Duck Amuck (1953) Poster


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Chuck Jones' Duck Amuck is his most abstract and funniest cartoon short
tavm5 January 2008
Duck Amuck is Daffy's frustrations of being trapped in an animated short that keeps changing scenery, has him playing a guitar with shooting sounds, fighting with himself in another frame, gets drawn in different sizes and colors, and basically is at the mercy of an unseen animator. This is Chuck Jones' and Michael Maltese's masterpiece of abstract animation. One of my favorite parts was at the changing scenery sequence when, after Daffy changes into a farmer outfit singing "Old McDonald Had a Farm" in front of a barn background, it changes into a winter scene with a snow-house as the duck then sings, "And on this farm he had an igloo..." LOL! At the end, the duck demands to know who is behind the whole thing. All I'll say is that person says, "Ain't I a stinker?" Duck Amuck is definitely worth seeing again and again.
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A Looney Tunes short that may never get old- years ahead of its time
MisterWhiplash1 February 2004
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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Duck Amuck: This Short is just incredible!
latsblaster19 June 2003
Already as a boy I could understand the humor in 'Duck Amuck' - but perhaps not it's meta-ambitions! If I knew then how good this short movie is I would never ever let my father erase it!

Quotes like: "NOW WHAT?" and "Give me a close-up!" can't leave my head! Duffy (or Daffy) has since this movie always been my personal cartoon favorite.

Don't miss this incredible masterpiece, then you will miss one of the best movies ever made!!!

Rating: 10 of 10.
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An Incredibly Inventive Cartoon - Amazing!
ccthemovieman-120 February 2007
This has to be the wackiest Daffy Duck cartoon ever....maybe the wackiest (and most clever) cartoon ever. There is no story; just Daffy getting "jerked around," so to speak by the cartoonist drawing both he and the background scenery.

For example, Daffy, dressed as a musketeer, sword in hand, yells "en guarde," and soon the screen is totally white in back of him. After a few seconds of silence, Daffy turns to the camera (us) and says, "Can we get some scenery here?" So, an artist paints us a rural picture. Daffy changes clothes and is a now a farmer. Suddenly it's a winter scene. Daffy stops and asks the not-seen cartoon artist, "Is it too much to ask to make your mind?" Now, he changes outfits again in a flash and is skiing.

This goes on and on, and then really weird things happen with the screen and with Daffy as he's erased, redrawn, erased, muted, given his voice back, etc. All of this is driving him crazy....and it's fun to watch because you have no clue what crazy things is going to happen next.

This is an incredible cartoon. If ever the word "unique" would be appropriate, it's here.
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One Duck Show
Rikichi8 February 2004
The Duck has been a favorite cartoon character of audiences from his inception, but in Chuck Jones' hands, Daffy was at his greediest, all too human like best (worst?).

In this cartoon, Daffy Duck is manipulated by some unseen, omnipotent force that keeps changing the scenery, the sound, and even the appearance of Daffy himself, much to his horror. The humor in most of the gags go deeper than the usual Warner Bros. cartoon, with claustrophobia, an exact duplicate of Daffy and instant deformity inflicted upon him has us laughing at our own fears.

But it's Jones' vision of Daffy that is the true star of this and many other of his cartoons. The other directors, the great Friz Freleng and the unfairly maligned Robert McKimson, never really had the grasp of the new Daffy Duck that emerged in the mid 40's, but he really was a new creation of Michael Maltese and Chuck Jones, only faintly reminiscent of the crazy antics that handlers such as Frank Tashlin, Tex Avery and Robert Clampett portrayed him as possessing. That old Daffy was wild and wacky and good, the new Daffy always has us humans at a disadvantage by making fun of our own weaknesses.
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Animation Comedy's Greatest Moment
Michael Daly24 December 2002
Daffy D'Artagnon strikes again! Except......where's the scenery? A paintbrush adds scenery - but it's the wrong kind! So it's Daffy Duck, farmer, and on this farm he had an igloo......duh? Skiing eskimo Daffy, skiing right into Hawaii.....eeeeeeeeeeeee.

And so is Daffy Duck subjected to the whims of an offscreen animator, erased, redrawn, his voice changed, everything is done to him except the proper contextualization, which steadily drives Daffy bonkers. A demand for a closeup gets an iris-out, then we see just how bloodshot Daffy's eyes are.

A rubbery black background blob smothers Daffy, so he destroys it and demands the picture begin - so we iris out to THE END - NO! NO!!!!!!!

Two Daffys (the result of the film projector sticking between frames) nearly come to blows, then eventually we get the answer to the mystery that has Daffy yelling his lungs out - and the audience laughing at a film parody to end all such. It's been said this cartoon breaks the fourth as well as fifth and sixth walls - but they forgot to mention the seventh and eighth walls it breaks as well.
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A Short History of Film Folds
tedg30 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I have a small list of films I think are essential viewing. This is on it, only one of two allowed for that year.

Looking at my list, there are a few animated shorts, and I think that makes sense. Animators can play games with narrative that wouldn't read in conventional presentations.

This little think is only seven minutes long, but that space quite a few narrative folds are presented.

Daffy is forced to be someone different as the animator changes his context. This we saw decades before with "Sherlock Jr," but Keaton's identity didn't change so radically. Here, the identities are movie stereotypes, in fact stereotypes that only exist in movies.

But then Daffy is redrawn directly to be a different being, first in the same shape with different colors and then in a radically different shape, part flower. Flying from his tail/flagpole is a flag with a screw and a ball on it. Screwball comedy.

Then we play with the animator manipulating the camera, far and close. Remember that this was the period of Hitchcock's developments of camera awareness, and the short may well have played in front of "Dial M" or "Rear Window."

(Remember also that this was after the two similar cartoons that spoofed the rerelease of "Robin Hood," so the cartoon ABOUT movie notion was established.)

Then we have the noir black curtain falling on our duck, protected temporarily by a prop, but he fights back against noir, first against the black curtain itself and then its cause, an unresolved ending.

After this, we have the duck encountering a mirror image of itself and subsequently being destroyed, noir winning (as it always must). At this point in movie history, noir had.

And finally, we zoom back in narrative space to see the cartoonist who has been manipulating the cartoon by pencil, brush and eraser that we see as themselves drawn elements. And behold, we see the narrator is... a cartoon character!

Ted's Evaluation -- 4 of 3: Every cineliterate person should experience this.
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Chuck Jones's Masterpiece
Darth_Homer17 January 2003
Chuck Jones has to be the greatest Looney Tunes director ever, he directed Whats Opera Doc, Rabbit of Seville and the classic Duck Dodgers, but this surreal masterpiece is his pure genius. The cartoon focuses around Daffy, who thinks he is in a Musketeer set, then as he progress left, the background fades, leaving only Daffy hiding behind the frame of the film asking where the scenery is.

From that moment, Daffy goes on to one wacky situation to another and so on. This episode producers one of the best lines ever said in a Looney Tunes cartoon

"Hey Come Here, Come Here, Give me a close up, A Close Up! (Screen Blackens except the top right corner). This is a close up? A CLOSE UP YOU JERK, A CLOSE UP!!!!!!!! (Camera zooms in)"

That line has got to be one of my favourites. SO is this cartoon
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Animation fun
rbverhoef6 May 2004
In this cartoon an unseen animator is having fun with the Daffy Duck character. The animator changes backgrounds, changes the clothes of Daffy, and even changes Daffy from time to time. Every time the animator does this Daffy has to act different. Daffy himself of course is commenting on all this playing around. In the end he asks who is responsible and the cartoon has a nice and very funny surprise for us.

This classic cartoon shows us the world of animation where everything is possible. The animator is not seen but his tools, like a pencil, are and that makes it very funny. Director Chuck Jones shows us Daffy and although he changes from time to time he always is Daffy. A great and hilarious cartoon.
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The Single Funniest Cartoon Ever Made Period!
Into_The_West23 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
It is no exaggeration to rate this the funniest cartoon ever made. Favorite moment: when Daffy is turned into some kind of a four legged polka dotted creature with a screwball flag on its tail and flower petals around its face. Second favorite moment: When Daffy sees himself in the mirror in this state. This scene always brings out wild, silly giggling in me Mozart would be proud of. The Fleischers did the intercession of the animator into the surreal cartoon thing before this. A lot of animators did. In fact, it's there all the way back in the cartoons of WIndsor McCay, Emile Cohl and J. Stuart Blackton. None of those animation giants ever came close to doing it as well and developing it so satisfyingly as Chuck Jones does here. Jones's level of surrealism puts colleague Bob Clampett to shame, and his timing here puts even mentor Tex Avery to shame. Those elements--imagination and timing--are what makes Duck Amuck rise above any other cartoon in sheer hilarity, and that includes the other Chuck Jones cartoons (Jones's Rabbit Seasoning comes close, though). There are wittier cartoons. There are more beautifully drawn cartoons. There are far more terrifying cartoons. There are cartoons that deeply move us. Well, poop on them. If an alien came down from outer space (other than Marvin the Martian) and wanted to know what an animated cartoon was like, I'd show him, her, or it Duck Amuck, And I've no doubt he, she, or it would be laughing his, her or its xnarf off. If it were possible, I'd give it 11 stars. No, I wouldn't. I'd give it 100.
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A Timeless classic
kzminotaur7 October 2001
From the very first second you notice the scenery changing behind poor Daffy Duck, you realize this is NOT going to be your ordinary cartoon. Sure enough, with Daffy's ever changing wardrobe trying to keep up with his ever changing background, you can see Daffy Duck's blood pressure boil. My favorite scene is him dressed as a singing cowboy in a blank background. The second he strings his guitar, and no sound is heard, he gives a (what the %^*#) stare straight to the camera as he props a small sign questioning where is the sound. No sooner said... the soundtrack comes alive with what sounds like a needle being put on a 78 rpm record. Just as Daffy plucks the guitar, the sounds of a machine gun in High Fidelity erupts! A honking car horn next emits from his plucking the strings before a furious Daffy smashes the guitar to bits (with the accompanying sound of a donkey laughing). The cartoon is timed in perfect rhythm and one gag is topped by another, before the zenith is reached at the end. There will NEVER be another cartoon that can top this one for sheer character self implosion. Daffy Duck was never to shine any brighter than this one (Although Duck Dodger's in the 24 1/2 Century is another Gem... but there, Daffy is pure ham... even more than his Space Cadet side-kick Porky Pig). Mr Chuck Jones... we are deeply at your debt for this masterpiece.
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My second favourite Daffy Duck episode, for a few reasons...
Mightyzebra21 May 2007
This is probably the most clever and inventive short I have ever had the opportunity to watch. It shows Daffy Duck, being made VERY VERY ANGRY by being drawn into many different messes. Daffy Duck is perfect in this episode. He is well-animated, nice enough and gets angry easily when necessary (In some episodes, I feel as if he is being unnecessarily cruel and he's not in this one, he's trying to be nice!).

This short also has some MASSIVE humour. Just when you have finished laughing, yet ANOTHER joke comes on - and of course - you HAVE to laugh again!

Recommended for all Daffy Duck and cartoon animation fans! Enjoy!
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"The scenery! Where's the scenery?"
slymusic9 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
"Duck Amuck" is a classic Daffy Duck cartoon directed by Chuck Jones. This hilarious entry in the Warner Bros. cartoon series is basically a one-joke picture. (If you haven't seen it yet, please DO NOT read on.) An unidentified cartoonist (to be identified at the end) takes advantage of the constantly squealing Daffy by altering the scenery, the sound, the props, and even Daffy's color and body shape.

Here are some of my favorite gags from this short. It opens with Daffy trying his hand at legitimate acting but being a constant victim of abrupt changes in scenery (medieval castle grounds, a farm, a snowfield, and a Hawaiian island) and having to adjust his wardrobe and props accordingly. Suddenly dressed as a sailor, Daffy begins to sing a familiar seafaring song, until he realizes he's not standing on any island and plunges into the water! And as Daffy opens his parachute, the unidentified cartoonist erases the parachute and substitutes an anvil!

I don't think I have seen "Duck Amuck" since I was a kid, and I am pleased to see it restored on DVD (Disc 2 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 1). In my opinion, it is well worth watching for a lot of laughs.
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You'll quack up
Lee Eisenberg4 June 2005
In case you've ever wondered what Daffy Duck can do on his own, look no further than "Duck Amuck". The plot involves Daffy getting progressively more and more irritated as the cartoon keeps changing. It starts off with a "Three Musketeers"-style background (and Daffy is dressed accordingly), but then changes to a farm. Daffy quickly changes clothes, only to find that it has changed to the Arctic. He begins to go skiing, but then it changes to Hawaii. He dresses as a hula dancer, but then the scenery disappears. When Daffy complains, the unseen animator erases him. By the time the animator redraws Daffy, the sound is all screwed up.

From there, Daffy gets redrawn, cloned, and exploded. The big surprise comes at the end, when we learn who the animator is. It just goes to show that the people who made these cartoons were pure geniuses.
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"Thanks for the sour persimmons, cousin."
utgard1427 December 2014
It's Daffy Duck versus his sadistic animator in one of the all-time greatest Looney Tunes cartoons. It's a brilliant and experimental short from the great Chuck Jones. It's very creative and very funny from beginning to end. The animation is gorgeous. Everything is constantly changing (backgrounds, Daffy's appearance, etc). The music is wonderful. Mel Blanc's voicework is, of course, perfect. The script is hilarious and full of great lines. Love the ending. I just can't see a single thing wrong with this classic cartoon. It would spawn many copycats over the years in various mediums. Even Jones himself would go back to the idea with Rabbit Rampage a couple of years later. It's one of my top five Looney Tunes shorts and, I think, the best solo Daffy cartoon ever made.
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The Best Looney Tunes Cartoon to see
nick-sultana7 April 2014
All I will say is the following factors make this a animated masterpiece of the Warner Bros' Looney Tunes history:

  • It's directed by the one and only Chuck Jones (or Charles M. Jones as credited in some of his hilarious works)

  • The style of animation is just a sight to behold, its funny, colorful and plenty of detail to admire

  • It's Daffy Duck's leading role (my 2nd favourite fictional character in the series) and the idea of him being tormented by the mysterious animator in many hilarious ways is comedic gold! Mel Blanc as always gives his very best voice work to make him seem so believable

and lastly...

  • Its a 4th Wall Breaker, not just the fourth but many walls are broken in the cartoon universe and the audience

Overall, don't miss the chance to see this masterpiece of all time!
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Fun to watch even to this day
WakenPayne23 November 2013
This is yet another piece of childhood nostalgia, Looney Tunes. After seeing a couple of them this one is easily my favourite. But then again I haven't seen that much since I was a kid so that can be a little problematic. Even as a kid I enjoyed this above most of them.

The premise is take an animated character (Daffy) and put him in a situation where the background keeps changing time and place if it was there. All efforts to convince the animator usually end up in Daffy getting coloured, given a completely different and ridiculous body or other such ways to always make us laugh at his reaction.

If you even have the slightest enjoyment of Daffy Duck or any of the other Looney Tunes characters then this one is certainly for you. Even after many years it always is fun to see him look at his ridiculous new body in a mirror and scream "EEK!"... Ain't I a stinker!
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Poor Daffy Duck in Duck Amuck is out of Luck!
sashank_kini-118 September 2011
Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny are Looney Tunes' most recognized faces. Bugs Bunny is calm yet sly while Daffy is animated and hot-headed. In Duck Amuck, its Daffy's time to shine or rather get smudged, erased, abused, tormented, and blown! In a matter of six minutes, Chuck Jones delivers a tour de force short, with full (in) justice given to Daffy's character- be it its arms, legs, stomach, voice, face, even its tail. The opening scene, in which Daffy originally plans to take on enemies, is sword is interrupted by a white screen. Daffy himself seems perplexed, and whispers to the 'the guy in charge around here' to add some 'tschenry!' Every time the wrong scenery is added till Daffy gets fed up and confronts the creator. This is a genius part because when we look at it, we as audiences feel Daffy is talking to us as we laugh at his misery.

My favorite moment is when Daffy tries to vent his anger but his voice changes. The way he gets agitated and embarrassed, with the constant gesticulations (clenched fist, hand on mouth, shaking hands) is a joy to watch. Another highlight is the ab(use) of the scenery with the vivid distortion of 'Close Up' and contortions in Daffy's character when he demands the creator to give him a body.

I can now realize Chuck's intentions- with every little distortion created, Daffy still remains the main focus. When the creator 'erases' Daffy's character, we recognize his distinctive voice, when he gives Daffy an amorphous body, we recognize his bill, and even though his temper reaches boiling point, there is always a quirky touch to it (referring to the 'double duck sequence').

The most inventive moment was when the screen literally falls on him and he keeps a stick under it to hold it. It's a pity such humor is missing now because most of the target audience would not appreciate it now. Even watching those Mickey Mouse shorts made in 1930s makes me wonder why the new animation focuses on being so 'realistic' and does not want to experiment? At least some shorts can come up on cartoon channels that tend to break the rules and give life to anything and everything ( in Mickey Mouse, even a steam engine was given life in one short!)

Duck Amuck is where Chuck Jones' jackpot struck! My rating: 9/10
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daffy keeps being harassed by an unseen animator
JMSchmidtty24 August 2011
this cartoon is hilarious. Even after you watch it over and over again it still is absolutely hilarious. Daffy is at his absolute best in this cartoon. This cartoon may have even created the fourth wall joke. All the ways Daffy is harassed is hilarious. I highly suggest you watch this. It may be the greatest cartoon of all time, it definitely is the greatest Daffy Duck cartoon. This is one of the few cartoons i can think of where Daffy is not a total jerk, even though he does get pretty p!$$3d off. Watch it if you haven't already. Even buy it on I Tunes, which you can do, by the way. Chuck Jones is a genius. It proves Daffy Duck as a comic legend.
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Thanks for the sour persimmons, cousin!
jeffcox3110 February 2009
Duck Amuck is a brilliantly done cartoon. Too often cartoons are just seen as a bunch of random wacky jokes, but Chuck Jones adds another level: character driven comedy. To be sure, this cartoon is VERY wacky. But but what makes this cartoon really work is the exploration of the character of Daffy Duck. Chuck Jones was the driving force behind Daffy's change from a hyperactive, insane character who harassed others for no apparent reason into the scheming, easily angered, self centered character he is best known as today. In Duck Amuck, Jones crystallizes his vision for Daffy's new direction, showing him as a character who wishes to put on a good show for his audience, but is so easily frustrated that everything seems to be working against him. Instead of going with the flow, he flies off the handle at everything that goes wrong, which in turn is worsened by whoever is doing all of this stuff to him. In his best characterization, Daffy manages to be sympathetic enough that the audience still roots for him, even though he probably deserves whatever he has coming to him. In his worst characterization, his greediness and anger take over to the point he becomes completely unsympathetic. This cartoon and the so-called "Hunter's Trilogy" feature Daffy's best characterization, the cartoons featuring Daffy and Speedy Gonzales made in the mid 1960's have the worst.
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Cut-loose fun... Daffy gets "his"... "rasberries to convetion... Left-Right friendly
klolson5419 October 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Daffy Duck... the most deliciously self-absorbed character in memory... possibly the King of such. Even though, by strict ethics, we ought not enjoy caustic payback... there is something innocent in our enjoyment of seeing this "greedy little duck"' the backstabbing, ego maniacal, the quintessential self-absorbed character; getting his come-up-ins. And from us, the viewers, vicariously through Chuck Jones and Mike Maltese (the director writer respectively). Then, the cathartic exasperation in Daffys' exclamations seems to strangely give vent to our own frustrations even if unconsciously aware of them previously.( Is there some of Daffys' flaws in us too?) But beyond academics, it is a joy to see the free range application of morphing realities, contradiction to settings, convention and the breaking rules of traditional expectation. Polka-dotted in daisy tutu ? with the body of something from Marvin's Martian Militia; from "Hey look I'm a Buzz-Boy to Cow-Boy to Alaskan-whatever... this is the true joy of animation and the very definition of zaniness. Finally, WB Looney Tunes, especially Duck Amuck was PS. Politically Safe. In other words, before PC and the polarity of present Right-Left self and social identity, there was PS; but it had no name nor concept. I have a political ID and it is either Left or Right but I like to find areas that we can enjoy together without claiming that it reinforces a partisan bend. I'm OK and if you love Looney Tunes and stuff like Duck Amuck, then as far as I'm concerned, we're both OK in that special little safe zone. I personally KNOW what Chucks' political persuasion was... it was ANIMATOR; for everyone.
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One of Daffy's best!
wermuth60120 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
In this cartoon, Daffy Duck constantly get's tortured by the animator. Daffy keeps complaining to the animator, but no matter what, the animator always manages to outsmart him, often by either painting him or erasing him. At the end, the animator turns out to be Bugs Bunny.

This is a really hilarious cartoon. It's one of the best Daffy Duck cartoons ever, and also one of Chuck Jones' best. It's too bad that this cartoon didn't even get an Oscar nomination. I mean, this didn't get nominated, and Knighty Knight Bugs won an Oscar? How shameful!

One of the funniest scenes in this cartoon is a scene in which the screen goes up a few times, until it get's stuck and the screen is split into two halves, with Daffy in the bottom half and his feet in the top half, and then both images of Daffy start arguing with each other.

A few years later, Bugs Bunny starred in a similar cartoon, Rabbit Rampage. That is good too, but not as good as this cartoon.
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Tormented Daffy
Shawn Watson5 May 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Poor old Daffy. He never gets his way. And in this 7-minute short he never even gets his story started it's just Daffy being tormented and riled up all the way through. Can't this Duck ever get that one moment of glory he's been after all these years?

It begins as some sort of Robin Hood type story but the animator has fun switching backgrounds so Daffy never knows what scene he is in or where he is.

At one point he switches sound effects around which truly drives Daffy mad. Then after the utter humiliation of switching his parachute for an anvil (after erasing his airplane) the animator is revealed as...Bugs Bunny.

"Ain't I a stinker?" He confirms rather than asks.

Yes, he is a stinker. Daffy Duck rules!
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A classic laugh riot!
ultramatt2000-111 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
This got spoofed in the final episodes of the not for kids cartoon, CLERKS. Poor old Daffy Duck. He gets messed up in various ways. In terms of background and drawings and sound effects. And all along it was Bugs Bunny who behind this act. But there was another LOONEY TUNES cartoon where the same thing happened to Bugs Bunny. And near the end it was Elmer Fudd who behind this act. It's called RABBIT RAMPAGE. A true classic to enjoy.
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Likely the funniest Daffy Duck cartoon ever
MrNeil16 August 2002
The laughs never stop in this Chuck Jones classic. Lines will stick with you for a long time, as previous reviewers have mentioned, including Daffy's "This is a close-up?!" From the moment Daffy appears on screen as a swashbuckler, you know you're in for hilarity. The duck proves he is the king of improvisation in this ultimate challenge to see what he can do next. He gets frustrated with every change that happens to him, but he always has something funnier and funnier to present. ("Brother, what a way to run a rail-road.") The animation, the script and the voice work just combine to perfection and it makes Daffy my favorite over Bugs.
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