Reviews: Duck Amuck

One of the greatest cartoons of all time, if not THE greatest.

This is the short that introduced me to the concept of Breaking the Fourth Wall, and damn is it a good gateway for that. The concept is genius; take your most irritable character and try to piss him off the best you can, and make it funny. And it works. I had the good fortune of seeing this short for the first time when I was fairly young, I think seven or eight, so I wasn't familiar with Loony Toons, or with the fact that Bugs is the animator, so when it was revealed to me, it was a genuine surprise. If you have kids, show them this short when they're younger, like my parents did. That way, they can enjoy the twist ending when they're young, and catch all the brilliant details and jokes when they're older and rewatching it.

So simple and so powerful.

The concept couldn't be simpler, take our angriest hot head character and screw with him in the most bizarre ways imaginable. It works on multiple levels. We connect with the animator's impish glee in messing with Daffy because his impotent rage is always good for a laugh. But we also connect with Daffy. Finally, an insecure thin-skinned character gets confirmation that the world really is out to get him, and he's not going to take it sitting down. Daffy is the tragic hero of an existential comedy. The conventions have been stripped away, and Daffy valiantly continues in his denial of the fact that nobody really values his more conventional talents as an entertainer, we just want to see him get pissed.