DuckTales combines the worlds of Norse mythology and professional wrestling in this week’s new episode entitled “The Rumble for Ragnarok!” It’s an extremely silly though often funny installment that makes good use of Huey, Dewey, and Louie’s very different personalities– a much-appreciated aspect that this reboot series established early on in order to differentiate it from its progenitors. But this episode also feels like it may be a little too “out there,” even for a show that regularly sees its Duck family protagonists encountering a wide variety of paranormal phenomena on their globe- (and space-) hopping adventures.
At the outset of “The Rumble for Ragnarok!”, Scrooge McDuck (voiced by David Tenant) is bringing his three grand-nephews (Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz, and Bobby Moynihan, respectively)– plus their live-in best friend Webbigail Vanderquack (Kate Micucci) and dim-witted pilot Launchpad Mcquack (Beck Bennett)– to the mythical Valhalla to watch him compete in a brawl against the Midgard Serpent Jörmungandr (guest star Kristofer Hivju AKA Tormund Giantsbane from Game of Thrones) with the literal fate of the world in the balance. For that reason the stakes of this story immediately feel too big and then simultaneously too small, as this contest is soon revealed to be decided by a WWE-style pro wrestling match.
Scrooge seems uncharacteristically willing to play the role of the money-grubbing heel known as the Millionaire Miser in this competition, and things get even crazier pretty quickly with the addition of more otherworldly wrestlers like the magic-haired Strongbeard (Futurama’s John DiMaggio) and the eventual involvement of the nephews– an early twist that seems similarly unlikely, considering how hesitant Scrooge usually is to put his young family members in direct physical danger. All this adds up to one of the more outlandish episodes this show has done in its three seasons, and it all kind of feels like an excuse for the DuckTales writing staffers to devote an entire half hour to their favorite sport / performance art.
There are some good bits here and there, like Launchpad discovering his true calling as a ringside announcer and Louie’s uncanny ability to generate oddly specific souvenir t-shirts faster than he can sell them, but overall “The Rumble for Ragnarok!” never really connected with me. As absurdly high-flying as this show can be sometimes, I think I prefer it when it feels just a little more grounded.
New episodes of DuckTales air Saturday mornings on Disney XD.
Mike serves as Laughing Place’s lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly “Who’s the Bossk?” Star Wars podcast. He’s been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general since a very young age and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.