GIDGET’S TALESPIN REVIEW
Rating: 3 out of 5 Krakatoa Specials
Baloo’s latest “cargo” is Babyface Half-Nelson, a dangerous gangster. A series of misunderstandings and double-crosses sets him up as a fall guy. To his dismay, the police are now pursuing ‘Baloo the Desperado’.
To clear his name, Baloo, Rebecca and Kit disguise themselves as a gang (Baloo – Pretty Boy Lloyd; Kit – Mickey the Mangler; Rebecca – Roxy). When they’re discovered, a high-speed chase ensues in a large sewer, where dozens of large objects are shoved down manholes to block their escape. Finally, the real gang is caught and Baloo gets the reward money. Unfortunately, he’s been delinquent in paying his parking tickets, so Officer Malarkey gleefully snatches reclaims the cash.
Resigned, Baloo tells the police, “Okay, ya got me. I’ll never break another small potatoes law for as long as I live.”
“Because you’ve learned that little crimes are real crimes too?” asks Kit (kind of strange coming from a former pirate).
Cody: Yeah, I’ve always kinda wondered about that, too. In two other episodes (Pizza Pie in the Sky and The Time Bandit), Kit obsesses about staying on the right side of the law. Usually, I just chalk it up to his wanting to reform, as horrible as that sounds.
“No. Because it’s too expensive.”
Gidget: Way to learn, Baloo!
Quibbles and Bits
Gidget: Yet another stereotypical cartoon Irish police officer (*yawn*) (Officer Malarky)
Cody: I know! But I do like the name: Malarky—as in he’s full of it.
Gidget: When Babyface disguises himself as a police officer and dresses the unconscious cop as a convict, the cop rests his head on the control panel of the Sea Duck. Isn’t he is Baloo’s way? Why aren’t the passengers sitting in the back of the plane?
Cody: Because Baloo lost the back
seats in a wild poker game at Louie’s?
Gidget: As long as he didn’t lose something else. (smacks herself) You know, sometimes I actually wonder if Baloo has a ‘past’ (smacks herself again)
Gidget: During a struggle, Baloo gets hold of the officer’s gun and pitches it out the window. I can’t stand it when a character loses/drops/throws away a weapon, I just can’t!
Cody: There, there. Quit
hyperventilating. *hands Gidget a glass of water*
Gidget: Kit frees Baloo from the handcuffs with a mallet. Hasn’t he seen Titanic? J
Cody: I have and wish I hadn’t. *groan*
Gidget: As Babyface says, “Cancel him”, Baloo’s expression is weird, like he’s smiling.
Cody: Yeah, it’s like he doesn’t quite realize what “Cancel him” means.
Gidget: Rebecca is quite glamorous (sequined gown and fancy ‘do) and it’s the first time she’s worn eye shadow and lipstick in an episode. But I hate that stupid beauty mark. (looks like a giant bug crawling on her face)
Gidget: In the sewer chase, Rebecca points and yells, “Look out for that birch!” In a panic, wouldn’t another person shout, “Look out for that tree”? How could she tell what kind of tree it was while speeding through a dark sewer (and tree was upside-down)?
And the secret of Becky’s days as a botany student comes out…J
Neat Little Details
Gidget: Baloo sends Becky and Kit to get the Sea Duck and Becky is the pilot. Her prowess has only slightly improved but still echoes of I Only Have Ice For You. You'd think Kit would be a little worried about being a passenger.
Cody: Well, he did flinch when she took off. You'd think he'd take over since I'm sure he could do a better job than Beckers.
Gidget: Let's not go crazy. ;-)
Gidget: Babyface Half-Nelson is a caricature of James Cagney. When he says, “I’m almost home, Ma!”, I think it’s a line from the Cagney gangster film, “White Heat”.
Haven’t seen it. I kept thinking the Half-Nelson was homage to Babyface
Nelson. Or is that the same person? *shrugs*
Gidget: Well, we’re both right. He was named after Babyface Nelson but given Cagney’s mannerisms. He’s sort of the bastard child of the two gangsters. Billy Hayes provides voice of Mrs. Half-Nelson here, and Crazy Edie (the crooked mechanic) in “The Sound and the Furry”; she also played ’Witchipoo’ on the old 70’s kids’ show, “Sid and Kroft’s The Bugaloos”. I can’t believe I remember that. I’m such a child of the 70s!
Cody: *hands Gidget a cane and some Geritol* I was born in the late 70’s, so I don’t remember any of that stuff. If it comes before The Gummi Bears, I don’t remember it. J
Besides the tree, street lamps, etc., various signs are thrust upside-down into the sewer to impede the Sea Duck’s getaway:
-Slippery When Wet (picture of dolphin)
-Sailors Welcome (sexy silhouette of girl cat) (obviously an artist’s in-joke)
(Thanks to Bearcat
for pointing these out)
“How’ll I know which one’s Babyface?” asks Baloo.
“He’ll be wearing stripes, silly!” Rebecca replies. Then a similar conversation later…
The criminals ask, “But we’ve never seen your son, Mrs. Half-Nelson. How will we recognize him?”
Smiling dotingly, she says, “He’ll have a twinkle in his eye and the sweetest smile you ever did see (growls)…and he’ll be wearing stripes, you chuckleheads!”
Cody: LOL! I like Mrs. Half-Nelson’s
Gidget: Me too. She’s a pistol. Remember how Babyface takes off his shoe and clamps a smelly sock over Officer Malarkey’s nose and mouth like chloroform?
Cody: He probably hadn’t washed it
in four or five years. It’s amazing
they didn’t put him in solitary confinement because of the stench!
“Use the sock… the sock!” Babyface yells at Baloo as he tries to ‘help’ subdue the prisoner (Malarkey). Baloo is puzzled, then makes a fist and punches the cop’s lights out. Babyface says admiringly, “Now that’s some sock!”
Officer Malarkey puts out an APB (all-points bulletin) on Baloo the Desperado (who he mistakes as Babyface’s accomplice): “Suspects are armed, dangerous… and wearing festive party hats.”
Cody: Didn’t you love the expression on his face when he said that? He looked as if he couldn’t believe what he was saying, yet he looked amused at the same time.
When Babyface’s ‘Ma Barker’-like mother plants kisses on his face (welcoming him back), he squirms and whines: “Maaaa… I asked you not to do that in front of the guys!”
“Hey, no roughhousing in the hideout! I’ve just waxed the floor.” Mrs. Half-Nelson chides her son as he prepares to dispose of Baloo. The pilot sighs with relief.
“Cancel him outside!”
When Tiny (the giant bartender) drags Baloo outside to work him over, we hear noisy banging and a thud. Baloo returns, the apparent victor.
Rebecca asks, “How’d you stop him?”
“I didn’t. A truck hit him.”
Baloo introduces himself as gang boss, ‘Pretty Boy Lloyd’.
Babyface is skeptical. “You don’t look so pretty to me.”
Baloo stammers, “Well, uh, ‘Reasonably Attractive Lloyd’ didn’t have quite the same ring to it.”
“Uh, I’m so tough my mustache is scared of me.” Baloo’s fake mustache comes off with his cigar.
Cody: Loses his cool easily, doesn’t he? You could just see him start to
Gidget (as Rebecca): *sigh* He’s so cute when he does that!
Baloo wakes up unconscious officers: “Uh… free donuts!”
Gidget: How original (rolls eyes).
When traffic lights are shoved down the manhole, Rebecca shouts at Baloo, “Red means ‘stop’!”
“For cars, Becky! We’re in a plane.”
Cody (as Becky): Duuuhhhh…
“They’ve thrown everything at us but the kitchen sink.” Baloo says (after dodging the obstacles in the sewer). Naturally, a sink falls on them.
Rebecca is angry. “I really wish you hadn’t said that.”
Baloo shrugs. “Coulda been a bathtub.” A tub is dropped on them too.
Rebecca is incensed. “Will you be quiet!”
Cody: That was so Three Stooges, wasn’t it?
Gidget: Yeah. Pretty silly, if you ask me. I don’t like slapstick. I prefer sophisticated verbal humor, like “I know you are but what am I?” ;)
Cody: *screams* Not Peewee!
Gidget: Although this episode is indeed entertaining and fast-paced, it’s too lightweight to qualify for 4 Krakatoa Specials. It’s just fun, not particularly deep. Babyface Half-Nelson and his criminal mother are a comic delight. The former can crack safes with his head (he’s got a weird brushcut that resembles the edges of a bottlecap). The homicidal Mrs. Half-Nelson (sort of a cross between Ma Barker and June Cleaver) steals the show with her strange insistence on keeping a sparkling clean hideout.
In gangster attire, the gang looks great. Baloo always looks good in a suit, but in a black suit and red tie and fedora he looks positively dashing. Kit looks about twenty years old as ‘sharp-dressed man’, Mickey the Mangler. He’s better at looking tough than Baloo here – he scowls at the gangsters and keeps his cool while Baloo stutters and fumbles as Pretty Boy Lloyd.
Gidget (as that catty judge of the catwalk, Mr. Blackwell): “As Roxy, the moll with the mole, Rebecca is delightfully tarty. That blue sequined dress is to die for. But honey, ya need heels. And there’s a big bug crawling on your face! Kill it! Kill it now!”
Cody: LOL! Are we feeling catty or what?
But I agree. Becky would have looked better minus the bug and with heels. And
Kit makes a perfect little gangster! Baloo should have let him do the talking!
Gidget: You mean letting him live isn’t enough? ;)
February 2000 (originally written)
November 2001 (updated with Cody’s two cents)