GIDGET’S TALESPIN REVIEW
WAR OF THE
Rating: 4 out of 5 Krakatoa Specials
Baloo tries to fool Rebecca into giving him a vacation by pretending that he has been requested by a rocket scientist (a disguised Wildcat) to take the Sea Duck on a two-week expedition to Mars. It’s a game of one-upmanship: Baloo and Kit try to keep up the façade of being in outer space and out of reach. Rebecca pretends to believe the ridiculous story and tortures them by constantly pestering them by radio, demanding updates of their progress and giving them a ‘shopping list’ of souvenirs (like specimens, planetary animals and all kinds of Martian rocks). “Mars has polar caps, right? So do be a dear and pick up some snow---mmmm?” Baloo spends the whole evening loading rocks as ‘proof’ onto the Sea Duck (moans: “Ooooh… I’m gonna need a vacation from this vacation!”).
To get her off his back, Baloo persuades Kit to help him to stage a Martian invasion over the radio, by faking their deaths. Baloo pretends to be a Martian, growling, “You have invaded Mars. This means war! Die, Earthling worm!” Kit does a great ‘death scene’, gasping and choking, rolling on the ground in his death throes. Finally, Baloo throws the radio into the water, cutting off further communication. “Now there’s no way she can ruin my vacation!”
Unfortunately, a young soldier dog named Private Grogg overhears and tapes the ‘invasion’ and recruits Rebecca and Wildcat to lead him to the landing site. Rebecca has forced the truth out of Wildcat of the boys’ whereabouts by now. Surprisingly, Wildcat is smart enough to covertly flip the ‘on’ switch of the radio in Rebecca’s office, to allow the truant bears to overhear and be warned. Rebecca is all too happy to do this, hoping Baloo will get royally chewed out. Then Grogg adds that the faking an invasion is a serious crime, punishable by imprisonment, which include everyone else who was in on the plot. Now Rebecca has a trigger-happy soldier to deal with and must prevent him from finding Baloo and Kit, but it may be too late.
Meanwhile, Baloo and Kit use fireworks, Japanese lanterns, party supplies and guacamole as special effects to create the noise and glowing lights of a UFO. Now Colonel Grogg is completely convinced that the invasion is genuine and turns into Rambo, shooting everything in sight. Rebecca manages to slip away, mumbling, “If Baloo lives through this, I’m gonna kill him!” She finds Baloo and Kit and they hatch a plan to get rid of Grogg.
Baloo and Kit disguise themselves as a Martian (Baloo is the body, Kit is the head – don’t ask!). Rebecca pretends to have hysterics (“The Martians! RUN!”), startling Grogg and grabbing his gun. Baloo and Kit as the Martian pretend to swallow Wildcat and shoot Rebecca with a ‘horrible, flesh-melting ooze-gun’, covering her with guacamole (bet Baloo enjoyed that!). She pretends to die (*choke* -- Run, save yourself---I’m doomed!”), and totally impresses Baloo and Kit:
Kit: Boy, Baloo, she dies as good as you do!
Baloo: Told ya she had potential!
Terrified and outnumbered, Grogg flees to get reinforcements. When he returns with the general (his Uncle Bucky, BTW) and dozens of tanks) he finds a nice little 'family scenario’ waiting for him. Baloo (in a chef’s hat) and Rebecca (borrowing Baloo’s fishing hat, decorated with fishhooks on the brim) are setting up a Bar-B-Q. Kit and “Uncle Wildcat” play cards nearby.
General: This had better not be another one of your daydreams, Grogg.
Grogg: It was real! The horror! The carnage! The--!
Grogg (confused): Campers?
The general asks Baloo and Rebecca if they heard any disturbances during the night.
Baloo: You notice anything, Honey Lips?
Rebecca: (winks at him) Not a thing, Butterball.
The general apologizes for bothering them and Colonel Grogg gets demoted to Private Grogg.
Baloo: We make a great team, don’t we, Becky?
Rebecca: No, we don’t. That was the act of a desperate woman. Thanks to you, I’m gonna hate myself tomorrow.
Baloo: How come?
Rebecca: ’Cause you made me lie!
Baloo: I know, I’m sorry. But man, you were great! I think you’ve earned a vacation. (he pats the lounge chair next to him, inviting her to sit while he fishes from the shore)
Rebecca: Well, I suppose one day off wouldn’t hurt.
(Wildcat relaxes in a hammock and Kit turns on the radio for a little relaxing music.)
Quibbles and Bits
-Baloo’s lie is pretty goofy. Making up a dumb story of rocket fuel turning any aircraft into a spaceship. And a trip to Mars and back would take two weeks! Puleeze!
-At nighttime, Rebecca stays at H4H, torturing Baloo with her ‘shopping list’, and ‘are you there yet?’ calls. Why is she wearing a nightgown to work?
-When Kit fishes the radio out of the water, why does it still function? I don’t know much about radios, but I’m pretty sure that after a dunking, it wouldn’t play the violin again.
-When Rebecca screams at Grogg to startle him, her mouth is drawn much too big to be natural.
Neat Little Details
-The patch on Baloo’s space suit. Another quibble: How did Baloo and Kit get the space suits and headgear so quickly?
-The “FLY” poster on the wall (features the Sea Duck)
-Rebecca challenging Wildcat’s identity…Wildcat says: “You have me confused with someone entirely not myself.”
-Rebecca sending off Baloo and “Dr. Gesundheit”: “Now you two work out all the details while I get all… goosebumpy!
-The General’s ‘patriotic bedroom’ (seen when his nephew Grogg wakes him up to tell him about the invasion) is a complete stars-and-stripes motif. Stars decorate his headboard and lampshade. He wear red-and-white striped pajamas and a green ‘fatigues’ nightcap
-Grogg: It’s finally happened. Man’s first contact with life from another planet. It’s wonderful! It’s beautiful! Let’s fry the slime-buckets!
-When Rebecca tries to restrain him, Grogg yells, “Wake up and smell the war paint, lady! They want to dice up our livestock and shanghai our women!”
-Baloo lamenting the loss of the souvenirs during the ‘invasion’: “Oh no! They zapped all the rocks I collected for Becky!”
-Baloo creating a ‘Martian rabbit’
-Wildcat ‘swallowed’ by the Martian…(actually pulled into the “mouth” by Kit, finding B and K inside the suit): “Wow! So you guys were eaten by the Martians!”
Despite in the implausibility of making a trip to Mars and back in two weeks, this was a pretty good episode. The characters get the chance for role-playing throughout:
-Baloo as the Martian (great voice work by Ed Gilbert, making Baloo’s deep voice even deeper!)
-Wildcat being forced to be “Dr. Gesundheit, rocket scientist…no matter what!” by both Baloo and Rebecca (mangled accent is pretty funny).
-Kit’s death scene (painfully hammy, yet hilarious to watch)
-Rebecca’s death scene (Run, save yourself…I’m doomed!”) and Baloo’s comment: “Hey, this lady has potential!”
Grogg is actually an enjoyable character. I like his ‘look at me!’ exuberance, which reminded me a little of Daffy Duck. He’s not a villain so much as a trigger-happy kid: (“Look! Martians!”) When he gets demoted, I love it when he whines: “Aw, Uncle Bucky… I was a private last time! You said I could be a lieutenant!”
Baloo and Rebecca’s relationship undergo a shift here: She actually goes along with his tomfoolery instead of giving him her usual “cut that out!” She plays along, perversely enjoying herself, especially when she sends Baloo on those ridiculous ‘errands’. Baloo gets a kick out of her ‘death scene’ and respects her more for being ‘fun’.
Rebecca (looking at the goo): Ugh! I’d better clean off this guacamole.
Baloo: I dunno. I kinda like you in green.
She hurls a handful of goop at him and they have a little guacamole fight, laughing.
This episode is also notable for being one of two episodes where Rebecca kisses Baloo (not in a romantic way, but it’s a start for this fan-femme --The second kiss was in “Your Baloo’s in the Mail”)
Baloo and Kit emerge from H4H decked in their space suits, ready to blast off for Mars. Rebecca runs to Baloo saying: “Oh, Baloo, I want you to know that whatever happens, I’ll think of you every minute!”
Baloo is surprised but pleased (his eyes light up): “Really? You will?”
It’s all that Rebecca can do to keep from rubbing her hands together with glee. “Constantly. You’re simply the most bravest pilot I ever met!” Then she throws herself into his arms and gives him a big kiss on the mouth.
Startled but obviously enjoying the attention, Baloo says, “Gee, maybe I oughta do this hero stuff more often!”
When they pretend to be married, it’s
both funny (“Honey Lips” and “Butterball” reminded me of Pete and Peg of Goof
Troop—you know, those sickening pet names they have for each other) and perhaps
a sign of things to come.