Saturday, September 08, 2018

Dolls, Ducks, and Princesses

It was raining at a pretty good clip when I got up this morning. I cheered up the gloomy day with breakfast and the first two episodes of the current version of Ducktales. "The Beagle Birthday Massacre" introduces Lena, a hip young girl who befriends Webby when she's left behind by the boys. They crash Ma Beagle's birthday party, looking for adventure. The boys show up to help when it turns out to be more action than they can handle. But as cool as Lena is, she's not what she seems...and her true allegiance may be with one of the worst villains Uncle Scrooge ever dealt with.

"The Living Mummies of Toth-Ra" is a bit more typical of the series. Launchpad, Uncle Scrooge, and the kids get lost in an Egyptian pyramid. Louie and Webby end up in the treasure room, but they also discover the angry pharoah Toth-Ra, who isn't happy with anyone taking his treasure. Meanwhile, the others try to gain the support of his followers, including introducing them to Mexican food.

The rain had finally ended by quarter of 11, when I headed out for the Collingswood Farm Market. While not dead, the late hour and bad weather had taken it's toll on the crowds. I had no problems checking out the groaning tables laden with produce. Saw the first winter squash of the year, including butternut and acorn. I settled for Italian plums, small Gala apples, and Chinese beans.

I rode around for about 20 minutes, looking for Collingswood Music. I was hoping they'd have a record needle. They used to be on Haddon Avenue, but they moved a while back. I did find their new location, but it turns out that they don't open until noon. It was only around 11:30 at that point. I had too much that I needed to do to wait, so I moved on.

Took the long way down Collings Avenue, making a short but fruitless stop at CVS before riding over to Dad and Jodie's house. Along with picking up the pan from the peanut butter icebox cake (which they never finished), I had an idea for Friday. Instead of them driving me into Philly, they could drop me off at Collingswood. There are trains that go from the Septa stations neare the PATCO right to 30th Street. (In fact, it only takes five minutes to get there from 8th Street by train.) Dad said he was fine with driving me to the station on Friday (despite construction and street work going on), but I could take the trains home next Friday. I won't be in until 5:30, the height of rush hour.

When I got home, I had a plum-gray squash smoothie for lunch, then made Peanut-Chocolate Chip Muffins while watching the remaining Ducktales episodes. Uncle Scrooge wants to spend his Christmas conquering "The Impossible Summit of Mt. Neverest." He tried to climb it years before, but was betrayed by his guide, George Mallardy. Meanwhile, Webby and Dewey try to figure out the best slope to use for sledding, Huey wants to discover all of Neverest's secrets and earn his Junior Woodchuck cartography badge, and Louie helps Launchpad get back at a salesman who sold him a load of gear for his non-existent "ice fever."

Donald replaces Launchpad for "The Spear of Selene." The ducks find themselves stranded on Ithaquack, the home of the Greek gods. Zeus is jealous of Uncle Scrooge, who had bested him at various events when he passed through before. He orders Donald to compete with the legendary Storkules. Dewey and Webby have more serious reasons for exploring as they search a temple for a item that might lead to the location of the boys' missing mother Della.

Dusted the apartment after I put the muffins in the oven. Except for the sawdust-covered window ledges that look out onto the porch, it wasn't really that bad. I pretty much dusted around most things. I'll do more thorough cleaning later in the fall, before the holidays kick in.

Launchpad learns to "Beware of the B.U.D.D.Y System" when he challenges arrogant industrialist Mark Beaks to a race against his new robot car. Not only does he lose the race, but it turns out that the designs originally belonged to Gyro Gearloose, who isn't too happy with his intern Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera for posting them online. Launchpad and Fenton get a chance to prove themselves when the robot car traps Uncle Scrooge, Dewey, Mark, and Gyro. Fenton gets a chance to show off his and Gyro's latest invention - an Iron Man-style suit of armor that turns him into the superhero Gizmo Duck!

"The Missing Links of Moorshire" has Uncle Scrooge playing his rival Flintheart Glomgold in a not-so-friendly game of golf in Scotland. The game turns deadly when they're all spirited away by druids to a magical realm where kelpies take the form of cute ponies and a strange mist drifts around the trees. Dewey wants to learn the game, but his methods are energetic but not exactly keeping with the strict rules of golf, until Scrooge realizes there's a place where they may just save them all. (And the obvious My Little Pony parody here is kind of interesting. Hasbro, who owns My Little Pony, is the manufacturer of Disney toys.)

Finished out the dusting as I moved to two episodes of the original late 80's Ducktales. "Ducky Mountain High" takes Scrooge and the kids out west, where his old girlfriend Glitterin' Goldie has a plot of land filled with gold trees. Trouble is, Glomgold has also learned about Goldie's land and is determined to take those trees for himself.

When Fenton's mother somehow manages to shrink  his GizmoDuck suit in "New Gizmo-Kids On the Block," it ends up in the wings of the boys and Webby. They're the ones who end up saving the day when the Beagle Boys try to steal it.

( much as I still enjoy the original series, the new one is great, too. I love most of the updated characters, especially Webby and Fenton. I may have to look up the rest of the first season to see how the story lines involving Della and Lena's "aunt" pan out.)

Switched to dressing the dolls after I finished the dusting. It's now way too cold for bathing suits. While it is supposed to get warmer next week, it's not going to be nearly as hot as it was. Samantha is in her blue and white windowpane check Play Dress and Pinafore with white Springfield Collection socks and her black strap shoes. Jessa wears her high-necked striped shirt from her original meet outfit and a pair of shorts I bought from a doll clothes seller at a craft show. Ariel gets the American Girl tie-dye t-shirt from the 90's and a pair of Springfield Collection capris and sneakers. Put Whitney in Kit's Scooter Dress with the ruffled skirt and Molly's white t-strap shoes. Josefina sports her orange and red-print Summer Dress with the faux-leather vest and boots. Left Felicity in her lavender Traveling Gown. I really don't have much to change her into.

Worked on writing for a while after I finished the dolls. The Force magic does not like Yasmin trying to take it! It finally dissolves her, leaving her as nothing more than ashes on the stage, to the shock of Leia and Luke. They catch up with Harry knocking Roberto Fettara out as Artie and Yoda arrive with the police. Clarence turned out to be hiding under a table; he'd grabbed Artie's drinks cart and got very drunk.

Broke for leftovers for dinner around quarter of 7. I began the Elena of Avalor DVD while dusting; finished it out during dinner. Elena travels to the magical "Realm of the Jaquins," the bird-leopard guardians of Avalor, to convince the father of one of the jaquins to give him another chance at becoming a guardian. She and her wizard friend Gabe are followed by the thieves Victor and Ciela, who unleash a sprite that wants to destroy all the towns in Avalor and restore the trees and flowers there. Elena seeks the help of the mystical Sunbird Oracle, who can predict the future...including telling her of a dark magic that will challenge everything she believes in.

"Three Jaquins and a Princess" is far less dire. Elena leaves her little sister Isabel in charge of three Jaquin eggs while she judges a castle bake-off. The eggs hatch while they're in Isabel's care. She keeps insisting that she's not a kid and can handle anything, but the trio of baby jaquins prove to be far more of a handful than she expected.

The evil sorceress Shriki is back by the time of "Shapeshifters." The Council wants Elena to stay in the palace and rule the kingdom, but Elena feels that her place is in finding Shriki. She convinces Gabe to change her and a palace guard into jaquins so they can go out and look for her. They use a party for one jaquin as an excuse, and get embroiled in the feud between a chief and his son, who wants to rule the clan himself.

The remaining cartoons are shorts that were shown on Disney Junior. Adventures in Vallestrella had Elena trying to get the jaquin cubs and Isobel to observe various animals, but they can't help getting involved with them. Scepter Training with Zuzo is what it says on the tin - Elena learns to use her magical sceptor with the help of her spirit guide Zuzo.

(And while I did enjoy these episodes, including "Shapeshifters" - which seems to be part of a larger story - with the others was confusing. They really should have included it with the other episodes revolving around Shriki's return and found another jaquin-based episode for this set.)

Finished the night with Summer Magic, a charming Disney live-action musical from the early 60's that I traditionally watch every year between late August and early October as a way to say good-bye to the summer season. I go into it in more detail at my Musical Dreams Reviews blog.

Summer Magic

Oh, and it's rained off and on all day, though never as heavily as it did this morning...or as it's supposed to for the rest of the weekend. We'll see what happens.

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