When King Frederic and Queen Arianna go out of town to celebrate their anniversary, Rapunzel becomes QUEEN FOR A DAY! Life is like a hurricane when Huey, Dewey, and Louie Duck discover their uncle is none other than trillionaire treasure hunter Scrooge McDuck!
Rapunzel in “Tangled: The Series,” episode “Queen for a Day,” is ready for her first day as the queen without the help of her parents who take a much-needed vacation. As King Frederic and Queen Arianna leave town to celebrate their anniversary, Rapunzel is sure she can handle the jobs of the throne with help from Paschal, Eugene, and friend Cassandra. Sidetrack: despite not having seen other episodes of this re-mastered version of Rapunzel, I don’t trust Cassandra and wish they hadn’t replaced Mother Gothel with this wannabe-bad-girl. Back to the plot, Rapunzel helps a friend, and the rest of her kingdom, with a rock outbreak (not sure how rocks grew so quickly in this episode) that threatened to overtake the castle, along with a blizzard so fierce and windy it forces people into their homes. Meanwhile, the King and Queen feel the effects of the terrible weather. Their horse-drawn carriage (yes, the horse was Maximus the lover of apples) slips and drops the Royals over a cliff where they need to be rescued. Rapunzel and her team scramble to find an old machine buried under the city of Corona that would shift the bad weather out to sea.
The forty-six-minute episode ends with a cliffhanger, strange for a cartoon, to encourage your children to seek out the next episode. I found the animated show lacked humor and a recognizable villain. By the end, unlike in a full movie, the long-haired heroine was despondent from her time as queen, leaving the cartoon on a sour note. Why couldn’t they have put two episodes on the DVD? Ten bucks for one episode and maybe about five minutes of extras? No thanks. Good news though, the episode kept both my six and ten-year-old daughters’ attention and I got shushed when I tried to talk while the show played. This DVD would be a good stocking stuffer despite the short length as the kids did seem to enjoy the rocky plot. I expected more from cartoons when I was a kid.
Speaking of when I was a kid, I loved “Duck Tales.” This new version, “Duck Tales: Woo-Oo,” took away everything great about the show and turned a classic into a flop. Let’s start with the ducklings. Huey, Dewey, and Louie were not precocious as in the 1980s versions but little brats who needed a smack across their smart little mouths. Donald, ever the duck with a foul disposition, was more disagreeable to the point of rudeness. Scrooge was the epitome of a cranky old man with a chip on his shoulder, to the point of exaggeration. Not one character possessed any redeeming qualities beyond the chauffeur who at least added a little humor to the forty-five-minute episode. Along with the housekeeper and her obnoxious granddaughter, the ducks set off to hunt for the underwater city of Atlantis. But first, Scrooge locked the three duck boys in a room with marbles and they ran across some ghosts while forced to spend time at their great-uncle’s house as Donald was on a job interview.
The family problems don’t stop there. Donald’s job was with the enemy also seeking the treasure of Atlantis. The birds bickered their way through the ocean never finding any comfort in family. The whole cartoon took on an attitude of disdain and aggravation. All three of my kids enjoyed the less than humorous flop but I lost interest when I heard one of the disagreeable ducklings encourage my children to lie for the greater good. Whoever created this cartoon must have wanted to make money off a popular name but obviously did not enjoy the older versions. The writer might need to seek counseling, he clearly has deep-seated family issues that should not have translated into a children’s show. We didn’t even get to see Scrooge swim around in his giant pool of money, apparently flying on a dragon can replace the vault of gold.
“Tangled: Queen For A Day” & “Ducktales: Woo-Oo!” both available now on Disney DVD