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This is the best cartoon they made were Daffy wasn't playing opposite Bugs or Porky Pig. His foils are a dog named Leopold and his master, a parody of Peter Lorre. The best lines in the whole cartoon are spoken by the "mad scientist" and they're some of the funniest I can recall. The cartoon really gets going during the requisite chase scenes. After all, what's a cartoon without a chase sequence? One of my all-time favorites. Most definitely recommended.
Rather than flying south for the winter to keep warm, Daffy Duck cons a dog
into letting him stay in his master's house. However the dog's master is a
scientist who needs a wishbone from a duck to complete the
My favourite cartoon character has got to be Daffy Duck. Even when they phased out his `crazy' character they made him cynical and bitter and just as fun. Here he is a mix of the two a little crazy but pretty street smart with it! The plot is essentially a chase between Daffy and the scientist. The dog is used to set up the action but then forgotten (aside from a scene where he re-introduces himself and comments on his `lousy part in this picture'). The cartoon is very imaginative and even self mocking (at one point Daffy says `well, that is just plain silly'). It is very funny throughout and is great fun.
The animation is real quality. Daffy is great and the backgrounds all show a lot of effort has gone in. The scientist is a really good impression of actor Peter Lorre and it is amusing even before he speaks! While a cartoon can be good with average animation, it is usually a sign that it has been made with care and attention when the animation is good. This is the case here the cartoon is quality in almost all areas where it matters.
Overall this is a superb cartoon and I cannot recommend it enough.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Birth of a Notion" is a fine Daffy Duck cartoon directed by Robert
McKimson. Instead of having to fly southward with all the other
"stupid" birds, Daffy seeks the quiet comfort of a home for the winter.
With a little subterfuge involving a bone, he might just find what he's
My favorite scenes from "Birth of a Notion" include the following (DO NOT read any further if you have not yet seen this cartoon). When Leopold the dog accidentally whacks his master (a superb caricature of Peter Lorre) on the head with a bat, Lorre is absolutely hilarious as he breaks the bat into little pieces. Daffy switches on a radio, which plays a few bars of a lively march at fortissimo volume before Leopold switches the radio off. Leopold dances in order to distract his owner. As Daffy dodges Peter Lorre - he needs a wishbone from a duck to complete his science experiment - the camera cuts back to Leopold, who angrily protests to the audience that he was given such a small, unimportant part in this picture. And finally, in the end, Daffy runs into another duck who does a terrificly sissy vocal impression of an underrated comedian named Joe Besser (who later became a member of my favorite comedy team - the Three Stooges).
"Birth of a Notion" boasts some excellent vocal characterizations by Mel Blanc (Daffy Duck, Leopold, and the "Joe Besser" duck) and Stan Freberg (Peter Lorre). You can find this cartoon on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 6 Disc 1, a disc that features an all-star cast of Looney Tunes characters.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
. . . with its animated short, BIRTH OF A NOTION. Such a title indicates that this is meant as a spoof of that early ode to the Ku Klux Klan, the epic film BIRTH OF A NATION, in which White-hooded Racists terrorize the Black Lives Matter folks. The Ebony-hued Daffy Duck represents the latter group, as the CASABLANCA (which roughly translates as "White House") bad guy lusts for his blood here. Peter's Henchdog, Leopold, is named for one of the Real Life Jewish "Thrill Killers" most of America's top actors freed playing various defense lawyers in many Live Action Classic Feature Films from this time. This incident prompted Hitler's Holocaust through Blowback, which in turn inspired hundreds of famous World War Two flicks. Peter breaking a baseball bat into eight pieces with his bare hands is echoed during the infamous MONEYBALL scene of INGLORIOUS BASTERDS, for instance. Peter's plans to graft Daffy Duck's wishbone onto the dog Leopold smacks of the Real Life "medical experiments" of the mad Dr. Josef Mengele (and no doubt gave rise to the history hopping TV show WISHBONE). When Daffy opens Peter's door and finds the deranged quack's home whizzing along on railroad tracks, this is designed to recall the cattle cars Hitler used to transport Jews to his ovens.
When I think of Looney Tunes and Daffy Duck I think match made in heaven. And it really is. If I had to say which my favourite Looney Tunes character is it's between Daffy and Bugs Bunny, edging it out possibly Daffy. Birth of a Notion is one of Daffy's best cartoons. It is interesting in that apart from the scientist character and the dog it is Daffy on his own while not being paired with Bugs, Porky or Elmer. Daffy is just wonderful here, his personality is a mix of the manic and cynical and he is also smart and even self-mocks himself. The scientist character is every bit as a revelation. He is a great foil and bags all the best lines, while parodying Peter Lorre is not unfamiliar territory when it comes to Looney Tunes(there was also Hair Raising Hare) Birth of a Notion is one of the better cases of doing it. The dog character is cute and has a couple of amusing appearances but his role in the short is small. Mel Blanc and Stan Freberg's characterisation are superb. As is the animation, colourful, fluid and very atmospheric. The music and pacing are of the usual crisp energy, the dialogue is fresh and very inspired especially with the scientist, the story is not too routine and is always entertaining and the sight gags are fast-paced and imaginative. All in all, an absolute winner of a cartoon. 10/10 Bethany Cox
For a while, I'd heard of Robert McKimson's "Birth of a Notion" but
never seen it. Until now. What a treat! In this one, Daffy eschews
flying south for the winter, opting instead for staying in a house. The
only problem: he chooses a house occupied by a sarcastic dog and a
Peter Lorre-resembling mad scientist! What I found really interesting
wasn't necessarily the plot or characters - although there were
certainly some funny ones - but the setting. The house seems more like
the sort of dwelling that belongs in an Indiana Jones movie! As Daffy
puts it: "The only thing missing is a pair of hands coming out of the
wall...like those up there." The dog, meanwhile, breaks the fourth
wall, complaining about the lesser role that he's gotten in the
cartoon. I actually thought that the voices of both the dog and the
scientist sounded like Vito Corleone in "The Godfather".
All in all, this is one of the many classic cartoons from the Termite Terrace crowd. There will probably never be another cartoon series like this in our lifetime. I definitely recommend it.
I was not overly disappointed with this episode, nor was I overly not
expecting how good it was. However, this is not your average episode,
Daffy is his sometimes crazy self here, with a newly formed mean streak
as well. This episode also has good side characters, animation and
lines. I liked the episode because of this.
There was one reason that I did not want to watch this episode at first. I had seen a picture of the baddie side character and he reminded me too much of Stephen Hawking. Funnily enough, this episode was made when Stephen Hawking was only a child! So do not worry yourself if you are perplexed about it as well.
Anyhow, this cartoon character who looks like Stephen Hawking here also happens to be a scientist! He wants a duck's wish bone for his science experiment and as a matter of fact, Daffy is staying in that very house while the other ducks are flying south for the winter! The other side character is a dog, who helps Daffy (after Daffy has cunningly gained his trust towards him). Daffy decides to receive his revenge on the scientist, when he hears that he wants his wishbone...
I recommend this episode to anyone who likes Daffy, crazy at first then sneaky and crazy later and the sound of the plot. Enjoy "Birth of a Notion"! :-)
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