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Presenting: Lil’ Donald and Della’s First Adventure!

DuckTales Season 3, Episode 16- The First Adventure

DuckTales! Season 3, Episode 16 Review

Ah, the wonder of childhood. A time when the world’s new, exciting, and a grand adventure to be had! For Donald and Della Duck, though, it ended up being just that when they got to spend time with their Uncle Scrooge. We all know that Scrooge, Donald, and Della went on countless adventures in their younger days. Until now, though, we’ve never gotten to see what it was like for them. This week’s episode of DuckTales! gives us an adorable heaping of the past as we see the trio’s first adventure!

Did I mention that Lil’ Donald and Della are adorable?

Kids Will Be Kids

DuckTales Season 3, Episode 16- Lil' Donald n' Della

After flashing back to the 1960s to reveal the origins of F.O.W.L. (more on that later), we see Scrooge at the point in his life where he’s given up on his adventuring. While he did enjoy it, he only used it as a means to build his business empire up. Then Donald, Della, and a well-time call from the spy agency S.H.U.S.H. comes in, and blam! Scrooge’s forced back into his adventuring ways.

Having seen how the Duck triplets reignited his love for adventure in the pilot, seeing it happen decades earlier via Donald and Della seems like a hit-and-miss. Scrooge’s more or less the same as he was decades later. What really carries the story is seeing Donald and Della fit the kids roles decades later. Even as a kid, you can see so much of Huey, Dewey, and Louie in Della; Mostly Dewey if you ask me. As for Donald, I forgot he went through a grunge phase as a kid; still hilarious.

Overall, the episode, which focuses on this magic papyrus that can make anything written on it come true, is a nice glimpse at where the Duck Family got started, and where they end up going.

Bradford: A Sane Man in a World of Crazies.

The face on Bradford says it all: “I’m surrounded by idiots.”

As evil as Bradford Buzzard can be, we at least know why he thinks the way he does. All he wants is order and stability, and the Duck Family’s escapades invite chaos and destruction. In this episode, though, we see how he got started on the path that he’d eventually take, and it basically involves him feeling like he’s surrounded by idiots.

Bradford started as an accountant working for S.H.U.S.H. who was the only person sane enough to point out that the agency’s attempts to stop supervillains causes as much collateral damage as the villains themselves. His solution was to have them take over the world and rein in all chaos, and when they rejected it, he created F.O.W.L. to do it instead.

I know Bradford’s the bad guy (even if he insists he isn’t), but he has a point. The heroes escapades leave a lot of damage at times. Plus, when Bradford finds himself helping Black Heron fight Scrooge’s family, you get the sense that he wants to scream at everyone for how illogical their actions are. Why reveal themselves as the bad guys and give the heroes time to stop them? In fact, it’s only through using the Papyrus of Binding to wipe the heroes memories that Bradford keeps his cover. He used logic to win out over Scrooge and worm his way onto his Board of Directors.

What Bradford fails to get is that his solutions, like taking over the world, are no different than the villains. Ergo, he’s a villain. In addition, he fails to understand an inherent fact of life that Donald points out: you gotta embrace the experience, otherwise you’re not truly living.

Overall, I liked this episode. It gave us an origin story for the original Duck team and for F.O.W.L. while setting us up for future conflicts. I look forward to seeing where the show goes from here!

I Give “The First Adventure” A 4/5.

Stray Observations

  • That story that Scrooge was telling Donald and Della was the plot for the five-part pilot to the original DuckTales! Nice!

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