Gidget's TaleSpin Review
Rating: 2 out of 5 Krakatoa Specials
Kit tries to get nerdy, clumsy Oscar Vandersnoot accepted into the exclusive Jungle Aces club. To get in the clubhouse door, Oscar needs an adventure. Problem is, thanks to his insanely overprotective mother, he has neither the usual ‘kid adventure’ experiences (can’t even ride a bike or climb a fence) nor survival skills. According to Ernie (the snotty hyena kid), he’s a ‘walking disaster area’. Kit convinces Rebecca to allow Oscar to accompany Baloo on a delivery run while he, Wildcat and Baloo secretly plan to stage a pirate-attack (to make Oscar believe the trip will be an adventure). Mad Dog and Dumptruck overhear that the cargo (actually fruit) is an “anti-pirate weapon”. Of course, when a real pirate attack occurs, Baloo, Kit and Wildcat are captured and Oscar is their only hope…
Quibbles and Bits
The Jungle Aces hold a secret Midnight club meeting (Hello! It’s daytime!)
Cody: I’m sure that at midnight, they’re tucked into their “wittle beds.” All except Kit, of course. He’s busy trying to keep Baloo out of trouble.
In the end, Oscar is named honorary club president. Since when does the new guy get to be head honcho? I think Ernie is so bossy that he probably wouldn’t relinquish the role of leader to anyone. To me, he’s one of the most unlikable characters on that show. I don’t mean that he’s a villain… villains are supposed to be nasty. I just don’t get why decent, kind-hearted Kit would hang around that obnoxious kid. Bratty Bart Simpson is nicer than he is --- at least he feels remorse for the more serious pranks he pulls.
Cody: Ernie definitely doesn’t seem like the type to hand over leadership like that. I’d say it’s just a gaping plot hole. Have you read Scarlet’s “Stupid Old Fanfic” where she makes fun of the Jungle Jerks? Kit finally pitches them. It’s great.
Cody: I’m glad that you’re so good at hiding your feelings. I never would have guessed you didn’t like Ernie! J Seriously, though, I hate him. To quote Baloo’s line from Polly Wants a Treasure, “he’s got an annoyin’ personality and looks like the loosin’ side of a pillow fight!” I would have been happy if the writers had killed of both Ernie and Molly.
Gidget: And Barney. Mustn’t forget him.
When Baloo admits the hoax, he says to Oscar, “I’m sorry, Kit. That’s no secret weapon…” (not ‘kid’, as I thought, but “Kit”)
Cody: Really? I never noticed that! Next time, I’ll
watch it with closed captions on.
Neat Little Details
There are lots of ‘mad Kit’ moments in this episode. And when he dresses up like a pirate, he wears a blue bandana (similar to the red one he wore in Plunder and Lightning, during his pirate days).
Cody: Here’s an abstract bit of symbolism for you. Do you think red symbolizes his relationship with Karnage and blue symbolizes his relationship with Baloo? He wears a red scarf with Karnage, a blue one with Baloo (when Kit’s dressed like a pirate, that is). The hat he usually wears is blue and red, so it could be a symbol of how both Karnage and Baloo have influenced his life as his “father” figures. *realizes that people are approaching her with a straitjacket and shuts up*
Oscar cries, blowing his nose on the clubhouse curtain. Did Louie teach him that trick?
Cody: LOL! Oscar’s Louie’s long-lost nephew. The Vandersnoots don’t claim the Lamonts, you know. The Lamonts are from the “bad branch” of the family tree. ;)
You know, Oscar sure does make Kit look good in the first half of this ep when they’re climbing fences, jumping across mud puddles, and convincing Becky to let Oscar come along. Kit does these things so easily and Oscar’s so incompetent that it’s a little sad. He thinks everything from falling in the mud to “getting hung by the pants” is an adventure tells you he has a very sheltered life.
Oscar’s fussy, neurotic mother steals every scene she’s in.
“Tell your pilot to fly slowly. Oscar is very delicate.”
“Oh yes, Mrs. Vandersnoot. Very slow.” Rebecca assures her.
It’s especially hilarious (and a little sad for Oscar) when she runs after the Sea
Duck, shrieking, “Oscar, don’t forget your air-sickness pills…and your allergy pills…and your vitamin pills… ”
Cody: Poor kid. He’s probably better preserved than a mummy!
Baloo takes off during her speech, splashing her with prop wash.
“What’d my mom say?” Oscar asks him.
“She said ‘have a good time’!” Baloo answers.
Oscar’s ‘armor’ (as a precaution, his mother has outfitted him with pads, a
helmet)… it’s a miracle he can stand up. Baloo, in a rare display of perception,
helps him remove it.
“Uh, maybe we should unload that extra armor you’re carryin’?”
“It’s my mom.” Oscar is resigned. “She’s always afraid I’ll get hurt.”
Baloo smiles. “Yeah, I kinda figgered that.”
Cody: Oscar’s no dunce, though. The way he deals with Karnage is very clever. Don’t you love Karnage’s face when he rockets around on that tank?
Don Karnage has some good lines:
“You force me to do terrible things… that I enjoy doing anyway!”
“That boy of Baloo’s is less than something to me.”
Cody: How about “I am starting to have the faintest twingings of regret!”
Not one of my favorite episodes. Not enough Becky. I did enjoy Mrs. Vandersnoot… she’s a riot. The ending was great: Oscar takes his mom on a rollercoaster. Just before they approach a big hill and tons of loopty-loops, she cried out, “Oscar, are you SURE THIS IS SAAAAAFE?!” His answer: “WAHOO!”
Cody: Even though it’s got lots of Kit, this isn’t one of my favorites, either. It’s fun, but not particularly memorable. And Mrs. Vandersnoot made me feel so sorry for Oscar! She treats him like he’s some kind of fragile porcelain bear cub or something. I did like the “super secret anti-pirate weapon,” though.
November 1999 (originally written)
October 2001 (updated with Cody’s two cents)