Bring up the directorial abilities of Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng, Bob Clampett and especially Bob McKimson and you’ll get any number of opinions about their work. But when it comes to another director, there seems to be universal agreement. It was a damned shame that Art Davis’ unit got shut down.
Davis made some great cartoons. And against all odds. By all reports, he was not a confident director and was the victim of backstabbing studio politics. He got saddled with a lot of one-shots and was allowed only a solitary, token cartoon with the studio’s star character (Bugs Bunny). He was given a pair of rookie writers. The studio was too cheap to process his cartoons in Technicolor. Yet his unit succeeded, especially when Daffy Duck or Porky Pig were on the screen. His writers (Bill Scott and Lloyd Turner) proved their worth not too many years later elsewhere and he had solid animators (led by Emery Hawkins).
An underrated gem is ‘Riff Raffy Daffy’ (1948), where our vagrant hero ensconces himself in Lacy’s Department Store window and won’t budge, despite the efforts of cop Porky Pig. A great scene is a pantomime of Daffy and Porky arguing on each side of the store window (which Daffy uses a glass cutter to create a door). I like how the cartoon uses multiples to move characters. Is this Don Williams’ work?
Williams, Hawkins, Basil Davidovich and Bill Melendez are the credited animators and Phil De Guard drew the backgrounds.