5 out of 5 Krakatoa Specials
While returning to Cape Suzette, Kit persuades Baloo to let him do a little cloudsurfing. Though the sky is clear when he goes out, they fly through a thunderstorm where they meet a man in a stunt plane who is impressed by the boy’s abilities. Kit shows off for him and ends his little exhibition by doing some fancy acrobatics, landing on the roof of the Sea Duck. Baloo looks behind, sees the empty towrope, and goes into panic mode. Shouting “No!” he prepares to do a nosedive in order to save Kit. Then, his navigator pops through the open window and puts his hands over Baloo’s eyes, saying, “Guess who!” Relieved, Baloo hugs the boy tightly before depositing him in his seat. Next comes The Lecture, which is continued for the rest of the flight to Cape Suzette.
Rebecca and Wildcat are checking crates on the pier when Baloo and Kit dock. They look up, surprised, as the door to the Duck flies open and Kit and Baloo storm out, still arguing. Rebecca asks what the problem is and Kit accuses Baloo of “being a mother hen.” He explains that he was “just doin’ a little cloudsurfing.” Both Rebecca and Wildcat interrupt him—and side with Baloo. Just as Kit is feeling ganged-up upon, trouble in the form of Daring Dan Dawson appears. Dan dazzles Kit with some fast talk, offers him two free tickets to the air show, and leaves with a bang of confetti.
The next afternoon, Lord knows how, Kit convinces Baloo to go with him to the air circus. Baloo, loaded down with popcorn and soda, grumbles throughout the show while Kit ignores the bear’s obvious lack of enthusiasm and gushes about how good the stunt pilots are. As they’re leaving, Baloo desperately tries to win Kit’s attention by recounting past acts of derring-do that the two of them have shared. Kit isn’t really listening, but snaps out it when he sees Dan. Much to Baloo’s dismay, Dan offers the boy a job and Kit doesn’t quite turn it down. Scowling like an angry parent, the pilot drags his navigator away from the scheming weasel. Over dinner that night, Kit recounts the stunts to an enthralled Wildcat and a less-than-enthusiastic Baloo and Rebecca. Baloo angrily storms out without eating (Gidget: That’s serious!) and Rebecca follows him. He tells her that he’s losing Kit and she tries to comfort him.
Gidget: Comfort him… how? (wriggles eyebrows)
Baloo cheers up a little and decides to “win that kid back” with a day of fun at Louie’s.
Gidget: (as Baloo) “It’s National Hooker Day at Louie’s! Two for one special!”
Cody: LOL! Probably the only way Louie can get any!
Kit, however, has other plans. When Baloo wakes up the next morning, Wildcat tells the pilot that Kit went to the airfield. The morning wears on and Kit doesn’t put in an appearance. Baloo paces back and forth in front of the Sea Duck, mumbling under his breath, while Rebecca and Wildcat look on. Baloo refuses to let Wildcat get back to work on the engines, stubbornly asserting that Kit will dropping in “any second.” Wildcat happens to look up and see the cub falling. Horrified, he points this out to the pilot and businesswoman, who race to the end of the dock. Kit sees them and smiles. Opening his airfoil, he glides to the water and surfs to the dock, ending with a spectacular flip over the Higher for Hire sign. Turning to his friends for approval, he finds just the opposite. Baloo is so mad that he snatches Kit’s airfoil and storms off.
That night, Kit and Baloo have a major argument. When Baloo wakes up the next morning, Kit—and his belongings—are gone. He goes to the airfield where he sees Kit in a uniform perform a (G: …strip tease?)(C: To quote a certain wench, “Ya, baby!”) dangerous stunt with his new partner, Daring Dan. The crowd loves him, and Baloo leaves, certain that he’ll never see Kit again. Later, after the show, Kit is in his dressing room discussing a new stunt with Dan. After being paid a piddling amount, Kit begins to realize that Dan isn’t all he’s cracked up to be and wonders wistfully what Baloo is doing.
Kit: “I bet he’s having gobs of fun with those hookers!”
Cody (as Kit) “Forget this fame stuff. I’m going to Louie’s! Big Lola’s got nothing on Big Bertha.” I love the way your twisted mind works!
Gidget: It works a little too well, sometimes! :p
A week later, business at Higher for Hire is stagnant. Baloo just sits on his duff and fishes all day. A policeman drops by, looking for info on Daring Dan, who has more aliases than a cat has lives. He tells Baloo that people have been hurt doing “those crazy stunts of his” but that they don’t have any proof yet. The policeman tells the pilot that Dan is in Neufedora. Without waiting to hear anything else, Baloo fires up the Duck and flies to the rescue.
Meanwhile, Dan and Kit are having an argument: there’s a storm coming and Kit doesn’t want to surf through the fiery hoops. Kit quits and Dan tricks him into getting into his plane by pretending to take the boy home. Once up in the air, however, Dan cuts Kit’s seat belt and flips the plane upside down, dumping Kit and his airfoil. Kit manages to get on the airfoil and tries to surf when the Sea Duck swoops out of the clouds. The cub grabs the towrope and hauls himself into the plane while Baloo buzzes Dan’s biplane. The weasel bails, but his parachute catches fire and he lands in the arms of the waiting policeman. Kit hurls the uniform back at Dan and the cop arrests him. On the flight home, Kit apologizes and Baloo welcomes him home.
Gidget: Wow. He’s a weasel? I always wondered what he was! And how his nose stayed attached. It looks like the nose on Family Dog.
think he’s a weasel. He could be a dog, but I think weasel suits his
personality better. You ever noticed how sometimes it’s hard to tell what
species a character is?
Gidget: Especially in Duckburg. I suppose those generic non-duck types are dogs? And what the hell is Goof Troop’s Pete? A dog? A really ugly cat? And what about Peg, P.J. and Pistol?
Cody: In the opening scene, why was Baloo trying to read the map? Isn’t that Kit’s job?
Gidget: Lazy bum. And speaking of bums, wasn’t Baloo’s wagging butt a comical sight when he waddles indoors after talking to Rebecca?
Cody: LOL! Yep! Did you notice that Kit’s mouth moves along with Becky
as she indignantly protests, “Me?
Married to him?” while they’re on the dock and Daring Dan asks if Baloo and
Rebecca are Kit’s parents
Gidget: I just noticed that!
Cody: In the same scene, as Daring Dan puts an arm around Kit to escort him away from the ever-watchful B&B. When he hands him two tickets, Kit’s hat is completely blue. In the next scene, it’s back to blue and red.
Gidget: I wonder if Kit actually posed for the poster? You know, this isn’t the first time a character was ‘surprised’ by a picture of himself. Remember that one of Rebecca, Baloo and Kit in flight uniforms in A Touch of Glass? Baloo apparently hadn’t seen it before. And another thing, Dan tosses the poster carelessly over his shoulder while talking to Kit, where it lands on a candle and starts to burn! Dan doesn’t turn a hair, he just keeps on talking while he douses it in a glass of water. He doesn’t have the same luck with his parachute, however. When it catches on fire from landing on the flaming hoops for the Flaming Tunnel of Fear, it was funny to see him try to blow out the fire!
Cody: After Dan and Kit fight and Kit says he’s leaving, Dan offers him a ride home “for old time’s sake.” As he’s leading Kit to the plane, Kit’s helmet is gone for a few seconds. Then, it reappears.
Cody: Becky sure was an insensitive jerk in this ep. Being a mother, wouldn’t she be a little more understanding about how Baloo felt about losing Kit?
Gidget: This is the same woman who ventured into the dangerous jungle to hunt truffles right? And took off to Starrywood without even mentioning a babysitter. And who left her kid God-knows-where to spend the night in a haunted castle. And nearly left the kid for a ghost. She should name a guardian for Molly in her will, and soon.
Cody: Oh, yeah…Good point.
Cody: Why would the police officer be looking for Baloo? Why would he think that Baloo had any affiliation at all with Dan?
Gidget: Maybe there’s still a manhunt for Baloo the Desperado? J
Cody: Kit isn’t stupid. Why did he get in that plane with Dan? Surely, he didn’t think Dan would take him home.
Gidget: Yeah, that struck me as uncharacteristically foolish for a supposedly streetwise urchin. And listening closely, I picked up a clue. When Dan sucks up to Kit to keep him from leaving (“Guys! Cancel the stunt! Finito! See? No stunt!”), how come Kit didn’t notice that the engines were still running? You’d think everything would shut down.
Cody: I think this is one of the few eps to take place over a period of more than a few days. Three days after he meets Dan, Kit leaves Higher for Hire, and he’s with Dan for at least a week.
Gidget: Really? What about Flight School Confidential?
Cody: Wildcat is unusually lucid…
Gidget (as Clementine): It’s okay, honey. It happens to everybody. Let’s just cuddle.
Cody: Ahem. (glares at Gidget) He immediately sides with B&B and tells Kit he might have fallen and bumped his head. Also, when B&K are arguing the night after Kit’s little stunt, Wildcat is working on the engines. When he hears the arguing, he looks up, shakes his head, and goes back to work.
Cody: I didn’t even notice a difference in his voice! But I did
notice that no one was eating dinner that night. Kit and Wildcat were too
excited, Baloo was too upset, and Becky, well, she’s gotta watch that girlish
Gidget (as Baloo): Hey, I’ll watch it for ya!
Cody: Dan mistaking Baloo and Becky as married (Gidget, stop drooling!) and Rebecca’s indignant reaction.
Gidget: It’s fate, people! (wipes her chin)
Cody: Rebecca trying to convince Baloo that Kit’s too good for him. “Well, Kit is talented,” she says, patting Baloo on the shoulder. “Maybe he’s cut out for something better than hauling cargo. And if he is, who are we to hold him down?” Geez, Becky! Why didn’t you just tell him he was a loser while you were at it!
Gidget: I know! That bugged me too. Remember Last Horizons, when she told Baloo, ‘Manfred Mann’s a great man…you’re a… cargo pilot! Not everybody can be somebody, Baloo.” Something like that. I’ll look it up and do the review while I’m at it.
Cody: To quote Karmacat: “Becky should never ever host a self-esteem seminar or she’d be living in a van down by the river.”
Gidget (as Becky): Does Molly have to come too?
Cody: Baloo with confetti all over his head.
Gidget: I thought Kit’s initial reluctance to join Dan’s air circus resulted in a strange line: “Baloo and I… we’re sort of partners. Can I think about it?” Nowadays, the word ‘partners’ is a double-edge sword. Like ‘special’ instead of ‘retarded’. Oh, and didn’t Kit look kind of silly in that uniform? Too young or something. I laughed when he said, “I just wish Baloo could see me.” Dressed like that? And when Kit’s rope snapped and he fell, somersaulting through the air, it reminded me of when me and my younger brother used to play catch with his teddy bear.
Cody: He probably killed his parents with one of his crazy stunts.
Gidget: I liked, “Bad Dan!” (slaps himself) “Bad!”
Cody: And all of Dan’s aliases: “Dan DeBronci, alias Dan Dawson, alias Daring Dan, alias, etc, etc.”
The pilot playfully pulls the boy’s hat over his eyes. “You’re an ace, Li’l Britches. Don’t know where I’d be without you.”
Gidget: Poor kid got that a lot in this ep. Dan was constantly ruffling his hair, swinging him around and patting his head. And when Baloo led him away from Dan at the Air Circus, he says, “Kit. Time to go.” And physically turns Kit’s head forward as he’s saying goodbye. Kit Cloudkicker, action figure… with fully movable arms and legs. And hair you can style! Dream House not included.
Cody: Yeah, poor Kit. I’m surprised he didn’t get really annoyed and kick somebody in the shins.
Kit watches him hopefully until Baloo laughs. “Okay. Hit the mist!”
Baloo grabs Kit and hugs him before sitting him in his seat. “Kid, what were ya doin’? I…I thought that…you’d…”
“Aw, Papa Bear. It was just a half-gainer with a flying dismount,” Kit says dismissively.
Gidget: …he said on his honeymoon.
Cody: Was that Baloo or Kit? If so, has Kit moved to Arkansas recently? (slaps herself) I’ve got to stop talking about my neighbors that way.
“Don’t give me none of that fancy talk. You were showin’ off for that other show-off.”
“Come on.” Kit laughs. “I knew what I was doing.”
“What you were doing wasn’t safe!” Baloo protests.
“Since when do you care about safe?” Kit asks. “Who flew two tons of dynamite through a hurricane.”
“That was a job! There’s a difference between that an’ takin’ chances.”
Gidget: Rebecca sure isn’t shy about risking her employees’s lives, is she?
Cody: Nope. Wonder why Baloo puts up with it. Surely, his plane isn’t worth all that. And he’s always going to these foreign countries. If he got really fed-up with Becky, he could paint the plane, assume another identity, and sell plane rides in Krackyertoa.
After they dock, they emerge from the Sea Duck, still arguing.
“Oh, Baloo!” Kit protests.
“Ya don’t understand! There’s chances, and there’s---there’s---there’s chances. And some of ‘em just shouldn’t be took.”
“Are you writing the Kit Cloudkicker rule book?” Kit asks sarcastically.
Gidget: Give Baloo a chance to learn to read first! And who is he to talk? This is the same guy who cooked pizzas while flying over a volcano!
Dan showers Kit with praise: “You mean you don’t know? You were…great!”
Kit preens a little. “Yeah. I guess I was!”
“You must be the proud parents of Ace, here,” Dan says, oozing with false charm.
“Me? Married to him?” Becky says indignantly.
Kit intercedes quickly before she can kill the weasel. “Uh—Baloo and Becky aren’t my folks. I’m an orphan.”
“You don’t say?! Me, too!” Dan drapes his arm around Kit’s shoulders and escorts him towards his plane.
Gidget: What a cheeseball.
Dan: Except, of course, the little people. Don’t let the little people hold you down. (glances over Kit’s head, meeting Baloo’s glare)…no matter how big they are!”
Baloo paces in front of the Sea Duck, grumbling under his breath. Rebecca and Wildcat watch him worriedly.
“Uh, Baloo? Why don’t you let Wildcat get back to work on the engines. If Kit isn’t showing up…” Rebecca starts to say.
“He’ll show up, he’ll show up!” Baloo interrupts angrily. “Hey, he’ll be droppin’ in any second now.”
Wildcat looks away and his eyes widen. “Man, when he’s right, he’s right!”
B&B look where he’s pointing and see a small figure fall from a stunt plane.
“Kit?” Baloo yells. “Kit, no!”
He and Rebecca race to the end of the dock just in time to see Kit whip out his airfoil and glide to the water. After surfing a short distance, he uses his momentum to flip over the Higher for Hire sign where he lands with his arms raised over his head, airfoil in hand.
“Pretty slick, huh?” he asks smugly, clearly unaware of the scare he’s given them.
“Woooow,” Wildcat says.
“Wh-what were you doin’?” Baloo finally manages to ask.
“Dan and I call it the Cloudkicker Dive to Doom. Wait’ll we try it in front of a real audience. Dan says they’ll pay big bucks to see me do…to see me…”
Gidget: (heh-heh…do what?) Kit finally notices that B&B look anything but proud. Holding his airfoil in front of him like a shield, he says quietly, “Gee, I didn’t… scare you, did I?”
“Scare? Kit, scare doesn’t cover half of it!” Baloo grabs Kit’s airfoil and marches angrily up the dock, obviously too upset to speak to Kit at the moment.
His navigator runs after him, protesting. “Baloo! That’s mine! Give it back! Baloo!”
Baloo (completely unimpressed by Dan’s stunts): “Thrilling. I’m one big goosebump of excitement.”
Baloo and Kit have an argument about Daring Dan.
“Dan says I’ll be me making five hundred a week! How’s that for a point?”
“Aw, kid. Wake up. You’ll never see a dime! That phony’s all baloney.”
Kit looks at the crumpled poster, then glares at Baloo. “No! You can’t tell me what to do! You’re not my dad!” Jerking off his hat, he hurls it at Baloo and flings himself onto his bed.
Gidget: Ted, get that smile off your face. Know what gets me? Rebecca saying, “Cloudsurfing in this weather? Isn’t that dangerous?”
No, Becky, it’s only safe when it’s sunny. I’m amazed that he risks his life to get dragged behind a plane.
Cody: *shrugs* He says he doesn’t mind taking chances. If TS were set in the 90’s, he’d be an extreme sport enthusiast. After Rebecca tells him that Kit has left, Baloo races to the aerodome where the boy is about to do his first show as Daring Dan’s “newest partner.” Baloo watches as Kit, who was standing on the wing, loses his footing and falls to the rear of the plane, where he grabs onto the rudder. A towrope shoots out the back, and he catches that. Then, the rope breaks and he falls. As he plummets, he whips out his airfoil, surfs down a row of balloons, and is borne aloft by Dan to greet his new fans with a wave of his hand. As he holds lit sparklers in both hands and the tow rope with one foot, Baloo waves Kit’s cap towards the show and says something that makes me tear up every time. “Maybe Becky was right. Maybe the kid is cut out for somethin’ special. Somethin’ better than haulin’ cargo with fat, stupid old bear like me. Well, so long, kid. I knew you when.” Waving Kit’s hat sadly, he turns and walks dejectedly towards the Sea Duck.
Frowning, Rebecca flips through papers on a clipboard while Wildcat shoves some crates around. “Nothing shipped in a week. I’m going to have to do something.”
Gidget: What? Fire your poor depressed pilot? Way to cheer a guy up, Becky. Now go ‘comfort’ him some more! (*cracks whip*)
A police officer rounds the corner of the building and says, “I’m looking for a pilot named Baloo.” Wordlessly, Rebecca points to the end of the dock, where Baloo is miserably fishing.
Cody: This is one of the few times ol’ Beckers is caught speechless.
Gidget: Also in Save the Tiger, when that wimpy pilot asks her, “You don’t have any platypuses, do ya? I just hate platypuses…” It bugged me when Baloo threw his rod into the bay, though. What a waste. But I caught a little in-joke in training when Baloo asks the cop, “You’re not here about the parking tickets?” Not until Bringing Down Babyface.
Baloo: “Oh, where’s my navigator when he needs me?” and “When I get through with that guy, he’ll be able to count all his teeth on one finger!”
After Baloo has “bumped” Dan into the hands of the law, he and Kit fly home in silence for a while. Fidgeting nervously, Kit says, “Thanks for savin’ me, Papa Bear. I…I’m sorry I left. If you’ll have me back.”
Baloo, whose nose is once again buried in the map, says, “Pilot to passenger—you wouldn’t happen to know where I could find a good navigator, would you?”
Kit’s face lights up and he grabs the map. “Navigator to pilot—Cape Suzette straight ahead!”
As they fly off into the sunset, Baloo says, “Welcome home, partner.”
Okay, everybody say it with me: Awww!
Gidget: Awww! If Kit hadn’t come back, Baloo wouldn’t have found his way home.
Cody: Nope. He would have flown around aimlessly until he crashed into the North Pole or something. J
Gidget (as Molly): Are you taking me to see Santa for real this time? I’ll get Lucy!
After Plunder and Lightning, this is my favorite episode. First and foremost, it features Kit and it’s got a little bit of everything else: action, adventure, comedy, character development, and terrific animation (barring the few glitches mentioned earlier). Kit’s “You can’t tell me what to do! You’re not my dad!” line is probably one of the most emotionally charged statements in the whole series. We also get to see him lose the “good widdle bear cub” act, which is always interesting.
He leaves Higher for Hire, mainly because of that argument with Baloo, but also because he wants fame and fortune. It’s an interesting facet of Kit’s character that really needed more exploring, in my opinion, because I don’t believe that it’s recognition and wealth that he wants, though he doesn’t realize this at the time. If he were really interested in fame and fortune, why would he stay with Baloo? I mean, come on. Baloo hardly classifies as famous and he’s always broke. Surely, being an Air Pirate would give him a lot more in the way of recognition, seeing as how he was Karnage’s protégé. And he could always plan to overthrow Karnage, which would bring him fortune.
Gidget: Maybe he wanted to share a room with someone other than a fat
Joanna: Don’t look at me. (AFTR in-joke)
It is also clear that Baloo has come to depend on Kit so much that without him, the pilot is basically helpless. When Kit leaves and Baloo thinks he’s never coming back, the pilot sits on the dock and fishes. It’s as if he can’t stand to fly the Sea Duck without Kit. He also can’t handle a map since he and Kit met. Three times in this ep, Baloo wrestles with the map over his face while trying to fly the plane.
Gidget: Makes you wonder why Baloo is still alive. He was just fine before he met Kit. He had… um, Louie. Since it’s a bit skimpy on B&Bness, I’d give it 4 Krakatoa Specials (before my awakening, I would have given it two). I’ve viewed it several times to understand why it’s so special and have come to appreciate it much more. Still too Kitcentric for me, but it is an excellent episode, for all the reasons you’ve given, Cody. It explores the Baloo-Kit relationship under pressure in much the same way that A Star is Torn did for the Baloo-Rebecca thing. An episode that forces the characters to address what they mean to each other --- especially in a cartoon --- goes far beyond the call of duty.
Cody: Just one more reason why TS is the best Disney cartoon ever. It’s amazing how the pilot and
navigator came to mean so much to each other without realizing it, though. This
whole episode is pivotal to the development of their relationship, IMO.