GIDGET’S TALESPIN REVIEW



VOWEL PLAY

Rating:  5 out of 5 Krakatoa Specials

 

 

 

Summary

After writing ‘spinach’ on the blackboard (‘until on the two zillionth try, I got it right.  Ow, my aching hand!”) Kit ends up soaking his paw in a dish of water.  Becky is excited about a new moneymaking idea (“Skywriting is the way of the future… and I intend to lead the way!”).  Baloo is cynical, but goes along with the silly assignments (Aw, what a silly way ta spend a day, writin’ ‘Happy Birthday to You’!”)  Baloo is a terrible speller, which could jeopardize Hire for Higher.  Then a seedy-looking stranger named Weasel begins to assign Baloo odd messages like ‘chicken soup’ and ‘eat at Joe’s’…

 

The client turns out to be an underling for Heimlich Menudo, a diamond-hungry gangster, who use Baloo to skywrite secret messages to other criminals.  Detective Thursday gets wind of it, arrests Baloo and tortures him with a spelling test “Now spell, ‘pizza’!”).  Baloo’s report card and Weasel’s lost codebook prove his innocence and he works with the police to nail the crooks.

 

Heimlich Menudo terrorizes the citizens by threatening blow up the city.  It’s up to Kit and Baloo to save Cape Suzette with perfect spelling.


  

Quibbles and Bits

-Baloo is a bad influence in this episode.  “Spellin’s like playin’ darts.  Close is good enough.”  Luckily Kit remembers how to spell ‘weight’ in time to save the city from getting bombed.

 

-Baloo is always losing things (his assignments keep blowing out the window)… why doesn’t he shut it?

 

-After robbing a bank, instead of running for it, raccoon crooks stand in front of the bank, discussing the sky messages and reading the codebook.  A cop could have nabbed them already.

 

-In a crowd scene, parked on the curb is a green Volkswagon.  Those cars weren’t manufactured until 1938 (nor did they have the cute design; pre-war cars were boxlike and ugly.

 

-Becky: “I didn’t think you had it in you, Baloo.  Your spelling saved Cape Suzette!”  After all the times he’s saved her bacon, she still doesn’t have faith in him?  And excuse me, but didn’t Kit’s sudden recall of how to spell “weight” rate a mention?

 

-Baloo doesn’t seem to mind parading naked in front of everyone.

 



Neat Little Details

 

-Weasel’s voice was done by David Landers (Squiggy of Laverne and Shirley fame)

-Muffy and Buffy (the bad guys in A Touch of Glass) can be spotted in a crowd scene when Menudo terrorizes the city.

 

-The name ‘Thursday’ is a reference to Friday, a character from an old detective film (I think it was Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, in reference to his girl Friday, Effie) Or Dragnet’s Joe Friday, according to a source.

 

-Thursday says, “My men’ll send those lead zeppelins to kingdom come!” (reference to Led Zepplin, the rock star)



Funny Stuff

 

-Baloo:  “Hey, I’m a pilot, not a poet!”

 

-Baloo:  “Becky, that guy’s as shifty as a ten-speed clutch.”

 Becky: (happily fanning the bills received from Weasel) “Well, as long as his money’s green, who are we to

 judge?”

 

-Thursday: “We may be up against a brilliant criminal mind.”

 Becky: “Brilliant, Baloo, brilliant!  What were two O’s doing in ‘chicken soup’?”

 Baloo: “Uh, the backstroke?”

 

-Weasel (whining): “Why can’t I have a big diamond?”

 

-Weasel gets very upset if his name is pronounced ‘Weasel’.  “That’s ‘Wea-zell!’”

 

-A dryer in a laundromat is used as a secret entrance to police headquarters.  Thursday has to trick a lady

 rhinoceros every time to get past her. (“Look!  There’s that dancing bear that juggles --- and chews gum at the

 same time!”)

 

-When Menudo chokes on a diamond, manages to save himself, he grabs Weasel by the collar: “You idiot!

 Couldn’t you see I couldn’t breathe?”

“Sorry.  I was too busy thinkin’ of your Heimlich Maneuver to notice that you was chokin’.”

 

-(a crook observing Baloo’s misspelled messages) “It’s just a crime the way they’ve lowered the academical

 standards in dis business.”

 

-(Thursday to Baloo): “Put a sock in it, mister.  A Laundromat is no place to air your dirty laundry.”

 

-(Thursday to the gang as they climb into the dryer/secret entrance): “All right. We’re going for a spin.”

 

-Weasel gives Baloo his last message, “Wait until dark”

 Baloo: “Okay, but if I write it after dark, it’ll be kinda hard ta read!”

 

-Baloo loses his shirt with message attached to it (“Oh no, gone with the wind again!”)


Commentary

 

This is one of the wittiest episodes, with a terrific one-shot character (the hard-boiled Detective Thursday, who has great lines).

  

 

December 1999

 

 

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