The Golden Apples is a comic story by an unknown writer, drawn by Phil DeLara. It features Scrooge McDuck, Gyro Gearloose, Hercules, and, in their Disney debut, the Stymphalian Birds and Ladon. Puss-in-Boots, Jack and Jill and the Three Bears are also mentioned.
When Gyro Gearloose apprises Scrooge McDuck of his invention of a machine which can transport him to the actual time and place of whatever fantasy story he thinks about, he uses it to go back to mythological Greece and join Hercules on the quest for the Golden Apples. Worried for his safety, Gyro follows him and tags along on an unlikely adventure!
- Gyro invented the Fantasy Finder out of “an old grandfather clock”.
- Gyro borrowed the Seven League Boots from Puss-in-Boots.
- Gyro carries an emergency kit, which, among other inventions designed to get out of sticky situations, includes the Zoom-Stick.
- Hercules is seeking a tree bearing Golden Apples, found in “a garden”. The Golden Apples turn out to simply be oranges — a rare delicacy in the ancient world, but worthless to Scrooge McDuck.
- The story of Puss-in-Boots was previously riffed on by the cartoon Puss in Boots (1922), where Julius the Cat acted out a version of the fairy tale's plot in the modern day, though it is unclear that this is the version of events to which the Fantasy Finder took Gyro.
- Goldilocks and the Three Bears had likewise been shown to exist in another Laugh-O-Grams cartoon, Goldie Locks and the Three Bears (1922).
- Jack and Jill, among other Mother Goose Rhyme characters, were shown coming alive from a magical storybook in Mother Goose Melodies (1931), consistent with Gyro's statement that he travelled to “fantasy lands” to bring back some of the items.
- Gyro Gearloose brings back “gingerbread from the Gingerbread House”. The story of Hansel and Gretel and the Gingerbread House had been acknowledged earlier the same year as fictional in-universe in The Gingerbread House Revisited (1969), a Magica De Spell story. Hansel and Gretel themselves, however, were shown to actually exist in the Prime Universe as early as the cartoon Babes in the Woods (1932), yet in a version of events were the Witch's house was not made of gingerbread or candy. Likewise, the cartoon The Candy House (1999) cast Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in a variation on the events of the fairy tale, but which featured a different witch from the one in the earlier cartoon, as well as a Candy House instead of a Gingerbread House. Thus, it does ultimately match preexisting and subsequent continuity that as far as Scrooge knows, the Gingerbread House would be pure fiction.
- Hercules claims that he “occasionally slays lions with his bare hands”, a clear reference to his slaying of the Nemean Lion; this mythological event was later mentioned in The Twelve Tasks of Asterix (1976) and shown head-on, albeit briefly, in Hercules (1997). That film also features a brief cameo by the Stymphalian Birds, in a design fairly different from the one used by DeLara in 1969.
- Hercules and the Return of Typhon (1998) would see a younger Hercules, during his training days, encounter a younger Ladon still being cared for by his equally monstrous parents Typhon and Echidna.
- Scrooge ends the story walking briskly out of Gyro's Lab and vowing to check whether “the goose that lays the golden eggs” is as “phony” as the Golden Apples of the Hesperides turned out to be. Although likely intended as a nonsensical joke by the anonymous writer, this can actually be seen as tying back to the events of the Carl Barks story Isle of Golden Geese (1963), where Scrooge did in fact discover golden-egg-laying geese, purchasing a bulk of golden feathers and eggs from their owner.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Golden Apples was only ever printed in the U.S.A. in Uncle Scrooge #84, although it did receive another English-language printing, in the Australian Walt Disney's Comics #290.