(Posting early; good reasons; I'll get to them in time.)
I happened to catch the Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers episode ``Chocolate Chips'', which, truth be told, isn't the cream of the Rescue Rangers crop. It is one that stands out to me, though, since it features coatis, an animal I doubt anyone here is surprised to know I rather like. But coatis have roughly the pop cultural presence of Garret Augustus Hobart, who was replaced as Vice-President by William McKinley for the election of 1900 when it was discovered that Hobart had died the year before. Anyway, I had some thoughts about it and want to review the plot a bit.
The Rescue Rangers, visiting the Amazon, discover wide swaths of the forest missing. Chip, having snuck out of camp overnight, returns to find the other Rangers and the locals (including the coati mentioned) marching zombie-like and aiding weird costumed figures in tearing down trees -- something none remembers come the morning -- and flocks of mosquitoes with apparently sinister designs. Investigation following nights reveals mosquito bites produce this zombie-like state, producing workers for what turns out to be a mad chocolatier, who believes he's discovered the secret for perfect chocolate and was laughed out of the respectable chocolate community. Now, though, he's using the mind-control juice and his hoard of mosquitoes to collect tree-fresh cacao for his chocolate scheme. Eventually, of course, the Rangers foil the scheme and inflict appropriately ironic justice.
What has occurred to me: you know, these are all the elements for an episode of The Avengers: mysterious and somewhat spooky starting events, the introduction of a potentially world-changing new gimmick, the gimmick's application being what most people would regard as a fairly trivial goal even if the perpetrators of the plot feel passionately about it, a resolution with a touch of whimsy or ironic flair. I had rarely before seen any particular connections between Gadget and Emma Peel, but now I'll need to re-evaluate the series's worldview.
Trivia: Milk chocolate was invented in 1876 by Daniel Peter, in Switzerland. Source: Sweets: A History of Temptation, Tim Richardson.
Currently Reading: Soon I Will Be Invincible, Austin Grossman.