8.6/10
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Duck Amuck (1953)

The short-tempered Daffy Duck must improvise madly as the backgrounds, his costumes, the soundtrack, even his physical form, shifts and changes at the whim of the animator.

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(as Charles M. Jones)

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Cast

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Storyline

Daffy Duck plays a Musketeer, but as he advances on his enemy, the background disappears; Daffy demands the proper scenery, and an animator paints a completely inappropriate background - the start of a running duel between Daffy and the unseen animator who changes backgrounds, Daffy's appearance, the soundtrack, and even the film projection under Daffy's feet, forcing the mad mallard to improvise his performance and leaving him screaming for the animator's head. Written by Michael Daly

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Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

28 February 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Entnervte Ente  »

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Released in 1953, but completed and copyrighted in 1951. During this late forties-early fifties period, Warner Bros., MGM and Disney/RKO stockpiled many cartoons, releasing them a year or two after completion. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Daffy Duck: Stand back, musketeers, they shall sample my blade! Touché!
[suddenly realizes that there is absolutely nothing behind him]
Daffy Duck: Musketeers? Hm? En garde, eh? My blade? Hey, psst. Whoever's in charge here! The scenery! Where's the scenery?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits are written in essentially the same style as those of "Rabbit Hood" from 1949--red and blue "Old English" letters on parchment--deceptively suggesting "Duck Amuck" is a similar "period" cartoon. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Animator vs Animation (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(uncredited)
Music by James Pierpont
[Sung by Daffy Duck.]
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Looney Tunes short that may never get old- years ahead of its time
1 February 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

One of Chuck Jones' most beautifully crafted short cartoon pieces, Duck Amuck is one of the first (or the first?) cartoons to work the element of the theatre into an animated short. As Woody Allen did in Annie Hall (though that was twenty-four years later), the filmmakers here create that acknowledgment of there being an audience- and, more amusingly, their acknowledgment of themselves being apart of the process. I'm certain there were other animated shorts from Looney Tunes where a character may have one or twice looked at the 'audience' and asked a question or said a joke, but I'm also certain it wasn't done to such a length as this. Quite possibly, this is one of the greatest one-joke/in-joke stretches ever put on film.

At the start, Daffy Duck thinks he's about to be in a piece as a musketeer- that is, until the background is pulled right out from under him. He'll never get back to that background again, but Daffy will keep on trying to persuade the animator to bring back some sense into the works. By the end he's exasperated, and the joke comes full circle to be totally satisfying.

Throughout the short what keeps it so funny on repeat viewings is that the absurdities of each new backdrop and each run-in Daffy keep their validity. There's a lot of creative juice flowing through this one, and since the turns are unexpected on the first viewing, on the following ones you laugh at yourself for laughing at it again. Another plus is that Daffy Duck is a superb character when he's kept on his toes- like when he's put against a city backdrop that looks like it was drawn by a five-year old. He asks, "Now, how about some color, stupid!" And then is painted over in bizarre hues. The joke that follows that is one of Chuck Jones' most surreal executions.

Overall, a classic for its time, influential; on a level that will perhaps get the adults laughing more so than the kids, and for those in youth who discover it for the first time on TV or on the new DVD, it isn't old- this is the kind of sense of humor found on other modern cartoons (Simpsons, for example).


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