It’s been ages since my last episode review, but I’m about to remedy that with a review of episode 28: “There Goes My Shell” I’m actually going to be reviewing the Dutch dubbed version, so I won’t be able to quote English dialogue. But being the visually slapstick cartoon that Ox Tales is, I’ll have plenty to work with. “There Goes My Shell” is a Jack-ccentric episode, dedicated to the scenario of Jack losing his shell...
The cartoon starts out with Jack and Sammy scaling a steep hill. Exhausted by the walk, Jack takes his shell off and sits against a tree. Sammy joins him but in doing so he shakes the tree and Jack’s shell goes rolling down the hill. They take chase but Sammy rolls head over heels into a bush. The shell then disappears down a hole. To remedy his new naked state, Jack jumps into a bush and covers his body with leaves. He tries to persuade Sammy to retrieve his shell from the hole but Sammy refuses. Jack peers down the hole but then loses his footing and plummets down it. When he gets to the bottom of the hole it turns out that it comes out at a cliff face. Jack seemingly falls to his death but it turns out he lands in the hands of Gaylord the gorilla. Unfortunately, Gaylord mistakes Jack’s leaf-clad body as a meal and eats the foliage off of his person.
Jack then goes looking for his shell by a river. He spies a group of mushrooms sitting beneath a tree and decides one would make for a great new shell. Unfortunately, Rodney the rhino eats it off of his back.
Meanwhile, Sammy fetches found Ollie and alerts him to Jack’s dilemma. Whilst searching for their friend, they encounter a moving clump of grass. On closer inspection it turns out to be Jack modeling another temporary shell. Ollie and Sammy laugh at him as Jack tries to defend his new home. Ollie then tries three other makeshift shells on Jack: a beer barrel, a doctor’s bag and an upturned bucket. Jack gets upset and throws the bucket away.
Jack’s shell is then seen floating down the river. After a few encounters with various aquatic creatures, a beaver mistakes it for a mussel and tries to crack it open with a rock. He's forced to give up when the rock breaks instead of the shell.
Ollie has another bright idea where they can use Sammy as a tracker dog to relocate the misplaced shell. Of course any scheme involving Sammy is sure to go awry…
Jack then spies his shell floating down the river and swims after it with Sammy not too far behind. After encounters with a crocodile and a hippopotamus, an eagle swoops down and snatches Jack’s shell into the air. Jack continues the pursuit by using his tail as a helicopter blade. Realizing Jack could use some help, Ollie propels Sammy into the air by using Edward the elephant’s trunk as a giant catapult. Both friends eventually fall back down to earth empty handed. Jack lands on Audrey the ostrich’s egg and when he stands up he realizes that he is now wearing the egg as a shell. An angry Audrey chases him off.
Up in the eagle’s nest the shell turns out to be too hard for it’s chicks to eat so the eagle throws the shell back down to earth. As luck would have it, it reunites Jack with his shell as it lands on him. The cartoon then closes with Ollie and Jack walking along a field, only this time Jack’s shell is tied safely onto his body.
This Jack-themed episode is a great collection of sight gags. I've always liked the recurring theme of Jack-related shell jokes and this episode didn't disappoint. Well written and very polished.