GIDGET’S TALESPIN REVIEW

The Sound and the Furry

1½ out of 5 Krakatoa Specials


Summary


A shady female mechanic/con artist preys upon unsuspecting pilots in various ports.  With her carnivorous pet crocodile, Al, and the unwilling help of four little furry gremlins, she sabotages their airplanes and then charges outrageous fees to fix them.  She then takes the money and runs --- usually with an angry mob in full pursuit.  

In the opener, “Crazy” Edie is busy bamboozling a skinny bear pilot in her usual fashion, saying, “…Now you’re lucky that your atmospheric flapdoodle ain’t busted up.  ‘Cause we’d be talking serious cash, buddy.”  

Suddenly, she points behind him.   “Look!  Cleanser’s Comet!”  When he looks up, she slips the gremlins into the engine, hits a tuning fork, activating a shock to the electric collars of four gerbil-like creatures.  They freak out and dismantle the engine. “Aw, silly me.  Just the old moon!”  

When some engine part lands on the ground, Edie laments, “Well, I’ll be dipped --- your flapdoodle!”

Gidget:  That had me on the floor!

Cody: *snickers*  

The victim leans over to examine it; she then picks his pocket, jumps into her helicopter and scrams out of there, just barely escaping a torch-bearing mob of angry victims.  

Next stop:  Cape Suzette  

The gremlins are kept in a glass aquarium, just overhead while Al is making coffee for Edie.  He accidentally hits the switch, opening the hatch and releasing the tank.  It drops into the ocean, floating until it reaches Wildcat, who is fixing the Duck’s engine.

“Hey, a lobster tank!”  He lets them out and they push the prison overboard.  It’s love at first sight and he has new pets:  Stanley, Frankie, Maxine, and Homer.  When struggling with his wrench to fix a stubborn part of the engine, he loses his grip and accidentally sets off their collars.  They dive in and rip it out.  

The lion mechanic is impressed. “You guys are the nicest lobsters I ever met and the strongest too!”  

Baloo comes in to remind him that it’s time to go.  “And it’s warm out.  You won’t need the hat.”  

Wildcat:  “But I’m not wearing a hat.”

Baloo groans and leaves.  “Come on, Wildcat --- time ta ace that air show!”
 

Unfortunately, Edie and Al have been watching and waiting for their chance, and snatch the little furballs again.  

“Howdy, boys!  Miss me?”  

Then she gets an idea.

Gidget:  A wonderful, terrible idea! (Grinch ref.)  

Next stop:  The air show.  

Edie is practically rubbing her hands with glee.  “We’re gonna clean up here, Al.”  

Nearby, Baloo says smugly to Wildcat, “Yessirree, you and me are gonna clean up here!” Telling him to check the engine again, Baloo leaves, and Wildcat bumps into Edie, who is busy slipping one of the creatures into one of the contestant’s planes.

He asks, “Who are you?”

“The Queen of Sheba.”

“Really?  I never met a real queen before.”

She winks.  “Gotta go, buddy.  Drop by the palace sometime!”  

Tries to warn Edie that Maxine is in one of the contestants’ planes.  “Maxine’s in there!”

Edie:  “Of course she is.  She’s part of the show, see?”

Wildcat:  “Now why didn’t Maxine tell me she was in show business?”  

She lures him into a metal shed (and unknowingly, Homer too), locking it.  “Your friends are waitin’ for ya.”  

Systematically, she sabotages each plane, but before she can reach the Sea Duck, Baloo is off and running, knocking the crates in the air, juggling and tossing them into the cargo hold.  Like his skill with paper airplanes (Feminine Air), he has surprising style.

Announcer:  “That’s a personal best for Baloo!”  

Edie hits the tuning fork, trying to sabotage the Duck, but is still in radius to the shed.  Homer’s collar is zapped and he’s shocked into taking the shed apart, and the walls fall down.

Wildcat:  “Pretty strong for a little guy, aren’t ya?”  

Baloo flies the Duck through the obstacle course and wins. 

“I won!  I bet they carry me on their shoulders!”

Gidget:  Boy, his ego is bigger than his stomach.  This isn’t football, you know.  And why would your competitors cheer for you?

Cody:  Like you said, his ego’s bigger than his stomach.  

The other pilots suspect Baloo and Wildcat of wrecking their planes.

Hippo pilot:  “Didn’t Baloo say something about a ‘secret weapon’?

Winged goggle pilot:  “Yeah… and his mechanic was snoopin’ around my engine!”  

Baloo approaches them triumphantly.  “Hey, guys, whaddaya say?”

“Tar and feather him!  Tar and feather him!  Tar and feather him!”  

Suddenly realizing that he won’t get his piggyback ride after all, Baloo turns and tries to run the other way.  “I’ve heard of sore losers, but this is ridiculous!”  

They catch him, but since there’s no tar or feathers, only airplane grease and utensils, they start chanting, “Grease and spoon him!  Grease and spoon him!” and cover the poor bear with grease and spoons.  

Baloo:  “All right, ya happy now?”  

“No.  Not until we wreck your plane!”  

“No!  Not my baby!!” Baloo screams.  

Wildcat and Homer enter the fray.

“This is Homer and he says all the other lobsters are in trouble.”  

The pilots are about to turn on him too. “Grease me up, boys!”  

Just in time, Homer jumps out of Wildcat’s pocket and begins to frantically pantomime what happened.  First he staggers around with his arms out, like a zombie:  

Winged goggle guy:  “The son of Franken---!”

Hippo pilot:  “My mother-in-law!”

Wildcat:  The Queen of Sheba!”  

More charades, and it becomes clear, sort of.  Wildcat cries, “The Queen of Sheba wrecked your planes!”

Hippo pilot:  “Now why would the Queen of Sheba want to do that?”
Gidget:  LOL!!

Homer pretends to steal a pilot’s wallet and Wildcat adds, “She’s a thief!”  

They recall that Edie hasn’t fixed any planes, and tell Baloo, “Okay, Baloo, we’ll lay off your plane until you’re proven guilty.”  

Baloo gives a sigh of relief.  “Whew!”  

Meanwhile, Edie is frantically searching for her ‘help’ and flushes them out by striking the tuning fork.  Homer promptly takes the Sea Duck apart.  Unfortunately, this gives away her hiding place and the pilots give chase, but she reaches her helicopter and takes off with the critters.  Al tries to race Wildcat (who hijacks an ice cream cart) to the end of the landing strip, but is left behind.  Wildcat pedals so fast that he remains miraculously airborne until he can hop aboard.  

In the cockpit, Edie smugly cuts her losses. “Well, I’m short one gator, but I still got my help!”

 “Nuh-uh, Queenie!” Wildcat reveals himself.

Gidget:  Pervert.   

They struggle in the cargo hold, and the craft goes out of control.  When Wildcat tries to reach the tank of critters hanging from the ceiling, Edie climbs on him, accidentally tickling him under the armpits.  She loses her grip and falls on the tuning fork in her pocket, accidentally setting off the collars.  Stanley, Frankie, Maxine and Homer all explode into action and tear the joint apart.  

Edie shrieks, “Traitors!  Turncoats!  You’re all fired!”  

She grabs a parachute and thinks the helicopter and its occupants are doomed.  But Wildcat tells the critters to join paws and they manage to slow down their descent until they land on top of Edie’s parachute.  

“Hey you!  Get off my cloud!”

Gidget:  Wasn’t that a song by the Rolling Stones?  

She yells at Wildcat, “You still gotta catch me, chump!” before noticing to her horror that she landed back on the airfield.  

Baloo and the boys are waiting for her with grease and spoons.  “Nice of ya to drop in.”  

“Well, I’ll be dipped!”  Which she is.  

Baloo adds snidely, “And spooned!”

Gidget (gets creepy visual):  Good-night, everybody!  

In the end, Baloo and Wildcat fly the critters back to the bayou and set them free.  Wildcat promises to visit.  

Baloo says, “Well, it looks like ya made some new friends, Wildcat.  I know you’re gonna miss ‘em.”
Gidget (sniffs):  First nice thing he’s said to him in this episode.  

Wildcat shrugs.  “Yeah, but it’s a good thing they’re not staying with us after all.”  

“How’s that?”  

“You know how hard it is to find lobster food?”  

Baloo groans and they go home.



Quibbles and Bits

-The way it wobbles around the sky in a crazy, unwieldy pattern, Edie’s helicopter looks extremely unsafe.  I guess she won’t fix her own aircraft either.  

-Edie stupidly has the two switches for ‘Coffee’ and ‘Hatch’ next to each other on the same panel, which is why Al keeps losing the ‘critters’.  

-For someone who’s supposed to be inconspicuous, Edie does her sneaky work on the airfield in pink polka-dot clothes.  Where does she shop --- Clowns ‘R’ Us?  

Gidget:  Baloo is such a jerk to Wildcat in this episode.  Ordering him around and insulting him, I mean really!  In fact, everyone is mean to poor Wildcat!   Contestant No. 1 (goofy looking guy with a winged helmet and googles) snarls, “Outta my way.  That’s my cue.”  He even picks him up and setting him down a few feet away.  The pilots are mean to him. 
Cody:
  I didn’t think that was mean when the pilot thought Wildcat was screwing around with his engine.  It was more a warning and at least he got Wildcat out of the way so the props didn’t shred him.
Gidget:  I didn’t see that --- I was too offended by his tone.  Yeah, if someone screamed at me to ‘Get out of the way, stupid!’, I’d be too angry to recognize it as a warning.  Come to think of it, that would be a good murder method, wouldn’t it?  The victim would be too offended to heed a cleverly worded ‘warning’.  :D

-That obstacle course is incredibly dangerous --- Baloo flies into a cavelike tunnel, where a pig baker and a gunman are firing cream pies at him, sliming his windshield.  Gigantic searchlights (like in prison break movies) blind him.  Then he has to fly through boiling lava, down a waterfall, then plunge the plane undersea to bypass a mechanical octopus.

Cody:  And since when do planes double as submarines?  

-After being greased and spooned, Baloo is trying to protect his plane from the angry pilots.  During his ‘trial’, when Homer is ‘explaining’ to the other pilots about Edie, Baloo is clean.  Then, when they promise to lay off his plane until he’s proven guilty, he’s again covered in grease when he says, “Whew!”  

-When Homer sabotages the Duck, Baloo yells, “My baby!  My baby!”  He and Wildcat see why the planes have fallen apart (Homer’s collar was triggered), and Baloo smiles for some weird reason. 


Neat Little Details

-Billie Hayes (Crazy Edie) was a character actress on children’s programs, including the 1970’s Sigmund and the Sea Monsters as Witchipoo.  And Mrs. Half-Nelson in “Bringing Down Babyface”, of course.  

Edie reminds me of Madame Medusa of 1977’s The Rescuers.  Both are loud, shrieking harpies.  Both are con artists.  Both have crocodiles for pets and terrorizes their small victims into slave labor.

-Doesn’t Maxine remind you of CDRR’s Gadget, albeit without clothing?  Long blonde hair, blue eyeshadow and mechanically capable.  And a pink collar.

Cody:  She does!  Even the hairstyle is the same!

Gidget (as Disney artist):  Hey guys, where’s the Gadget spec sheet?  I need to trace something! 

Contestants: 

1 – Winged helmet guy pushes Wildcat around

2 – Some nameless nobody

3 – Hippo pilot who appears in several other eps without dialogue.  Here, he does speak, and he’s very unpleasant.  We also find out he’s married.

4 – Wiley Pole (no dialogue, but he’s a jerk, as usual.  Notice how he follows mob mentality when it’s time to grease and spoon Baloo!

Gidget (as Baloo):  “Hey, I ain’t that kinda bear!”

5 – Baloo

Baloo:  “Heh-heh… just savin’ the best for last!”  

“The guys are in trouble?”

Wildcat’s attempts to understand the squeaky twitterings of Homer the gremlin remind me of Lassie barking to humans that ‘Timmy’s in trouble?  You mean he’s trapped in the mineshaft without food or water?  In the dark?  Quick, take us to him!”

Cody:  It was silly.  

The obstacle dude controlling the lava temperature sits reading ‘Ka-Boom!’ magazine, and lazily reaches over to turn the dial from Off/On/Hot/Boil/BlowTop.  

Notice how similar the endings of this ep and Paradise Lost (dinosaur episode) are.  In both, Baloo is comforting Wildcat when he has to bid his animal friends goodbye.  And also, Henry (the shrinking creature that Molly adopts in Mommy for a Day) and the gremlins in this ep are all from a bayou.  Wonder if it’s the same place.  And again, a sappy goodbye scene when Molly bids Henry adieu.


Funny Stuff

Edie:  Al, hurry up!  you know how cranky I get without my mornin’ coffee!”  

Gidget:  The sight of an ugly lizard in a frilly apron making coffee had me on the floor.  Reminds me of Goof Troop’s Pete running all over the house in an apron frantically cleaning up before his wife Peg comes home.  And he wears bunny slippers!

Cody:  I know!  Seeing that ‘pet’ running around, fixing coffee in a frilly apron had me in stitches.   

-A guilty Al pretends that the mishap didn’t happen by hitting the coffee switch after the gremlins are dropped from the hatch.  

The critters ‘hide’ by curling up on top of Wildcat’s head, disguised as a hat.  

When Edie is exposed:

Hippo pilot:  “She’s got my money!”

Wildcat:  “And my lobsters!”

Gidget:  That must hurt.

Cody:  (as Wildcat) Naw, only when she squeezes them.  LOL! And lobster guts come spurting out! 


Quotes

Baloo
We are greeted with the scary sight of Baloo’s bulbous posterior as he bends over rooting through the fridge for a sandwich.

Cody:  And millions of villagers scream in terror…

Gidget:  LOL! Well, as Hillary Clinton would say, it does take a village… to fill up ol’ Papa Bear.  ;-)  I started working on the ‘Gruel’ review soon afterward, and again, Baloo’s opening scene treats us to yet another unobstructed view his big butt as he raids the fridge. 

Cody:  *groans* I’d managed to block out that horror.  Thanks so much for bringing it back.

Gidget:  I do what I can.


Baloo:  “I better eat somethin’ light to settle my stomach.”  (A huge hero sandwich)

“Hey, man can’t live on food alone.”  

When his back is turned, the critters steal his sandwich (for Wildcat).  Baloo is surprised to find it gone.  “Huh… it’s the strain of worryin’, that’s what it is!”  

Wildcat:  “Good thing I double-checked, Baloo.  There was a lobster in the engine.”

Baloo:  “A furry lobster, huh?”
Wildcat:  Yup.”

Baloo:  Good thing you wore the hat.  I think you’ve been gettin’ too much sun.”

Cody:  I like it when they’re about to grease and spoon Baloo’s plane, Wildcat interrupts the mob, and Baloo says, “Don’t harm him!  He’s crazy!”   

Wedges a wrench into Al’s jaws, holding it open.  “Chew on that awhile, crocodile!”  

 

“Crazy” Edie

“Well, I’ll be dipped!”
Gidget:  It’s your flapdoodle!  

“Al!  Quit tryin’ to eat the help!”  

“If Crazy Edie can’t fix it, it ain’t broke.  But it’ll cost you.”  


Wildcat

Naming his new pets:  “I like Homer, ‘cause it rhymes with ‘wrench’.”


“I must be a quart low on my elbow grease.”  

Cody:  My favorite line was when Wildcat first sees Edie and Homer dives into his pocket.  Wildcat looks down and says, “What’s the matter Homer?  You takin’ a leak or something?”
GIdget:  OMG!! No way!  Now I have to listen to that again! LOL!!
Cody:  I know!  I couldn’t believe it, either!  I did a doubletake and had to rewind it four or five times just to make sure I’d heard what I thought I’d heard!  

When locked in the shed:  “Homer, not only are we alone, but we can’t see Maxine’s show!”  

Wildcat removes the hated collars and frees the little furballs. 

“No more ring around the collar!”


Commentary

Gidget:  I give this sorry, charmless episode 1½ Krackatoa Specials.  

Cody:  *snores*  

Gidget:  *starts to snore too, then shakes herself awake* Ahem. Wildcat is the only reason to watch, because he’s his sweet self and holds his head high, despite being surrounded by cretins, including Baloo.  As usual, he saves the day with unconventional ingenuity.  I can’t stand any of the other characters --- they’re mean and go into ‘angry mob mode’ at the drop of a hat.  Everyone abuses poor Wildcat here.  The pilots are dillholes and Crazy Edie, despite being mildly entertaining, thanks to the late Billie Hayes, is a one-note villain.  And Baloo, true to form, has no compunction about bullying unattractive females (like Waiders of the Wost Tweasure).  Notice that it’s his hands throwing the grease on Edie.  “Let’s grease and spoon her!”  

Cody:  Unh.  Since you pushed me into it, my rating for this would be 1 Krackatoa.  It’s as silly and unappealing as The Incredible Shrinking Molly and Flight of the Snow Duck.  At least they had a legit reason for going after Edie ---she robbed ‘em!  She shoulda been grateful it wasn’t boiling hot.

Gidget:  Yeah, it would be awful if she lost her looks.


October 2004


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