Ducktales Episode 4: “The Beagle Birthday Massacre” Review
This episode starts off reminding us how Webby is close with the boys, but is still never going to be part of their triplet bond. Sometimes, boys need to be boys, have inside jokes, and go off making their own mischief. Feeling a little left out, Webby sits on the beach patiently waiting for her friends to return from their fun day, until she finds a call for help in a bottle! The bottles turn out to just be a prank from a duck named Lena, who Webby quickly befriends. Making use of Webby’s athletic abilities, Lena uses her to get into a Beagle Boy party, only for the two to get spotted. The rest of the episode follows the two trying to escape the different divisions of Beagle Boys who are chasing them throughout Duckburg.
I really loved this episode, it was a very isolated story for Webby, barely incorporating the boys and absolutely no inclusion of Donald, Beakley, or Scrooge. While most would want the focus of Ducktales to be on Scrooge and the boys, I really like the idea of giving each character individual focus once in awhile. The story itself was simple, but the different Beagle Boys were so creative and (kind of) make them a bigger threat than if they were just a team of 3.
Lena was such a welcome addition to the cast. I was worried she would kind of end up the “edgy” girl and be nothing beyond that trope, but that wasn’t the case at all. She is plenty of fun with Webby, and their differing personalities end up working off each other perfectly. Lena is clearly a troublemaker, but Webby is not much different, she’s just a little more innocent about it. I really loved Webby’s innocent humor such as asking if her pink hair was from someone pranking her, which had me laughing pretty hard!
As I said, the boys have a smaller role in this episode, but they are just as good as always once they do show up. One joke I found particularly funny was when Lena make a reference to them having coordinated colors and identical personalities, followed by them speaking in sync accidentally.
I don’t have any glaring flaws with the episode, besides a minor gripe at the CGI used for the Beagle Boy’s truck in one scene. It was very brief but the animation stood out against the otherwise gorgeous 2D style of the show. I would recommend sticking to the 2D animation as often as possible.
In the end, this was a solid episode to a so far stellar series. I love that the show is going for character centric episodes, rather than a similar flow to every episode like the original series had. I also love that Webby is getting plenty of development early on, since she is easily the character the creators took the most liberties when working on. Going forward, I can’t wait for more solo episodes, and I personally hope Donald gets one! I also hope Lena recurs often, since she makes a great friend for Webby, who’s currently the only female representation (besides Beakley, as minor as she currently is). If you aren’t already watching this awesome series, I highly recommend getting on that soon, while the show is still early in its run!