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In this feature-length film combining footage from classic Warner Brothers cartoon shorts with newly animated bridging sequences, Daffy Duck, after having induced laughter in an ailing millionaire and forestalled the millionaire's death for a time (as chronicled in Daffy Dilly (1948), is the beneficiary for the deceased millionaire's assets. But the millionaire's will clearly stipulates that Daffy must use the money for the common good, by providing a service, and should Daffy think of pursuing selfish aims, the millionaire's ghost will "repossess" his millions by making them disappear from Earthly existence. Under the pretense of community service, Daffy opens an exorcism agency and employs Porky Pig, Sylvester Cat, and Bugs Bunny to track and eliminate ghosts, ghouls, and other monsters, while Daffy secretly schemes to use his learned "ghost-busting" talents to rid himself of the millionaire's nagging spirit. Written by
Kevin McCorry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is one of several Looney Tunes compilations made by Warner brothers in the 80s, and it was the one I watched the most- and still do when it's on TV- as a youth. It's another example from the others of old 50s cartoons put together into a plot that is meant just to string one short to the next, with Mel Blanc's obviously inconsistent voice filling in. Not that his voice at 80 is hard to take at all, but it does become jarring on repeat viewings to suddenly get that age gap just in-between lines of dialog, as if we as the audience didn't notice. The story for the film springs off from a short where Daffy- selling goofy objects on the cheap- tries to sucker JP Cubish for all of his loot by getting him to laugh (which he does finally, hilariously, by getting hit with pies). He leaves his fortune to Daffy with the provision that he use it in a 'service' kind of fashion. So, he opens up shop as a Ghostbuster racket, hiring out Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig for odd jobs out in Transylvania and haunted houses. It all leads up, in the end, to a humiliation due to a tiny elephant.
Like with the less successful string-together flicks of the early 80's, the storyline that is put together for Quackbusters is less than great, even a little too clunky. As a kid I didn't really put much bother to it, but again on repeat viewings it becomes about as obvious as Sylvester's jitters get. One such example is the very flat and ill-conceived bit where Daffy goes to the possessed woman's place. On the other hand, out of the all of the other animated films put together with the shorts- save for the Bugs Bunny and Road Runner Movie- this has the best shorts. My favorites include when Tweety gets the Heckle & Hyde treatment (very, very funny), or when Sylvester gets terrified by mice under a sheet. But the most indelible lines, in just sheer ludicrous and hysterical, fall-on-the-floor funny parts, are when Bugs tricks around the Blood Count ("Walla-walla-Washington", still gets me every time), and when Bugs and Daffy visit the Imbominable snowman. The film is also topped with a pre-short by a fairly humorous song sung by Mel Torme.
So, if you're one of those fans of Looney Tunes that hasn't seen the compilation films before, this is probably the best place to start, as the sum of the shorts are far greater and worth your time than what might be found in the other string-together films. That it still remains memorable more for the older shorts than the newer material is a credit of the late, great Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, and Robert McKimson (the three ORIGINAL directors of the films, not of the in-between segments).
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