The Flight Of The Snow Duck
2 out of 5 Krackatoa Specials
Molly is always fascinated by the activities surrounding her mom's business, to the point where she sometimes gets underfoot. One day Rebecca asks Wildcat to watch Molly, because her daughter is just driving her nuts. To keep Molly occupied, Wildcat digs through a sea chest full of junk, and comes across a book called "The Flight of the Snow Duck."
Poor Wildcat. If he only knew, he wouldn't have opened the book. The story is about a girl who is rescued from evil dragons by a giant white snow duck. When Molly hears the story, she encounters a new word... snow! Obviously she's never seen snow in Cape Suzette (which also means this episode came before Jolly Molly Christmas) but Molly is understandably curious. When she asks Wildcat what snow is, he replies by holding up a bowling ball.
"You see this?"
"Yeah," she says, puzzled.
"Well, it's completely different."
Confused, Molly goes outside to the docks where Baloo is loading crates onto the Sea Duck and asks, "Baloo, what's snow?"
Baloo groans. "Oh man, don't remind me. I gotta go to Thembria this mornin’."
“They have snow in Thembria?”
“That’s about all they do have.”
is thrilled. "I wanna see snow! I wanna see snow!" she cries out. But
Baloo's not going to take a little girl all the way to Thembria...
Gidget: Aww… why not? It would make a lot of Mollyphobes so happy!
Cody: It would have made me happy if they’d left her out without a coat. She’d make such a lovely snow shovel.
Gidget: Or any other kind of shovel! Here, Sparky! Here, boy! ;)
To make a long story short, Molly, reluctantly accompanied by Wildcat, stows away aboard the Sea Duck. Soon they're all in Thembria (and Baloo still doesn't know he's got company). Wildcat and Molly are playing in the snow, using old Thembrian aircraft parts as a toboggan, making snowmen... and getting arrested by the "Slush Police" for playing in the snow.
Cut back to Baloo for a moment. He's still oblivious to Wildcat and Molly's presence, and has no idea that they're in trouble. But our bear has other things on his mind. There is a mountain of paperwork to fill out (because he parked too close to the Thembrian dock) and going to court, because he wiped off a Thembrian property stamp, mistakenly put onto the Sea Duck by one of the Thembrians off loading cargo. In this case, it’s pink flamingos.
The Thembrians are taking flamingos (plastic lawn ornaments), painting them blue, and then selling them back to Cape Suzette at a loss of profit. I guess that's to be expected from a country that uses iceboxes as house heaters.
back to Wildcat and Molly: For playing in the snow, they're brought
before a Thembrian kangaroo court and charged. Their prosecutor is none other
than Colonel Ivanov Spigot, who brings in the 'evidence' needed for a
conviction --- a melting snowman. Also, there's a penalty to pay for not
complimenting the judge’s new hairdo. When the judge says Spigot's evidence
doesn't look much like a man, Molly tells the judge to use his imagination!
Shock and horror fill the courtroom, as using one's imagination is, "That
is Capital Offense in Thembria!"
Cody: Remember the Time Bandit episode where Becky does time in a Thembrian prison? Ya think mom and daughter swap stories when Molly gets back? J
Bearcat: LOL! Living in a small cell, with someone named Lulu:-)
Gidget: (sings) Those schoolgirl daaaays… of telling tales and biting nails are gooooone…
Cody: (as Rebecca) You mean she’s still there? Oh, she was such a sweetheart and she gave me that great recipe for dirty slush jelly that you like so much!
Bearcat: Check please!
They are sentenced to imprisonment for one thousand years. They are soon joined by Baloo, who is arrested for, "Defacing State Property" (the stamp on the Sea Duck) and, yes, for not complimenting the judge on his new hairdo. He's getting two thousand years.
only one thing to do. Instead of living the rest of their lives in a frozen
prison with "Cold, and colder running water, good reading light, and air
conditioning..." Baloo decides that he, Molly, and Wildcat can "...
dig their way out!"
So... Baloo makes several lame attempts to escape. After each failure, Molly keeps telling him not to worry, because "the Snow Duck is coming!" The kid just doesn't get it. Baloo becomes so frustrated at hearing this phrase over and over again, that he shouts, "Look! The Snow Duck is not coming! There's no such thing!!" Molly runs out in tears.
Wildcat stands up to the Big Guy and jabs him in the chest. “That wasn’t very nice, Baloo!”
Baloo is instantly ashamed. “Yeah… I know. Wildcat, tell her I didn’t mean it, okay?”
The lion thinks for a moment. “Well… okay.”
Gidget: It really bugs me that Baloo couldn’t get off his fat behind and apologize to her himself. He’s really a jerk in this episode --- almost as much as he was in A Bad Reflection on You.
Bearcat: Maybe Baloo can't work with children. Let's have him fixed.
Gidget: (as Rebecca) Noooo!
Cody: Bears that get spayed and the bosses who love them --- on the next Oprah.
Bearcat: Spayed? I thought he'd be neutered?
Gidget: I just looked it up… I didn’t know it meant removing the ovaries of a female animal. (shrugs) Hey, I never had a pet.
Cody: LOL!!! You sure he didn't need both? I mean, he's awful fond of dresses...
As Molly sulks outside, and Wildcat tries to console her, telling her that imagination is important, and not silly at all. Inspired, Molly comes up with a brilliant plan that saves their hides. They'll build their own "Snow Duck"! This Snow Duck will be made of ice.
With Wildcat's brilliant engineering, and Molly's imagination, a makeshift airplane is created. Baloo, Molly and Wildcat board the flying icicle, and make their escape, with Thembrian air patrols in hot pursuit. At this point the entire adventure echoes the story read to Molly by Wildcat earlier. And airborne, they even locate the Sea Duck, now having been painted all blue, and loaded onto a Thembrian cargo plane bound for Cape Suzette. They follow the cargo plane away from Thembria, only to find that their "Snow Duck" is beginning to melt. By dumb luck, as the makeshift plane melts from under them, they land onto the back of the cargo plane holding the Sea Duck.
returning to Hire For Higher, Rebecca notices that the Sea Duck is painted, and
Gidget: Ka-boom? M J
Molly: Uh-oh! There she went!
Baloo is startled, perhaps thinking she’s calling him. "Baloo?"
She points at the Sea Duck. "Yes! My plane, all blue --- with a fifty-cent price tag on it, and a snowman in the front seat!"
Gidget: I thought that snowman melted.
Cody: Naw, he was just in the next cell.
Bearcat: And the snowman is singing, "Nobody knows the troubles I've seen..." and clacking a tin cup against the bars.
Gidget: Or being interrogated under a hot lamp, like in those old crime movies.
please. Don’t let your
imagination run wild!"
Gidget: And everyone roars with laughter. From the mouths of babes, you know? (rolls eyes) Reminds me of how at the end of most Scooby-Doo episodes, he eats Shaggy’s sandwich and crows, “Ruby-Ruby-Doo!” The whole gang laughs as if it’s the wittiest thing in the world.
Bearcat: Ewwww! Gidget, Cody coughed up a hairball.
Gidget: (reproving Mike Brady voice) Now, Bearcat, what have we told you about tattling?
Bearcat: (reproving Mike Brady voice too) Wherever you go, there you are.
Gidget: (simpering Carol Brady voice) Your father’s right.
Bearcat: And it's always Becky, Becky, Becky! I might as well have a football hit me in the snout.
Cody: (throws a football and smacks Bearcat on the muzzle) There. Happy now?
Gidget: I sure am.
Quibbles & Bits
This episode is geared more for the younger viewer. Though, it's still cute. We do see some very adult reactions from Baloo
(Gidget: Naughty, naughty!), which are understandable, if not inadvertently cruel. He yells at Molly out of frustration. It's a nasty side of Baloo we rarely see (and hope we don't see again). Obviously, even with Kit around, he's not used to children. Makes one wonder about any cubs if he and Rebecca got married.
Gidget: Insert science experiment joke here.
Bearcat: LOL!!!! I thought B&B having kids was a science experiment.
Gidget: It was… a secret experiment. Now you’ve blown the surprise!
Bearcat: Oh, now as if it was really a secret. Especially after the camping trip in "War Of The Weirds." ;-D
Gidget: No wonder Baloo looks so tired... ;)
Bearcat: (face in hands) Oh my God...
Gidget: Hey, Cody! I think we just destroyed someone…
Bearcat: Wildcat is more three-dimensional in this episode. While we see him as the lunk-jawed lion with the IQ of a six-year-old (and no higher than a 6th grade education) we do see flashes of brilliance and compassion here. Obviously, when Wildcat tries to use his brain, he can think almost as well as anyone else. Makes one wonder if they give him enough credit.
of ideas: That comes through in a
subtle way through the Thembrian court. I mean, really. For
imagination to be a capital offense? But then, this is a society that uses
tanks for a firing squad.
Cody: And has its populace convinced that cold steam is food.
Bearcat: And uses refrigerators as house heaters.
The water tank: Drinking water comes from a large tank in the prison compound. By the time the water gets to the end of the hose, it's a solid block of cylindrical ice. With the only obvious source of heat being the single light bulb in each bunkhouse, it's a wonder no one dies of hypothermia!
Baloo's attempt to dig a hole. Just before he
yells at Molly, a board breaks and hits him... (err, ah...) well, it's a tender
spot. No wonder he's cranky. Thank God for all that ice --- he'll need it now.
When Molly does the ‘Mister Guardman, can I have a drink of water’ routine, he supposedly pours some into her bucket, but nothing comes out. Yet she smiles afterward, obviously she got some when we weren’t looking! And why hold the bucket behind her back if she has to hold it out to receive the water?
Gidget: Couldn’t you have just killed Molly for nearly blowing their escape because she just had to run back and get that bucket, or Wildcat’s ‘flying hat’? Although it was kinda cool (no pun intended) that she used it to hurl, er, throw a block of ice at the guard’s head, knocking him out. But there’s no way she could have lifted that thing, let alone send ice flying out of it.
Cody: Ah, Cartoon Land, where normal laws of physics do not apply…
Gidget: But then, they never studied law. (Bugs Bunny ref.)e that when the three escape the guard, it’s Spigot’s voice on the loudspeaker: “The prisoners are escaping!” How’d he know? He wasn’t there!
Bearcat: Mental telepathy... Well, Spigot is a bit mental, ain't he? The shaft into the tunnel (a little "Great Escape" music here) has a plug in it... Baloo, now a bearsicle.
Gidget: Not to be indelicate or anything, but ‘bearsicles’… isn’t that nickname for a bear’s… you-know-whats? :D
Bearcat: Oooooh. OUCH!
Gidget: Yep. Destruction complete. *high-fives Cody*
Cody: I thought a bearsicle was the other part of their anatomy.
Bearcat: If he were Molly's real father, that would make him a "pop" sickle (massive groan).
Gidget: Kill me… kill me now.
Cody: Me first! (whimpers piteously)
*Melodramatic music begins to play, and Bearcat twists his whiskers, and cackles...*
*Gidget and Cody whimper and back away*
Bearcat: Now, where's that rope to tie them to the train tracks?
Gidget: Better than the sawmill. That was brutal...
Neat Little Details
Gidget: When Molly gets into the ‘toboggan’, doesn’t
she look like she’s sitting in a bowl of soup? Or the Teacup ride at Disneyland?
Bearcat: The Snow Duck built by Wildcat. That's probably the best detail.
Gidget: Again, Baloo quotes the line made famous by his alter ego Little John in Robin Hood: “Well, pile in --- this ain’t no hayride.” (also said in A Bad Reflection on You).
Bearcat: Most exciting: When the Snow Duck melts, and we're led to think they're falling to their doom. Well, geez... now how could that happen?
Lame stunt: The Snow Duck being flown through the cave,
then out a pipe to nowhere. It was too much like a few Warner Brother's Coyote/Road
Runner cartoons, produced by the late Chuck Jones.
Gidget: (checks watch) Nope… not here yet. Shall we start without him?
Rebecca asks Wildcat for a favor. “Wildcat, would mind watching ‘Danger Woman’ for me? Her imagination’s running wild again.”
He grabs his trusty fishing net. “You want me to catch it for you?”
Rebecca leaves them, saying,
“Now be good, Molly. I don’t want you
driving Wildcat… crazy.”
Gidget: I love that little pause before she says ‘crazy’.
imagination at work as he fishes out several items from his ‘treasure chest’:
-a bowling ball: "Black Olives."
Bearcat: Pimentos! Don't forget the pimentos! Oh, I forgot. That's for green olives.
-a rake: “An elephant comb.”
-a pair of earmuffs: “A flying hat… no, a radio headset!”
pretending to be a pilot in trouble:
“June day! June day! Fire at four o’clock! Dinner at eight! News at eleven!”
Bearcat: Did Wildcat have a reservation?
When Wildcat blows dust off the book, Molly asks him, “What’s that?”
He replies, “It’s called dust.”
”No, I mean the book!”
Wildcat extols the virtues of snow:
“You can make all kinds of stuff out of snow --- snowmen, snow angels, forts, castles, apple pie, igloos… I might be wrong about the apple pie.”
Molly asks Wildcat, “How come you’re so good at pretending, Wildcat?”
“Eee-magination. With a Capital E.”
In courtroom --- Wildcat and Molly’s ‘trial’:
The same radio announcer from The Time Bandit introduces Colonel Spigot:
"And, defending our country from these criminals is that "Lord of the Fly-Boys" Colonel Ivanov Spigot!"
the judge begins to listen to Spigot's rant, he cuts Spigot off saying,
"Keep it short, Spigot!"
Spigot cross-examines Wildcat first. “Where were you at 10am on May twenty-first, eight years ago?”
Surprisingly, he remembers perfectly. “I was at the bowling alley with Kirby and Dutch. Kirby bowled three hundred, I rolled gutter balls, and Dutch drank a chocolate shake.”
Despite himself, the little guy’s impressed. “Where were you this morning?”
Wildcat shrugs. “I-I don’t remember.”
Spigot cross-examines Molly as the ‘evidence’ is wheeled in --- a melted snowman:
Molly exclaims, “Our snowman! He’s all mushy!”
Spigot shouts triumphantly, “So! You admit you know him!”
Gidget: That just cracked me up! That and the fact that Molly is sitting in a puddle of melted snowman --- it looked like she actually drank all that water she conned out of the guard later on!
Bearcat: LOL! Molly's recycling snow! LOL... Clean up on Aisle One! Diapers on Aisle Two!
Prison Guard's opening line:
"Welcome to Prison Camp Sunnyvale."
Bearcat: LOL, because it sounds like a ski resort.
Cody: Or a fat camp.
Guard introduces prisoners to their new ‘home’, boasting that “…it has all the latest modern conveniences”:
-running water, both cold and colder (a small basin and sink)
-good reading light (a single bare bulb hanging from the ceiling)
-air conditioning (a fan next to the open window (with bars)
“Any complaints, just let us know, and you will be shot repeatedly. Have a nice day.”
Gidget: What I want to know is, what’s the point of the window bars if they can roam around the prison yard at will? And get parts for the Snow Duck without the guard batting an eye?
Cody: This is the episode with an ice plane and
Molly as the savior of all that belongs to Higher for Hire, remember?
Gidget: Unfortunately, yes.
Initial introduction (off screen) of the Minister of Lawn Ornaments as Duck is unloaded:
Thembrian Official: Minister of Lawn Ornaments. State your business.
Deliverin' pink flamingos from Cape Suzette.
Minister: Excellent. (he indicates a tall pile of paper) Fill out these forms while we unload the crates.
Baloo: What are these for?
Minister: A formal apology. You park it six inches too close to dock.
Baloo: So I made a little booboo. So shoot me.
Minister cracks his riding crop.
Heh-heh-heh… got a pen?
Gidget: Notice how the pile of paper suddenly got twice as high at the end of that scene?
Cody: Maybe it’s the same principle as starting and finishing a book in the middle.
"What do you guys do with these flamingos anyway?"
Bearcat: LOL, and Baloo is seen wearing a pink tutu, singing, "I feel pretty. Oh so pretty…!"
Gidget: Oh, Baloo and his dress-up games...
Bearcat: (as Baloo) I feel a song coming on!
Gidget: Where is that tranquilizer dart?
Minister: "We buy them for a dollar, paint them blue, then sell them back for half what we pay."
"Don't you lose money?"
Thembrian Minister: "Yes, but this is power struggle."
Khan: I desire only money, and power. Unpresentable employees provide me with neither.
Everyone else: Who asked you?
** and then, a stamp is put onto the underside of the Duck's tail, and...**
Baloo: "Hey! What do ya think you're doin’!"
Minister: "They're painting flamingos."
Baloo: "That... that's my plane!"
Minister: "According to this official stamp, it is a bird."
Baloo: "It's a plane!"
Minister: "It's a bird!"
(now wiping off the painted stamp) "It's a plane."
Gidget: It’s Superbear!
Bearcat: Superbear, who lives his life in secret as mild mannered reporter Trench Mouth.
Minister: "Uh-oh. Defacement of state
Cody: How ‘bout that line “That’s the second biggest flamingo I’ve ever seen!” Forget who says it — I avoid this episode as much as possible.
Minister calls guards...
"Sergeant Grumpy. Security."
Bearcat: LOL. I wonder if there's any reference to Snow White's Grumpy here? After all, he's short!
Gidget: Actually, all three of the Slush Police officers surrounding Baloo are short!
Bearcat: Then maybe they're Huey, Dewy and Louie?
Since Baloo gets two thousand years and Wildcat and Molly only get one thousand, Wildcat offers to help him out.
Wildcat: Hey, we’ll get out before you! Want us to water your plants till you get out?
Don't eat the yellow snow.
Baloo decides to dig their way out “This is a plan so simple, a fool could get it!”
Wildcat nods eagerly. “Wow! I get it!”
After Baloo yells at her, Wildcat later comforts Molly and explains why imagination is important:
Wildcat sits down next to Molly, who’s sitting on a bench outside the barracks and sullenly poking the ground with a stick. “Wanna play in the snow?
Molly barely looks up. “No.”
He quickly makes a round snow sculpture with a deep well inside it. “Want a donut?”
Molly scowls. “No. It’s just snow.”
Gidget: Actually, I thought it looked more like an ashtray.
He coaxes, “Use your imagination!”
She yells, “No! Baloo is right, there is no snow duck! Pretending is silly.”
Wildcat protests, “I may not be as smart your mom or Baloo or even that
judge. In fact, I’m not. But I do know that you’ll never make
anything here (holds up a little snow sculpture of a duck in flight) if you
don’t see it here (points to his head) first.
Gidget: Definitely the highlight of the episode, IMO. This speech is so eloquent. Wildcat is da man! Gee, that’s twice Baloo nearly made a little kid lose faith in magic and make-believe. This and the Peppermint Fairy. Sheesh!
Cody: Next, he’ll destroy her belief that babies
are delivered by the stork.
Baloo: Ya mean they aren’t?
Kit: (heavy sigh) Come on, Papa Bear… I’ll tell you about the bears and the bees…
Bearcat: Let's see if Baloo can flamingo (or Limbo) dance his way out of this one?
to eat Thembrian prison food) "Bleah! Man, this stuff is worse than
Louie's 'All You Can Stand For A Dollar' special."
Gidget: When Baloo doesn’t want food, you know something’s wrong.”
Bearcat: Yeah, it's called Becky's cooking.
Molly requesting water from the guard when building Snow Duck:
Molly: Mister Guard Man? Can I have a glass of water?
Guard: Haven't you heard? There's a water shortage. It keeps turning to ice.
Cody: So why don’t they stick it in a refrigerator
and melt it?
to Molly: (as he dips a bucket into water, to repair a damaged ice-wing)
"Hey! I've got a bucket of wing!"
Bearcat: Does that come with rolls, coleslaw, and potato salad?
When Wildcat ‘fixes’ the Snow Duck’s broken wing, he scoops up water from the an unfrozen lake, and pours on the area where the wing was broken --- instead of falling into the water, it forms perfectly. Then he slides on it, joking, "I'm having an ice time." I wonder whose puns are worse? Mine or his?
Gidget: Oh, I think it’s a tie. Maybe you should have a battle to the death. ;)
Baloo: (just after the bucket bit) Sit down. You're making me nervous.
Gidget: Molly suggests that they fly into a ‘rabbit
hole’ of a mountain. Never mind that it
might not be a tunnel, not a cave with a back wall! And when the enemy planes fly after them, they all pile up in a
fiery crash. Are they dead?
As they fly through the black tunnel and out the other end, Baloo asks in wonder, “Did we make it?”
“Yep,” says Molly, “just like in the book.”
“Kinda dark to read, though,” Wildcat comments.
kisses Molly on the cheek. "You’re a piece of work, kiddo!"
Molly preens. "And cute to boot!"
Gidget: I wouldn’t use the word ‘work’, though. ;)
Cody: Somebody’d better get him to the doctor before he goes into insulin shock.
Bearcat: I know I'll need my vitamin shots.
tells Baloo, who is trying to fly the Freakmobile, “In the storybook, the Snow
Duck made the bad dragons go bye-bye.
Instead of telling her to shut up and let him think, Baloo actually asks, “Well, how? How do you make’ em go bye-bye?”
“He let out a mighty quack!”
Gidget: Nice euphemism. How did they get rid of the smell, though? Or is that a Mighty Duck? (ducks bricks) ;)
Bearcat: Didn't anyone ever tell him to take care of that before leaving home?
Gidget: Hmmm… wonder if ducks get pit stops while migrating? Or do they just ‘plop and drop’, and keep on flying?
Bearcat: LOL! Sounds like that old commercial… “Plop, plop… fizz, fizz…”
Cody: And pigeons don’t stop for bathroom breaks.
Baloo moans, “Oh honey, we’re already sittin’ ducks! I don’t think quackin’s gonna help!”
But all three of them yell, “Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack!”, causing an avalanche to bury their pursuers.
Gidget: I hated that part. It’s too stupid.
Baloo kisses her on the cheek again. “You’re a genius, Molly!”
Molly smiles and answers in faux modesty, “I know.”
Bearcat: Vanity! Man, Rebecca's starting her out young.
Bearcat: This is a weak Molly episode. It's very
predictable, and we almost expect (and then are rewarded with) the Flight Of
The Snow Duck story being played out for real. I give it two Krackatoas Specials.
Gidget: You’re being generous, but I agree. I would give it one, because the story is sloppy and I dislike most of the Thembrian storylines, but it did show a rare, serious side of Wildcat that I liked. He’s not ‘smart’ in the way other people are, and he admits this. But there are other ways of being smart, and when it comes to mechanics or imagination, he leaves those so-called ‘smart people’ in the dust. In a most eloquent way, he explains the concept of imagination and restores a little girl’s faith in the intangible (similar to the dilemma in Jolly Molly Christmas, when she finds out who ‘Santa’ is). I absolutely love his dialogue. Plus, he shows that he can get angry sometimes --- he tells Baloo off for hurting Molly's feelings. Baloo’s irritation is understandable, but in Wildcat’s book (probably with pictures), there’s really no excuse for making a little kid cry. For a simple guy, he shows incredible depth, as well as great daddy potential. So I give it two Krackatoas as well.
Cody: I'd give it a one. Wildcat's role definitely isn't enough to make up for the overly cutesiness of it. Or the implausibility. Or that fact that it's Molly-oriented. And there's no Kit. Did I mention that?
Bearcat: Seeing Baloo, Molly and Wildcat taking
flight on that make shift plane reminded me of The Never Ending Story.
Okay, the 'Snow Duck' wasn't some ugly oversized mechanical dog-faced being,
but it was just as lame.
Cody: It made my head hurt just trying to figure out how and why. Engines create heat, right? And where in the heck did they get a mold to make the parts? For that matter, where did they get the engine?
Ow! Hey, don't make my head hurt
too. You can suffer all by
Bearcat: Besides, how could Baloo sit on that? I mean... he's not wearing pants, or overalls (like Molly and Wildcat). Makes me uncomfortable, just thinking about it.
Gidget: Sort of like getting your tongue stuck to a flagpole.
Cody: Or… uh, never mind.
Bearcat: You've been watching that "Spirit" movie again, haven't you?? Compared even to The Incredible Shrinking Molly and Mommy For A Day, this show is too cute. At least these two episodes, and Mollycoddled are far better. Too bad there isn't the sarcasm we expect from Molly. Time, and time again we've seen it in Mollycoddled, and Mommy For A Day. This is when the devilish nature of Molly comes shining through. It also gives the viewer an indication of just how much Molly's picking up from her mom. Ahhhh well, that's the way it goes.
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