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Aqua Duck (1963)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 105 users  
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Lost in a desert, Daffy Duck finds a gold nugget and is unwilling to part with it even though he is in desperate need of water.

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(story) (as John Dunn)
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Title: Aqua Duck (1963)

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An exceedingly mild-mannered man is sent out to kill a duck for dinner by his wife. Unfortunately for him, he picks Daffy Duck as his victim. The two face off and do battle for the remainder of the cartoon.

Director: Robert Clampett
Stars: Mel Blanc
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Daffy Duck / Pack Rat (voice)
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Storyline

Daffy's in the desert; desperate for water, he digs and finds a large gold nugget. He decides to hide it, but a pack rat sees him and grabs it. Daffy gets it back, but before long he's going crazy. The rat keeps following him around, offering water in exchange for the nugget. Written by Jon Reeves <jreeves@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

water | desert | gold | cactus | surrealism | See All (9) »


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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

28 September 1963 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De l'eau qui vaut de l'or  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Edited into Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Tales from the Vienna Woods (Gschichten aus dem Wienerwald, Op. 325)
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauß
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Daffy -- and the Termite Terrace Studio -- Out in the Desert
7 March 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In his book, "Of Mice and Magic," Leonard Maltin cites "Aqua Duck" as an example of the nadir of the Warner Bros. animation studio. Indeed, it is very late; released in September 1963, not long before Warners closed its studio proper and began to outsource such work to another, employing the very same people that they had previously retained. However, even the quality of this short is miles above anything done by the DePatie-Freling unit in the later 1960s. Daffy is out in the desert, succumbing to dehydration, and manages to excavate a large gold nugget in the course of his search for water. Being a "greedy little duck," he rebuffs repeated attempts by a silent pack-rat to offer him water in exchange for the nugget. It's essentially a one man show for Daffy, and in its use of spare, desert backgrounds, "Aqua Duck" tries to recapture some of the effect, and magic, of "Duck Amuck" with a more conventional storyline derived from the tradition of the Western.

Although the finished product employs nowhere near the level of creativity of "Duck Amuck," it works well enough to at least fit in with Daffy's other output; he doesn't do anything we wouldn't expect him to do, and he does not play off the pack-rat as unnecessarily mean as he does with Speedy Gonzales in DePatie-Freling subjects. The music score, by William Lava, is dedicated rather than generic, and while it does not employ the humorous synchronicity of a Stalling-Franklyn score it doesn't get in the way either. Mel Blanc only has to play one character, and the timing is a little rushed as in later Daffy Duck cartoons, but not nearly as badly.

While "Aqua Duck" is less than deserving of its terrible reputation, that doesn't mean that it is altogether free from the brush of failure that rather obviously paints later Daffy Duck subjects. It's just a matter of the Warner Bros. animation studio, with resources growing short, attempting to achieve something convincing and characteristic of its product while waiting to learn of its fate. In a way, "Aqua Duck" can be seen as a metaphor for what the Warners' unit was going through at the time, in the same manner as so many of their other cartoons have that sort of self-confessional tone. In this case, though, they are trying find a way to make some rain, which, for the studio, never came.


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