GIDGET’S TALESPIN REVIEW
4 out of 5 Krakatoa Specials
On the docks of Higher for Hire, Kit referees a paper airplane flying contest between Baloo, some scruffy freelance pilots and an unpleasant polar bear called Coolhands Luke. Coolhands is a piece of work --- this guy hates to lose and deliberately aims his plane to knock on the others to the ground --- a sign of things to come.
Kit admonishes him, "Hey Coolhands! This isn't bumper planes!"
Baloo's fancy plane easily wins, executing a complex series of rolls and lands gracefully on the dock.
Coolhands says snidely, "You toss a mean spit wad, Baloo, but when it comes to flying the real thing, you might as well stay in the hangar. A pilot worth his rudder works for the best people. You work for a rookie, non-pilot female!"
Baloo can't see what the fuss is about. "Oh, Rebecca's the brains of the operation. She pilots the desk while I pilot the plane."
"You've been pilotin' the pier all week. What's the matter --- sky too scary?"
deadhead, we just happen to be waiting a very important client --- Mr. Robert
"---At Your Service Delivery Service?" Coolhands finishes smugly.
Rebecca approaches them. "Baloo, has our client arrived yet?"
Before he can answer, Robert Service, a nerdy, bespectacled rabbit appears, and Coolhands interrupts. "Yours hasn't, but mine has!"
Robert Service gets right to the point. "See here, Miz Cunningham, Coolhands has informed me that his company is run by people with experience... with pilot's licenses..." He fixes her with a stern glare. "... with sideburns!"
"What do sideburns have to do with hauling your coconuts to Kookamunga?" she snaps.
Baloo): Hey! That’s where my coconut bra came from! Good thing we’re going there.
I need a new one.
Gidget (as Rebecca): Make that two.
"The customer wants the best man for the job, which includes you out, lady," Coolhands says. He walks away, taking Higher for Hire's customer with him.
She watches them go. "That's the third client we've lost this week."
Baloo is equally disheartened. "It's the hogwash Coolhands is spreadin' about you that put them off."
Rebecca clenches her fists with determination. "The better business person will always prevail, and I'll prove it." Then she wilts. "Just as soon as I think of how."
in an apparently desperately bid to boost business, Baloo and Kit march around
town in band uniforms, with Baloo in a one-man band harness (drum, cymbals,
Gidget: (as Kit) "First bellhop uniforms, and now this!"
They run into Coolhands on the street, who taunts them about being too scared to fly.
Baloo scowls. "I don't see you up in the wild blue yonder, Cold Feet."
"I took a break to sign up for the great Air Scavenger Hunt. They oughta retire the title, though," Coolhands says, polishing his medal, pinned to his coat. "I've won it every year."
"Only because I haven't entered!"
couldn't get permission from the boss lady?" he taunts. "'Fess
up, Baloo, how are you gonna fly with all those apron strings in the way?"
At the Air Race headquarters, Baloo and Kit try to enter the contest, but are informed by the goat judge that although they have a pilot and aircraft, they need a sponsor from one of the local aviation clubs. The race starts at three sharp, so they hustle to the clubs to request sponsorship.
"Baloo, we need to find a sponsor," Kit says (unnecessarily).
"There's something even tougher we gotta do first."
"What could be tougher?"
"Gettin' the afternoon off from Rebecca."
At H4H, Baloo approaches her. "Becky... I mean, Rebecca. I need to talk to you."
"And I need to talk to you. Baloo, would you mind taking the afternoon off?"
"Now hear me out---!" Then he realizes that she didn't say no. "Did you say 'time off'?"
"I'm working on a really big idea to drum up more business, and I need to shut the place down for today."
"Aw, it's a sacrifice, but if it's for the good of the company..."
"It is, trust me."
"Come on, Kit. I did it!" Baloo runs out to the dock, jubilant. "Kid, it's just you, me and the Sea Duck!"
Just as he's boarding the plane, Rebecca yanks him down from behind. "Baloo, the Sea Duck wasn't part of the deal! I need it!"
He's incredulous. "Need it? You can't even fly it!"
"It's for the good of the business!"
"All right, okay!" Knowing better than to argue with her, Baloo turns to go. "Come on, Kit."
Later, Baloo goes door-to-door, trying to canvas for a sponsor with an airplane, doors are slammed in his face because, as Kit puts it, "Gosh, Baloo. Just because you work for a girl."
hear a nasty chuckle. Coolhands has been watching, enjoying the whole
thing. "Hope you don't mind that I put in a good word for you in the
Baloo is just about to knock on another club door and turns to glare at him. "Oh yeah? One club says yes and you'll be eatin' my prop wash!"
Coolhands notices that the sign on the door says 'D.O.A.' --- Daughters of Aviation and laughs. "Oh, brother! You just might have found the one club dumb enough to sponsor you --- The Daughters of Aviation!"
hand stops in mid-air before the door. "The... Daughters of
"Correct-a-lutely. You'll be perfect for them!" He walks away, laughing.
Fed up, Baloo gets an idea. He disguises himself as a female pilot and calls himself 'Tan-Margaret' and succeeds in getting the D.O.A. to sponsor him (or rather... her). Mary Lamb, representative of D.O.A. is very happy to have him. "Hello, Tan-Margaret. I'm so grateful you turned up. Our top pilot couldn't find a babysitter."
Kit sees Coolhands and tugs at ' Tan-Margaret's' purse, hissing, "Incoming at three o'clock."
Gidget: If I didn't know any better, I'd think he was trying to snatch it!
Cody: (admiringly) That Kit. Always practicing the finer skills of life. J
Mary Lamb is sweet-natured, but dislikes Coolhands Luke intensely.
"That Coolhands is the biggest meanie I ever met! Just ignore him, Tan."
Coolhands laughs at them. "Oh boy! Girls! Why don't you save yourself the entry fee and go buy yourself some silk stockings?"
'Tan-Margaret' drews himself up indignantly. "'Cause you're not gonna win this time, Big Mouth --- not with me in the contest!"
discrepancy: The contest starts at three o'clock sharp that day. At
H4H, when Kit dips brush into the rouge pot, the clock on the nightstand says eight
o'clock! Then, after the contest starts (at 3pm), Baloo pours his morning
cup of coffee!
Cody: What can I say? He’s one confused bear. ‘Course, that’s no surprise.
When Mary Lamb talks to Baloo as "Tan-Margaret", the purse is his left shoulder. When Coolhands shows up, purse is on the right one.
When Baloo (as TM) and Rebecca take off for the scavenger hunt, the calendar hanging behind them in the cockpit says 'Calendar', instead of the name of the month, like June or something.
Cody: Never noticed that!
When they're hanging upside-down from the tree to get the watch, wouldn't it have been easier for Baloo to hold Rebecca by the ankles instead? How could she get her hands around his thick ankles, not to mention bear the weight? And they risked their lives for a stupid watch. How did the contest officials manage to put it there?
Cody: With the Handy-Dandy Extendo-Arm! Yours today for the low, low price of only $49.95*!!
*plus $5.95 s&h; Visa, Mastercard, or personal checks accepted.
Using one of Rebecca's extra silk stockings, Baloo manages to scoop up the watch with it.
Gidget: If Rebecca is holding him by the ankles with both hands, how 's she able to drop the stocking?
Cody: Every time Becky or Kit holds Baloo’s ankles, it bugs me. I mean, he’s a big guy! Wouldn’t it make more sense for the lightest person to eavesdrop on a queen or get the watch while the heaviest holds the rope or their ankles? I know, I know. It’s just a cartoon.
Gidget: I know! It’s a funny visual, but the Big Guy’s an anchor.
How could Coolhands saw through the floor of the Sea Duck with a hand saw? And how could he know exactly where the crate is? And replace the floor with the crate on top without it falling through the hole?
Cody: Flimsy plane you got there, Baloo.
When Coolhands sees the Sea Duck fly past him to the finish line, he takes off after them from a tiny ledge. Doesn't he need a runway?
After the contest begins, Baloo frequently forgets to talk like a girl and lapses into his own masculine voice. Rebecca is uncharacteristically oblivious.
Cody: Maybe she figured “Tan” had a cold. ;) Seriously, I didn’t buy it at the end when she told Baloo that she knew it was him the whole time. She was too genuinely oblivious and she’s not that good an actress. I think she figured it out after the Baloo Barrelhouse Backwards Roll.
Rebecca wasn't wearing earrings. How would she lose one? I mean, she's got no purse, no pockets big enough to house a nail file, earrings and silk stockings without making it bulge. The fact that she has these items is just a clumsy deus ex machina. Too many coincidences.
Cody: Both of those bothered me, too. Since when does she wear either? She never wears shoes, so why would she bother with stockings at all? As for earrings, I thought she didn’t have any jewelry.
When did Coolhands find the time to buy roses during a race?
Cody: Did Becky open a mid-air florist?
Gidget: Wouldn’t surprise me.
Rebecca's scream as she falls out of the plane sounds like a really bad Tarzan yell. "Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah!" She also lands much too neatly into the cockpit when Baloo tilts the plane to catch her. The propellers would have diced her.
Cody: *snorts* They missed a great opportunity, didn’t they?
Gidget: You’re having way too much fun with this, aren’t you?
Cody: What? Making fun of Becky? Naw...;)
The calendar hanging behind them after Rebecca is saved --- the word 'Calendar' is missing
Neat Little Details
Goat judge has an appetite for anything in reach (chews mattress while interviewing Baloo as a candidate for the Air Race. Mild-mannered with a slow drawl, yet a no-nonsense guy...rules are rules, according to his code. His favorite expression ("Well, I'll be dipped!") is the same one of that of Crazy Edie (The Sound and the Furry).
The name 'Coolhands Luke' is a movie in-joke (1967's Cool Hand Luke, starring Paul Newman)
He and Kitten Kaboodle (A Star is Torn) have the same M.O. --- sabotaging planes.
Cody: Maybe those two ought to get together.
Air Clubs that reject Baloo:
-Aero Cubs (St. Bernard) "Oh, yeah, I've heard about you. You're the wash-up who works for a skirt!"
-Cloudhoppers (fox with a whistle around his neck)
-Knights of the Sky (dog in goggles)
Gidget: The Red Baron?
Daughters of Aviation (D.O.A.) --- in medical and cop-speak, D.O.A. stands for 'Dead on Arrival'.
Cody: Real nice club initials. Think it makes prospective members think twice before joining?
The name 'Tan-Margaret' is a Hollywood in-joke (60's sex kitten/respected actress Ann-Margaret; also known as Ann Margrock on The Flintstones)
The name 'Mary Lamb', the ewe sponsor of D.O.A. is a nursery rhyme in-joke (Mary Had a Little Lamb)
Gidget: That Mary Lamb has got to shave her legs.
Cody: And lose the pink pinafore. *shudders* Pink…auuugghhh!!
Gidget: Cody, Cody, Cody… I thought we worked through this issue in Group.
Cody: (hyperventilates) Pink... bad...
When Baloo socks Coolhands in the jaw, instead of stars or tweeting birdies, look quick (or freeze-frame) and you'll see little Coolhands cupids fly around his head.
Cody: Seeing that guy in red Speedos was scary…
Gidget: Coolhands in red Speedos… auuugghhh!!
Cody: There's an image that'll give you more nightmares than any horror movie ever made.
Stock character (never speaks) is the scruffy hippo pilot who appears in episodes when a group of pilots is required. He brings down the checkered flag, starting the race.
Clever puns abound in the locations:
-Coffee is found on the Little Island of Crack- yer- toa (Crack your toe), east of Java. Notice that the island on the map is shaped exactly like a foot, with toes. Near the 'toe' is a a little pain 'star', as if the toe got stubbed.
-Quicksand is found on the Geraldo Riviera. (Geraldo Rivera was a TV host during the trash-TV era of the 1980's, along with Oprah and Phil Donahue)
Near the end, we see Amelia Airhead (?) and a lone Thembrian in the stands.
(added in 2008): In the scene where Baloo is being the one-man band, there
is a poster on the building advertising H4H. If you look closely, I'm
pretty sure it is the same poster Rebecca had made up in Touch of Glass.
Mary Lamb finds out that shaking hands with Tan-Margaret is a bone-crushing experience)
"That's... some grip you've got there, Tan!"
Kit nudges Baloo, who thinks fast. "Comes from doin' a man's work all day!"
Mary smiles with understanding. "I hear that, sister!"
When Rebecca drops the stocking, it lands on Baloo's nose, making him sniff. Hope it was clean! ;)
Cody: Not that he’d care if they weren’t.
Gidget (as Baloo): Hey-hey, I ain’t a picky bear!
"Ooh! That's it! No more ribbin' about working for a girl! Come on. I'm gonna get that Coolhands right where it hurts --- in the medals!"
Cody: Y’know, that could be taken in so many ways…
Gidget: Brass balls?
"She may know how to figure, but I know how to fly!"
Baloo decides to dress up as a woman to teach Coolhands a lesson.
"Time someone unraveled him some."
Kit: "But who's gonna sponsor you?"
Baloo: "Come on. I need you to make sure my seams are straight."
(refers to the practice of women using an eyebrow pencil to draw pretend nylon seams down their legs, since real nylon was being rationed for parachutes in WWII).
Later... after Kit finishes Baloo's makeup. "Awesome!"
Cody: I would have said scary, but whatever floats your boat, kid.
Gidget: (as Baloo) Too much blush?
Baloo admires himself in the mirror. "Kid... say hello to (falsetto girly voice) Tan-Margaret!"
Gidget: (as Kit) Baloo, as of right now… I do not know you.
"'Think coffee'. How 'm I supposed to think at all? This girdle's cuttin' off the blood to my brain!"
Gidget: Baloo has trouble with girl clothes in The Spy in the Ointment too. Taking off his high-heeled shoes, he sits down to fan his sore feet. "I don't know how gals get around in these things!"
(taunting Baloo about working for a woman)
As Baloo and Kit pass him advertising H4H in band uniforms and drums. "So this is what you do with a washed-up cargo outfit. You start a conga."
In love with Baloo in drag)
"I never met a woman like you in my entire life... a real spitfire!"
Baloo mutters: "Hope to kiss a hippo, you haven't!"
These howlers are his idea of being suave:
"You're the one I've been waitin' for. Let me escort you to your craft, my angel of all things wonderful."
"Which of these vehicles will cart my heart into the sky?"
When he kisses Tan-Margaret's hand, "she" pulls away, asking icily, "Don't you need to start your engines?"
Coolhands says, obviously trying to sound mysterious, "My dearest, I already have."
Cody: LOL! The innuendoes in this series are absolutely ingenious.
"Let me help you, Glamour Gums."
"You catchin' a cold, Love Lungs?"
Gidget: I just love his endearments. They remind me of Peg and Pete when they get sickeningly lovey-dovey on Goof Troop.
"Now listen up... 'cause I'm only gonna say this once. Tan Margaret... will you marry me?"
"I understand... you don't have to hit me over the head. (Rebecca bonks him with a coffee tree plant) Well, okay... if you want to."
Cody: I just love that line…
"If I can't have her... no one can!"
Tries to explain why there are women's articles in his crate:
"... and silk stockings.
"I was so excited about getting my earring back that I didn't hear what you were saying, Coolhands!"
"I've got varicose veins... I like gaudy jewels!"
Gidget: Okay, I buy that. But how about explaining bra and tampons?
Baloo: (snatching up the coconut bra) My bongos! Hey, I've been lookin' for those everywhere!
Cody: (as Baloo, snatching up the tampons) And those are my earplugs for when Becky yells at me!
"We're going to win this contest like ladies... with our brains!"
Cody: (puts away her knife and sighs heavily) Well, she’s no fun.
Gidget: I give this four Krackatoa Specials. I'd like to give it five, but the improbability of Rebecca's rescue and the convenient way she and Baloo fail to notice that their cargo had been tampered with bugs me.
Cody: I agree completely—hey, don’t look so shocked! This was a very entertaining episode with memorable characters, lotsa action, and great plot and pacing. I just wish they would have either made Kit’s role less ornamental or eliminated him altogether—shut up, Gidget. ;) I love it when Baloo dresses in drag and then gripes about feminine apparel.
Feminine Air is, in many ways, similar to The Ransom of
Red Chimp --- unrequited love gone comically amuck. Repulsive
would-be lovers (Aunt Louise and Coolhands) chase terrified object of their
crush (Don Karnage and 'Tan-Margaret', respectively). Coolhands Luke is a
creep who should be buried alive under an avalanche of scented tampons.
Cody: (laughing too hard to comment)
Gidget: Ahem. He's competitive to the point of insanity. When he wins, he gloats, but when he loses... he's dangerous. He's not a funny villain, like Karnage or urbanely clever, like Shere Khan. He holds all women in contempt and thinks they're brainless little frou-frous. Besides his belief that girls are weak, foolish, etc., his antagonism may be something deeper (in life, it always is). They reject him socially, so he hates them on principle and wants to teach them a lesson for ignoring him. That's my theory, anyway. He's petty and unable to let small annoyances go to the point of obsession. When 'Tan-Margaret' turns down his proposal of marriage, he sets out to murder both Rebecca and the so-called love of his life, who he believes to be his ex-girlfriend. He's a mean S.O.B. with no redeeming qualities. Coolhands is downright evil and the most despicable villain in the series, IMO.
Cody: True. He’s also the most unrealistic. Everybody’s got some redeeming quality.
Gidget: (as Bugs Bunny) He may not be very pretty now. But he was someone’s baby once.
Like Bearly Alive, My Fair Baloo and A Star is Torn, this is one of the most significant B&B episodes. By the end, Baloo and Rebecca become closer friends and learn to appreciate each other.