Disney-comics digest #485.

DAVID.A.GERSTEIN 9475609 at arran.sms.edinburgh.ac.uk
Tue Nov 8 13:08:40 CET 1994

      Dear Folks,

      Jorgen Bangor referred to a story where "Mickey is running a 
cafe.  One day the famous pirate Peg Leg Pete comes to the place ...
Gyro hires a ship, whose cook is Captain Crook."  First, Jorgen, I'm 
sorry to draw attention to this but I think you mean Captain Hook.  
Then, second, I actually know this story -- just reread it last 
month, in fact.  It's "Treasure Island A-Yo-Ho", and is a parody of the 
book _Treasure Island_.  It was made in 1965 as one of a series, "The 
Walt Disney Theatre."  In this series, famous stories were spoofed 
with Disney characters in the leading roles.  I am sure that this 
series was what inspired, in the 1970s, those Goofy history stories 
that Gladstone is running now.
      I'm totally stunned to see that all _Treasure Island_ 
references were removed, though, from the story when it was presented 
in Middle Europe!  If anything, this WAS one of the better parodies.  
But as a sign of the times, Whitman was afraid to make any references to 
death or to liquor, so we had Pete singing "Sixteen men on a 
blighter's chest -- yo-ho-ho and a motley crew."  Or "sixteen men and 
a ship fulla fun" (I really didn't like that one!).
     Other famous-story parodies in this series included "The Two 
Musketeers+1" (reprinted in GOOFY ADVS. #7), "A Lad 'n' His Lamp" 
(reprinted in WDC&S #584), "The Swiss Family Mouse 'n' Sons", "Rip 
Van Goofy," etc.  Characters from the features continuously appeared 
in these stories -- most of them were just really awful and, at least 
in the American versions, VERY obviously "talking down to child 
readers" (as is obvious from the titles, and their constant 'cute' 
use of that " 'n' ").  No one seems to have any personality.  If I'm 
going to do a rehash of a famous story with my star character, it 
should be (IMHO) appropriate to the character, and the original 
things that I add to the plot shouldn't be needless use of 
"features" characters like Captain Hook, but little things that 
reflect my character's personality shining through the role he's 
supposed to be playing.  For example, as far as I'm concerned, you 
don't get better than Floyd Gottfredson's "Rumplewatt the Giant" 
(1934).  We have two famous stories -- "Jack and the Beanstalk" and 
"Childe Roland" -- mixed together, and the parts of the story that 
have been changed, have had those changes made so we can see what 
Mickey, with his individual personality, would do in the hero's 
situation (often, something different than the hero would do).  And 
it's all EXPLAINED not as an impossibly lavish PLAY, but as Mickey's 
own retelling of the story, as presented to Morty, Ferdie, and a 
handful of other neighborhood mice-kids.

> A story which I'm quite sure never will see a reprint in the U.S. is a 
> story featuring Goofy and Davy Crocket.
      The character you refer to is a character Bill Walsh created 
for the MM comic strip (at that point only drawn by FG).  He's called 
"Li'l Davy" -- I can't even begin to understand why there was a 
decision to create a character who was like Davy Crockett, but in 
modern times, and a kid.  I can't imagine Gottfredson himself would 
have created that character if he were writing the strip, too, at 
that point.
      There were apparently several stories pairing Goofy and Li'l 
Davy, because the one you describe isn't the one I remember.  In 
fact, the one I remember was reprinted by Gladstone, in their 
DISNEYLAND BIRTHDAY PARTY special of 1985.  I imagine that they 
couldn't get away with reprinting that story now.  Again, the Indians 
are pathetically stupid -- I don't like to see stories banned, but 
this one is just unbelievably bigoted...  One good pun, though:
      Davy:  "Watch out, Pardner!  Them Indians is hostile!"
      Goofy:  "'Hoss-tail Indians'!  What a yoo-nique name they 

      The story you mentioned with MM and Goofy in with real people 
was one of three "MM: Super Secret Agent" stories done in 1965.  In 
my own opinion, the less said about these, the better, even though 
they were an interesting experiment.

      Per asked about what Dave Rawson had written for Egmont.  Well, 
he wrote the lead story in DDA 29 -- "Tour de Jour", which was 
published earlier by Egmont in mid-1993 (I don't know in which 
issue).  I've actually read the original script for this story, and 
all those characters on the bus have quite imaginative names, even 
when the story's dialogue itself never names them.  That crabby 
chicken-fellow is named Red O'Ruckus, and I like that name so much, I 
might use the character in one of my own Duck stories (if it's okay 
with you, Dave).  I was planning to include him in my Fethry story, 
simply because it seemed to me he'd be the ideal chap for the 
"classic" S-code Fethry to drive completely nuts.  If you think 
Donald has a bad temper, Red O'Ruckus seems to complain about damn 
near EVERYTHING.  Glad you're on board, Dave!  Can you tell us about 
some of your Mickey tales?

Jorgen again:
>      In one story Fethry wants to get famous quickly. He wants to
> be the first one to ride down a big waterfall in a barrel.
      This story is -- ahem -- STOLEN from a 1957 Woody Woodpecker 
cartoon film, "Niagara Fools."  Same exact situation, with someone 
trying to stop Woody (who in his cartoon incarnation isn't so unlike 
Fethry) from going over the falls, and that someone keeps falling 
over in the barrel, himself.  And every time he goes over, the 
onlookers in their rainjackets cheer.  Perhaps the only good Woody 
cartoon to be made after 1952.
      I'm guessing that the park ranger in the Donald version is J. 
Audubon Woodlore, the same old geezer who appears with Humphrey the 
Bear in the cartoons (and a few comics).  Always nit-picky about 
rules, and with a very good voice in the cartoons.  One of the few 
highlights of the 1950s Disney cartoons.

      The white cat you mention in the Donald-journalist stories is, 
I believe, the same cat from WDC&S 65, who appeared again in that Mau 
Heymans story about animal imitations a few weeks ago.  This cat is 
named Tabby in English.  Apparently the cat is a regular character, 
but only appears once in eons.
      And ONE Scrooge-as-newseditor story HAS appeared in the U. S. 
-- Disney published it.  But it wasn't a typical one, as it was made 
by Egmont.  It was titled "News Flash" and I believe, appeared in the 
first year of DDAD.  No Fethry though, just HDL.  But I SURE wondered 
what Scrooge was doing running a newspaper.  I believe that it was 
explained by the rewriter (Byron Erickson, I think) that this was 
just one of the many businesses Scrooge owned, and that he'd 
occasionally spend a while supervising it.

      Speaking of alternate universes, next fall Disney offers a 
daily TV series titled "Duck Daze."  I've mentioned it before, but 
now I've heard that Daisy has been completely redesigned for the 
series... that the nephews are to be teenagers (imagine them with 
their caps worn backwards)... that "Goof Troop" characters may also 
appear in the series...  No matter how good the writing or animation 
is in the series, the concept itself could never have come from 
anyone who held the comics in any very high regard.  Don Rosa's 
mentioned to me that the series will probably come and go as 
DuckTales did, but do you notice something?  Scrooge and the Beagle 
Boys are always depicted now, in Disney Studio merchandise, in their 
DuckTales versions, even with that show a thing of the past.  And 
while this is stretching it a bit, all Chip 'n' Dale items now dress 
them as Rescue Rangers, even though that series is also long out of 
the spotlight.  What I'm worried about is that this show will change 
Disney's own concept of Daisy and HDL for good.  Sure, they'll always 
be their real selves to us.  But face it, even with the disrespect 
that the comics have in the States, at least people recognize Daisy 
and HDL in their traditional appearances.  Five years from now, will 
people look at a Disney comic and say, "Those aren't the real HDL"?
      Disney's idea that the characters really live in Toontown, and 
that everything outside of that are only roles they play, REALLY 
irritates me in its disrespect for all continuity up until now.

      That's all for today... and I think I've nattered on much more 
than usual, so I'd better bid you adieu.

      David Gerstein
      <9475609 at arran.sms.ed.ac.uk>

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