The Fountain of Youth is such a familiar trope in the adventure and exploration genres that it was bound to be a focus of a new DuckTales episode before long– of course the original 1980s version of the show dealt with it in the episode “Sweet Duck of Youth,” but now we get to enjoy a fresh spin on the concept with “The Forbidden Fountain of the Foreverglades!”
Uncle Scrooge McDuck (voiced by David Tennant), his three young nephews (Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz, and Bobby Moynihan as Huey, Dewey, and Louie, respectively) and Webby Vanderquack (Kate Micucci) head to a hotel in the Neverglades– basically a Duck universe take on Florida swamps– in search of the next item on Isabella Finch’s list of missing mysteries. Unfortunately for Scrooge, the hotel is mostly occupied by loud, partying spring breakers, and there’s no one who gets on his nerves more. Except maybe Goldie O’Gilt (Allison Janney), his longtime love interest / rival, who also pops up on the scene in an effort to beat Scrooge to the punch of discovering the Fountain of Youth’s secret location nearby.
Naturally, the nephews each have their own ways of wanting to experience this pseudo-vacation after Scrooge, Goldie, and Webby set off on a race to the fountain. Huey wants to plan everything out in advance and follow every moment down to the pre-scheduled minute, Dewey wants to go wild and have fun in the exact opposite way, and Louie pretty much just wants to sleep on a pool chair. An argument about which of them gets to be in charge ends with Dewey mysteriously going through a quick growth spurt, which turns out to be part of the key to unlocking this episode’s larger mystery. In the swamps, Scrooge and Goldie grow younger after being exposed to two different sources of water, though which actually had that effect on them becomes important as well as the story goes on.
It’s great to see all three nephews bouncing off each other in close quarters like this, as a lot of recent episodes have seen them separated or divided into other groups. It’s also a hoot to watch Webby have to become the adult in the room when Goldie and Scrooge start acting like young, carefree adventurers again, to the point where their romance is more than rekindled for a few minutes there. Plus, we get the malevolent return of the villainous John D. Rockerduck (The Daily Show’s John Hodgman) in a pretty hilarious– and admittedly fairly creepy– manner. And LOST star Nestor Carbonell is clearly game for hamming it up as the hotel’s proprietor, a lion who has a lot to hide when it comes to his knowledge of the Fountain of Youth’s history. Overall, “The Forbidden Fountain of the Foreverglades!” is a rollicking return to form for the DuckTales reboot. It’s always refreshing to see these characters reclaim their treasure-seeking roots in a way that feels especially true to the comic-book work of Scrooge McDuck creator Carl Barks.
DuckTales airs Mondays on Disney XD.
Next week: “Let’s Get Dangerous!”
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.