“If you ask me, I’d say he is a very rude duck.”
Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by David Detiege; Animation by Warren Batchelder, Bob Matz, and Manny Perez; Layouts by Dick Ung; Backgrounds by Tom O’Loughlin; Film Editor: Lee Gunther; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Bill Lava. A Looney Tune released on August 28, 1965.
It’s the mid-sixties, it’s a Daffy cartoon, so he’ll be partaking in his usual feud with Speedy, no doubt? Actually, he’s not the featured rodent at all! Believe it, if you would be so kind, that Daffy is facing off against Mac and Tosh! Which surprises me, no end. What are the Goofy Gophers doing making any appearances after the original studio shut down? Whatever it was, they wouldn’t do it a second time.
I guess it just makes sense to have them here, as Daffy is following a stupidly easy map to gold, and Speedy is too domesticated to live in a hole in the ground. Daffy tells them to beat it, but they refuse to. (Politely, naturally.) They’ve got an honest-to-goodness deed to the property that says they are staying right where they are. Daffy chooses to plunge them out, rubs their heads together, (I don’t get it, but the action delights me for some reason,) and sends them off via can, mockingly repeating the farewell they gave him not a minute earlier with pitch perfect accuracy. (Both gophers are voiced by Mel here. He’s doing great, but Stan was simply wonderful as the other half.)
The two burrow back into their hole and leave a lit TNT stick for Daffy to find. (Mac jumps briefly during the countdown. Giddy, perhaps?) Daffy tries to tow them out via a rope tied to lettuce, but their vegetarian diet is doing wonders for their upper body strength, and they don’t budge; Daffy’s jeep’s frame gets ripped off the wheels. And they have more explosives to spare, leaving a bomb for Daffy to vacuum up. (Of course it’s lit. What uncouth creatures do you take these gophers for?) Daffy puts what he thinks is them in a trash can with a boulder on top, and the explosion sends the can over him, and the boulder on top.
Daffy next tries to flood them out, mistakenly thinking this kind of thing always works. But being more refined than Virgil and Ross, they simply cork the hose. All the water Daffy intended to send their way quickly builds up, and when it can go no larger, bursts, sending Daffy into the stratosphere. He gets hilariously poetic, musing about the silence up here, meets a friendly, passing cosmonaut, and is smart enough to realize that his reentry is going to burn. This whole sequence has raised the rating a number.
While Daffy isn’t looking, the two simply move the land-marker rock Daffy followed here in the opposite direction. Once he notices, he packs up his shovel and tries where he figures he should have been all along. (In typical Daffy function, he doesn’t even consider apologizing.) And to show how polite they really are, the gophers even throw a nugget for him to find. Their place IS loaded with the stuff, remember. Heck! They probably made the map as a way to make new friends and share happiness! (The greedy get the piss taken out of them first.) But since greed is a sin, they won’t be giving him more than the one piece. But they will humor him, and paint many of the plain rocks the same color. Man, these guys are pleasant!
Favorite Part: If not the whole space scene, then it’s after they first show the duck the deed. Giving him the polite version of ‘Get off our property!’: “It’s been so nice meeting you!” “Drop around again, sometime!”
Personal Rating: 3. I’m honestly surprised it took so long for Daffy to get paired up with this pair. The differing personalities scream comedy. Shame we couldn’t have seen it with a higher animation budget.