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Headscratchers / DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp

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     Launchpad vs. Merlock 
  • In the opening, we see Scrooge screaming loudly while Launchpad is flying the group to the dig site in his usual manner. He only ever screams like that once when dealing with Merlock (because of the rope bridge burning away from under him). Merlock, a clearly hostile sorcerer, is much more dangerous than Launchpad's flying, which, despite appearances, almost never even scrapes any of the passengers. Why is Scrooge more terrified of Launchpad's flying than Merlock — especially after all the experience he's had with it?
    • Which is scarier — a homicidal, psychotic, all-powerful sorcerer, or Launchpad's flying? I vote for Launchpad's flying.
    • Fear is relative. To give an example, the vast majority of spiders in the world are completely harmless to humans, yet a sizeable chunk of humanity would rather do anything other than face one down. Facing down a dangerous foe is just something Scrooge is more comfortable with than Launchpad's flying.

     Wishing Provisos 
  • The ducklings try to coax a few wishes out of Gene that he claimed he couldn't accomplish, but in the same day proclaims that there's only one wish he can't: wishing for Merlock's magical talisman. So - technically - the ducklings actually could wish for a million wishes or world peace.
    • Well, define "wish". Gene precisely describes "world peace" as "a miracle, not a wish"; and wishing for a thousand wishes is asking for the genie to do something in a self-referential way, rather than asking for something; I think it isn't a wish either by Gene's definition. (Gene's rules seem to limit "wish" to concrete, objective things, as opposed to abstract demands.) So it's perfectly accurate to say "Merlock's Talisman" is the only actual wish he won't grant as an exception; the rest aren't wishes. To say otherwise is like saying, "Ostriches are the only really giant birds!" "But elephants are pretty big too! That mean ostriches aren't the only really large birds!".
    • World peace can't be easily defined in concrete terms—one man's utopian paradise is another man's nightmarish dystopia, after all. Also, the Genie probably could grant a wish for a million wishes, but won't. The limit is there to make his master choose very carefully.
    • That and to keep Genie from being a slave to a single master for all eternity; as Merlock proves it is a very bad idea.
    • Maybe he's trying to bluff them, the way that he did when denying that he had to grant any wishes in the first place. It can't be that he simply refuses to grant the "wishing for a million wishes" wish, because it becomes a major part of the plot that Genie cannot resist a direct wish for long, no matter how much he wants to.

     I Dream of Jeannie/Genie... 
  • How come they called Genie Gene? Genie's a name; it may be spelled differently but they're talking, not writing to each other. Unless Scrooge is automatically suspicious of people that share names with mythical creatures, which makes about as much sense as him thinking Daisy's a flower.
    • He didn't know about the Genie at first.
    • As Genie was male (or at least had a male form), they probably wanted a name with a more masculine sound to it. Genie, as typically pronounced, is a feminine name.
    • Don't forget that Scrooge has seen hundreds of creatures and events that fall into the realms of mythical, supernatural, even extraterrestrial. Magic and mystical creatures are not unknown to him. A strange boy with a name that has not been used in hundreds of years if ever, but used for a mythical creature would tip him off. Especially when strange things started to occur.

     I'm Wishing...For a Solution 
  • If the Genie was so scared of Merlock, why didn't he try to convince one of the nephews or Webby to wish up a solution? Okay, being a genie maybe he couldn't kill him, but why not something like, 'I wish Merlock could never be within one hundred feet of the lamp again.'? Or, 'I wish Merlock could never make another wish.'?
    • That may fall into the "Miracle" category".
    Genie: These are wishes, not miracles.
    • Alternatively, it would have been possible, but Genie gets so freaked out whenever he even thinks of Merlock that he would be severely hampered in his ability to come up with any rational response besides "hide."

     The End of Merlock...Or Is It? 
  • So, did Merlock survive that fall at the end? The Genie says his first wish was to live forever. This sure makes Merlock's fate at the end awfully vague. Maybe it was meant to be a Sequel Hook?
    • He did survive, if video game Goin' Quackers! has anything to say about it. Merlock being at the villains' meeting in one panel of the Dangerous Currency comic arc does suggest this is canon, too.
    • When Genie became a real boy, Merlock's wish to turn Dijon into a pig was reversed. Presumably, the same could be said for Merlock's immortality.
      • Though by that point he'd have already hit the ground. So it's possible he's not immortal anymore, but still alive. And unless Atlantis suddenly rose from the ocean, I don't think the effects of all wishes were undone.
    • Sometimes, Immortality = "Immunity from death by aging only," not "unable to die no matter what" (that's how it worked for Dorian Gray and a guy on The Twilight Zone, for example). The Genie might have translated "I wish to live forever" to "will never age" instead of to "be invincible against any and all harm."
    • Immortality also does not means invulnerability. Falling from that high would break every single bone in his body and other many internal injuries, so even if he survived he really really suffered. And then Scrooge makes his wish that turns the Genie into non-Genie voiding all his magic and previous wishes, even if Merlok was still alive his injuries became mortal at that point (thankfully for him). Pretty harsh for a kids' movie if you think about it.
    • Look, you guys, the above is true — there's several types of immortality you can choose from in fiction — but this is all academic. The first troper had it right: later stories make it clear that Merlock did, as a matter of fact, survive.

     "I Wanna be a Real Boy!" 
  • Scrooge uses his final wish, to make Genie a real boy. Now how is this possible? This is a miracle, not a wish. And Genie made it clear that wishes can be granted, i.e the rules of reality can be bent, altered or changed. But miracles are impossible since they require the breaking and tearing down of the laws of physics, space-time, logic, etc. Children don't poof themselves into existence. They are biological. They have parents.
    • I don't share your interpretation of the "I do wishes, not miracles" line. It seemed to me more about how he could do specific things, but not change the fundamental nature of the world at large; e.g. he can do things like sink that specific city there, or turn that genie into a boy, or create a sundae here, but he can't just "end war and strife" in general.
      • This. When Gene said "wishes, not miracles", that was the response to Huey's wish for "peace and happiness all over the world". That would mean removing every single unpleasant thing from the world, potentially altering the minds of billions of people. Compared to that, turning one genie to a boy, bringing one set of toys alive, creating one baby elephant on the spot, and even making Dijon the legal owner of all of Scrooge's possessions, is fairly low-scale and more specific.
      • Its implied Genie was a Literal Genie, bending not breaking, the laws of physics. Giving a toy that already exists, sentience. That baby elephant with the ribbon seemed to belong to someone else and immediately panics when brought into the unfamiliar McDuck residence. Likewise, Dijon wanting to be rich simply gave him all of Scrooge's wealth. Materializing new gold into existence from nothing is impossible, and would actually devalue the existing gold, thus a self-defeating wish.
    • The only way this wish could have worked, was if Scrooge wished Genie... was his son. Though it does raise implications on who the mother would be.
    • Maybe the lamp's power increases the more selfless the wish is. Genie tells them that the lamp can't grant miracles because he's never seen anybody make a selfless enough wish to trigger that power level.
      • "Peace and happiness all over the world" would have been pretty selfless, though.
    • Is it really less fantastical to bring a bunch of cloth toys to life or create a sundae and toys out of nothing than to turn one type of being into another type? Technically, Merlock already did the last one with Dijon.
    • The Genie is already in the body of a child, all the wish does is take away his powers.
      • In this case, its honestly what Genie wanted. Even if Scrooge had just given him freedom while still having access to his powers, there would still be potential for people like Merlock to come to use him to get wishes granted. Just because he wouldn't be bond to the lamp anymore doesn't mean that no one could take advantage of him or force him to do things he didn't want anymore. By becoming a completely normal boy though, there's no way he'd be trapped into that same type of enslavement ever again (unless somebody uses magic to change him back if that's possible though they'd have to know he use to be a genie in the first place). So this basically just made it so that Genie won't have powers anymore and he'll probably miss them sometimes, but overall I think he's satisfied with finally having freedom and no more masters.

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