Monday, March 15, 2021

Adventure Ends and Begins Again in the “DUCKTALES” SERIES FINALE


Disney cemented itself as a force for TV animation when in 1987 they premiered their syndicated series “DuckTales,” which ran four seasons as part of the Disney Afternoon block. The exciting and fantastic adventures of Scrooge McDuck and his nephews were rebooted for a new generation of fans in 2017, airing on Disney XD and Disney Channel. The series was positively reviewed for its solid narrative, myth arcs, and as the inclusion of old and new characters such as Donald Duck and his sister Della, mother of Scrooge’s nephews. Nevertheless the show was capped at only three seasons, but the 90-minute series finale at least gives “DuckTales” an epic sendoff.

In the appropriately-titled “The Last Adventure,” Scrooge McDuck and his extended family must take on the criminal organization FOWL, led by Scrooge’s own company board of directors no less, once and for all. And with this final episode of the “DuckTales” reboot airing on repeat for 24 hours on Disney XD this past March 15 one might only miss a detail on how this epic story crafted by show-runners Frank Angones and Matt Younger ends, if it was on purpose.

Scrooge has been in the know of who is leading FOWL since season 3 – episode 12, in Darkwing Duck’s focus episode “Let’s Get Dangerous.” That would be Bradford Buzzard and his fellow McDuck Enterprises directors. The problem is, he does not know where FOWL HQ is…until learning it was under the amusement park Funso’s. Scrooge decides to have Webby’s birthday party there as cover for infiltrating FOWL, only to find it abandoned except for two duckettes named May and June, revealed to be clones of Webby. This causes her to begin having questions about her own family. While knowing Beakley to be her grandma, she has no memory of her parents, despite one of them supposed to be Beakley’s child.

Webby deciding to bring May and June to McDuck Manor becomes a setback when the two reveal themselves to be FOWL agents, swiping every piece of treasure detailed in the journal of Junior Woodchucks founder Isabella Finch (most of the S3 treasures), then kidnapping Webby and Huey to Bradford’s new hideout, Finch’s Lost Library. Bradfor reveals himself to be Finch’s grandson as well as his master plan (and Freudian excuse). The library houses the Solego Circuit, an artificial black hole, where Bradford aims to dispose all that he considers “chaotic.”

“Chaotic” in Bradford’s view is synonymous with “adventure,” and he has hated the concept since Grandma Finch took him globetrotting as a child. His preferred means of gaining riches through crimes committed by FOWL is by underhanded means where they are in control, not the flashy methods and reasoning employed by Scrooge’s other nemeses. Said villains are now under mind control via Black Heron, though only so Bradford can include them for disposal in the Void. His primary objective however is to get the Papyrus of Binding, which Scrooge magically enchanted to be recoverable by his heir. It turns out Webby herself is a FOWL clone, made from Scrooge himself.

After Webby unwittingly secures the Papyrus for Bradford, he threatens Donald’s life to force Scrooge to sign his name to a contract written on it, compelling him to give up adventuring (and resign himself to being fleeced by FOWL). In return, the contract ensures that Scrooge keeps his family. Too bad for Bradford, the extended McDuck clan interprets “family” as an “adventure” in itself. This loophole invalidates the Papyrus’ binding power. May and June are also inspired to cut ties with FOWL and turn the tide against Bradford, setting up a final confrontation with him.

When the other anti-Scrooge baddies are freed from brainwashing, Magica then gets her revenge on Bradford by cursing him to become a non-anthro buzzard, and since most of FOWL has been sent into the Void, it is all but dismantled. Needless to say, Scrooge and his family are now free to adventure all they want, though with the series ended, what they do next is up to our imaginations, or maybe any planned spinoff from the other characters introduced in the series run. While a great series in itself, the “DuckTales” reboot also ensured the possibility of spinoffs from its massive character gallery. We just have to wait and see if Disney goes for it.

Image courtesy of Laughing Place


Post a Comment