Editor's note: Damon Brown is a Northern California-based freelance writer and author of books, including "Damon Brown's Simple Guide to the iPad" and "Porn & Pong: How 'Grand Theft Auto,' 'Tomb Raider' and Other Sexy Games Changed Our Culture."
(CNN) -- There's some quacking on the web that film auteur Christopher Nolan's current blockbuster, "Inception," was inspired by, of all things, a 2004 Donald Duck comic book.
In "Uncle Scrooge: The Dream of a Lifetime," the thieving Beagle Boys gang use a special machine to enter Scrooge McDuck's dreams and steal the combination to his safe. Donald Duck and his nephews find Scrooge and the thieves sleeping, and Donald must enter the dream to foil the plot. When someone falls in the dream, they immediately wake up. And if Scrooge is awakened before the Beagle Boys, both parties will be "doomed."
In "Inception," Leonardo DiCaprio is the leader of a team that enters other people's dreams to steal information. The dream thieves can only be snapped awake by a dramatic fall, called a "kick," to their body. On its most dangerous assignment, the team has to penetrate deeper into the dream world -- and risks being trapped in it.
What makes "Inception" unique is that its twisty visuals make it more like a mental M.C. Escher drawing than a straight horror or action flick. The story is resonating with audiences: In three weeks, "Inception" has raked in nearly $500 million worldwide.
Nolan has been mum about his "Inception" influences, though he acknowledges his film has been compared to the dreamy 1961 mind-bender "Last Year at Marienbad" -- a movie he says he's never seen. Nolan also has said he worked on the "Inception" script for more than a decade -- which would be well before Scrooge's dream adventure was even published.
Nolan's "Inception" already has inspired quite a few parodies online. If you were to catch only one, however, see Dora the Explorer's "Incepcion", which could be construed as a cartoon based on a movie based on a comic. Not unlike a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream.