Directed by Chuck Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Richard Thompson, Ken Haris, Abe Levitow, and Ben Washam; Effects Animation by Harry Love; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Film Editor: Treg Brown; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl Stalling and Milt Franklyn. Released in 1957
This one is a classic. I think it’s Bugs and Daffy’s best known team up, outside of the hunting trilogy. Naturally, it’s one of the 100 greatest Looney Tunes and ranks number 35 on the 50 greatest cartoons.
In (somewhere in the Middle East, I’m sure) a midget seals a cave that is brimming with treasure. He tells the guard there, (Hassan) to guard it with his life. (Because the price is life.) Poor Hassan. I bet he’s really a nice guy who wants no part in this. But seeing as he’s got no alternative, he dutifully stands watch. The midget rides away on his adorably ugly, midget camel. We then see a very familiar burrow coming along. It heads right into the cave. Having noticed this, Hassan tries to enter but can’t seem to remember the magic words. (“Open sarsaparilla? Open Saskatchewan?”) Inside, Bugs announces that they have finally made it to Pismo Beach. Or have they? As he puzzles over things, his travel buddy, Daffy notices the treasure in a way I think we all would act. (Wide eyes, licking lips/beak, and plotting to get rid of the other guy.) He claims it as his own and shoves Bugs back into the hole, before unleashing his inner scrooge. (I remember in middle school seminary class, I got to teach about the seven deadly sins. I used Looney Tunes as examples. This was greed) Hassan meanwhile has finally gotten the phrase correct. (“Open septuagenarian?” No. “Open saddle soap?” Wrong. “Open sesame?” DING!) On his way out, Daffy mistakes him for a red cap and asks for a cab. Hassan slices his cute diamond studded hat in half. (Don’t ask where he got it) Daffy flees back to Bugs asking for his help in exchange for a diamond. Bugs is too cool to care. (This story could be part of the Looney Tunes Bible. “The good su-hare-itan?”) Daffy then tells the angry guard, that Bugs is the one who brought them there and he should get all the blame. Bugs has disguised himself as a genie and offers Hassan a reward if he frees him. He does so, and Bugs grants him the treasure all to himself. (Doing an amusing chant as well) With that taken care of, Bugs heads out and thinks that maybe they’re not at the beach. But his pondering must be put on hold as Daffy has gotten himself in trouble again. Seems he took one of the diamonds that now belong to Hassan. Bugs agrees to help and gets rid of Hassan by having him climb a rope into the clouds. (Here Daffy admits that he can’t help being greedy, it’s his hobby. At least he’s honest) With the guard gone, the treasure is all Daffy’s. He loads up a mine car with all the loot, (don’t ask where he got that either.) and takes one more quick look to make sure he’s got everything. He finds a lamp and rubbing it produces a real genie. Even though, it sounds like he’s going to grant Daffy a wish, the duck’s paranoia has him assuming the genie is after his treasure and tries to shove him back in the lamp. The genie is furious, and Bugs (wisely) decides to leave. Daffy is unafraid of the genie’s wrath, and says one of the best lines in all of ever. (“Consequences, schmonsequences. As long as I’m rich.”) Brilliant. I have the feeling every celebrity ever has said that at least once. (And once Kanye is out of debt, he’ll say it again.) At the beach, Bugs muses about what happened to Daffy as he eats clams. (They must taste like carrots) He finds a pearl in one. (Or they’re oysters.) Just then, and ant-sized Daffy runs out of the hole and claims the pearl as his own. Annoyed, Bugs shuts the bivalve on him. (It’s probably dead now, so at least he won’t be digested.) Daffy doesn’t seem to mind. And why should he? The oyster is his world!
Personal Rating: 5 (If for no other reason than Daffy is probably at his best, here.)