Drake could have easily broke the law here and no one would notice anyway. It's the LAW OF DTVA after all.) and so the light conveniently turns green and it's the chasing of the bats. We race for a while and then see a green duck who looks like Lurch from the Addams Family and he's gritting his teeth in meanness.

So we head to the docks as we see a fisherman's boat use a crane like device to hurl out a net of fish just as the stream of bats flies towards the dock. They grab the top of the net and apparently these are anchovies as the Rat Catcher arrives and Drake takes off the helmet and is shocked and appalled. After all; NO ONE loves anchovies which will probably be the running joke of this episode. LP thinks that these bats care about their diet; but since anchovies concentrate domoic acid, I'd be more worried about shellfish poisoning at this point Launchpad. And even about 30 bats cannot lift the net of fish without tiring themselves. So Drake and Launchpad grab the net and assume that the bats are powerless to stop them now. Which the bat show off their strength (also known as: Larson & Gary's Magic Elixir.) and they fly towards the bridge. Drake tells LP to shake the net and they both do that which is really a stupid move. I would hang onto the net and let it fly back towards the hideout of the heel. That makes more sense and get the case over with quicker. And I'm proven right as the net breaks in front of the moon and both goofs free fall (with fish no less) and we never get to see them splash down into the ocean despite seeing lots of fish leaking out of the net because the dock obscured the fall. Sigh. Both babyfaces climb out and spit fish for fun as Drake calls this the twilight zone; prompting Launchpad to bite his nails despite the fact that most Disney anthros do not show fingernails. Teeth chattering sound effects ensue as we see two phantom hounds running towards them. Guys; if they were real; they cannot bite you since they are ghosts see. I'm proven right because they go right through the babyfaces and run away. However; the pepperoni tubes (which look like your typical stock image for hot dogs) somehow get in Drake's mouth. HA! Drake is in shock here as the phantom hound give the Lurch wannabe duck the pepperoni and Lurch seems slightly happier with them. They then bail through the wall and we get our first logic break of the episode 4 and a half minutes in: Remember when they went through Drake and Launchpad and the pepperoni get stuck in Drake's mouth? Well; pepperoni went through the wall no problem this time around. Yeah.

Interesting Moment #1: The brief scene changer is shown as the screen actually shows flowing blood. I am not making this up! That's right sport fans; Disney does allow blood in their shows as long as the blood is not on someone. And this came long before Quack Pack and Gargoyles no less. It's not much of a surprise since Rescue Rangers had bloodstains on a manuscript in one episode which the title escapes me at the moment (after doing over 500 rants; sometimes you forget.). It's things like this that make all the complaints about Japanese animation be more and more edited due to white privilege seem more and more justified. Then again; I think I've said racism too many times already in this series; so I went with the alternative which is actually more accurate than both racist and bigot actually.

So we do a really nice pan rotation sky shot of the Rat Catcher in the streets of Saint Carnard as Launchpad pleads for mercy and wants to call it a night. Drake blows it off because he cannot sleep until he cracks the case. Launchpad claims that he'll never sleep again after this one; not even turn out the lights. In other words; me at 10 years old needing a night light. Nowadays; I cannot sleep with any light on; even outside my door which makes an apartment building out of the question. Drake ponders over these thefts and asks what they have in common. Launchpad instantly thinks pizza and wants some; so Drake stops the Rat Catcher on a dime and that makes Launchpad fly out. Now do you understand why anime dubs digitally add seatbelts? Because THAT can happen; even in a cartoon. LP is all right though as he gets back on the Rat Catcher as Drake tells him no pizza at Pizza Pierre. Drake still doesn't understand why this villain wants pizza toppings. LP gleefully answers that one for me as Drake realizes that green peppers and mushrooms are the final topping not stolen yet and he speeds off proclaiming that he'll catch the thief in the act as we split up. Launchpad takes green peppers while Drake takes mushrooms. It just had to be Drake taking the illegal substance tonight. Drake pops the Rat Catcher as we divide and conquer. Launchpad teases having a pizza and Drake not knowing; so Drake blows him off for that and Launchpad is not amused. Considering that he is in the Rat Catcher (the shotgun part of it anyway); saying rats is fitting in this case. So we head to a sky shot of the Rat Catcher parked at a weird Addams Family-equse house which means that Drake is going to see Morgana AGAIN (for the first time in this series) as he checks his paper on the address and it's all accurate. Although Drake is unsure why this business looks like a Addams Family house. And it's sillier when you realize that it's the only place for mushroom production.

So Drake walks in and we do some misdirection spot where Drake walks in and out of the gate as inside there is thunder, wind and light; and outside it's perfectly normal. This goes on for a while as it ends with Drake casually walking in and get zapped with a thunderbolt which would have killed a normal man in any other world; but this one. Drake is black and smoking rings like someone stupid enough to light an stick of dynamite. So we see a white light in the window on the highest floor of the house as Drake makes it to the door (and he's back to normal now). The door creaks open and Drake hates that. Well; that's your problem Drake Mallard; not mine. So we enter the house and we have mature lighting and then the door slams shut allowing Drake to take out the gas gun and point it at the door while we have cartoon blue/green lighting. If there is one benefit to cartoon lighting; it does make it easier to see what is going on; even though it remove the fear factor quite a bit. So Drake is sweating and then he tiptoes towards a painting of the Mona Lisa Duck with eye holes which indicates that the eyes are animated. Drake is not fooled as he removes the painting and the eyes are just eyes which grow bat wings like a Floating Eyeball. They fly around and Drake spins around. We then scene change to a hallway as Drake finds a door claiming to be the room that was lit up earlier and he walks in and slams the door behind him. This leads to the maze of stairs which makes no sense in real life; but it's COMEDY BABEE! Spot lifted from The Golden Fleecing in Ducktales; I'm just saying.

I'm not going to bother calling it as we end with Drake propped against the door panting and then he returns to the door and we get logic break #2 for the episode as somehow when we go back to the hallway; Drake face plants onto the ground which means he exited from the ceiling. It was funny though; so I'll let it slide. So Drake blows off the thief for psyching him out (which is so easy to do with Drake around) and he props himself against the wall next to the door with yellow lighting underneath. Drake proclaims that no one gets the drop on Darkwing Duck and he's the master of psychological warfare. He opens the door and we get the cloud of smoke and the voiceover of doom at 7:32...

Darkwing: I am the terror that flaps in the night.... {Door closes. Drake stutters a bit beforehand.}

Wow; someone actually manage to shut Drake up...Oh; spoke too soon. Anyhow; Drake notices thunder, lightning and a table with all the directors of MacCawber Mushrooms Unlimited. And one of them looks like the moviegoer from NegaDuck too. And we see the Lurch green duck stand up and he is not happy to see Darkwing Duck be uninvited to a director's meeting. So the group of creepy directors stalk Drake as he stammers like an idiot as usual. However; a female voice beckons and out of the shadows from the opposite door floats in Morgana. Since this is the tenth episode in production; I assume this is her DTVA debut as well. The green pig like female creature dressed in blue claims that they weren't going to hurt him much. Damn; I was hoping that they succeed because Drake as an international object equals funny. There is also a blue/purplish warthog ghoul dressed in formal gear and with the hairpiece. Drake brushes himself off to look presentable as Morgana goes over and introduces herself as the president of the company and they shake hands while Drake calls himself Dingwing Duck. HAHA! Fumbling words is a telltale sign of seduction. Drake finally gets the name right and Morgana just charms him with those green eyes of her as Drake is hot under the collar in a figure of speech term. Morgana explains that they were in an emergency board meeting to discuss the pizza topping crime wave and Drake asks how she knew that. She deduced it and Drake is charmed again. HAHA! Well; seduction rhymes with deduction; so anime purists groan once again. Drake asks why hold a board meeting in the middle of the night and Morgana answers that she enjoys the night and the sun is so harsh on her skin. Well; she will seem to get over that in Just Us Justice Ducks; so I don't quite believe her on that one. Drake claims that he's one of the Undertaker's fans and Morgana claims that they have a lot in common and therefore she'll show him the operation tour.

Drake teases wanting to get away; but then decides to take the tour anyway just to see the security measures. Morgana and Drake walk out as we cut back to the board of directors as the third one is a cave duck with a bone in her brown hair and a club wearing a tiger skin shirt. Pig Lady wants some Drake; but Green Lurch (I know that the names for them are Lady Janus, Granny, Uncle Nero, Renfield and Cousin Blobby; however, only the cave person and the green pig lady I pretty much know as Granny and Lady Janus by process of elimination.) is not amused because he basically admits that he is behind the thefts and Drake is getting too close as Granny smashes and eats a white butterfly for fun. So we head outside as the director heels watch on from a door and out comes Morgana and Drake talking about fungus. Morgana charms him with the eyes as Drake staggers out like a punch drunk. However; Drake snaps out of it and returns claiming to protect her; and then protect the mushrooms from being stolen. This is hilarious; Drake is already pretty stupid; so this charming works much better and it much funnier than most villains so far. So much so; Morgana basically turned babyface in the eyes of the kids; thus the writers were smart enough to make her such. Morgana teases Drake as the ghoul squad is on the roof shaking their heads at Morgana and Morgana finally decides that it's impossible because her board of directors do not like outsiders. Drake groans and then we hear Launchpad's voice from the radio in the Rat Catcher and he needs a hand. Drake runs out and trips and prat falls before walking out of the gate. Lurch guy blows off Drake for being a trouble maker. I love real comments that aren't supposed to be real comments.

He wants Drake deposed of and Lady Janus wants her to go with Drake and gives her black lipstick which will kill Drake. Morgana then turns evil and wants to kill Drake the old fashion way since he's eating out of her hands anyway; and Granny clubs Green Lurch's shoes which he no sells. So we return to the Rat Catcher as Drake is on the radio transmitter and then we see Launchpad wrapped in spider web like a mummy in the food produce factory as spiders completely overwhelm the area. Launchpad still manages to get one hand free to work the radio as the spiders crawl onto him and that ends the segment almost 11 and a half minutes in. He has one hand free; so why not pull on the spider web? It's not like the spider web is stronger than steel and cannot rip apart. Otherwise; great start to this episode.

After the commercial break; the spiders with mouths and teeth crawl on the produce some more as we discover that Launchpad is speaking into a pencil radio. HA! It gets snagged away as Launchpad pleads for mercy as he'll get none as then for no reason at all; the warthog furry with the hair piece and suit is on the boxes wanting a juicy Launchpad. Wait; isn't he supposed to be with the other board of directors? How does he know Launchpad was at the produce factory in the first place? This doesn't make any sense and this is hurting the great groove this episode was getting into. So Drake arrives in the Rat Catcher and walks into the shipping produce factory as warthog ghoul puts on his bib and notices Drake coming in; so we get the spider web trip rope spot as Drake prat falls on his face off-screen and like LP; gets wrapped like a mummy and tied to the spider web. Launchpad was hoping to avoid dinner for once as warthog furry has his eating utensils ready; but Morgana somehow teleports inside (??) and blows him off because they are doing it her way. Warthog blows off Morgana because the directors are not pleased; but Morgana counters that she is in charge as she brings out her black fingernails and slashes the spiderweb off of the goofs freeing them. Now let's see how stupid Drake will be after noticing that one of the directors is a thief and working with Morgana to notice that Morgana is a heel. Morgana uses a rasp to sand the fingernails as LP thanks her. Drake then notices a box being carried by a bunch of spiders; so Drake brings out the gas gun and we get the SMOG OF DEATH on them as they cough, wheeze and suck gas. Launchpad thinks it's bug spray and Morgana panics and goes to the coughing spiders and cuddle. Ah! That is so cute of her even if it clearly blows her cover.

Drake doesn't even notice the obvious as he is more concerned with Morgana's safety and asks if the spiders are venomous. Launchpad points to one as Morgana claims that it's only a little poisonous so LP takes his finger away before it bites. Morgana walks out as Drake calls Morgana something else and LP calls her different. Morgana isn't exactly thrilled as one of the bats flies into the screen and we scene change to the Thunder Quack in the sky. Apparently; this is the next night as LP is blowing off Morgana for being such a snake in the grass. Wow; when even airhead syndrome prone Launchpad MacQuack can figure this one out; you know Drake is REALLY BEYOND THE PALE STUPID. I like it! Launchpad flies the TQ harshly and Drake is not pleased as LP blows him off for being a Romeo and not a hero. See; how did Morgana know where he was? And he calls her creepy. Okay; I have no problem calling her a heel; but creepy? That's fighting word Launchpad McQuack. Drake blows him off and then catches himself and wonder how she did know. Answer: She followed you. It's so obvious. So then we look down and see a truck that has been pinched in the middle like it struck a light pole. So we scene change to ground level as Launchpad and Drake observe the truck. The inside of the milk truck is empty and Launchpad claims that milk doesn't go on pizza. So much for Launchpad being smarter than Drake as we cut to a shot of a port hole and out comes Granny and her big ass snake with the Pebbles hairstyle. Drake points out that cheese is made from milk and then gets squeezed by the big ass. Methinks this was a rib on all those E/I references; which would have been true; if the E/I symbol existed back in 1991; which it didn't. So the snake tries to bite Drake; but Drake somehow pulls the tire from the milk truck and throws it into the snake's mouth and it goes into a balloon. Geez; I never recall that happening before in a Disney cartoon; or any animated series.

So let's just say the snake lets out air like a balloon; goes into the window of the top floor of a building and out the other side and nails the wall with a wussy bump. Granny ducks and is not too pleased. I wonder if this Granny is the same one that shoots on Brain Alvarez on F4W?! Lots of Hanna Barbera sound effects abound as Granny grabs the snake and they bail into the sewers as Drake notices that Granny is from Morgana and LP does the Gruffi pose in response. Drake wants to go and we scene change into the (moral) sewer. Launchpad gets the smell steam spot and we head around the bend as we discover that there is a hideout in the sewer to make pizza topping as we see a bunch of bats go into a garden like field and drop tomatoes onto pies. I'm guessing these director clowns have no clue what a pizza pie looks like. So we get the heels minus Morgana talking and I discover the warthog who calls the pizza bland is none other than Uncle Nero. So the Lurch Duck must be Reinfield because cousin Blobby has to be the monster of doom; or Granny's snake by process of elimination. And there is no market for cockroach pizza. Heh. Drake deduces that Morgana is being cheated by her own board of directors which personally is not all that stupid at all since Morgana, despite being in on this whole thing is not willing to allow the directors to kill Drake. So we get the heels in shock as we get the entrance of the voice over promo at 15:36...

Darkwing: I am the terror that flaps in the night. I am the onion that stings your eyes.

Okay; this makes sense; but sadly it's kind of lame. It should be "I am the onion that makes you cry Uncle" which is fitting since Nero is an uncle according to canon. Nero is liking this and the heels all walk forward and Drake is forced to catch himself and brings out the gas gun to make the heels suck gas. I have a feeling this doesn't work on them because they are undead and thus they will no sell it. Okay; how did Drake Mallard know Reinfield's name when the board of directors NEVER said their names to Drake in the first place? Come on writers; you know better than that. We discover that they are making pizza smelling and tasting mushrooms which at least lops off WD-OZ's stupidity of the pizza pie looking like a legit pot pie. I know this because Launchpad smells one of the mushrooms. Reinfield has zero patience for Drake and the teething spiders return to shoot webs from their mouths to latch onto Drake's gas gun and Granny takes it; eats it and burps smoke. HAHA! Drake and Launchpad back against the wall as Drake defends Morgana again from these slimy heels. And really considering how over Morgana is; can you really blame Drake Mallard. Sure; we all know that Morgana is the mastermind heel in this operation; but she's so over regardless of alignment that Drake's promos are actually very noble even if they are foolish. And speaking of Morgana; she arrives with her two phantom hounds and admits that Drake wasn't supposed to know this and this will be final. Launchpad proclaims that they will be fungus food as the heels overwhelm the babyfaces and that ends the segment almost 17 minutes in. I am so digging this one...

After the commercial break; we head back in the sewer as both babyfaces are chained up as the spiders and bats stalk them. Launchpad apologizes to Drake about her girlfriend being a fiendish blood sucking creature from the netherworld. Oh sod off Launchpad! If anyone wants a primer of why LP had fallen from grace after Ducktales; this and Water Way To Go are good examples of it. Drake blows her off and calls her misguided. Wow; I really like Drake now; which is going to make it much harder to mock now. Drake tries to break the chains that bind him; but no dice. Drake proclaims that he wants Morgana to see the light; implying that he knows Morgana is a heel; but can turn babyface. Hey ask Kit about it; it worked so well for him. I mean that too; even if that pesky Michael Eisner was in the way. Morgana enters and she hates light because it's healthy. Again; she'll get over it as Drake wants her to change because deep down she's not evil. Morgana claims that she's an evil business woman and that's two separate things. Drake blows it off as dishonesty as Morgana proclaims that as long as Drake has principles; the relationship is doomed. Nero doesn't give a care as he is measuring pots and bringing out the cleaver as he is going to chop up the babyfaces; but Morgana steals the knife back and blows him off. Reinfield then blows off Morgana for being soft; and Morgana blows them off because she's in charge of this operation and they'll do it her way. Which is to turn Drake into a heel; or an undead servant. I hope it's the later. It turns out to be the later as Morgana brings out the black lipstick and puts it on her lips which turns purple for some reason. I guess the black one is the Kiss Of Death while the purple one is the Kiss Of The Undead. AHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I guess she decided to take Lady Janus's advice after all and kisses Drake; turning him into a zombie, natch. And this actually makes Drake shut up. THIS IS A SPECIAL DAY!

Morgana proclaims that Drake doesn't have to die now; just Launchpad McQuack. LP is appalled as Drake hoists him over his head and throws LP into the fungus pizza garden of doom. Also my notes say that Drake's cape changes from black to purple; but I also noticed that LP's hat also changes tones of brown from light to dark in this sequence. LP is panicking because the mushrooms eat meat which Morgana calls a bad side effect. And then Zombie Drake throws Launchpad into all the heels and Morgana approves. Yeap; she's turned babyface for real now as Drake is just fine. That explains why she used the purple lipstick too. Morgana snaps her fingers and the chain on Launchpad crumble. Drake asks about how she did that; but that will have to wait as they bail stage right. The heels all decide that they are going to remove Morgana from the company and Lady Janus' opens the cage door and lets out the mushroom monsters of death so they can sic Drake. The others follow them because they want leftovers as we head back inside Morgana's house through the secret passage door that looks like a green wall. They stop and exchange notes on the lipstick as Launchpad warns of the mushroom mob. Drake has a Krackpotkin Plan as he tells LP to go to the kitchen and fetch lots and lots of butter and bring it to the roof. LP bails to the kitchen as we cut to a wall which one of the pictures open and here comes the mushroom monster mob. Morgana and Drake bail outside and Drake stops and whines. Morgana asks what is wrong and Drake wanted there to be lightning. So Morgana uses the blue thunder fingers and conjures up a real thunderstorm with lots and lots of wind because that is exactly what this episode needs: More windbags!So the goofs scatter as the mushroom monsters come out and Drake taunts them and climbs up the wall of the house with black suction cups. THAT'S.. white privilege.

So he climbs to the window as Launchpad hands him a brown bag loaded with butter and comments about the kitchen. Drake drops the butter onto the mushroom monsters and climbs up to the roof as Launchpad proclaims that they aren't slipping off as the monster eat the butter. So Drake's plan is to load them with so much fat their hearts explode? Sadly; that would be a better result; but Drake uses the grappling rope and throws it into the sky as a blue thunderbolt nails it and fries Drake and the mushroom monster as they plop onto the ground dead as a door nail. Sadly; Drake lives on showing that the suspension of disbelief of this show is so whack. Launchpad likes pizza mushrooms as the director heels come out and blow off Drake for destroying their entire crop for the year and years of research. Hey; it was Lady Janus' fault for releasing them in the first place; so projection much there fellas?! The heels try to stalk the babyfaces; but the sun comes out and light overwhelms them and the heels turn back into mushrooms? That's right folks; Morgana was the one who created them which sunlight is the second bad side effect. HAHA! Maybe they should have kept Morgana in charge after all. Drake thanks her for saving him; but he must turn her into the police for the theft of the pizza topping. Oh; this should be good, let's see how Morgana gets out of this one. Heck; Drake would probably arrest Kit Cloudkicker for being an air pirate too. Morgana teases him; but proclaims that it won't be possible as she walks to the house and it sparkles white stars and then Morgana sezs goodbye to Drake. The house and Morgana disappear leaving a huge hole in the area. HAHA! Perfect. Drake sezs goodbye in kind as Launchpad gets off a borderline sexist remark as we cut to the far shot as the bats fly into the screen and that ends the episode at 21:07 aired. Almost a perfect episode in every way; minus a few logic breaks. Incredible debut for Morgana and you know she's coming back soon. **** 3/4 (95%).


Finally; a near flawless episode of Darkwing Duck and it took Morgana to do it. What can I say; Morgana really made a good first impression (albeit I have seen her before and she does deliver) and she was really effective regardless of heel or babyface. She was also pretty strong as a female wanting to deal with Drake herself added a lot of suspense over who was the mastermind and if she was doing it for the directors or doing it just for Drake which made the babyface turn so awesome to watch when she makes Drake into a zombie. A few logic breaks and a couple of coloring mistakes from WD-OZ marred a perfect performance. The heels were really colorful and they did a really great job in making the heels worth something. I guess Cousin Blobby was the snake Granny had. The finish was absurdly good and the ending was as good as it gets. A great debut for Morgana and for once in a blue moon; I actually loved Drake Mallard for being Drake Mallard which shows how you can make Drake more than just a cartoon duck and still get the show over as comedy. The next episode sadly; isn't as good as we head to Slaves To Fashion with the second Tuskerinni episode. So....

Thumbs up for this episode and I'll see you all next time!


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