Season 2, Episode 5: "Storkules in Duckburg!" 11/17/18
Starring: Louie Duck, Storkules, Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Huey Duck, and Webby Vanderquack
Costarring: Dewey Duck and Roxanne Featherly
Featuring: The Harpies
Appearances by: Big Time Beagle, Officer Cabrera, Johnny Ottoman, Mark Beaks, Flintheart Glomgold, Mrs. Quackfaster, and Funso
Setting: Duckburg (McDuck Manor, Donald's Boat, and Funso's Fun Zone)
Plot: Louie attempts to get his business up and running while Storkules moves into Donald’s houseboat.
Louie Duck’s character development is born of intrigue and nuance. While sharing his Uncle Scrooge’s ambition and proclivity for wealth, he lacks the substance and work ethic that makes his “idol”* so successful. Louie’s prior lament of “more treasure and less hunting” is illustrative of his penchant for cutting corners and fuels his uncanny ability to manipulate people and situations to his favour. In a spiritual sequel to “The Most Dangerous Game… Night!,”** the episode delivers upon the tease of Louie Incorporated*** while also revisiting Louie’s promising, yet troubling potential.
In following Scrooge’s business advice of “finding a problem and offering a solution,” Louie creates Harp-B-Gone**** (a subsidiary of Louie Inc.) to quash Duckburg’s recent Harpy infestation.***** However, Louie is less interested in eliminating the problem as he is in controlling and exploiting it. Once Storkules****** and co. effectively eradicate the Harpies, Louie is presented with a new challenge: how does one offer a solution once the problem is solved?
Harp-B-Gone proves to be an effective business and aptly follows Scrooge’s axiom but its demand has a shelf life and its success juices the proverbial orange (or lemon) dry. This, along with Louie’s over enthusiasm for marketing and merchandising, is indicative of his short sightedness and overemphasis on prosperity over viability. Now desperate and in a panic to save his company, Louie sets out to release the Harpies******* from their closet containment unit (so he can re-catch them) before Donald ends up accidentally doing the deed himself.
This behaviour begs the question: is Louie good or bad? As employees of Louie Inc., Webby and Huey have grown frustrated and even intimate that Louie is, indeed, “the problem” that needs solving. Louie’s complicated nature isn’t a new idea. All the way back in the show’s Pilot, Huey and Dewey even refer to Louie as “the evil one.” The clues are there. In a lot of ways, Louie cuts a more similar figure to Duckburg’s rogues’ gallery of diabolical schemers like a Flintheart Glomgold or a Mark Beaks than he does his self-proclaimed idol and uncle, Scrooge McDuck.
Will Louie follow the Harpies’ lead and “channel (his) passion into something positive for society” or is he bound for a life of super villainy? It’s almost certainly the former. DuckTales isn’t really going to actualize Louie's "evil" but subtly flirting with the idea is an awful lot of fun. I wouldn’t be surprised if this episode is the farthest it goes to that end either. Louie wants to be good, he just gets a little carried away and myopic in disregarding the necessary steps in his pursuit for money.
(*) Evolutionary links between the nephews and their relatives have been made. Dewey takes after Della, Huey is similar to Fethry, and Louie with Scrooge.
(**) Or, maybe even the third leg of an unofficial trilogy that starts all the way back with “The Great Dime Chase” (S1, E13) where each episode includes Scrooge attempting to impress upon Louie the finer points of success and work ethic.
(***) In a season bereft of continuity and story arcs, Louie Inc. is our closest thing to a S2 throughline (so far).
(****) Similar to how “The Beagle Birthday Massacre!” (S1, E4) parodies The Warriors, this episode (specifically Harp-B-Gone) does the same with Ghostbusters (particularly with the montage).
(*****) A byproduct of Storkules’ lute playing which agitated his father, Zeus, prompting him to rain a hail of Harpies on his merriment which then followed him to Duckburg once he was banished from Macedonia.
(******) In his second appearance after “The Spear of Selene,” (S1, E10) Storkules establishes himself as more than just a one-off character.
(*******) The Harpies made their first appearance in the Carl Barks’ comic, “The Golden Fleecing,” as well as the DuckTales ‘87 episode of the same name.
“Storkules in Duckburg” is in reference to the movie Hercules in New York (1970) which was Arnold Schwarzenegger's film debut.
Zeus banishes Storkules to Duckburg so he can learn how to be a "responsible adult" like Donald... wut?
Storkules compares him and Donald to Damon and Pythias whose legendary and fictional relationship is the idiomatic expression for “true friendship.”
Among Storkules’ luggage is a crate labeled “Donald Fan Art,” a giant jar of protein, and some free weights.
Mimicking Launchpad’s line of “family is the greatest adventure of all” is Louie’s empty decree that “family is the most important employees of all.”
Funso’s Fun Zone makes its second appearance after “Daytrip of Doom” (S1, E2).
Again, Cape Suzette enters the story when Scrooge goes there to procure lemon trees for his lemonade business.
Dewey Dew-Night! proves to be more than just a one-off gag after making its second appearance since it’s debut in “The Day of the Only Child” (S1, E16). How amazing would an entire episode dedicated to a Dewey Dew-Night! show-within-a-show be?
Storkules saying "If I can't pay my rent, then I'm not a hero, I'm a zero" is a clear reference to the song “Zero to Hero” from Disney’s Animated Classic, Hercules (1997).