Stork Naked

“I’LL GIVE THAT STORK A RECEPTION HE WON’T FORGET!”

Directed by I. Freleng; Story by Warren Foster; Animation by Arthur Davis, Virgil Ross, and Manuel Perez; Layouts by Hawley Pratt; Backgrounds by Irv Wyner; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Music by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released on February 26, 1955.

A sober stork in a Warner Brothers Picture? It’s unthinkable! And yet, that’s how this one starts out. The stork may have a clear head, but that’ll soon be fixed. He doesn’t have just one bundle to deliver. The first one offers him a toast to the baby. As does the second. And the third. There we go. That’s more like the stork we know. He needs a name that I will claim as canonical. From now until the end, he is Tipsy the stork.

Just one more delivery to go. It’s an egg, so it must be headed for some birds. That is correct, specifically, a couple of ducks. Daffy and his wife, Daphne. (Which is a perfect name for her. It’s what I call the wife Daffy has every time he’s married.) Daphne knows he’s coming, as she is already knitting a sweater. (It’s a little known fact that all ducks get one piece of clothing. Hence Daphne’s bow, and her husband’s slippers) Once Daffy catches on that the sweater isn’t intended for him, he realizes that the stork is on the way again. (Again? So, Daphne has had more than one miscarriage? That’s hard. No wonder she spends the rest of the short off camera, grieving.)

It’s never stated why Daffy is so adverse to being a parent, but it’s pretty obvious. Kids are whiny, greedy, egotists who think they can get away with everything. (I would know. I was one, once.) So, Daffy really has no other option than to kill the stork. (Or at least just chase him away.) He’s got quite the impressive armory at the ready, but Tipsy just walks right past him and heads for the chimney. Daffy’s trap-oline works wonders and sends the bird right back up. Too bad Daffy misses his chance to hit him on the return.

Chimney didn’t work, so Tipsy heads for the front door. (Drunks always try and start with the chimney. Why do you think Santa has a red nose?) Daffy has another trap planned: a trap door that leads to an alligator basement. Tipsy walks around the pit, and when Daffy tries shoving him back out, he falls down himself. (He does manage to get away, but at the cost of a good chunk of his plumage.) When Tipsy tries a window entrance, he accidentally enters one of Daffy’s cannons and is fired back into the sky. (Little note, but I like how pleased he is to see the egg is okay. It’s not his kid, but he still wants it to be safe.)

I don’t know how long the egg must be in Daffy’s possession for it to count, but the cartoon is still going, so I guess things are in his favor. Still, Tipsy hasn’t given up either, so Daffy starts chasing him down with an axe. (I never thought about it before, but being a stork must suck. On a different note, someone should make a cartoon about a stork trying to deliver a baby to a teenager, while they, in turn, try to keep it hidden from their parents. I’m sure it would be a hit at a film festival.) When the stork creeps onto a telephone wire to evade the psycho, Daffy chops the wire his adversary is standing on. (It makes his pole fall, and he lands back in the reptiles company.)

Finally, the egg starts to hatch, so Tipsy gets it to deliver itself. It manages to get inside Daffy’s house, and hatches just as Daffy gets his wings on it. Why, it’s not a duckling after all! It’s a stork chick. And if the hat is any indication, it really IS Tipsy’s child. Daffy is delighted as he flies the chick back to where it belongs. Not only because he’s ducked out of responsibility once again, but the stork is finally going to see what it’s like on the receiving end.

Favorite Part: It’s another little thing, but when the egg starts to hatch, look at the legs. They actually foreshadow the twist, by not drawing webbed feet. They took the time to be consistent. I’m so proud!

Personal Rating: 3

Fool Coverage

“What are you doing? Jusht looking for an accident?”

Directed by Robert McKimson; Story by Tedd Pierce; Animation by Phil DeLara, Charles McKimson, Herman Cohen, and Rod Scribner; Layouts by Robert Givens; Backgrounds by Carlos Manriquez; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc. Musical Directions: Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on December 13, 1952.

That awful virus! It’s responsible for cancelling comicon this year! I hope its proud of itself. But I suppose you’d rather hear me blog about my chosen subject. Fine.

Daffy plays an employee of the Hot Food Casualty Underwriter’s Insurance Company. He has just knocked on Porky’s door to try and sell him a policy. At first mention, this sounds like some kind of miracle. With Daffy’s company, you stand to acquire a million bucks for even a black eye. Of course, there are some stipulations. Conveniently, Daffy only reads what they are after he has placed some earmuffs on Porky. Doesn’t matter though. Porky is quite the careful individual, and refuses to buy on account of him never suffering any unfortunate accidents.

Daffy isn’t one to be deterred. He aims to prove to Porky that he NEEDS insurance. He’ll just follow Porky around as he does some chores. And if nothing dangerous occurs, Daffy will be right there to make things worse. Although, is his help really needed? Porky starts off by looking for his screwdriver in his oven with a lit match. Since the great Bob loves Porky, he is spared, but Daffy gets explosion-ed when demonstrating a flashlight is a safer method.

Maybe a trap is required after all. It’s rather clever too. Daffy just saws a hole in the floor, covers it up, then rigs the rocking chair so Porky will fall through. Only problem, Porky doesn’t feel like rocking, and only agrees to do so to humor the salesduck. With his heart not really in it, he doesn’t rock enough to fall. (Although, in my eyes, Porky always rocks enough) Daffy shows him some real rocking, and falls for his own trap.

Just as he’s about to booby trap the bathtub, (With lard. Which has horrifying implications. I hope Daffy didn’t find that in Porky’s house. Though, considering what I’ve seen Porky do, it wouldn’t surprise me. Just horrify.) Daffy sees Porky headed to the basement. Perfect! Porky could fall down the stairs! After Daffy does just that, Porky is need of another candle. Daffy fixes up a stick of TNT to look like one. His weakness to landing himself in Porky’s good graces, gets him holding the explosive just as it goes off.

He lands outside, dazed. Good news, though! Porky is ready to buy! Not because he needs it, per se, but all of Daffy’s mishaps are proof enough that the premises are dangerous. One signature later, and Porky gleefully announces that the million dollar policy is a sweet payoff. Of course, Daffy also gleefully tells of all the stipulations: the black eye must be received by elephants, within the house, between 3:55 P.M. and 4:00 P.M., on July 4th, during a hailstorm. (I hate policies like that.)

Porky is disgruntled, but the great Bob comes to his aid once more. (In a painful way, but he works in mysterious methods) One by one, all of the Daffy’s stipulations are met, and Porky ends up with the most beautiful shiner I ever saw! (It’s worth a million bucks.) Daffy tries to weasel out of it, by adding a baby zebra to the list. The great Bob provides.

Favorite Part: I got a chuckle of Porky announcing he left his screwdriver in the oven. I should start storing mine in the same place.

Personal Rating: 3

Riff Raffy Daffy

“What a sthet-up.”

Directed by Arthur Davis; Animation by Don Williams, Emery Hawkins, Basil Davidovich, and J.C. Melendez; Story by William Scott and Lloyd Turner; Layouts by Don Smith; Backgrounds by Philip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released on November 7, 1948. (In Cinecolor)

That’s right, Cinecolor! The precursor to the much more celebrated Technicolor. They’re might look similar, but the former can have a bit of problems having certain colors appear in their full glory. (Green and purple, for example) So, why the switch? A Technicolor strike led to some of the cartoons at this time having no choice but to go the other option. It didn’t last too long, and things would return to normal. (As normal as cartoons get, that is.)

Officer Porky is quite the responsible cop. It may be the middle of the night, but he happily patrols whistling as he does. He has to act tough though, as he finds a sleeping Daffy on a bench. The law says that he is not supposed to be sleeping in any of the locations within the park, and he is thrown out onto the streets. Cue the snow! There’s just gotta be a place where Daffy can rest, and his answer comes to him in the nearby Lacy’s department store. He makes himself comfortable in a display window, and it looks like his problems are over.

Cue Porky! This is even more illegal then the park loitering and the two have a shouting match. Half of which is kept muted, (as we are hearing things as they are) The other is comprised of indistinct shouting. Looks like Porky is going to have to remove the duck himself. Seeing as he is a policeman, he gets in, no problem, thanks to his skeleton key. Daffy invites him to sit down, offers him a smoke, and even a drink. (Which he uses as an excuse to spray soda all over his face.)

Seeing as they are in a department store, and those tend to sell sporting goods, Porky grabs a bow and arrow. Daffy glues his hand to it, so when Porky fires, he sends himself into a grandfather clock. (The cuckoo inside sends him back out) Daffy isn’t above letting his greed out either, (why do his eyes get rings? It’s scary! Save me, Porky!) as he is willing to sell Porky a gun that would be perfect for shooting ducks. (“The thingsth, sthome ducksth will do for money.”) He manages to avoid the bullets, but it looks like Porky found the cannon the cashiers stored behind the counter, (only available by personal request, and you’d better have the I.D. to back it up.) and it looks like Daffy can’t escape anymore.

He admits defeat, but points out that the only reason he did any of this, was to provide for Aphonse and Rodrigo, his…children? AWWWWW! Daffy is the father of the cutest wind-up ducklings! Porky, too, instantly regrets his actions. He allows Daffy and the kids to stay as long as they want, and Daffy finally gets the relaxation he wanted. You might think he’s being too soft on the duck, but Porky knows too well how hard it is being a father. He has three wind-up piglets of his own. (That’s my pal! He’s a champion advocate for single fathers everywhere!)

Favorite part: The ending for sure. But since I already mentioned it, I’ll pretend it’s the part where Porky finds a sobbing gopher sitting amongst his furniture. He immediately knows who evicted the rodent.

Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue

“Fasten you seat belts! It’s gonna be a bumpy ride!”

Written by Duane Poole, Tom Swale; Directed by Milton Gray, Marsh Lamore, Bob Shellhorn, Mike Svayko, Karen Peterson (supervising); Starring the voices of Ross Bagdasarian, Jeff Bergman, Townsend Coleman, Wayne Collins, Jim Cummings, Jody Dedio, Paul Fusco, Danny Goldman, Georgi Irene, Janice Karman, Aaron Lohr, Jason Marsden, Don Messick, Lorenzo Music, Laurie O’Brien, Lindsay Parker, George C. Scott, Russi Taylor, and Frank Welker. Theme music composed by Richard Kosinski, Sam Winans, Paul Buckmaster, Bill Reichenbach, Bob Mann, Guy Moon, and Alan Menken. A TV special aired on April 21, 1990.

How dare I discuss this when so many others with notoriety have before me? Well, unlike them, I actually LIKE this. Unironically even. Since the plot is relatively well known, I’ll keep that part to a minimum and just give my overall opinion on it.

Many find this special disappointing. With its title, you’d think it’s some kind of action-packed thrill ride with the greatest heroes animation has to offer. I can see why most would feel let down, but I wasn’t one of them. I wasn’t born when this special aired. In fact, I wasn’t aware of the thing until 2007. I happened to catch a glimpse of it during a cartoon music video, and wondered what it was. My best guess was that it was some promotional ad for a TV network. I mean, why else would all these toons owned by different companies all be here?

Luckily, someone in the comments also was clueless and asked what the source was. Now with title in hand, I looked it up. So I knew it was an anti-drug thing the whole time.  While I agree that it would have been so much cooler as that aforementioned thrill ride, I think this is still a work of genius. Aren’t kids much more likely to listen to cartoons? And we’ve got a good mix of characters. Let’s run through them.

The Smurfs: never really saw them. (Especially not those horrific life action films. Don’t people know that cartoons are drawn because they look horrifying in realistic styles?) Considering how profitable they had been around the time, I think they were a good choice.

Alf: Can’t say this was a smart choice. You really wanted Alf as part of your anti drug squad? His live action series had just barely ended, and I’m guessing his popularity was ending. If this had come out a few years earlier, I’d have less problems. But it’s hard for me to hate a guy who munchs cats. And yes, I do get a kick out of him threatening to eat…

Garfield: I love this guy! Have ever since I was a kid. Garfield and Friends was something I watched every morning before school. He deserves to be here.

The Chipmunks: I was also rather fond of these guys as a child. Mostly because of “The Chipmunk Adventure” (I rented that movie every time I visited the local video rental place. Those were good times.) Not as big a fan as I once was, but I’m glad they’re here.

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger: Pooh is my favorite Disney character. I’m pleased as punch to find him in this. Tigger is also great. Another two solid picks.

Baby Kermit, Piggy, and Gonzo: I’m also quite the Muppets fan. Sadly, their adult counterparts wouldn’t fit in, being live action and all. I’ll settle for this version of them. At least it allows Kermit the frog to share the screen with Garfield and Pooh.

Slimer: I’m not really a Ghostbusters fan. Granted, I’ve yet to see the animated series they’re borrowing from. I have seen the movie. It’s not bad, but I don’t find it funny or really all that entertaining. But the franchise was still doing great at the time, it’d be idiotic to NOT include anyone from it.

Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck: The reason we are discussing this. With a title like “Cartoon ALL-STARS” you darn well better have at least one Looney Tune. Two is better than that. They had to pick the two most popular,  and they did. (Wile E is also mentioned. Too bad he didn’t show his face)

Michelangelo: Also not much of a TMNT fan. I’d like to watch the 80’s series. Someday. Again, being the profitable series it was, they made a good choice of picking a turtle. They chose the kids favorite too.

Huey, Dewey, and Louie: It would have been cooler if Mickey, Donald and Goofy had been chosen, like they were originally intended to be, but these three are a good second choice. I like Ducktales.

So, that’s the lot. (Despite the fact Smurfette appears on the VHS cover) Overall, I like the selection. However, the special is definitely not perfect. The toons seem to keep changing size without explanation, and the majority of the characters feel very underutilized. Slimer disappears after everybody leaves the house. (At least he got one line) And Daffy doesn’t show up until the final few minutes. Also, most of them don’t contribute much to the problem at hand. It’s a good thing they all join in the song. (Most of them anyway. As stated, Slimer is gone by this point and most of the smurfs are too. He was probably eating them. And Alf steals Bugs’ line. Prick)

It doesn’t flow too naturally, either. The “human” characters disappear and warp around the world as needed. I guess it simulates how one feels on drugs? (“How’d I get back to my room? My weed must’ve given me super powers.”) Everything just seems to end too fast. It’s a shame they only got a half hour to tell their story. This would’ve been much more informative at twice the length.

Despite these complaints, there are some good parts to be had. Our villain isn’t terrible. He may just be a cloud of smoke named Smoke (despite no name being given during the run time) but he’s evil enough to suit his purpose. Does a good job of not giving a crap about anyone or caring. Just like real drugs! Also, this is the first time Bugs and Daffy aren’t being voiced by the voice god, Mel. Jeff Bergman is a good replacement. (Not a great one. There is no such person aside from Noel. Even then, he wouldn’t  be perfect. No offense Mr. Blanc.)

All in all, this wasn’t the best it could be, but I think it came out fairly decent. I’m sure it was hard enough just getting everyone to agree to let their characters join in the fun. (It’s odd that the parents can’t get along as well as the children. Bugs and Mickey visit each other every Christmas and birthday.) If they had been given more time, I’m sure this could have been remembered more fondly. Anti-drug message and all.

Favorite part: I’m tempted to choose the few scenes showing our main character has a Looney Tunes poster in his room, but unfortunately, it’s too blurry to make out. ( I think it contains Bugs, Daffy, Sylvester, Tweety, Taz and Porky) If only I could SEE IT! Instead, my pick goes to the song. It’s catchy and brings everyone together. (Just what every crossover gourmand wants.)

Bugs Bunny’s Howl-oween Special

“Beware! Beware!”

Producer: Hal Geer; Directed by David Detiege, Abe Levitow and Maurice Noble; Story by Cliff Roberts; Music by Harper McKay. A TV special aired on CBS on October 26, 1978.

Halloween is such a fun time of year. You can be as macabre as you want and nobody bats an eye. Having any excuse to eat nothing but chocolate is also a bonus. And unlike other holidays, this one doesn’t have any deeper meaning anymore, and is used solely as a fun excuse. And naturally, there are plenty of cartoon treats on the side.

This special consist of clips from other “spooky” themed Looney Tunes and edited together with some new footage. (Sort of like Frankenstein’s monster.) Even if you aren’t the expert on these shorts, like I am, it’s not hard to tell where edits were made. Voices sounding different and animation not syncing up properly.

We start with a bit of “A-haunting we will go.” Right after Daffy’s nephew warns of the real witch, and his uncle drags him out to prove him wrong, we cut to a snippet of “Broom Stick Bunny.” Hazel still invites Bugs in, but doesn’t explain why she is giving him a tea designed to un-uglify someone. Even more confusing, after Bugs reveals himself to be a rabbit, she still wants him to drink, as she sees “that witch” as a threat. (You’ve lost me. Can a rabbit be a witch? And if the two are combined, will that spell the end of all witches?)

Bugs refuses to drink her tea, saying that he only will drink the kind his doctor makes. So, now we jump to a “Hyde and Hare” clip. While Bugs is chased by Hyde, his screams wake up a sleeping Sylvester, and we next jump to an abridged “Hyde and go Tweet.” After that, Bugs has somehow managed to escape Hyde and samples his formula. Now properly scary, he leaves to try and frighten Hazel. She is immune, turns him back to normal, and that makes him fall asleep. Next up: “A witch’s tangled hare.”

After all that, we finally catch up to Daffy arriving at her place, with most of that short being played. It cuts right after Daffy leaves. (Here’s an omission I never noticed before: when Speedy tries to make Daffy drink, the table is gone. But there is still a chunk of Speedy’s clothes missing that is table shaped.)

After all this, Bugs is still not impressed with Hazel’s attempts at being scary. She decides to show him, by frightening the cat that is accompanying Porky who is coming to stay at her house, since she put up a vacancy sign. (She now lives amongst some other buildings? Magic works fast!) So now, we get a mishmash of “Claws for alarm” and “Scaredy Cat” playing. And despite Hazel saying SHE is going to be the one scaring the cat, he runs off when Porky orders him to get out. (Not to mention, was she doing anything? Were all those mice under her control?)

I guess Bugs is convinced, as he offers to team up with her to frighten people, and proposes a toast. Upon drinking she turns into Count Bloodcount and “Transylvania 6-5000” plays. To be fair, they put in some new dialogue here, with Bugs wondering where the witch went, and Hazel speaking instead of the vampire. (But they don’t explain why Bugs is dressed as an umpire suddenly. Unless you’ve seen the original, you’re going to be confused.)

Once back to her self, she chases Bugs as she has had enough of him. (I do love the face he makes as he runs away from her.) This leads to our last clip from “Bewitched Bunny.” This time, once Hazel is transformed, Bugs doesn’t make a sexist remark, and just notes that no one wants to be alone on Halloween. The two then go to share Hazel’s brew.

This special is kind of a mess. The cartoons don’t always flow together neatly, and will probably confuse anyone over the age of five. I’m sure little kids will love it through and through, but that doesn’t include me. Here’s wishing any of you REAL people who read this, a happy Halloween. (Seriously though people. Stop leaving your spam on my website. You’re just wasting your time.)

Daffy Duck’s Easter Egg-citement

“You ain’t laid a good egg in months.”

Executive Producer: Hal Geer; Produced by DePatie-Freleng; Sequence Directors: Tony Benedict, Gerry Chinquy, Art Davis and David Detiege. A TV special released on April 1, 1980.

Happy Easter! My favorite holiday! And what does Easter make one think of? Eggs, Chocolate and animals returning from migrations. You didn’t say rabbits, did you? We’re discussing Daffy’s special today. We’ll get to Bugs’ another time. What does Daffy have over Bugs? Original content! Three new shorts that had been yet to be shown to the world.

Our title screen looks pretty good to me, but Daffy is not satisfied. Besides the Easter egg, there isn’t much of the spectrum being used here. (Personally, brown is my favorite Easter color) We never see the animator here. (So if you want to think it’s Bugs, go ahead.) Daffy wants to be part of an Easter parade. All he needs is an outfit. After getting painted into a scuba suit, he gets a dapper tux. He is then stampeded by hens. Foghorn shows up and sends Daffy away with a script, saying that he’ll show up in scene 49. Time for the first short!

The Yolks on You

First on our plate, a cartoon about eggs. How do you think Easter eggs are made? I’m sure you believe the old myth about dyeing them yourself. (What really happens, the vinegar causes you to pass out and you just THINK you did all the work.) They come from hens of course. Foghorn is the boss, and assigns each of the hens in his care a color to lay. Prissy is also there. She is actually able to lay eggs in this one, but they come out shaped like… I don’t know. Some kind of teeth? Her anxiety only gets worse, as she is assigned the hardest color you can make an egg: Turquoise! (Unless you are an American Robin. Those showoffs! They figured out the secret ages ago, and continue to lay that color just to spite other birds.) Prissy tries her best, but the egg comes out gold. (The short never specifies that it is solid gold, or just colored that way, but it seems to go through more abuse than an egg should, so I guess it’s real.) Not wanting to be found with this mistake, she throws it away. It rolls down the hill. At the bottom, Sylvester is picking through the trash. Tough as things are, he at least has a friend: Daffy. (Scene 49 came quick!) Daffy is not quite the friend you want sharing your food though. He helps himself to Sylvester’s fish skeletons. Daffy is first to spot the egg, and tries to keep it to himself. Sylvester isn’t fooled and they chase for it. Daffy eventually gets in a taxi, but can’t relax due to his paranoia. (Read: Sylvester tapping on the window repeatedly.) The cat gets the egg back again, and Daffy tickles him to release it. This isn’t getting them anywhere. Daffy has an idea to keep it hidden so other’s won’t find it. Paint it white, and stick it in a hen house. No one would suspect it’s valuable. And no one does. A truck takes all the eggs away thinking they’re all food. The duo chase after it. Later that night, they’re still looking through all the eggs. Cracking each one, hoping to eventually find their treasure.

During the intermission, Daffy complains to the artist again. He demands an Easter basket. The artist complies. Daffy also wants a chicken on it. He gets a chick outfit painted on him. Not finding it funny, he refuses to move. A lever is painted under him, and a rock launches him into the sky. While he’s gone, the ground is replaced with water. And with a torpedo headed for him, Daffy has no choice but to use the basket as a boat.

The Chocolate Chase

Daffy has a new job. He is to guard a chocolate factory. (Said owner is a pig in a sombrero. I’d give him a name, but he disappears after telling Daffy to keep kids out.) A nearby village of mice, is hoping to get some chocolate rabbits for their kids. They are poor, but they gather all the money they can to buy some from Daffy. He takes it all, declares it not enough and sends them away. Geez! That’s evil! (And possibly racist, seeing as they are all Mexican.) Seeing as they are all Mexican, it seems quite obvious that Speedy would be related to one of the villagers. It just so happens that Speedy is related to one of the villagers, and agrees to help out. He gets one easily, and hands it to a grateful child. (Those rabbits are tiny! I get that they are mice, but does the factory really make such small chocolate molds? On another note,) I really do like that the kids thank Speedy. He is really making their Easter special. (Don’t try and tell me that Easter is more about the religious aspects. In a poor village, the chocolate is the only thing making it different than a normal Sunday.) Daffy has pretty good reflexes, as he is able to get Speedy in a net. (Doesn’t slow him down though. And Daffy is yanked through a fence’s knothole.) And a motorcycle isn’t any help. (Not only is Speedy faster, Daffy crashes and flies into a telephone pole.) Daffy tries to corner the mouse by chasing him into the factory. He chases him onto the machinery and winds up falling into the molten chocolate. Now encased in the confection, he can’t stop the mice from taking what is rightfully theirs. They even bring Daffy’s frozen body to their fiesta. Daffy manages to break his head free, but he isn’t mad. Chocolate has magical calming powers, and his attitude has adjusted. He’s just happy to be there.

Another intermission! What does Daffy want this time? Flowers! Cue the paintbrush. Now a “Daffy-dil,” (Which looks like a daisy with Daffy’s head. Or rather, Daisy Duck!) Daffy figures things couldn’t get worse. Then a giant bee is added. (And if you’ve played “Conker’s Bad Fur Day” you know why this is bad. That bee isn’t going to eat Daffy, that’s a different kind of hunger in his eyes.)

Daffy Flies North

Well, that’s a boring title. But it is what he is doing. But he’s not enjoying himself. He decides to forgo on the whole instinct thing, and find another way to get north. Heading down to the ground he makes a three point landing! (If the pitchfork only had more prongs, he could have set a new world record.) Could hitchhiking work? Kind of. The car in question is full of hunters and hounds. How about sneaking onto a chair that is being towed by a car? Again, it kinda works. Daffy still ends up in a lake. But there is still hope! A horse! He could ride it! But it’s not willing. (A horse can drink, but you can’t lead him away from water. Or something like that.) Daffy can’t really get on the horse, and besides he really does need a saddle. He does get one on the equine, and ties it (and himself) on so they can’t be ejected. It works at first, but since he can’t hold on, he slides under the animal and repeatedly hits his head on the ground. And I guess the horse would rather die than be used as a mount, as he heads into a lake. (Daffy is forced to carry the beast out. And I guess it was really cold as he is blue upon exiting. I suppose it could be due to lack of oxygen, but that is a little too dark. Either way doesn’t explain why the horse looks no worse for the wear) His next try lands him on a bull. (Sadly not THE bull from Bully for Bugs That would have been such a cool cameo! Daffy is chased onto an airplane. He kicks back, happy to have found an easy alternative to flying, which was flying. Except, it was headed back to South America. Right back to winter. (Since I don’t live in the southern hemisphere, I guess I can’t fathom it being cold. Even in winter, won’t it be at least seventy degrees?)

Well, that’s all for the new shorts. Daffy tries to get even with the paintbrush by shaving its bristles, but it shaves him instead. He is then painted inside an Easter egg. The brush is nice enough to paint a door on it. (Despite the fact it painted a sign to not open until next Easter.) Daffy tries to escape, but seeing the brush outside, he decides its better to just wait. (Being a bird, living in an egg is probably very soothing.)

Daffy-The Commando

Teh bin fertig mit der feleton, herr von limberger?

Supervision by I. Freleng; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ken Champin; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released in 1943.

A Nazi general by the name of Von Vulture is not in the best of moods. He has just been told that he is through should he let one more commando get through. He doesn’t have much to back him up either. Just a small, constantly goosestepping,constantly heil-ing, silent bird named Schultz who Von constantly smacks on the head. Hearing a plane, they rush outside with a spotlight and spot a commando. Daffy the commando to be precise. And he immediately makes his mark by making shadow puppets in the light. (His chorus line gets much approval from Schultz.) Upon his landing, Von runs back to the safety of the bunker. Daffy knocks on his door and asks for the time, so he can set his time bomb correctly. (It’s a going away gift for the vulture) Von hands it to his little pal and he is blown into the sky. When he lands, Daffy pops out of his helmet and gives Von a smack on the head this time. Chasing Daffy, (and confusing a skunk with Hitler. An easy mistake) He finds him in a phone booth. And no matter how much he knocks, Daffy isn’t letting him in until he’s done. When Daffy is done, Von makes a phone call before remembering his mission. Daffy takes off in a plane, but is surrounded. He dives down, and the Nazi’s fire upon each other. But Daffy’s plane is taken down by Von. With nowhere else to hide, Daffy ducks into a cannon. Von fires him and wouldn’t you know it, it blasts Daffy all the way to Hitler. (Rotoscoped, of course) He gives the fuhrer a much deserved smack on the head.

A Connecticut Rabbit in King Arthur’s Court (A.K.A. Bugs Bunny in King Arthur’s Court)

Never again do I take directions from Ray Bradbury.

Produced, Directed, and “Plagerized” by Chuck Jones; Music by Dean Elliot. A TV special released in 1978.

Bugs is on his way to Georgia for a peanut festival. But somehow, he has burrowed his way into medieval England. (Which he mistakes for Pittsburgh, due to all the smoke.) Said smoke is coming from a dragon which is being chased by Elmer as a knight. Finding the tracks leading to Bugs, he concludes that the dragon is a shapeshifter. He takes Bugs as a prisoner. They ride: to Camelot! But there aren’t any jovial singing knights here. Just the king and his knights. The king in fact looks a lot like Daffy. And Merlin looks an awful lot like Yosemite Sam. (Also, I think he stole Yen Sid’s hat and dyed it black.) Elmer offers up his catch to the king. Merlin suggests they kill the “dragon.” Not really caring about any of this, the king permits it. Bugs is set to be roasted, when he realizes that this all seems like some kind of Mark Twain story. He asks the varlet, (played by my pal Porky, who for some reason is having an even more difficult time speaking than usual) what day it is and finds that its the day that a solar eclipse happened. He demands to be set free, or he’ll blot out the sun. And boy is it ever an eclipse. One can even see the stars. The king is horrified and offers half his kingdom to the rabbit to undo his work. Bugs complies. Once gone, the king thanks Bugs and offers him something even better than half of his kingdom. A whole 32nd of it! Bugs declines and only asks that he be given a dragon. The king complies, Merlin is angry, and Fudd is convinced this was all a trick. So what did Bugs want with a dragon? He decided to open up his own armory, and uses the dragon’s flame to create steam, which in turn he uses to make electricity. Turns out Bugs was way ahead of all those types who needed to know how to train their dragons. They act just like any other animal. Feed them, and they’ll spend most of their time sleeping. (Yes, he alludes them to cats, but that sounds like pretty much every animal ever to me.) Being a rabbit, he specializes in armor for animals. Foxes, (why not?) Deer, (which he says can be outfitted for moose and elk as well. I should hope so. Since those ARE deer. Also antelope.) Tweety birds, (pratical) Mice, (it even has a little “S” on the chest. Wonder what that stands for) Cats, (to not play favorites, and besides it offers protection from dogs) Flies, (which Porky does point out is going to hamper the animal’s flying skills. Which will leave it as nothing more than a walk.) Roosters, (to prevent people from chopping off their heads. Everyone loves eating rooster meat) Rattlesnakes, (which don’t need armor, but hate being left out) and Porcupines. (Because it’s not like they have quills or anything. Also, he struggles to say it, while Porky has absolutely no problems) But his practice is put on hold, as Elmer finds his dragon and attacks. When Bugs goes to confront him, Elmer assumes Bugs is just in his rabbit form again and challenges him to a duel. Bugs and Porky versus Elmer and Merlin. And the king is loving every minute of it. They start off jousting. Bug’s lance is so long that he pole vaults over Elmer and chases Merlin into a moat. Charging again, he uses a magnet to remove Fudd’s armor, and he ends up chasing Merlin into the moat. Elmer fires an arrow, but Bug redirects it and it chases Elmer and Merlin into the moat. Then the two use a catapult, but Bugs launches the rock back with a spring and the two end up in the moat once more. (And Bugs calls Merlin out on using a cannon, seeing as gunpowder is yet to be invented.) As he leaves for a coffee break, he finds what he believes to be a carrot peeler. It’s really Excalibur and Bugs is recognized as the true king. Porky bows. Elmer and Merlin also bow to the true cartoon king. And the current king even willingly hands over his crown. (A duck as king really is ridiculous.) And so Bugs just adapts to living in a different century. All hail King Art-Hare! (The pun IS mightier than the sword!) 

My Favorite Duck

G-Gosh, what a c-cr-c-screwy duck.

 Supervison by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; (in fact, this was the first of Jones' shorts that he wrote) Animation by Rudolph Larriva; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released in 1942
Supervison by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; (in fact, this was the first of Jones’ shorts that he wrote) Animation by Rudolph Larriva; Musical Direction by Carl W. Stalling. A Looney Tune released in 1942

Porky is off on a camping trip. Singing “Moonlight Bay” in a canoe he soon finds himself in a duet with “My Favorite Duck.” Porky decides to set up camp a good distance away from the lake, but Daffy is not one to stay away. He constantly gets in Porky’s way as the pig tries to drive a tent stake into the ground. And there’s nothing Porky can do but take it, as duck season is closed at the moment. (You’re not even allowed to molest a duck? That’s unfair.) Porky eventually gets his camp set up: underwater. He decides he’d rather be on dry land. While making some lunch, (and unintentionally singing “Blues in the night” which Daffy was singing earlier) he has his egg switched with an eagle egg. (Courtesy of Daffy) He has a pan swung in his face by the mother who takes her eaglet back. (And definitely has a male voice, but the baby says “mother” so maybe he’s just confused?) Next on the list of camping activities is fishing. Fishing, by nature, is boring. So, I’m not surprised to see Porky asleep. Daffy turns his canoe upside down and drags the fishing line into the sky. Porky, felling a tug, jumps out of the water and swims through the air. Before gravity kicks in. He finds Daffy stealing his food, and chases him into a tree. He decides to smoke him out. Daffy recommends rubbing some sticks (of dynamite) together as an alternative to matches. Porky prefers to do it the easy way. It’s the promise of his Indian suit that gets him to comply. Luckily, he is unhurt by the explosion, but it did catapult him and all his supplies into the sky. He comes down, but his stuff doesn’t. (It’s probably still up there to this day) If only he had a gun. Daffy gives him one, but reminds him it won’t do any good. He pulls out a sign to prove his point, but the universe has had enough of him and the sign declares duck season open. (Love Daffy’s face here.)

 Beautiful.
Beautiful.

 Porky follows him relentlessly, and the chase leads to a large tree. They go around and around until…the film breaks. (What? Son of a…) Daffy comes out apologizing, but don’t freak out, (What? Me? I would never!) he’ll tell us how it ends. So apparently, Porky gets him cornered, but Daffy fights back with punches until Porky is groveling for mercy. (I’m not buying it) Porky hits Daffy over the head with the gun. 

My Little Duckaroo

I’ve got you now, Canasta.

 Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ken Harris, Ben Washam, Abe Levitow, Richard Thompson and Lloyd Vaughn; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Phillip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Directon by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released in 1954.
Directed by Charles M. Jones; Story by Michael Maltese; Animation by Ken Harris, Ben Washam, Abe Levitow, Richard Thompson and Lloyd Vaughn; Layouts by Maurice Noble; Backgrounds by Phillip DeGuard; Voice Characterization by Mel Blanc; Musical Directon by Milt Franklyn. A Merrie Melody released in 1954.

It’s a followup to “Drip-along Daffy.” And sadly, it’s not as good as its predecessor. Daffy is once again cast as the hero. (Known this time as the Masked Avenger) Porky is there too and still relegated to the role of comic relief. Daffy spots a wanted poster for Nasty Canasta. (Looking different than he did in his first appearance and how he would look in “Barbary Coast Bunny.” Guy just can’t find a style he likes.) Daffy decides to fix his little red wagon, but not because it is the right thing to do. It’s all about the money. Luckily, Canasta’s hideout is clearly labeled, so Daffy has no problem finding it. The problems start when he comes in and introduces himself to the thug. Canasta can’t be bothered to react to Daffy at all. (Not even to his nice mask. I agree with Daffy. It is stylish) He has no luck with his alter egos either, The Frisco Kid and Superguy. Eventually though, Canasta does challenge Daffy to a game of cards. After the classic “cutting the cards joke” Daffy deals. He gives Canasta one card and keeps the other 51 for himself. He has a royal straight flush full house with four aces. Canasta has a three of clubs and his gun in Daffy’s mouth. It’s clear who the winner is. Daffy then suggests arm wrestling. (I’m not surprised he lost. Canasta is the kind of guy who makes a cigarette by putting all the ingredients into his mouth and spitting out the final product.) Porky suggests that Daffy just arrest Canasta. And I’m happy to report that Daffy doesn’t do the old “glad I thought of it gag.” That’s not my favorite gag. He slaps some handcuffs on Canasta and tries to drag him away. Canasta breaks free. Daffy finally snaps and challenges the outlaw to fight. Porky has the utmost confidence in him. (Um, Porky old pal? You did see Canasta’s Crusher impression, didn’t you?) Porky calmly waits for the fight to subside outside, (while his shirt changes color briefly) as he assures us that Daffy is going to fix Canasta’s little red wagon. Daffy comes out the loser. And to add insult to injury, Canasta literally made him fix his little red wagon. (That’s harsh. We watched a subpar sequel to a great Daffy short for such a weak punchline?)

No post next week. I’ll be out of town. But we’ll be back the week after, so stay tooned.