The Foxy Duckling

“I gotta get a duck! I gotta get a duck! I gotta get a duck!”

Directed by Arthur Davis; Animation by J.C. Melendez, Manny Gould, and Don Williams; Layouts by Thomas McKimson; Backgrounds by Phil DeGuard. A Merrie Melody released on August 23, 1947.\

Night is probably my favorite time of day. Things are still and quiet, soothing and peaceful. Perfect for slipping into sleep and forgetting your troubles in the blissful state of unconsciousness. The only problem is when insomnia rears its ugly head. Such is the fate of poor A. Fox. (A for Adam) He can’t, and I mean can’t, sleep. He’s tried near everything too. Boxes of sleeping pills litter the floor, there’s a whole bucket of milk, and he’s tried every possible sleeping position. Even clamping his eyes shut don’t make a difference.

Falling out of bed causes one of his insomnia books to land on his face. I guess he didn’t read this one much, as it states a solution he never thought to try: a pillow full of duck down. (His is full of various metals. Not comfortable, but… actually, I can’t think of a “but” after that.) Well, if that’s what’ll help, the only solution is to get a duck. So he heads out with a mallet. (I like that he isn’t just hunting for some food. There’s already so many cartoons like that)

He finds a duckling and readies his weapon. (It’s interesting that Daffy was not used in this picture. Not bad, just interesting.) He takes a little too long to swing, so the duckling escapes to a lake. Adam follows, but is reminded that he can’t swim. (Despite the fact he should be able to, and adult ducks also have down. There you go. The two animal facts I’ll teach you today.) He tries some tricks. Blowing a duck call gets him shot by hunters, and when he throws an anvil from a boat, the bird just drags him into the firing line. (It frightens the fish, so I guess he won’t be sleeping with them either.)

Maybe this swimming thing could work. All he needs is a flotation device, and a diving board. (With all that preparation, the duck has plenty of time to aim the board towards a tree) Okay, maybe the heavy object trick could work if one was to throw it from a tree. (Since their is a rope tied to the thing, I guess it was an anchor) Duckling ties the rope to Adam’s leg, but the fox is smart enough to cut the rope. (But dumb enough to keep holding it afterwards)

The duckling climbs a strangely placed mountain, (When God gets drunk, he just places them any old place) and when Adam catches up, the duckling flies over the edge, just out of reach. (I’d tell you that the bird hasn’t yet grown the feathers for that, but I’ve already given you your two facts. Don’t be greedy.) Our fox isn’t going to have that, and begins nailing many planks together to catch up to the fowl. Once he’s out a ways, the bird saws through most of his work. It’s just barely hanging on, and Adam freezes in place to not upset it further.

Sadistic duckling that he is, the little guy plucks out a single feather, (his feet flash yellow) and lets it drops on the frightened fox. (The tension is wonderful here!) No fake outs either; once the feather makes contact with the fox, his structure collapses and he falls to his death. You’d think that now he’d be able to rest. (In peace) But forget that! Being an angel means he has wings of his own! And he’s going to use them to chase that duckling! Iris out.

Favorite part: It’s small, but a great touch. When the duckling walks around in the air with his wing/hands behind his back, he still flaps them to keep aloft. Being a cartoon, nobody would have to animate that and everyone could just accept it. But they did. I’m very proud of them.

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