Is Chris Nolan's Mind The Scene Of The Crime? Inception/Scrooge McDuck Comparison!

Is Chris Nolan's Mind The Scene Of The Crime? <em>Inception</em>/<em>Scrooge McDuck</em> Comparison!

In the Scrooge McDuck comic book, "Dream of a Lifetime," the Beagle Boys use a contraption to enter into Scrooge McDuck dreams with only one purpose: extract the secret combination to Scrooge McDuck's vault. Sound familiar? Inception spoilers ahead.

Christopher Nolan has been hailed as the next face on the Mount Rushmore of groundbreaking directors -- Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorcese and now, Christopher Nolan. Film critics and fans proclaim that Nolan's latest film, Inception, is this generation's 2001: A Space Odyssey -- a sci-fi epic so rich with stunning visuals and boundless imagination that it transcends "film" to the level of visceral "experience."

While the special effects and visuals rival or surpass those of any other contemporary sci-fi flick not directed by James Cameron, the force that drives viewers back for repeated viewings -- and into perpetual argumentation -- is Inception's core premise: What if we could intrude into a person's dreams to extract information from the dreamer's subconscious?The premise is seemingly paradoxical, so simple yet so complex. Hollywood has seen films derivative of this concept, a list of which includes the Matrix, the Thirteenth Floor, and Dark City (all acknowledged by Nolan in one or more interviews about Inception). Dreamscape appears to be Inception's closest relative, but that story was predicated on a psychic entering dreams with the sole purpose to murder.

No film has revolved around the concept of using a contraption to allow multiple dreamscapers to enter into a victim's dream to extract his secrets for financial gain. This concept is undoubtedly original and unique right?

Don Rosa -- the writer of the Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck -- might emphatically disagree.

In the Scrooge McDuck story, "Dream of a Lifetime," the Beagle Boys -- a gang of canine criminals that historically try to steal from McDuck -- use a contraption to enter into Scrooge McDuck's dream while he's sleeping to try to "steal" the secret combination to McDuck's vault of goodies. McDuck's nephews, including Donald Duck, use the same contraption to enter McDuck's dream and thwart the Beagle Boys. Rather than re-tell the story, here is a list of notable panels in Dream of a Lifetime, matched with a similar scene from Inception (click on the thumbnails to view the panel. The Inception vs. McDuck analysis is directly below each panel):

Dream of a Life Time panel: The Beagle Boys procure a contraption that was invented for psychiatrists to examine dreams by entering their patients' dreams, and the Beagle Boys intend to use the contraption for a different, illegal purpose. Page 2

Inception scene: The team procures a contraption that was invented for soldiers to train in simulated combat and warfare, and the team intends to use the contraption for a different, illegal purpose.

Dream of a Life Time panel: The Beagle Boys use the contraption to enter into McDuck's dream so they can attempt to extract the secret combination to unlock McDuck's vault. Page 2

Inception scene: The team uses the contraption to enter into Saito's dream so they can attempt to extract an undisclosed idea from the vault in his head. (opening scene)

Dream of a Life Time panel(s): If the Beagle Boys are still in McDuck's dream when he wakes up, they will be trapped in McDuck's head forever. Page 3

Inception scene: If someone is killed while in the dream of a heavily sedated dreamer, he will be trapped in the dream in a state called "limbo" -- which can last several decades.

Dream of a Life Time panel(s): Scrooge McDuck is aware that he is in a dream, and his subconscious characters, the Dalton Boys, shoot at the Beagle Boys upon encounter. Page 4

Inception scene: Saito is aware that he is in a dream, and his subconscious security guards shoot at Dom and capture Arthur.

Dream of a Life Time panel(s): The dream world starts to "evaporate" and defies the laws of physics. Page 7

Inception scene: The dream world starts to crumble and bend and defies the laws of physics.

Dream of a Life Time panel(s): When McDuck falls in the dream, he wakes up. Page 7

Inception scene: When a dreamer dies in the dream (while not heavily sedated), he wakes up.

Dream of a Life Time panel(s): McDuck travels from Texas to Australia simply by starting a new dream. Page 8

Inception scene: The team travels from apparently Los Angeles to Canada simply by entering a new dream.

Dream of a Life Time panel(s): When McDuck's nephew clangs two mugs together loudly next to Donald's ear while he's dreaming, Donald dreams about mugs falling from the sky. Page 9

Inception Scene: When Dom is dunked in water while dreaming, Dom dreams about water gushing at him.

Dream of a Life Time panel(s): When Donald Duck thinks about cars, a stream of cars busts through his dream. Page 10

Inception Scene: When Dom thinks about a train, a train busts through the dream.

Dream of a Life Time panel(s): When McDuck hears popping while he's sleeping, he dreams about popcorn popping. Page 12

Inception scene: When Yusuf drinks too much champagne before sleeping, he dreams about it raining.

Dream of a Life Time panel(s): Scrooge McDuck re-dreams one particular memory over and over again, which involves him missing out on his love, Goldie, because he gets hit in the head by an ice block. Page 24

Inception scene: Dom re-dreams one particular memory over and over again, which involves him losing his love, Mal, because she kills herself.

Dream of a Life Time panel(s): Through his dream, Scrooge McDuck tries to make it up to Goldie by reliving a memory of the two of them together. Page 26

Inception scene: Through his dream, Dom tries to make it up to Mal by reliving a memory of the two of them together.


Did Nolan "borrow" from Don Rosa's story about Scrooge McDuck? Or is it a coincidence? Or is it possible that two films exist featuring heists that take place in a subject's dreamscape?

Of course Nolan did not borrow from stories about Scrooge McDuck, Nolan is ethically and creatively better than that. Nolan is today's most original and imaginative director.


Memento was based off of his brother's story, Memento Mori.

The Prestige was based off of the novel, The Prestige.

The Batman movies were based off of, well, the Batman comic books.

Insomnia was a remake of the movie, Insomnia.

Inception was based off of the comic book story, Dream of a Lifetime from the Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.

I'm joking about the last one. Sort of.

(Original Source: BoingBoing)
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Filed Under "Other" 8/4/2010 Source: BoingBoing
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antonio - 8/3/2010, 8:33 PM
wait,in the film,dosent inception require u to plant an idea instead of stealing secrets and when they wake up,they think the idea is their own.nolan wrote the scrpt in 2001 and the comic was published in i said,inception the greatest movie ever made and i think its b.s that ppl are sayin its not orginal.for the most part it is.
dbapz - 8/3/2010, 8:56 PM
amazing film ! inception is the act of putting in another idea in someones head which they do in the movie. originally the characters are dream thieves haha
contrast - 8/4/2010, 12:09 AM
Very interesting... however, just nit-picking, the character's name was "Cobb", not "Dom"...

other than that, it's interesting to see that every idea, no matter how original it seems (even to the idea's "creator") has been done before in some way.

I will also, however, have to agree with what everyone else seems to be saying in regard to the comparison of Inception to other films, and the lines that sort of "put down" other science fiction movies... Moon, Sunshine, District 9, and countless others are just as good, if not better than Inception... it just happens to be more well-known. Nothing against Inception, as it is a great film, but it's not the only great film.

And it's just my personal opinion that you actually do the film a disservice by implying that it's on par with Avatar. Avatar was an over-hyped, pseudoimpressive movie with decent (but not mind-blowing) special effects. It was well directed, but it really suffered from Jim Cameron's big mouth, and all of the wonderful promises he made about his film. A film which turned out to be nothing more than a way-too-preachy eco-drama that owed a debt of originality to FernGully, which would have been perfectly fine, had Cameron not promised us the moon.
contrast - 8/4/2010, 3:34 AM
First of all... I was rather tired when I wrote my comment, which is what I attribute the whole "agree with everyone's opinion" bit to, because there were only a few comments at the time, I saw two comments about relatively the same thing, and didn't realize they were both from the same person.

You did get me on the whole "Dom/Cobb" thing... I only saw it once, and didn't remember hearing him referred to as Dom, but you are right.

I don't think it's a stretch to say that Avatar had the better (or, a more appropriate term would probably be "more impressive") special effects. The only follow-up I have to this is a simple statement I can give based on my limited experience as a special makeup effects artist, which holds true in the digital domain as well. The best effects are the ones that blend with reality; the best effects are the ones we don't notice. This means, to clarify, that while Avatar showed us a world we'd never been to before, Inception showed us our own world, but in a way we'd never seen before... so it's like apples and oranges, really.

Basically, as you seem to believe that your satirical point was missed, I think you've missed the point of my comment (though, to be fair, it's not that obvious, considering I was in somewhat of a daze when I wrote it). I was simply taking advantage of a situation that allowed me to play internet warrior and rant about the long since released Avatar, in a forum that James Cameron will most certainly read...

Now, clearly we can't all understand the Chaucer-like subtlety with which you crafted this article, but... Well, honestly, I haven't really got a witty retort for that, I just wanted to use the term Chaucer-like.

lastly, just to clear the air and reintroduce the lightheartedness that you were trying to create (until we took it away like... like dream theives or something...) I present you with this

XmutantX - 8/4/2010, 5:08 AM
RorMachine - 8/4/2010, 6:41 AM
Interesting, but I seriously doubt Nolan sits around reading Scrooge McDuck..maybe when he was a kid, and it stuck! haha. Anyway, its moot because the movie is a masterpiece. Anytime a film makes waves it gets this type of thing. Avatar was apparently ripped off from about 7 different books/games/movies/toys/balloons and tea cups.

Also, one reference is left out..

Scrooge McDuck comic: Scrooge wears glasses

Inception: Yusef wears glasses.

Definite rip off.
Minotauro - 8/4/2010, 9:13 AM
@Tea - It was.

Anything today is a ripoff.

@Ror - "its moot because the movie is a masterpiece"

Memento is, not Inception.
MatchesMalone - 8/4/2010, 10:14 AM
The Expendables is a rip-off of Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers.

Batman is rip-off of Darkwing Duck.

This is fun! I could do this all day! :)
FuckoffShitbird - 8/4/2010, 12:06 PM

you are a dumbazz.
FuckoffShitbird - 8/4/2010, 12:06 PM

you are a dumbazz.
cchriswake13 - 8/4/2010, 12:18 PM
and nobody caught this till now? Almost 3 and a half weeks after its release?

Please, just enough time to draw up some sh*t and bill it as 2002 material... I want the source and hard proof, not some internet artists scam
Betty - 8/4/2010, 12:22 PM
cchriswake13 - 8/4/2010, 12:27 PM

... I don't see the year 2002 anywhere where it was still operating as a comic book
UncleDrew - 8/4/2010, 12:32 PM
Interesting and Nolan said he came up with it while he was young, maybe he read it and thought he could create a real life story but I think this is a crazy case of coincidence.
Joker08 - 8/5/2010, 12:22 AM
@ericz: 2001 is one of the most overrated movies of all-time. I was so board with it the first time Icould barely stay awake...

I have a hard time believing that Nolan sits around reading Scrooge McDuck comics. Even if he did, I wouldn't think there's anything wrong with what he did. He would have made a brilliant film out of a boring kid's comic - taking an idea with potential and doing it justice.

It's like the song 'Mad World' by Gary Jules, used at the end of Donnie Darko. His version is nuanced and beautiful - while the original Tears for Fears version sounds god aweful... You never would have guessed someone would've been able to take such a horrible piece of trash and make something amazing out of it.

Either way, I'm gonna say this is pure coinsidence... And apparently, it's not to hard to have it happen coinsidentely - the First Class writers just thought of it too...
georgia49th - 8/5/2010, 2:59 PM
Actually Darkwing Duck would be a rip off of Batman
I liked the Banana Split theme song in Kick Ass when Hit Girl kills those drug dealers and ass kicked(as Big daddy calls him) just watched it was funny
Atheuz - 8/5/2010, 8:34 PM
@cchriswake13: DuckTales was never the primary form for the canon stories of Scrooge McDuck to be told in, Carl Barks created and started the canon of his life in comic form and Don Rosa expanded on it and made it more detailed, the most recent comic by Don Rosa was released in 2006.

As you can see here, Dream of a Lifetime was released in 2002:
ankiepat - 8/8/2010, 1:10 PM
After a little sleuthing I learned an interesting truth regardng this Scrooge-Inception connection. The comic you reference is titled “The Dream of a Lifetime” and is found fully fleshed out at the following free worldwide Disney database = What you neglected to mention as you bandied about your claims of idea theft is the fact that this Scrooge story wasn’t even created by Don Rosa until May 2002 and never saw the light of publication until December 2nd, 2002. So, unless Christopher Nolan could invade the mind of Don Rosa and extract his ideas for an as-of-yet unpublished and unknown story arc for a comic whose first publication was in NORWAY on Dec 2nd,2002, then Nolan could not have possibly thefted these ideas from Rosa when he “first pitched the film to Warner Bros. after the completion of his third feature, Insomnia (2002/I), and was met with approval from the studio.” Just one little glaring hole in your claims that Nolan thefted the inspiration behind Inception from Disney writer Don Rosa.

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