Animation Trails
December 20, 2023 posted by Charles Gardner

Unpredictable as Weather (Part 38)

We’ll finish up with Disney TV today, with multiple weather episodes of Winnie the Pooh, Aladdin, and Kim Possible, a stray adventure with Lilo and Stitch, and a relatively new Mickey Mouse cartoon that places Mickey and Donald into some epic storm action in nostalgic remembrance of their good old days.

Bubble Trouble (The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, 9/23/89) – An uncharacteristically “toony” concept for a Pooh episode, pilfering liberally from Robert McKimson’s The Hole Idea. Another blustery day is making its way through the Hundred Acre Wood. The brunt of the windstorm hits Gopher’s house (actually, nothing more than a mailbox, and the hole entrance leading to his underground tunnels – his designer must be Bugs Bunny). As Gopher pops his head out of the hole to investigate the weather, he is blown upwards, left clinging to his mailbox to keep from being blown away, While in this helpless state, the hole of his main entrance is literally peeled off the ground by the wind as if made of flat black paper, and goes flying past Gopher into the woods. When the wind lulls enough to allow Gopher to fall from the mailbox back to the ground, he tries to catch up with the hole, pouncing upon it. However, the pounce settles the hole back upon terra firma – causing Gopher to fall through it, deep into his tunnels. Then, another gust lifts the hole off the earth again, and Gopher has to dig his way up through solid ground to make his reappearance. Despite having just made a new tunnel entrance, Gopher insists that the old hole was the best one he ever had, and races off, pursuing the elusive hole into the forest.

Much special effects budget is saved by suddenly having the winds die down for most of the episode. Pooh and Tigger note things are all clear, allowing Tigger to enjoy what he wants to do on this day – produce bubbles, with the use of a dish of soapy water and a tennis racquet serving as a bubble wand. Pooh comments that it’s a shame the pretty bubbles only last such a short time before popping. This prompts Tigger into an inventing mood, and he sets himself the task of coming up with the creation of the unpoppable bubble. Despite some interruptions by Gopher passing through in search of his missing hole, Tigger begins cooking up his own bubble solution in a pot, including ample supplies of glue, honey, and jalapenos (the latter of which melt away the strings of Tigger’s racquet when he uses it for a stirrer). Having only the wooden frame of the racquet left, Tigger creates one huge bubble with it instead of many small ones. The bubble settles upon Pooh, surrounding and capturing him, then solidifies. Tigger’s invention works, and the bubble indeed appears unpoppable. Of course, if no one can get in, how can Pooh get out? A question indeed, with no ready solution. In his bubbled state, Pooh proves to be nothing but a problem, rolling randomly and bouncing endlessly like a “super-ball” from days of old, leaving a path of destruction everywhere. After Pooh nearly wrecks Rabbit’s house. Rabbit comes up with what seems the only practical use for the bubble. Grabbing some red paint, Rabbit paints the bubble, then disguises it as a giant apple, hoisting it by rope into an apple tree and tying it to a branch, to inspire the other apples to grow as big as it is – while also keeping Pooh out of the way. Pooh is left hanging around, until a short rain shower washes off the red paint, revealing Pooh to view again. Along comes Gopher, literally “combing” the forest with a fine tooth comb for his missing hole. He and Pooh exchange a few friendly words, both feeling like outcasts these days, and Pooh comments that the only hole he knows of is the one in his pocket. Gopher asks for a look-see at such hole. To his surprise, Pooh produces the folded-up hole of Gopher, which he had found in the woods without knowing whose it was before getting trapperd in the bubble. Gopher informs him this is the solution to his problem, telling Pooh to stick the hole on the side of the bubble. Pooh does, but it slips to the bottom of the bubble instead, and Pooh falls out through it, to the ground. Gopher peels it away from the bubble’s bottom, regaining his property, and all ends happily – except for Rabbit, who still thinks holes are absolute silliness, until Gopher demonstrates by tossing the hole into Rabbit’s path. Rabbit takes the plunge down into Gopher’s tunnels, and is forced to remark from the depths, “I have a ‘hole’ new outlook on holes.”

Rock-a-Bye-Pooh Bear (8/25/90) – Piglet is having a rough night – that is, night-mare. The film begins without revealing we are inside Piglet’s dream, as Piglet, Pooh, and Tigger venture into the woods on a picnic. Rabbit’s ears begin to wig-wag, which he states is a sure sign that it will rain cats and dogs. Pooh comments that he hopes they bring their own lunch. Tigger voices an opinion that the clouds are full of nothing but sunshine – and to be sure, he’ll bounce up there for a closer look. Tigger bounces into the sky, and never comes down. Rabbit disappears in a magical carrot car produced from his picnic basket. Pooh is still in search of a small smackerel of honey from a pot – and falls into the jar while looking, never to climb back out. Piglet suddenly finds himself alone, without his friends, as the storm hits with full fury, turning into a cyclone and sucking up the pathway on which Piglet stands. Piglet races to escape the cyclone, and awakens to find himself running atop the bedsheets. Piglet is so afraid his dream of losing all his friends might come true, he refuses to go to sleep again. His friends try to assure him that it was a harmless dream, but rabbit’s ears begin to wig wag for real, making only firmer Piglet’s resolve. Pooh observes that if Piglet won’t go to sleep, maybe the only way to make him unafraid of it is to convince him that he is already asleep – while he’s awake. Tigger thus poses as the sandman, dumping a bucket of sand on Piglet’s bed, then Rabbit and Pooh emerge, claiming to be taking Piglet on the picnic from his dream. Rabbit’s ears wig wag, and Tigger (now out of his disguise) compliments Rabbit on his nice acting. But Rabbit isn’t acting – this time, it’s a whopper of a storm for real. Tigger is blown upwards into the sky. Rabbit is blown down the road. And Pooh follows, clinging to his honey pot. But the “dream” ends differently, as Tigger this time comes down, landing on Piglet, and is thus found rather than lost. Rabbit is likewise found buried in a pile of carrots uprooted from his garden. Pooh is as predicted wandering around with his head stuck in his honey pot, and is also located. Piglet says he’s not afraid anymore of having this dream come through, as everything ended happily, and they’re still together. Only Pooh doesn’t hear this – as he has fallen fast asleep.

Another episode of Pooh centers on Tigger. Cloud, Cloud, Go Away (10/19/91) = This story may well have had an old cartoon in mind to plagiarize in the same manner as “The Hole Idea” discussed above – in this instance, a Felix the Cat cartoon which came to be known as “Mount Boom Boom”, which will be discussed in a subsequent chapter. The lifted plot idea is the consequences of insulting a temperamental cloud. Tigger is attempting a difficult bounce over a very tall tree, when a small cloud casts a shadow over him, disrupting his concentration and energy-inspiring sunshine. Tigger attempts to shoo the cloud away, throwing a rock at it. But when Tigger attempts to bounce again, the cloud blows right in his way, enveloping Tigger before he can make the jump. Tigger shouts that the sky isn’t big enough for the both of them. The cloud retaliates, by beginning to rain – only on Tigger, and following him like a shadow wherever he goes. Tigger is forced to don a rain hat and slicker, and rabbit begins to harness his unusual ability to draw rain by strategically placing Tigger among his vegetables to get needed irrigation. Pooh and Piglet offer an assist, dressing in tiger stripes and bouncing with the aid of a bedspring and pogo stick, distracting the cloud long enough for the real Tigger to lasso it. But the cloud turns black, and burns up the rope with a lightning bolt, then pursues the three “Tiggers”, three times as mad. Pooh finally convinces Tigger that maybe the only way to satisfy an angry cloud is to apologize to it. Tigger does so, and the cloud stops raining, then, as a further sign of forgiveness, lowers a rainbow ramp for Tigger to climb aboard, and transports Tigger back to the tree he was attempting to bounce, letting Tigger complete the jump from his elevated starting point off the cloud. The cloud extends a fluffy “arm” in embrace of Tigger as a friend, then leaves to rain on others, while Tigger leaves on business, too, having seen an even taller tree to bounce from his vantage point while riding the cloud.

Another triple-dose of weather is dealt from “Aladdin”. Fowl Weather (2/20/94) is a script that feels weak on plot, but aims for some personality situation comedy and the introduction of a new character. Aladdin and the gang are attempting to help out a local boy whose family’s fig trees are dying from the drying up of an underground spring. Lugging water urns from town isn’t keeping up with the trees’ needs, and their fruit is turning to powder. Genie transforms into a drill, but can find no further trace of the spring below ground. Genie’s weather forecast (in the guise of a TV weatherman) ranges from hot and dry to dry and hot. Jasmine notices one indication of rain on the lower end of the weather map – a tropical rain forest. A road trip is arranged by Genie in attempt to bring some of such abundant rain back to Agrabah.

In the jungle, the gang spots in the skies what appears to be a swift-traveling rainbow, and investigate high above. There, they meet up with a large green tropical bird with South American accent, wearing a crown and with tail plumage in all colors of the rainbow. She is Thundra the Weather Bird, ruler of this domain, and the creator of all the world’s weather and precipitation. She has the power to conduct clouds, which fill up from local waterfalls as if on an assembly line. However, she does not like intruders into her sky domain, and directs an attack of thunderbolts upon Genie and Carpet, forcing Aladdin and the gang back to the ground, and singeing several tail feathers of Iago. However, Thundra has noticed Iago in this first meeting, and given him a bit of a flirtatious wink. Aladdin suggests using Iago as a diversion of Thundra’s attentions, while Genie wrangles one of the clouds away in cowboy fashion. Jasmine is the only one against the plan, noting it’s not right to toy with a woman’s affections. Iago, against his better judgment, plays Romeo, apologizing for his group’s intrusion, and showering Thundra with compliments. Thundra eats it up, seeing hearts in her eyes, and nicknaming Iago her little giblet. Iago tries a suggestion of a demonstration of Thundra’s powers by letting a little rain fall on Agrabah, but Thundra notes that she does not do deserts. Genie meanwhile captures a cloud, compressing it into a bottle. Announcing that the Carpet is departing, Genie signals Iago that the time for romance is over. The gang departs, but Thundra notices that one of her clouds is not in its assigned place. Assuming this was Iago’s doing, she masses together an army of clouds for an attack.

Back in Agrabah, Genie releases the cloud, but in an inappropriate place – inside the palace. The great hall is quickly flooded to the windows. Worse yet, the desert sees its first massive thunderstorm ever, as Thundra’s cloud army advances on the palace, blasting away at its domes with lightning bolts. Jasmine reminds them that this is what they get for hurting a woman’s feelings. Aladdin decides to fly up upon Carpet to speak to Thundra, and take responsibility himself for masterminding the cloud theft. Iago at first chooses to sit things out inside the palace, but begins, for once, to have his own remorse, and realization that Thundra wasn’t so bad. To Aladdin’s surprise, Iago passes him on the way up, reaching Thundra first. Iago fesses up, takes the blame, and of his own will apologizes. Thundra embraces him as her giblet again, calls off the cloud army, and all is forgiven. Her cloud slips out of the palace tower and rejoins Thundra in formation, and Thundra returns to her rain forest, reminding Iago that he knows where to find her. Iago threatens Aladdin to never breathe a word of this mushy stuff to the others, but Aladdin is more than happy to be sworn to secrecy. With the palace still full of needed water, Genie digs a tunnel to the location of the boy’s fig trees, restoking the underground spring and saving the crop.

In Air Feather Friends (9/5/94), Abu, still prone to his kleptomaniac ways despite Aladdin’s rise in stature, is in a scrape again for swiping fruit from a local stand in the marketplace. Aladdin makes good Abu’s debts, but one of the palace guards with a hefty appetite would rather take it out of Abu’s hide for stealing what would have been his lunch and making a fool of him. Suddenly, an unexpected phenomenon occurs. A violent windstorm kicks up outside the city gates, and despite the guards’ best efforts to shut the doors, three large sand whirlwinds blow right past them, entering the city. The regular cast hang onto anything solid in sight to keep from being blown away. While the guards label these intruders as “wind demons”, Aladdin notices that they seem to zero in on piles of coins, jewelry, and anything valuable, then make their escapr back outside the city walls. Aladdin bets that the “demons” are actually thieves with some sort of magical power. The guards, who have been helpless to stop the “demons”, take Aladdin up on that bet, and, to put the boastful youth in his place, demand as the stakes that, if Aladdin cannot bring back proof that the demons are human, Abu will be surrendered to the guards, and made the personal date picker for the fat guard. Unwisely saving face at the expense of his furry friend, Aladdin accepts the bet, with the counter-demand that if Aladdin wins, the fat guard will be the personal date picker for Abu.

Tracking the wind demons into the desert with the assistance of Genie (who provides rocket power and directions by transforming inro a weather vane to track the direction of the wind), Aladdin, Iago, and Carpet catch up with the mystery cyclones. They attempt to trip the three up with rope, but only get blown around until they are tangled in the rope themselves. Aladdin hurls a verbal challenge at them. “Run, you cowards”. The whirlwinds halt in their tracks, then from each, a human hand emerges with a scimitar. They attack with whirling blades, slicing off the lower half of Iago’s feathers. Genie counters by having Abu inflate him with a bicycle pump, then blowing a counter-gale at the three whirlwinds. The cyclones are spun backwards, and three thugs of recurring villain Abis Mal fall out. They quickly regain their velocity, sweeping their arms about to resume the form of whirlwinds, but make a retreat. One of them drops something from his hand – a golden feather. Iago discovers it, briefly inserting it into his own denuded tail to preserve a little dignity. Abu grabs it away, and gives it a swish, briefly producing a whirlwind around himself. Genie, in the manner of a contestant on Jeopardy, identifies it as the feather of a baby Roc – which possesses whirlwind power as a natural defense until it reaches age to fly. Abu wants to return to Agrabah with the feather to win the bet, but Aladdin wants to invade Abis Mal’s lair to also recover the stolen loot. They engage in a tug of war over the feather, and accidentally rip it in half, rendering it useless. The group is forced on to Abis Mal’s lair to obtain once again the needed proof.

At the thieves’ hideout, Abu picks a lock to open a giant cage, setting free a baby Roc captured by the bandits. Genie converts into a space shuttle, launching the baby burd past the villain’s guards, carrying the bird off to its home in parts unknown. But Abis Mal still has an ample supply of plucked feathers, and produces a large cyclone to blow the remaining good guys away – not realizing he has inadvertently aimed the cyclone straight in the direction of Agrabah. Abis Mal covers to his men that he meant to do that, wanting Aladdin to be there to witness his city trembling at Abis Mal’s feet when they attack. Aladdin’s whirlwind runs out of steam just outside the city walls – but Aladdin has no Roc feather to show as proof, so Abu is chained and taken away to pick dates. The arrival of seven whirlwinds flashing swords changes the picture, as Abis Mal reveals himself to boast of his intent to take the city, proving Aladdin to be correct. Aladdin and carpet run interference, neutralizing several of the whirlwinds by dropping various items into their funnel cones (such as the snake out of a snake charmer’s basket, causing a thief to flee in terror). But Abis Mal remains uncaptured – until a great shadow looms over him and his remaining men. Genie has brought back reinforcements – the mother Roc. With a few waves of her wings, she blows up the sandstorm of all sandstorms, leaving the villains retreating for their lives. Aladdin regains Abu, and the fat palace guard is forced to make good, picking only the juiciest dates for Abu.

Bad Mood Rising (9/6/94) provides plenty of opportunities for special effects. In a plot closely mirroring a famous “Twilight Zone” episode, a kingdom is held at the mercy of the whims and temper flare-ups of its boy-king, who somehow possesses an enchantment power over the land. When he is happy, the land is sunny, fertile, and flourishes. When he is in a foul mood, the land becomes cracked and barren, subject to all extremes of weather and natutral disaster, including storms, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc. Aladdin and Jasmine are invited under the guise of a diplomatic trade mission to this land, but really at the request of the king’s vizier, who seeks anyone to attempt to break the king of his foul moods and save the kingdom. A rich reward of jewels is offered by the vizier, and Aladdin, Genie, Iago and Abu put on a veritable three-ring circus, which only bores, then aggravates the King terribly. The King is briefly amused when Aladdin finds himself (with the unwanted help of his friends) juggling more swords than he can handle – but the King’s mood turns violent when the swords fly, pinning him against a wall. Storms rage outside the palace window, as the King announces, “We are not amused”. Jasmine covers for the situation, pretending to talk in an aside to Aladdin, but alluding to what happened to a certain king from a faraway land – making up a story as she goes, which intrigues the King. Before long, Jasmine is assuming the role of Scheherazade, captivating the King’s imagination with a story – and for once, the lands outside turn green and sunny. But the selfish King is not content to let things rest with one good story, and orders that Jasmine remain in his kingdom to tell stories whenever he wishes. Aladdin attempts a rescue, but the King unleashes lightning storms and multiple erupting volcanoes at them, causing Carpet to crash. The populace sides against Jasmine, intent on turning her over to the King to save themselves from an eternity of famine and turmoil. Jasmine tells Aladdin that, being raised as a princess, she knows when the people’s needs become more important than her own – and goes willingly with the King back to his palace. Genie remarks that Al shouldn’t be too hard on the kid, as he doesn’t really know what misery he is causing – giving Aladdin an idea. Aladdin makes a return to the palace, but instead of attempting another rescue, claims he is only there to say goodbye to Jasmine. The two embrace fondly, sparking a twinge of remorse in the King. Then Aladdin pulls out his Sunday punches, having more “relatives” of Jasmine enter to say their goodbyes – her mother, father, and dear ol’ gramdpa – all played by Iago, Abu, and Genie through disguises whipped up with Genie’s magic. The King begins crying, as a rain also blankets the kingdom outside, and he declares he can’t stand it any more, releasing Jasmine to return to her loved ones. As the regulars depart, the King remarks that suddenly, he feels good at having done a good deed. The kingdom becomes suddenly green and fertile again. Wondering why nobody told him it felt so good to do for others, he starts imagining a list of other good deeds he can do for the kingdom, such as releasing prisoners, refunding taxes, and maybe making everyone a vizier. Aladdin and Jasmine leave happily in embrace, while Iago frowns upon the mushy stuff, and reminds the couple, “There may be kids watching.”

Slushy (12/20/03), an episode of “Lilo & Stitch – The Series”, really doesn’t have much plot to offer, providing more action than storyline. Another of Jumbaa’s experiment pods has activated – a Stitch-like cousin who has the power of ice breath, bringing snow for the first time to Honolulu. Lilo, Stitch, Jumbaa and Pleakley are soon in pursuit of the experiment, but so is Gantu, as always. After initial reluctance to deal with the strange frozen white stuff, Stitch adapts his surfing skills to sledding and snowboarding, while Jumbaa learns the evil possibilities of a well-aimed snowball fight. Stitch falls victim of the freeze breath on first attempt at capture of the new experiment, but Lilo uses Stitch’s ray gun to blast Stitch free. The good guts capture the ice-critter first, sending Gantu on a fall into a canyon. Lilo convinces the critter to only show off its snow talents around her house, until Gantu steals the creature away, taking him to a high peak to create a mountain ice fortress. Eventually, our heroes and heroine make their way past the castle’s ice traps, armed with a secret weapon – another of Jumbaa’s experiments, which breathes fire. An epic battle of the elements begins – perhaps the kind of struggle we wish had been engaged in by Heat Miser and Snow Miser, with a dash of prediction of “Elemental” thrown in. After lots of battle moves that usually counter each other, the heat creature is frozen in an ice block – but Gantu faces a similar fate, at the hands of a snowball barrage by Stitch and Jumbaa, and ultimately surrenders, developing a head cold. Lilo names the ice creature Slushy, and finds him a home, substituting for the broken ice maker at a local sno-cone shop.

Kim Possible supplies two weather episodes, written as follow-ups to one another. Job Unfair (8/29/03) finds Drakken and Shego at a specialty sales lot, catering to the supervillain trade, dealing in weather machines. Drakken tries to appear the experienced buyer, lecturing Shego that any look of inexperience will cause the salesmen to attach like sharks – but blows his cool demeanor by reacting to the first machine he sees, “Ooh, shiny!” A fast sales pitch, and Drakken is putty in the salesman’s hands, sold on a state-of-the-art new model. “I’ll take it”, he announces – but means it literally, as he and Shego quickly fly away, absconding with the vehicle without waiting for anyone to write up a contract. More to boost his own ego that inform his partner, Drakken monologues of his plan, to create storms the like of which the world has never seen, and use them to conquer Canada, which Drakken intends to rule inder the new name Drakanada. Shego sarcastically remarks, “That really rolls off the tongue.” Shego searches for an owner’s manual in the glove compartment, but Drakken will not waste time with such things, insisting that the controls are designed to be intuitive. He presses, then pounds repeatedly upon a selected button, until a vacuum hose begins hauling up the water from a lake below. Unfortunately, the water fills the cockpit rather than reaching any holding tank, bringing the ship down for an abrupt landing, and forcing Shigo to pull a cord that empties the cockpit as if flushing a toilet. A return to the dealership is in order, to heist an owner’s manual so they will know what they are doing.

Meanwhile, Kim Possible and Ron are attending a job fair at school. Each class member is supposed to choose a mentor for a week. Kim has her eyes on a mentor in international diplomacy, but is tripped up by what appears to be a small mobile vacuum device under her feet. The device belongs to one Joe, the new school janitor, who is also on the mentor program. He takes the responsibilities of his position with military seriousness, and jumps to the conclusion that Kim has expressed an interest in learning the sanitation arts. Before Kim knows it, her principal has signed her up with Joe, to Kim’s extreme embarrassment. Ron, on the other hand, after turning down a mentor in the art of stuffing jelly donuts (“Too much math”), has his mentor come to him. As he opens his school locker, a machine inside takes Ron’s facial scan, then spits out a paper message, announcing that he has been accepted for lessons in super-spying under the tutelage of a mentor who must keep his identity a secret, and will communicate with him by self-destructing messages. Ron is sent a variety of spy gear, and matching James Bond-style suits for himself and Rufus the mole-rat.

Kim does her best to miss her appointments to meet with Joe, bit is nevertheless sought out by the determined janitor, who insists that he has much to teach, and will have Kim before the week is out able to field strip the vacuum device under battle conditions. Meanwhile, Kim’s tech-advisor Wade informs Kim of Drakken’s theft of the weather machine. Armed with the stolen manual, Drakken is now draining the great lakes dry – all save one. Kim ditches yet another session with Joe, and she and Ron travel to the remaining lake, finding the weather machine as expected. A battle with Shego results in their capture, and Kim and Ron are left tied to a grounded lightning rod, as Drakken’s self-created storm approaches with electrical fury. Who should arrive to the rescue, of all people, but Joe, who releases them from their bonds with a portable laser beam, then beckons them to follow on his own personal hover jet. Joe reveals that acting as janitor was merely his cover, and that he is a top-secret Canadian agent. He was the one who sent Ron the spy gear as his secret mentor, and also singled-out Kim, training her with his lectures on the mini-vacuum – which was in fact a miniature model of the weather machine. Despite Kim’s only half-remembering her lessons (“Am I bad”, she comments), she is sent in to board the weather machine and de-activate it. Another epic battle with Shego ensues, but Ron, in his usual bumbling fashion, lands on top of her after deactivating his rocket sneakers, giving Kim enough time to manipulate the master circuits of the ship and reverse the machine’s processes, breaking up the storm, and dumping the stored water back into the lakes. Drakken is subdued by Ron, who gives him a dose of sneezing powder from Ron’s secret-agent tie. Drakken’s sneeze blasts he and Shego back into the cockpit, where a hatch opens, burying them in fish sucked up with the lake water. Back at school, Joe departs for other missions, and a new janitor arrives. This German-accented fellow, however, reveals to Kim that he is a Bavarian agent on a top-secret mission. “Great. Here we go”, says Kim, looking to the skies as if to say “Why, me?”

Just in time for Christmas, we also have Day of the Snowmen (11/14/03). A freak snow-day has shut down school and traffic in Kim’s home town entirely, as news of the storm is telecast on a “Blizzard Watch” segment of the news by local weatherwoman Summer Gale. Mom and Pop Possible begin the winter tradition of building a snowman, while Kim and Ron ditch the ceremony in favor of a day of sledding on the slopes. But Kim notices the clouds above have an unusual greenish hue. A more pressing problem presents itself, as a batch of snowmen being constructed by local kids comes to life, and begins destructively rampaging. Kim intercedes, finding the snowmen to be easy targets for kicks and karate chops. The problem, however, is their sheer number, as many, many more rise from the snow on the slopes. A call comes in from Wade that the same thing is happening all over the tri-city area. A report from Summer Gale shows armies of the snow monsters looting the local mall from where she is reporting, and ends with Summer’s terrified scream as the shadow of the snowmen looms over her. Even the Possibles’ own family snowman begins to stalk the family. Kim and Ron commandeer a snowplow, making a rescue of a treed Summer Gale and her cameraman from a ring of snowmen waiting below. They then proceed to the Possibles’ house, which is also under attack. Summer and the cameraman duck inside with Mom and Dad, while Kim and Ron battle the monsters. But the snow legion is now building their own reinforcements, arming them with branch arms, scarfs, and top hats. Wade reports that the army seems to be converging – on Kim’s house. “Why would they want me?” asks Kim. Then her eyes fall on Summer, and, remembering the mall attack, Kim realizes that it’s the weatherwoman, not her, that the snowmen are after. Summer and the cameraman confess that, in an effort to boost her ratings share, Summer purchased a “pre-owned” weather machine, only used once in an attempt to conquer Canada – Drakken’s. For water supply, she had filled up from Lake Wannaweep – a toxic lake at the site of a summer camp that had previously been a “place of evil” from Ron’s childhood. Toxic lake plus weather machine equals snow zombies. Kim and Ron battle their way to the TV station, with booster rockets that Papa Possible just happened to bring home from work, fastened to their sled. Above, hidden in the clouds, hovers the weather machine. After battling more snowmen, Kim rigs up a launching ramp to jet the rocket sled into the sky, where it makes a safe landing atop the weather machine. Ron fiddles with the controls, producing rain, tornadoes, but not reversing the snow. Kim gives it her own try, just as Summer and Kim’s family face off before a giant snowman amalgamated from the combined forces of the snow troops. Kim hits the right buttons just in time, revealing the sun, and melting the snowman away. The toxic water is returned by Kim to Lake Wannaweep, while Ron continues to refer to the location as a “place of evil”.

Captain Donald (Mickey Mouse, 8/8/14 – Paul Rudish, dir.) takes a few story liberties with the background of Donald Duck, but brings Mickey full circle from his color debut in The Band Concert, once again thrusting him into the vortex of a storm. As he was often seen from the 1980’s onward, Donald Duck resides on an old ship (the yacht “Gone A-Fowl”), here anchored at the docks. Daisy, Minnie and Mickey arrive on a surprise visit, Daisy announcing that this is the day she’s taking up Donald on his procrastinated promise to take her sailing – and she’s brought Mickey and Minnie along to show off what a wonderful sailor man her boyfriend really is. Before Donald can raise a word in protest, the trio have boarded his boat, and the mooring rope has been unhitched from the dock. Mickey reports for duty as volunteer first mate, while the girls take up stations in lounge chairs on deck, preparing for a day of sun-bathing and sea spray. Donald doesn’t look so good, and Mickey inquires why. Donald makes a dark confession. He only wears his sailor suit because Daisy got it for him, crazy about a man in uniform. But in reality, he can’t sail. (Erase all memories of Donald’s past nautical exploits in “Sea Scouts” and “Chips Ahoy”.) Donald begs for Mickey’s help, as, if Daisy finds out his lack of seamanship, Donald fears they will be through. Mickey states things will be a cinch if Donald just goes up to the top of the mast, and unties the rope that will unfurl the sail. A few futile flaps of Donald’s wings, however, and Mickey is painfully reminded that Donald has never been able to fly, either. Abandoning the idea of the sail for the moment, Mickey constructs an extension to the stern of the boat, adding a rear paddlewheel, and a set of bicycle pedals for Donald to pump from a seat on the rear deck, while Mickey steers. Donald has trouble getting things started, but finds added pumping incentive, when a huge shark stares him in the face. Suddenly, the ship is moving at jet speed from Donald’s frenzied pedaling – but comes to an equally-sudden stop, as Mickey looks back to view the stern of the ship and paddlewheel chomped away in a shark-sized bite. Donald is seen along the horizon, desperately staying one wave ahead of the shark.

Mickey tosses out a line fashioned into a lasso, roping Donald, then yanks the rope to hail the duck back aboard. Donald flies through the air from the force of the rope pull, and fortunately lands high atop the mast, almost within reach of the rope suspending the sail. Daisy blows him a kiss, which knocks Donald loose from his grip on the mast. The duck clutches for anything within reach, and grabs the sail rope, releasing the boom to unfurl the sail. “You did it”, shouts Mickey. “I did?”. replies Donald, then converts it to “I did!”, striking a heroic pose atop the mast. His moment of glory does not last long, as his extended arm acts to attract a bolt of lightning from the sky, which sizzles not only Donald, but the sail too. Black clouds gather overhead, and the wind kicks up, billowing out Donald’s shirt like a mini-sail, and leaving the duck trailing ahead of the mast, with only one hand still grasping its tip. The pull upon Donald’s shirt propels the ship like a rocket, and as the girls scream in unison, Mickey pilots the shup over one wave crest after another, down the troths which follow, and even in a loop-de-loop between two waves. Then Mickey sees an even more ominous sight – the whirling base of a giant waterspout filling the sky. Donald’s shirt pulls the craft right into the whirling cone, where the ship spins endlessly round and round, until Mickey gets an idea. Yanking on the rope still lassoed around Donald’s waist, he jerks the duck free of the mast. Donald’s shirt now tugs him straight upwards – and the ship is lifted vertically along with him. The ship rises above the waterspout’s funnel, popping out the top, then shooting over the whirlwind’s walls, in free fall toward the ocean. Donald’s shirt-sail continues to tug the duck and the ship forward, and it skims along the water, traveling a quarter of the way around the world, back in the direction of home port. Mickey and Donald’s combined navigation guides the ship through a maze of other sailboats as they approach the marina, then right up to the dock where the episode began. The wind dies just as Donald passes over the dock, releasing the duck from flight, while Mickey, Minnie and Daisy hurry off the deck to the pier – a split-second before the ship sinks straight down into the bay. Daisy congratulates “her captain” on saving them from the storm. Exhausted Donald, however, looks at the remnants of his sailor shirt. “It’s ruined”, he moans. Daisy doesn’t miss a beat, as she carries for just such emergency a supply of other uniforms in her purse. In a twinkling, she has provided Donald with a new look – the uniform of an airline pilot. Falling into character, Donald announces “Get ready for take-off”, leading the gang forward, presumably to the nearest airfield. “Wow! You can fly a plane?”, asides Mickey to Donald. “NO!!!” responds Donald, with the same desperate look in his eyes as before, leaving Mickey to slap his hand across his own face, in a gesture signaling “Here we go again”, for the iris out.

Some selected highlights from other TV studios, next time. Merry Christmas, all!


  • Disney seems to have done a fair amount of plagiarising for story ideas in this week’s selections, but at least they’re plagiarising from the best.

    “Job Unfair” isn’t the first cartoon in which a supervillain uses a compression machine to suck up whole bodies of water as part of a nefarious scheme of conquest. Simon Bar Sinister did the very same thing in a four-part episode of “The Underdog Show”: “Simon says, dry up!” But… trying to take over Canada by afflicting the country with bad weather? That would be like conquering the Sahara with drought.

    It’s nice to be reminded what a great show “Kim Possible” was. I have a few episodes on DVD but haven’t watched them in years, so it might be time to take another look. I don’t mind the flipping in these Dailymotion videos, but it bothers me when they slow everything down and deepen the pitch of everybody’s voice.

  • These Mickey Mouse shorts were too short and they could have eased back on the Ren and Stimpy scatological humor. Still, they were hilarious.

  • Nothing about Phineas and Ferb inventing “S’winter”?

    • As I recall, the boys used a snow cone machine to create a winter wonderland in the middle of summer, but they didn’t affect the weather as such.

  • Does anyone remember Disney’s “Fillmore!”? It was a hilarious deadpan parody of 1970s Quinn Martin cop shows, about the heroics of the Safety Patrol at X Middle School. “A Cold Day at X” (23/11/02) takes place during a blizzard, as Fillmore spends the night in the school guarding the answers to the pre-algebra final exam from a gang of students determined to steal them. But when school is cancelled the following day due to the snowstorm, the gang breaks in, and Fillmore has to face them alone.

  • It’s time for

    In “Snowbound” (16/4/05), The Skeleton King offers to free the frost demon Morlath from his icy prison in the northern wastes if Morlath will cast a freezing spell upon Shuggazoom City. All at once the city, which has not known so much as frost in centuries, is in the grip of a terrible snowstorm, with the temperature continuing to fall. Chiro and the Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce go to find the source of the trouble and are attacked by an ice witch and her army of sentient ice creatures. It turns out that Nova, the only female Robot Monkey, is able to generate massive quantities of heat energy when she loses her temper, and by doing so she liberates Shuggazoom City from the deep freeze.

    Now that theme song is going to go around in my head all night….

  • Disney’s “Brandy and Mr. Whiskers” is set in the Amazon rain forest, but as far as I recall the only time it actually rains is in the episode “Rain Delay” (7/4/06). Brandy has an appointment for a samba lesson with a handsome monkey named Tito, but just as she is leaving for it a terrible thunderstorm breaks out. Her attempts to get through the storm all end in disaster, so she resigns herself to spending the day indoors with the annoying Mr. Whiskers. Much to her surprise, she eventually finds herself enjoying his company — that is, until he remembers that Tito left him a note cancelling Brandy’s samba lesson because of a family emergency. The episode ends, like to many others, with Brandy losing her temper and inflicting a barrage of offscreen violence upon Mr. Whiskers.

  • Disney’s “The Replacements” had some fun with inclement weather in “Snow Place Like Nome” (21/7/07). Middle school Principal Cutler refuses to cancel school during a severe snowstorm, having grown up in the Arctic, where such a blizzard would be considered a “light dusting”. So tween siblings Todd and Riley, as they always do in these situations, call up the Fleemco company and order a replacement for the principal: Principal Quinones, a surfer from the island of Tobago, who has never seen snow before and turns out to be terrified of it. He immediately cancels school, and extends the cancellation for another six weeks even after most of the snow melts because of the puddles of slush. Todd is delighted, until Riley reminds him that they’ll have to make up those six weeks during summer vacation. So they set out to help Principal Quinones overcome his fear of snow, and are so successful that he ultimately decides to join the Tobagonian Toboggan Team and train with them in snowy Nome, Alaska.

  • “Rock a Bye Pooh Bear” was made when Rich Harrison’s editorial team was still using a lot of Hanna-Barbera sound effects, so naturally this included the “Castle Thunder” sounds Disney and H-B used a lot prior to the 90s, along with a “distant thunder roll” effect H-B sometimes used in the early-to-mid 1960s.

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