Duck Tales: “Home Sweet Homer” (1987)

23 min / Season 1, Episode 30 / English / dir. Alan Zaslove; written by Anthony Adams

In this episode, Scrooge McDuck and his nephews take a trip back in time to ancient Greece, after receiving a letter from Donald Duck, who is stationed on an aircraft carrier in Greece. Scrooge is excited by what he sees in the background of the accompanying photo Donald sent, which seems to show the remains of the lost Colossus of Ithaquack. Spurred on by the prospect of finding treasure there, Scrooge and the boys travel to Ithaquack. The story then cuts back to antiquity and to the troubled reign of King Homer, who has gone missing and whose subjects are lamenting both this fact, and the fact that he doesn’t hold a candle to their old king, Ulysses, Homer’s uncle. As it happens, Homer has run away out of fear at being overthrown by the witch Circe. She casts a spell to make him disappear to a distant time, but it goes awry and instead whisks Scrooge and company back to 1100 BC. They rescue King Homer and vow to help him confront Circe, while she gets enraged at the error she’s made and vows to cut the island off from the outside world.

This scene takes many of its cue from the legendary Harryhausen film, Jason and the Argonauts, as Scrooge’s boat sails between the legs of the Colossus (as with Talos in the film) and then is crushed between the clashing rocks that are brought together through Circe’s magic. The group washes up on the shore of King Blowhard, who sneezes chronically due to his allergy to the flowers on his island. He tells them about Ulysses’ visit long ago and about his sunken ship, then uses his sneeze to raise the ship in exchange for Scrooge’s removal of the flowers from the island. They repair the ship and set sail, and immediately pass by the Sirens’ island. They sing an alluring song about money that compels Scrooge to jump in the water and to narrowly escape being eaten by the monsters, then they pass by the whirlpool and the monster Yuckalinda (a Scylla surrogate).

Meanwhile, Circe has imprisoned Homer’s wife and queen, Ariel. She casts a spell that turns Ariel into a pig and turns her into an Ariel. She then tricks Scrooge and Homer as she welcomes them home and determines that Scrooge is not a magician. She reveals herself and then turns Homer and Scrooge into pigs. The nephews discover the pigs and rescue them by taking Circe’s magic medallion and breaking it. This turns her into a pig and the others into ducks and dogs again. The spell that whisked them back in time then reappears as a tornado and whirls them back to the present day. Donald spots them in the water from the aircraft carrier and rescues them, and the episode concludes with a conversation about “growing up to be like Uncle Scrooge” and how it is ok to grow up to be yourself.

Episode 41 from this season of Duck Tales, “The Golden Fleecing,” also features a Greek epic tale, that of Jason and the Golden Fleece.



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