Thursday, August 13, 2009

Duck Amuck - Daffy's Freak Out

Speaking of experiments...Jones continued to do experiments after the 40s, not so much with animation technique - but with concepts.
Duck Amuck questions the whole concept of animated cartoons and consciously dissects the absurdity of the rules and accepted logic (or illogic) of the medium. This makes the film loved by some and hated by others.
I'm somewhere in the middle. I loved the cartoon as a kid, not just because it was a neat concept (Heckle and Jeckle also did the same concept, but less artistically) but because of Daffy's extreme frustration and the expert animation of it.
Of course he isn't really "Daffy" Duck anymore; he's Arsehole Duck - a completely different character than the earlier likeable wacky version, and I think that too irritates purists. I just look at this guy as a new character and accept his personality as being really funny for its own sake.
Some of the ideas in the cartoon are really funny and abstract like this one where the frame melts and collapses all around him.
This could only happen in animation. I would love to have seen who or how the gag was conceived. Maltese or Jones? It sure wouldn't make sense written.



What really makes the gag work is Daffy's extreme indignant frustration and the beautiful design and animation.
There's those crazy Chuck Jones eyes.



This frenzied scramble is great, isn't it?
Mel Blanc deserves a lot of credit for the cartoon's effect. His Daffy performance is brilliantly funny.

I also love this pose and the way his chest heaves.
Of course the structure of the cartoon is perfect and it's that fact that the story is actually about. ...That the director inevitably destroys Daffy bit by bit, building the absurdity up an ascending slope of dramatic construction.
As much as I like and admire the cartoon, I can't help but feel sorry for Daffy, because he doesn't have a chance. He's at the mercy of his creator.
This is the complete opposite of Clampett's treatment of characters, where they themselves cause their own fates.


The pacing of the cartoon is also as close to perfection as I can imagine.
This is an interesting calm after the storm, a stark contrast to Daffy's previous frenzy.







Well I could probably dissect every scene of the cartoon and I'm sure I'll get around to it soon. It's definitely an important event in animation history and its development - for good and bad, depending on who you talk to. But everyone remembers it.

I would almost suggest that it purposely tries to end the period of classic animation by saying it's all been done and it's just an illusion manufactured by the director, but then you'd yell at me. I'm probably overthinking the whole damn thing - but then, so has everyone else who's ever written about it, so I figure I should get a crack at it.

http://www.cartoonthrills.org/blog/Jones/53/DuckAmuck/DaffyFreaksOutDuckAmuck.mov

58 comments:

Pilsner Panther said...

It's 1953, so isn't the period of classic animation just about over anyway? UPA had been around for a while, and even Disney was moving toward an an abstract, modernist style (at least in the work of Ward Kimball).

And as great as "Duck Amuck" is, let me call everyone's attention to the much earlier "Popeye In Goonland" as an older example of the animator apparently "reaching into" the cartoon frame and messing around with the characters. Only right at the end, but it does happen!

So it's not like this was an original idea with Chuck Jones.

...I think I might be in kind of a contrary, argumentative mood tonight. Just maybe.

Wayne said...

I love Daffy Duck. I think of him as 'curmudgeonly' rather than an arsehole. I like this character far better than his wacked-out predecessor.

Wayne said...

I should have mentioned that I've been using the Daffy avatar for quite a long time.

Andy said...

Critique away, sir. I'd love to read your dissection of this piece. I love it beyond the ability to be angered by what anybody thinks about it, but I were going to read anyone's crits on it, they'd be yours.

M. R Darbyshire said...

"I would almost suggest that it purposely tries to end the period of classic animation by saying it's all been done and it's just an illusion manufactured by the director"

That's exactly how I've always seen it. When I was a kid, it always felt wrong, like it didn't belong with the other cartoons, (but I like it). It almost signifies the point in time when Chuck Jones seemed to go off on his own path.

Rick Roberts said...

I never noticed those great poses when Daffy rips up the falling, um, "curtain".

Pilsner:

There always been breaking the forth wall in cartoons but this style in Duck Amuck was radical. It's actually even more absurd and hilarous because it's saying "I am not real but listen to me".

Alex Printz said...

Pilsner, cartoon characters breaking the 4th wall, or more so breaking free' of the medium goes back farther than that- the out of the inkwell cartoons started from existing in the real world, created by a fleischer, and some of them ended as well at the hand of their creator.

You could look even farther back, as even Gertie was meant as a vaudeville act between the 'creator' and the created.

Jones just took the interaction between the two, and rather than making it a gag, he made it into the story, or the entire story into the gag, depending on how you look at it.

Taco Wiz said...

I usually just come to this blog every day to check for a new George Liquor post [I think your work is the funniest stuff EVER], but this is one of my favorite Looney Tunes episodes, so I read the entire post. I disagree with your concept of the "arsehole Daffy". I think he acts kind of insane when he's happy...but he can be very sane and focused when he has a reason to be. I would say that's VERY depthful character development...an advantage Daffy has over Bugs. I like your interpretation of the cartoon's meaning, though. By the way, I don't know if you're into video games...but they made one based on Duck Amuck. Just thought you might like to know.

http://nintendo.joystiq.com/2007/10/18/ds-fanboy-review-looney-tunes-duck-amuck/

Brian Atwell said...

Certain comic strips seem to use this effect all the time anymore, "Pearls Before Swine" comes immediately to mind. None of the cartoons on TV right now even think about bringing any sort of 'toon vs. real life conflict.
I'm guessing that as with everything in society, we go in waves.

Pilsner Panther said...

I'm actually sort of unqualified to comment, since I really can't draw very well. As far as I got was being the cartoonist on my high school newspaper— before I was totally defeated in college by some skilled draftsmen who made my drawing look sick. One of them even did the cover of a Grateful Dead album. So I gave up.

That said, what I enjoy most is the earlier, less "polished" Warner animation... but even more, the Fleischer cartoons before Paramount started pressuring them to copy Disney and to make features.

I even like a few of the Van Beuren cartoons, in spite of the fact that they look like they had budgets of about $5.00 a foot. Even so, the "hot" early jazz music (by the long-forgotten Gene Rodemich Orchestra) made them work... sometimes.

Early Avery and Clampett (and sometimes Tash and even Art Davis and Norm Mc Cabe) at WB came close to that freewheeling spirit.

Maybe it was the difference in producers that changed the whole scene?

If there's one thing that most of the Termite Terrace guys seem to agree on, it's that Leon Schlesinger basically left them alone; all he cared about was whether a cartoon made the audiences laugh and brought in some money or not. Then he'd either say, "Give me another one like that!," or, "Don't."

I find it fascinating that the greatest age of American cartoons happened to coincide with the greatest age of American jazz and swing music: roughly 1930-1950. Maybe someday I'll write a book about it.

But not without some kind of inheritance, lucky lottery ticket, or foundation grant (same thing). Meantime, Pilsner's Picks will have to do.

Love it or not, there's no charge!

And there's also "Porky Pig's Feat" there. Come on now, what better ending to any Looney Toon is there than that one?

EalaDubh said...

In one essence, Arsehole Duck is a natural evolution of the Daffy original; neither has any self-control, but an additional aspect of the newer model is that Daffy is his own worst enemy because of it.

The guides appear to say this is a 1953 cartoon, but rewatching it just now, the copydate date in the title sequence is 1951. Did it seem so avant-garde at the time that it took a particularly long time to make it to the screen?

lost_Astronaut said...

I love the way Daffy speaks incredibly fast in the end of the clip.

Oliver_A said...

"I would almost suggest that it purposely tries to end the period of classic animation by saying it's all been done and it's just an illusion manufactured by the director, but then you'd yell at me."

Dear John,

I think there is something more to this cartoon. It could very well be a self-conscious acknowledgement of Jones own limitations.

For me, Duck Amuck is the most extreme example of his style of directing, namely being a god-like figure and pushing the characters around in an universe over which he has total control. The cartoon is like: with all those powers I have, what can I do anymore with those characters to please the audience?

Jones often said in interviews that his Daffy Duck is some kind of a self-portrait, which indicates to me, that Daffy's struggle in his enviroment mirrors Jones own creative struggle in the 50's to keep himself fresh and original. The size of the film frame is what limits and surpresses Daffy, which is resolved in the end by a cut to a realistic environment, a photograph of a confined room with an animator's desk, where Bugs Bunny is obviously a placeholder for Jones himself.

Does this make any sense to you?

Larry Levine said...

The 'arsehole' aspect of Daffy's character was gelled back in 1940 in Friz Freleng's "You Ought To Be in Pictures". Cartoons like "Draftee Duck" showed that side of him, but in a daffier way.

"Duck Amuck", is a brilliant cartoon with Chuck Jones, Maurice Noble, Mike Maltese, Ben Washam, Ken Harris & Lloyd Vaughan on top of their game!!

Trevor Thompson said...

Thanks for the sour persimmons, cousin.

Tom said...

I love duck amuck - ever since i was a kid! the timing and voice acting are amazing - the part where he sings as an ocean is painted beneath him, and then splashes in the water... man, that thing is just ingrained into me by now.

There's the jones interview on the looney tunes dvd where he talks about daffy acting like everyone is out to get him, and he notes "RIGHTLY SO, because they are out to get him". Duck amuck is almost a parody on joneses versions of daffy and bugs, because daffy keeps getting screwed and has to go on, indignantly, as the loser, and bugs is the winner and kind of mean, too. There's something very vacuous about bugs in jones cartoons... like that hensel and gretel one.

Isnt it weird how duck amuck, one of the most memorable looney tunes, practically features only one character?

thejobloshow said...

I would speculate Chuck Jones made Daffy more of an arsehole because he was projecting his frustrations with Leon Schlesinger (such as the lisp) while also appropriating his own foibles as is commonly mentioned in Chuck Amuck. Just a theory.

The pacing between poses is very strong in Duck Amuck and I do enjoy the false lead in from the title sequence where the audience is expecting a Three Musketeers-esque cartoon. Jones was aware he was subverting his own craft.

Shawn Dickinson said...

>>This makes the film loved by some and hated by others.<<

This cartoon is hated by some??? I don't know how anyone could hate it. This is one of the greatest, funniest cartoons of all time. I personally prefer the earlier, wackier DAFFY Duck over the later "arsehole" duck, and consider the two to be completely different characters altogether. But even Arsehole Duck is one of the greatest characters in all of cartoon history. Sometimes his acting and gestures (which range from subtle to dramatic), mixed with the great dialogue and Mel's voice talent just floors me! This is the era when Chuck's Areshole Duck made me laugh a hellova lot more than Chuck's lazy Smugs Bunny.

David Germain said...

Ha ha! I literally stole this animation of Daffy ripping up the scenery for a scene I was doing last year. I didn't just "watch it and then do something similar" either. I actually used a frame capture program I have to capture each and every frame of that bit, send them to my computer at work, and then place the character in my scene in exactly the same positions as Daffy (well, as close as I could get anyway). Noone was any the wiser either and I never had to do revisions on it.

Thank you, Ken Harris (I'm assuming he animated that part).

Mister 1-2-3-4 said...

I think the real arsehole in this cartoon is Bugs Bunny--it's him we see at the end as the all-powerful director, callously heaping misery upon the helpless duck. Wouldn't you go daffy, too, if you were in his position? This smugly confident interpretation of Bugs can be really grating. It's like the animators have no real feeling for Bugs, he just comes out on top because that's the studio mandate.

Rick Roberts said...

Honestly I think Daffy still was Daffy in this cartoon but his reactions now was mostly the result of fusteration. I still prefer the Clampett, Art Davis, and early Mckimson Daffy though. I just find Daffy funnier when he is smart and happy rather then dumb and angry.

J C Roberts said...

I see you view Daffy similar to me. Essentially two different characters over time. I don't really have a problem with the personality traits they gave him later on as a character type, but I couldn't really picture the 50s Daffy as Danny Boy, or even having much of a sense of fun. There's a lot that you can do with a character like that, so I don't fault them for trying new formulas, or even using a recognizable character they probably felt wouldn't fit the times the way they were.

I did always enjoy this one and thought it was done well. There's parts of the subsequent one with Bugs (I can never remember the title of that one) that I may have enjoyed more from a design sense, though.

Oliver_A said...

"I still prefer the Clampett, Art Davis, and early Mckimson Daffy though."

I think McKimson was still using the earlier concept for Daffy when everyone else long adopted "arsehole Duck". McKimson in general was also the last director who still made purely cartoony cartoons in the 50's. Plus, his late 50's / early 60's cartoons look much more sophisticated than Freleng's, which started to look like saturday morning shows.

McKimson is quite an overlooked director.

Oliver_A said...

Plus, I also think that Jones' Bugs Bunny is way more annoying than Jones' Daffy Duck.

Rick Roberts said...

Oliver:

Yes I agree with your Mckimson overview. One of the best ideas he had was to bring back the old Porky and Daffy team up.

Rick Roberts said...

JC Roberts:
You speak of Rabbit Rampage. I think that cartoon failed because Jones' Bugs was just too polite at that point. At best Bugs simply got annoyed, he never lost control and his reactions were not funny. Clampett's Bugs or Tex Avery's would have fit perfectly with that cartoon.

SoleilSmile said...

I'm so happy you're analyzing Chuck Jones now! More! MORE! What do you think of Jones' partnership with Abe Levitow? He made my favorite Pepe Le Pew shorts.

baldin said...

This is probably the closest that animation ever came to Godard.

But it beats Godard anyday cos it's hilarious :-D

Looking forward to reading your toughts on it!

Chip Butty said...

Jones really was ahead of his time. Smug Bugs helped create 'Tude and Arsehole Duck helped create unsympathetic victimology. The difference is Jones could draw and make it funny. Now every cartoon character is either too cool for school (often literally) or a victim at the whim of their creator-god's sadism.

Fuzzy Duck said...

My thoughts exactly, Mr. K. Perfectly summed up.

J C Roberts said...

Ah, that's why I keep forgetting it. I keep thinking Rabbit Rampage is the one where Bugs goes on a sabotage crusade, jumping up and down with keys yellin "I got 'em!" It was also the name of a SNES game from the mid 90s.

I agree the formula doesn't work as well with Bugs, it's never as satisfying when Bugs is the one getting such treatment. What I did like in it where some of the redesigns he goes through, but I haven't seen it in years.

Pilsner Panther said...

There used to be a store on West 72nd Street in Manhattan that sold nothing but caviar. Maybe it's still there.

In the display window, they'd have about a dozen different varieties of caviar, and if you could afford it, you'd go in and make your choice.

That's what the discussions of the great old cartoons on Mr. K.'s board here seem like to me... an embarrassment of riches. I just don't get any hating on "Duck Amuck" or any of the other classics, it's more like, "here's another one that's great, and another, and another...!"

Those directors and animators and musicians and voice talents and everyone else involved were severely underpaid (even by the standards of the time), but they got a singular, remarkable chance to do what they loved to do; were meant to do. How many people can say that, either then or now?

And, no question— it shows. It's the true coin.

In the immortal words of Flann O'Brien, "Their like shall not be here again."

Whit said...

By the time "Rabbit Rampage" was made Jones had defined Bugs Bunny as always being in control. "Duck Amuck" is a better cartoon for a lot of reasons.

Torsten Adair said...

There are so many wonderful bits to this cartoon. My favorite as a kid is where Daffy gets redrawn into a hideous creature with the "Screw ball" flag. Today, I like the "soundtrack" bit where Daffy is tricked into cursing, ending with "... and I've never been so insulted in all my life!"

So many great lines of dialog! Please, Mr. K sir, do this right, perhaps as a nice big $100 Taschen book with frame-by-frame prints, the occasional bit of dialog or analysis, and maybe a limited edition cel.

Man... looking at the list from 1953, so much good stuff!

Rick Roberts said...

One last thing about this cartoon that very few can pull off, it makes you pay full attention just to one character.

Rick Roberts said...

"Those directors and animators and musicians and voice talents and everyone else involved were severely underpaid"

I think the greater shame is they never got the credence and recognition in public they deserved while they were at their peaks.

Chulextarrero said...

The Duffy Duck poses are great to study. I always love this cartoon.

Speedy Boris said...

While "Rabbit Rampage" didn't have the advantage of being a pioneer like "Duck Amuck", it's arguably just as funny, especially the myriad of ways that Elmer draws Bugs (my personal favorites being Bugs with a tiny head, as well as drawn like a dopey cartoon rabbit). There's some fine animation in here, too, and for being animated by one guy (Ben Washam), it turned out great.

Also, I like how this is one of those few post '53 cartoons when Bugs isn't in complete control of the situation. It's interesting to see a character who is usually calm and collected lose his cool, as we also saw in "Tortoise Beats Hare" and "Tortoise Wins By a Hare". (Interestingly, 1955 must've been the year to experiment with Bugs losing for a change, as we also got "Hare Brush" and, debatably, "Hyde and Hare")

Finally, one can look at the cartoon as Bugs's comeuppance for picking on Daffy in the earlier short. And Elmer actually wins, for once. With how much he fails to get the rabbit, it's amusing to see him "get him", albeit in a different manner.

But yes, "Duck Amuck" is one of the greats. I can't imagine the audience reaction back in 1953. Must've been something.

Joel Brinkerhoff said...

Indisputably Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese created the 1953 classic cartoon “Duck Amuck,” but the ideas and comic bits were around for a long time before they brought them to new light. The springboard seems to be Buster Keaton’s 1924 masterpiece “Sherlock Jr.” In it we find the continuity gags of changing backgrounds and props pulled and replaced. Next, a very specific split-frame gag can be traced to an obscure 1941 Ole Olsen and Chic Johnson adaptation of the play “Hellzapoppin.” Director H.C. Potter continually broke the fourth wall in this self-referencing farce, and created a projectionist joke where the film became stuck with the framing splitting the screen. The characters comment on their condition before the supposed projectionist can make the correction twelve years before Daffy found himself in the same situation.

Jack G. said...

I still like Daffy at this point in his evolution.

I don't like Jones' Daffy much from "Deduce, You Say" onward.

Friz's answer to Jones' Daffy I didn't like at all.

Trevor Thompson said...

I think "Rabbit Rampage" is proof that Chuck Jones doesn't understand Bugs unless he's a winner.

Mr. Semaj said...

Rabbit Rampage works, not just because of the gags, but mainly because Elmer Fudd was the mystery artist.

I'm guessing Duck Amuck had to have made some kind of impact on its debut, because the beginning set moviegoers up for a surprise.

EalaDubh said...

Wow... comparing Duck Amuck to Rabbit Rampage (which I knew or remembered nothing about until I tracked it down on YouTube for comparison), the latter cartoon is just painful if you think about it for more than a minute. Duck Amuck plays to Daffy's strengths as a reactive character, and while the gags are atill funny - albeit more overplayed - second time round, this just isn't Bugs. It's not that he isn't a winner, an instigator or in control here, or even that he can dish it out but can't it, but that he doesn't even *try*. Daffy was given no opportunity to fight back against his unknown assailant and tries to roll with it as best he can. Bugs knows exactly what's going on, but just stonewalls and comes close to losing his cool almost immediately and becomes genuinely scared and helpless underneath that bluster. All it takes is the threat of his contract and he'll humiliatingly roll over like a dog. Sheesh, it's 1954 so why not label him a communist while you're about it?

I'm all for a toon where Elmer finally wins in the end, but sheer dumb luck would be the right sort of punchline for that. Bugs being submissive to Elmer is fundamentally wrong, even if we don't know (but Bugs does) who it is. Showing Elmer to be an accomplished artist doesn't really work in Elmer-vs-Bugs terms either, because key to that contest is that whatever occupation is involved, Elmer is hopelessly out of his depth. This gag would have been much funnier if it were presented to suggest that, like his singing ability in What's Opera Doc, keeping to himself as an artist is what he should be doing in life, but he chooses the confrontational route anyway even though he's totally hopeless at it.

Pilsner Panther said...

I don't know about labeling any cartoon character a "communist," even in 1954.

American theatrical cartoons were almost totally apolitical, except of course during WWII. Behind the scenes, now that was something else, what with Walt Disney after the 1941 strike against his studio being only too willing to denounce any former employee who hadn't been completely "loyal" as a "commie."

One of the things that delights me so much about the old cartoons is that they totally lack a political agenda. There's no animation equivalent to— say— a Pete Seeger or Bob Dylan, and thank goodness! Who wants to be entertained, but then finds themselves being politically harangued instead, given the bait-and-switch routine?

Not me. Give me the custard pie in the face, the ol' banana peel on the sidewalk, and the fizzing stick of dynamite that the hero hands to the villain, instead.

Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam and Bluto are some really nasty villains, but does anyone know what political party they might have belonged to, from watching the cartoons that they appear in? Of course not.

My guesses, on this absurd topic:

Elmer Fudd: staunch Republican, hated Franklin Roosevelt.

Yosemite Sam: Ron Paul or John McCain supporter. Today, would be madly in love with Sarah Palin.

Bluto: No political affiliation, just hates Popeye and wants Olive as his mate. Perhaps an anarchist.

Popeye: Roosevelt Democrat, always trying to help the "little guy."

Bugs: Fiercely independent, "Don't tread on me!" -type American. With a slight streak of nastiness toward his tormentors (paying them back, in spades). But they never experience that unless they go begging for it.

Daffy (Avery-Clampett-Tashlin versions): "Just a crazy darn-fool duck!"

Daffy (Chuck Jones version): Michael Savage in a duck suit.

Then we have Tweety and Sylvester— pure Marxism, with Tweety representing the idle bourgeoisie (fed and kept by Granny, the ruling class), while Sylvester is the lumpen proletariat, always in revolt against the status quo.

And that's enough... before someone else goes on with this idiocy and tries to turn it into a doctoral thesis or even a book. If that happens, I want royalties—

"It's mine, all mine! I can't help it if I'm a greedy slob, it's my hobby!"

EalaDubh said...

Eh, it was just a gag. What I meant was that it being the 50s, if you wanted to humiliate a performer and threaten his livelihiid that much, that's what you'd do to 'em.

Pilsner Panther said...

EalaDubh, you think I was being serious? You just threw me a funny idea to riff on, probably without even realizing it: the idea that cartoon characters might have political beliefs, and if so, what would they be?

I live in a Blue State— it's full of Smurfs.

HemlockMan said...

This is one of only a a few Daffy Schmuck cartoons that I like. Why they turned him from daffy to schmucky has always been a mystery to me.

EalaDubh said...

See, this is the problem with text on a screen, and by extension with modern animation and the bland, generic voicework contained within. You can't gather enough strength of personality or vocal inflections from it. We need MOAR VISUAL EMOTIVE WACKINESS! :D

EalaDubh said...

"I live in a Blue State— it's full of Smurfs."

And Gargamel is Bill O'Reilly. :)

Zypsiollia said...

Being that Duck Amuck is one of my favorite Daffy cartoons I was very excited to see it being discussed. That being said, I never get the chance to ask anyone else this, because I've already pointed it out to everyone I know.

Has anyone else noticed that the Daffy that begins the cartoon is not the Daffy that ends the cartoon?

When the screen splits and Daffy begins to argue with himself and is erased by the "animator", the one that is erased is the one that began the cartoon. The Daffy that is left is the second one from the split frame.

Completely pointless observation, just felt the need to make it.

Gad said...

"This makes the film loved by some and hated by others."
show me one person who doesn't like Duck Amuck. how can any one not like it?

absurd...

Zaphod2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zaphod2 said...

In my fevered imaginings...

The reason for Daffy's change in personality was a nervous breakdown around 1950 after being shot in the face one too many times in Rabbit Fire. This resulted in the development of an Alternate Personality Disorder

Where Daffy had been a helium voiced hyper crazy force of nature, the new (and ultimately dominant personality) was an angry selfish (yet still appealing) kinda jerk. With Daffy suppressed, this new alternate personality called himself Chuck S. Duck.

W.B. studio's however kept news of the breakdown quiet for fear of a media backlash against perceived cruety to ducks in the cartoon industry.

After a short vacation Chuck S. Duck kept on in the cartoon business (mainly due to contractual obligations to W.B.) still nominally under the stage name of 'Daffy' Duck but the character was now noticably different.

The pressures of continualy being head shotgunned in two more cartoon shorts lead to Chuck S. hitting the booze bottle with a vengeance. And the long-term hangovers just made him more cantankerous than ever.

However... on some nights when Chuck S. duck had retired for the the evening after particulaly vigorous drinking and coke session with studio execs, the old Daffy would sometimes struggle to the surface. He'd arise after Chuck S. had passed out for the evening and would escape through and open window into the night air.

On these nights a faint helium voice could be heard bouncing and echoing through the woods sounding 'Woo-Hoo, Woo-Hoohoohoohoo" And coincidently after these nights Bugs would wake in the morning to find that someone had taken a dump down his rabbit hole.


And maybe I've got too much time on my hands.

Brad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brad said...

I just so happen to have an original production cel from this classic.. in fact, it's within a frame or two of the one you have labelled with the caption: "This is an interesting calm after the storm, a stark contrast to Daffy's previous frenzy."

The place I bought it from had no idea. It, and another cel, were simply labelled "1950's Production Cel"

The other I identified as being from "Rabbit Fire." I wish I had bought it too!

Pokey said...

I think Bugs kind of needed to see how Daffy felt. Foghorn Leghorn went through that ["A PLYMOUTH Rock Hudson"] on "The Bugs Bunny SHow
.

Pokey said...

Has anyone else noticed that the Daffy that begins the cartoon is not the Daffy that ends the cartoon?

When the screen splits and Daffy begins to argue with himself and is erased by the "animator", the one that is erased is the one that began the cartoon. The Daffy that is left is the second one from the split frame."

Yes, I NOTICED that! Glad to see someone else did as well, and the first Daffy starts out pretty calmly and isn't a jerk..several times [pointless observation on a Jones quirk here:after the sound, after being erased, returns, and after being painted], Daffy jumps up and down like Jones's Papa Bear.]

Pokey said...

EalaDubh said:
"The guides appear to say this is a 1953 cartoon, but rewatching it just now, the copydate date in the title sequence is 1951. Did it seem so avant-garde at the time that it took a particularly long time to make it to the screen?"
Nah, just another case of production backlogging--Tehcnicolor-tm lab [even Cinecolor labs in the late 40s had some slowness, but not as much], the fact that the studio had many OTHER NON-animation projects [the studio's late 50s televisionb shows HAD to be better than the late 50s cartoons, and yes, McKimson did sympathetic-Daffy shorts, casting him as a winner in thge TV spoofs, ironically they didn't spoof their own 77 Sunset Strip, in which McKimson might cast Daffy as Edd Bynes as a hero, unlike Freleng or a Jones, say.]

MGM and Disney by HIS later live aciton era, too, had the same backlooging problem, so it is not just "Duck Amuc" [incidentally, that 1955 Bugs followup is "Rabbit Rampage"].