GIDGET’S TALESPIN REVIEW



YOUR BALOO’S IN THE MAIL



Rating:  3 out of 5 Krakatoa Specials

 

 

 

Summary

When Rebecca wins the $100,000 Pazuza Sweepstakes, she is overjoyed and primed to spend.  In order to claim her prize, however, she must mail her winning ticket to the Sweepstakes office by 8am the following morning.   Opting to pay $17.50 for an expedient delivery (S.S.T.I.S.D.D. (Super Speed, Triple-Insured, Same Day Delivery), she heads for the post office.  Unfortunately, Molly reminds her that they’ll be late for her school play (she plays an artichoke).  She gives Baloo the envelope and twenty dollars for the stamp, telling him it’s ‘nothing important’, fearing that he’ll screw up if he knows it’s important (a reverse psychology theory)

 

Baloo and Kit stop by the hamburger stand, where Baloo uses most of Rebecca’s money to buy a huge feast, planning to buy ‘a measly old stamp’ afterward.  All that’s left is two cents and a French fry.  He buys an eighteenth-class stamp that will deliver the ticket to the Pazuza Sweepstakes office in ten weeks. 

 

When he finds out what was really in the envelope, Baloo panics and chases it, with Kit in tow.  Intending to deliver it himself, Baloo is told that no one but a postal employee may deliver registered mail.  Several insane chases and three ancient mailmen later, Baloo just misses the deadline and must tell Rebecca the truth.  This is particularly hard to do when he sees her extravagant purchases, including a soda pop machine he’d always wanted.

 

Surprisingly, she blames herself for not trusting him enough to tell him the contents of the letter and they tearfully commiserate until a mailman delivers a letter from the Sweepstakes clerk, offering to pay $100,000 for ‘the rare, totally unique eighteen-class stamp’.

 

Rebecca (jubilantly jumping up and down):  “Ya-hoo!  Where’s the stamp?”

Baloo:  (his ‘crap-what-have-I-done’ pained smile is priceless) “I threw it in the trash!”

 

By the time she, Baloo and Kit run out to retrieve it, the trashcan is empty and they embark on a futile chase after the garbage truck.

 

 

Quibbles and Bits

-Rebecca, who owns a deliver service, should have been her own customer instead of using the post office

 

-envelope is blank (no address) (probably easier to animate)

 

-‘Right Stuff’ Ralph (the third mailman) is so irritating  -- slow, whistles through his teeth.  Not quite as annoying as Barney (Jumping the Guns), but close.  Since it’s been forty years since his last delivery, Ralph struggles to remember what to do with it. (“Sssort it – bingo. Ssstamp it – bingo.  Sssend it to the mail room…” Augh! I was cheering when Baloo throws him bodily through the door, straight at the Sweepstakes booth

 

-when Baloo, Kit and Ralph approach H4H at night, Baloo says, “Becky’s must’ve fallen asleep.” (why would she sleep at H4H instead of heading home? – exception: Her Chance to Dream, which wasn’t her fault)

 

-Baloo: “Oh, man, look at the time!” (all of a sudden he’s wearing a wristwatch for that line, then it disappears afterward)

Neat Little Details

 

-as he listens to Rebecca ask Baloo to mail her letter, Kit’s expression is extremely nervous (what is he, clairvoyant?)

 

-Rebecca kisses Baloo in gratitude (a small thrill for this B&B fan)

 

-the wanted posters in the post office are artsy poses, all in profile, (eyes closed, nose in the air)

 

-when B&B dance in office, celebrating her pending winnings, the way they hold hands is exactly the way Belle and the Beast did in that ballroom scene in Beauty and the Beast

 

-the back of the post office (water, rickety docks, boats) is the spitting image of the docks at H4H

 

-the crusty mannerisms of the seagoing mailman (Captain Gravestone of the S.S. Rocket, a rickety old boat) is probably modeled after Robert Shaw’s character in Jaws (Quint, the obsessed shark hunter who meets a nasty fate)

 

-the letter is dropped down a shaft that turns into a labyrinth to the floor where the first postman is waiting

 

-Rebecca buys a red-and-yellow flight cap identical to Baloo’s


Funny Stuff

 

-After Rebecca’s understanding attitude towards Baloo’s 5-hour lateness and her affectionate gratitude, ending with her saying, “Now remember, Baloo – it’s not that important! Oh, and you can keep the change!”

Kit says, “Baloo… you’ve finally driven her over the edge.” (he seems to be smiling!)

 

-Baloo’s lunch order at burger stand:

 -“I’ll have two dozen burgers, double cheese, triple fries and five pies.  (thrusts tray of food into Kit’s arms as he pays cashier) Uh, you want something too, Kit?”

 

-Molly:  “They don’t call me the Artichoke of Happiness for nothin’!”

 

-Rebecca’s shopping list when she calls Wishlist Department Store:

  -(clears throat) “Wishlist Department Store?  Cunningham here.  I will have the gold-plated shower curtain on page five – yes -- and the grand piano on page nine.  Then I will have two pairs of diamond-studded earrings… why don’t you make that six pairs?”

 

-Rebecca’s purchases:

 yacht, limo, Aeronca P-9 Thunderbuster (toy plane for Kit), soda pop machine (for Baloo)

 -then the office is redecorated -- lamp, chair, desk, bookcase (all books are blue), pink canopy hangs from ceiling over the desk, mirror, plants, grand piano, candelabra, rugs, cushions.  It looks almost as nightmarish as her pink, Cupid-themed bedroom in Baloo’s castle in The Balooest of Bluebloods

 

-all 3 mailmen who specialize in 18th-class mail haven’t delivered mail in 40 years

 

-Kit: “Baloo, she’s never going to trust you again!”

 Baloo: “I know how to get her ta trust me  -- we’ll steal her plane!”

 

-“Moose season – gotta hurry if we want to catch us chocolate one.  Bye!” (Baloo’s lame attempt to deflect Rebecca’s questions)

 

-Rebecca buying a yacht:  “Hmmm… do you have it in pink?”

 

-Baloo:  “The nerve of that gal… spendin’ her money before it’s hatched!”

 

-Then he decides to tell Becky the ‘truth’: “It’s a letter to Santa… I thought if we promised to be real good this year, he’d cough up a hundred grand for us too!”

 

-Ralph sits on Baloo’s lap to fly the Sea Duck, making ‘putt-putt’ noises (like a kid goes, ‘vroom-vroom’ when playing with cars)

 

-Kit comforts Baloo: “There, there, Baloo -- It’s okay. So what if you blew Rebecca’s chance to be rich and lead the good life and do the things she always wanted to do.  I still think you’re the greatest!”

 

-As B&B comfort each other over the loss of the money, a postal worker pokes his head in to announce, “Mailman!”

 Still in each other ‘s arms, they both yell at him: “Go away!” (*sigh*)

 



Commentary

 

Although too much slapstick cost it two Krakatoa Specials, this was a fun, wacky episode.  My favorite was Captain Grindstone Griff, the crusty seagoing mailman.  His schooner, the S.S. Rocket, looks like a relic from Tom Sawyer (the paddlewheel thing) and just coughs and puffs along, barely moving.  Check the background for a young mother pushing a baby carriage along the wharf --- she easily strolls past them (wonder why she’s pushing a carriage around on a wharf anyway).

 

Ralph is overjoyed at the prospect of seeing his first 18th-class letter in 40 years:

“Forty years, I’ve waited for this!  Make way for eighteenth class!”

 

Baloo panics.  “Captain, we gotta hurry!  Another hour and it’ll be dark!”

 

Griff’s face takes on a crafty expression and he whispers, “All the better to conceal us from our enemies.  We’ll take ‘em by surprise!  Don’t worry, men… the battle plans are safe with me.  Full steam ahead!”

 

B&B exchange roles in this episode.   When Baloo and Kit arrive at the dock late, Rebecca is uncharacteristically understanding:  “What’s five hours in the grand scheme of life?” she says dreamily, visions of dollar signs practically dancing in her head.

Baloo is not his usual laidback self here.   It’s fun to see him scream at Ralph, who still can’t remember what to do with the letter after a hiatus of 40 years:  “You deliver it!  On the double!”

 

I liked it when Rebecca kissed Baloo (cheek) and leaves him blushing and stammering (and smiling!) (also in War of the Weirds)

 

Rebecca must be kicking herself for attending a stupid, boring school play instead of claiming her prize.  All this trouble because Molly had to be an artichoke.
 

 

February 2000


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