It's easy to forget, what with all the cloud surfing and air pirates and giant bears wearing bomber jackets, but TaleSpin actually takes place in the distant past. Various wikis pin the general date to 1937ish, or around the same time as the first Indiana Jones movie. The timing is smart -- it lets the show focus on badass old-timey planes while still avoiding "Disney animals in World War II" and the anthropomorphic Nazi critters that come with it.
But Baloo's relative age and experience as a pilot means that he probably fought in World War I. He even references a Great War in an episode, looking back on it with a mix of reverence and fear.
Most Disney shows and movies get away with avoiding the horrors of reality by setting the stage in a completely different world, one where kids don't have to be taught about the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. But by specificially stating that "The Great War ended 20 years ago," Baloo implies that one of the world's most awful and grueling conflicts actually occurred. With talking animals.
Think about it. Cats in pointy helmets. Pandas choking on mustard gas. Hundreds of turtles and frogs vaulting over the trenches only to be instantly ventilated by machine gun fire, their piled bodies forming fleshy sandbag walls that protect the cowards left behind. Baloo survived it all, and probably flew planes that dropped bombs on all sorts of tigers and dogs and probably at least a few fellow bears. He still lives to fly, because it's the only way he can still feel anything.
But that's nothing compared to what'll happen a couple years after the show ends; if there was a World War I, you can definitely bet on a World War II...
Uncle Scrooge is a pretty terrible guardian. Yeah, he's richer than butterscotch cheesecake, but he's also miserly, mean and prone to undocumented globetrotting. Thanks to his various adventures, Scrooge now has several mortal enemies, including a powerful sorceress and gaggle of incompetent but permanently jailbroken criminals.
Uncle or no, Scrooge is pretty much the last person you want to leave your kids with, so it stands to reason that Huey, Dewey and Louie's parents had good reason to choose Donald Duck as their guardian instead. But DuckTales had to exist, so the show begins with Donald abandoning three children in order to join the Navy.
These kids have it bad. First, their mom and dad gave them these actual full names: Hubert, Louis and Deuteronomy. Then, their parents dumped them on an irresponsible moron, who proceeded to shove them off on a rich hermit the first chance he got. Do these kids have the worst luck in the world, or what? At this point, they're probably convinced that it's their fault and no one would want them.
Though there might be a reason for that.
The only mention of the boys' father was in this comic strip from 1937. In case you're not fluent in microscopic cursive, the note is from Della Duck, detailing the reason for foisting her spawn on her cousin, Donald. The horrifying excuse in this case: Dear ol' dad is in the hospital, because Huey, Duey and Louie put a firecracker on his chair. After this, Papa Duck is never heard from again.
Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Could their father have died of those injuries? Are these children secretly The Murder Triplets from Hell? That would explain why Donald would be so quick to get rid of the kids, finding respite on the open sea. Though Uncle Scrooge has as of yet to meet with an "unfortunate accident," it could be that Huey, Dewey and Louie are just biding their time until they get a piece of that money bin out of their uncle's will. I don't want to solve this mystery and thereby rewrite history, but for now the kids' motivations are at best, a duckblur.
Next up: Horrible realizations about Chip 'N Dale and Darkwing Duck that will make you recoil in horror while humming their catchy theme songs.
From the very beginning, Darkwing Duck was set up as a spoof in the spirit of classic superheroes and also old radio serials that everyone references but no one alive has ever listened to. Like most pulp vigilantes, Darkwing had a secret identity, in this case Drake Mallard. So by night, he's like Batman, stalking the streets in pursuit of fist-based justice. By day, he uh... well, they never really said. Seriously, it's unclear as to what in the hell Drake Mallard does for a living to support his expensive nightly hobby.
When Darkwing visits "our world," where Darkwing Duck is a TV show, the human kids even point this out.
That's a great question, kid. Where does Darkwing get all those wonderful toys? He's got gadgets out the wazoo, like a grappling gun and a gas launcher. Plus, it's probably not free to have Launchpad McQuack ride shotgun in a fancy sidecar.
Again, this is never explained, in all 91 episodes of the show. Drake Mallard wears a mild-mannered vest with no pants during the day, that's about as far as they go. As best as any wiki can tell you, Drake is a freelancer, which is just code for "unemployed with homework." So the only concievable way that Darkwing Duck is paying for his crimefighting life style is by racking up thousands, maybe millions of dollars in loans and credit card bills. In his vain quest to become a famous crimefighter, Darkwing is building an insurmountable mountain of debt that his adopted daughter will live with until her dying day.
But at least he's got a plane shaped like his own face.
Everyone in Chip N' Dale: Rescue Rangers worked their gimmick. Chip was the serious Indiana Jones type, whereas Dale had the laid-back Magnum P.I. attitude and Gadget was all about inspiring a cult of creepily sexual fan art. Monterey Jack has a lot going for him, including a badass mustache and a solid Aussie accent, not to mention being the bruiser of the group. But they don't call him Monterey Jack for nothing. He's got an... unhealthy affinity for cheese.
I am legally required to tell you that I am not a doctor because the government has yet to recognize my Ph.D. from ITT Tech, but I'd say there's a problem when your addiction triggers a physical transformation and telekinetic levitation. Anyone who watched the show witnessed this trance several times, even multiple times an episode. It almost always came at an inopportune time, like this point where Jack's addiction trance almost kills the gang by setting off a series of deadly traps.
At no point does the group ever try to address what a terrible condition Monterey Jack has. Well, that's not fair; there's actually an episode where Jack admits that he has a problem, and the gang tries to help him out by offering him cheese alternatives. But the capper of the episode is a throwaway line from MJ: "I'm a changed mouse. From now on, I'll mind my cheese and Qs... *sniffs cheese* ... first thing tomorrow." The gang laughs it off, brushing off Jack's relapse by saying he's "earned it."
Addiction is a serious matter, but nobody on the show seems to be concerned. Monterey Jack desperately needs an intervention, but the rest of the Rescue Rangers are content to remain enablers, hastening their friend's inevitable death by overdose. I don't have a follow-up joke. That's just really messed up.
But it's probably not as traumatizing as Goof Troop...
Absent relatives seem to be a common thread here. It's odd to think about when it comes to family-friendly media, but it's all over Disney's TV shows and movies. Besides the errant parents in DuckTales, Ariel, Aladdin, Belle, Nemo and the sisters from Frozen all have dead or missing moms and/or dads. There's gotta be a reason behind this pattern; maybe it creates a stronger bond between the family left behind. That seems to be the case for Goof Troop.
Until you think about the fact that in order for Goof Troop to occur, Goofy must have once had a wife. A wife that fucked Goofy.
As asexual as some of these characters are, those babies gotta come from somewhere. Cartoons get away with this simple truth because sex is never depicted, instead merely implied by the propogation of every species on the planet. You don't have to think about what Mufasa had to do to Sarabi to make a lion cub, because Simba is already born when The Lion King begins.
Somehow, the realities of sex are much harder to ignore when it comes to Disney's biggest doofus.
There's something especially disturbing about the idea of Goofy entering another person. What's sex with Goofy even like? Dude probably couldn't even put on a condom without it snapping off his dong and ricoheting around the room before landing in the back of his throat. I get that someone might fall in love with Goofy in a Jessica Rabbit/Roger Rabbit kind of way, but it's hard to believe that the inevitable "hyuks" and "gawrshes" would be effective pillow talk. And you just know that any climax would end in that classic Goofy scream, tainted by this new and terrible context.
By now you have imagined Goofy having sexual intercourse. There is no going back. I'm sorry. Here, have some brain bleach in the form of classic Disney theme songs: DuckTales, Goof Troop, Chip 'n Dale, Darwking Duck, TaleSpin and what the hell, Gummi Bears.