Tuesday 23 January 2024

Raffy Daffy Riffs

Cartoons from the Art Davis unit had some pretty solid animation. Here’s a fun scene from Riff Raffy Daffy (1948). Policeman Porky has conked vagrant Daffy on the head. He’s upset that he’s hit the duck too hard.

Porky is very expressive here, animated on twos and threes. He closes his eyes and scrunches his face before he goes into his next expression. He curls his lower lip. But Daffy’s okay. There’s some dry brush work by the ink and paint department as Daffy “wakes up.”

There’s a lot of enjoyable animation in this one, with Don Williams, Emery Hawkins, Basil Davidovich and Bill Melendez getting the screen credit; there's a Hawkins scene where Daffy develops rings around his pupils. Bill Scott and Lloyd Turner give Daffy some wit (the cuckoo clock gag feels like something Scott would come up with) and an ending out of nowhere. I love Davis' timing in the tent gag.

During the above scene, Daffy shouts “I love you Hortense!” Before someone rushes to Wikipedia and writes that Porky’s real name is Hortense, let me point out this is more than likely a radio reference. The Henry Morgan Show on ABC had a recurring sketch involving Gerard (Arnold Stang) and his girl-friend Hortense (Betty Garde and others) and that likely inspired this line of dialogue.

Layouts are by Don Smith and backgrounds by Phil De Guard.


  1. Hans Christian Brando23 January 2024 at 07:41

    The last gasp of the actual daffy Daffy before he turned nasty. Even McKimson's attempts at zany Daffy ("Daffy Duck Hunt," "Boobs in the Woods") are stymied by stolid animation, perfunctory gags, and a disagreeable Porky as foil.

    I always wonder if this is where James Goldman got the idea for "Evening Primrose," a bizarre TV musical (songs by Stephen Sondheim) about a poet (Anthony Perkins) who decides to take up residence in a department store only to find a secret society already living there.

  2. When McKimson was wacky!'

    I prefer his later work though, as blasphemous as that may be.

  3. I was wondering where that "Hortense" line caame from.

  4. So you're not retired from this blog?

  5. Animated by Bill Melendez! Thanks so much for the scoop on the Hortense line--I love this short and scene, but was going crazy that I couldn't find the source!

  6. I'm happy to see WB cartoons directed by Frank Tashlin and Art Davis on the new Collector's Choice Blu-rays. Thanks for the great work you've done in your blogs!