Barks NEW story?
Daniel van Eijmeren
dve at kabelfoon.nl
Tue May 11 01:05:43 CEST 2004
MATEUSZ LIS to MACIEK, 09-05-2004:
> I think Daniel van Eijmeren (or maybe someone else?) can write more
> about Barks' script.
I haven't seen Blum's version of Barks's idea. According to Inducks,
it's titled 'Powerplay On Killmotor Hill', 20 pages.
There's no connection with any other stories/ideas mentioned, at this
moment. But I'm sure that will change soon. :-)
According to Inducks, Jippes's story is an untitled (???) ten-pager:
As far as I know, both Jippes's and Blum's stories both are based on a
"condensed version" of the "Donald-Scrooge opus". This condensed version
has been transcribed in both Barrier and The Carl Barks Library. Any
other Barks material for the cartoon is lost, unless times have changed.
Here's some more information on Barks's "Donald-Scrooge opus":
Submission: 1955, January 10
(Barks letter with nine page synopsis and condensed version)
Ken Peterson, then head of the story department at the Disney Studio,
decided to make an animated cartoon featuring Scrooge McDuck. Barks
created a nine-page synopsis for the cartoon, but the project was
Description: Donald works at Scrooge's money bin, operating a money-
sorting machine that runs by power. When Donald is away for lunch, the
radio announces a plague of rats is loose in the city. Scrooge closes and
shutters all of his windows and bolts the door. He sits down terrified
to eat his cheese sandwich, but before he can begin he is besieged by a
determined rat who has smelled the cheese from afar. The rat threatens to
destroy a ten-thousand dollar bill, if Scrooge doesn't order the most
expensive cheese in the world.
Surviving material: A condensed, typed two-page version of the nine-page
synopsis has survived. This condensed version was written as part of the
January 10, 1955 letter that accompanied the synopsis. The Carl Barks
Library contains a transcription of the letter. No original paperwork is
The Disney Archives has preserved a file of correspondence between
Peterson and Barks on this cartoon.
Status: Barks nine-page synopsis is lost.
Backstage: Because of Scrooge's success in the comics, Ken Peterson,
then head of the story department at the Disney Studio, decided to
make a cartoon featuring the character. In an October 24, 1984 letter
to Geoffrey Blum, Ken Peterson told: "When we were doing shorts, there
was always a need for story ideas, and since Scrooge McDuck had really
been developed fully in comics, it was natural that I would contact
Carl Barks for help." Peterson had known Barks since 1936, when they
worked in the same room as in-betweeners on the Disney cartoons.
Following a phone call, Peterson sent a letter to Barks on January 4,
1955, inquiring if the Duck Man was at liberty to do outside work under
the terms of his contract with Whitman and requesting "a story idea for
Scrooge McDuck, which would be suitable for an animated short." (Whitman
was the division of Western Publishing that produced the comic books.)
Six days later, on January 10, 1955, Barks responded with a nine-page
synopsis, for which he provided a condensed version in an accompanying
letter: "I enclose a "synopsis" of the Donald-Scrooge opus we discussed
the other day. It started out to be a short, simple draft of a plot, but
ended looking more like a shooting script, as I kept building the scenes.
I type out a condensed version below, so you can get a quick idea of what
all those nine pages are about. [...] I hope you like the yarn. But if it
isn't what you guys think would be a good animation story, I can always
use it in the comics. So, don't feel that you have to be shy about sending
The underlying theme of Barks's synopsis is about the modern working man
(Donald) and the easy, unworried life he leads as contrasted to that of his
boss (Scrooge). Donald is surrounded by every modern convenience, while
Scrooge is besieged by a rat, which threatens to destroy a ten-thousand
Barks's synopsis included a gag about Donald operating a money-sorting
machine that runs by power. In the January 10, 1955 letter, Barks explained:
"The idea for the money-sorting machine is adapted from a cover I drew for
the UNCLE SCROOGE magazine [US 10]. It will appear on the stands in early
summer. The original idea was mine, and it now belongs to Disney, anyway."
Peterson wrote again to Barks on February 14, 1955; Barks had visited the
Studio in the interim and had seen the storyboards for a cartoon with
Scrooge and Donald. It is obvious, from Peterson's letter, that Barks's
synopsis had not been followed: "We are still working on the Scrooge McDuck
and Donald idea we had on the board at the time you were [here.] We hope to
shape this story up for a first effort. We may still be interested in using
your story idea at a later date...." Peterson told Barks that the Studio
wanted to keep the script for a month or so, unless Barks wanted to use it
for a comic book.
Peterson kept the script/synopsis until May 6, 1955. Then he returned it,
with a letter explaining that the Studio was heavily involved in television
production, and that the chance of producing a Scrooge cartoon was remote.
(In The Carl Barks Library, Thomas Andrae and Geoffrey Blum have theories
about some other possible reasons.)
Barks never used his synopsis as basis for a comic book. When Barrier asked
him why, in 1974, he said: "I just didn't have quite enough action. I would
need to have jazzed it up and introduced some clouds of rats, or something.
In other words, it would have been a story that starred Uncle Scrooge, and
the kids and Donald wouldn't have had enough to do with it. I would have had
to have used them in there."
As a matter of fact, Barks had tried out two of the story's devices a year
before writing the script for Peterson. In the impervi-wax money case story
(WDC 171), Donald is hired to work in the money bin, and a mouse gets inside.
After a few pages of gags, however, the rodent business is dropped, and the
story takes off in a new direction, about an invention by Gyro Gearloose.
In 2001 or 2002, Daan Jippes has created a ten-page story, which uses a
segment of Barks' idea, the part about Scrooge battle with the blackmailing
rat. (D/D 2001-021)
Scrooge McDuck has been used in the titles for the Mickey Mouse Club on
television in the 1950s, but only for a few seconds, popping out of the
Big Bad Wolf's hat. In 1967, the Studio released a double-length short
titled 'Scrooge McDuck and Money', which was Scrooge's first appearance
in a theatrical film.
January 4, 1955 letter from Ken Peterson to Carl Barks
January 10, 1955 letter from Carl Barks to Ken Peterson
February 14, 1955 letter from Ken Peterson to Carl Barks
May 6, 1955 letter from Ken Peterson to Carl Barks
October 24, 1984 letter from Ken Peterson to Geoffrey Blum
Interview[?] with Carl Barks by Michael Barrier, conducted in 1974.
Interview with Jack Hannah by Jim Korkis, conducted from 1977 to 1983.
Michael Barrier book 'Carl Barks and the Art of the Comic Book' (page 218)
Thomas Andrae and Geoffrey Blum article 'The Animated Scrooge', published
in the Carl Barks Library (04B-459)
"For goodness, sake! Who's that guy - the PIED PIPER?"
(Which Barks story?) :-)
hint #1: It's not "The Pied Piper of Duckburg".
hint #2: "Hold on, boys! I had no idea it was THAT tasty!"
hint #3: "Look at the mice go for that cheese!"
More information about the DCML