Thursday, 5 October 2017

Crazy, Darn Fool Duck

When Daffy Duck first appeared in Tex Avery’s Porky’s Duck Hunt in 1937, he was silly but wily. But when Bob Clampett used the character, at least for the first little while, he was just mentally out of it. Clampett loved cross-eyed crazy characters, and that’s what Daffy became.

Here’s an example from Porky’s Last Stand (1940). Daffy is drying dishes with his butt. He then tosses them into the air and they come crashing down on him. He doesn’t care. He’s unbalanced.

Fortunately, Daffy soon acquired some depth as a character. By the end of the ‘40s, he was more like Avery’s duck, but with some wit and a little less batty. Then the ‘50s rolled around and he was turned into a jealous, incompetent foil. Oh, well.

As for this cartoon, Izzy Ellis is the credited animator. I imagine Norm McCabe, Vive Risto and John Carey worked on it as well.

1 comment:

  1. "Porky's Last Stand" turned out to be the last stand for Clampett's conception of Daffy. Friz's redesign and taking Daffy out of the totally insane category to give him motivation for his actions in "You Ought To Be In Pictures" didn't completely take the character in the greedy-egotistical direction he'd eventually end up with Chuck Jones in the 1950s, but the next time after that when Clampett used Daffy, in "A Coy Decoy", his insane outbursts were more controlled and his body more Freeling-like, in not flying out of proportions at moments of extreme craziness.