Daffy Duck's Quackbusters is a 1988 Compilation Movie starring Daffy Duck and other classic Looney Tunes characters. This film combines newly-animated footage linked with classic Warner Bros. cartoons. It is the last film in the Looney Tunes compilation movie anthology, as well as the only one to have an overarching story, and the last Looney Tunes theatrical feature until Space Jam eight years later. It was also Mel Blanc's second-to-last performance in a Looney Tunes project, with his absolute final one being the linking material in the TV special Bugs Bunny's Wild World of Sports a year later.
Here, Daffy Duck is a salesman who accepts a job to fulfill millionaire J.B. Cubish's wish to make him laugh one more time before he passes on. Daffy succeeds and when Cubish kicks the bucket, Daffy earns all his money from his will as long as he uses it for goodwill. But Daffy, well... being Daffy, plots to spend the money for himself, and so he's haunted by Cubish's ghost, who will gradually make his money disappear if Daffy doesn't provide a service to the community, or for that matter, does or says anything dishonest. As a result, Daffy decides to open a ghost exterminating business to get rid of ghosts like Cubish and hires Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig to help him.
Cartoons: "Night of the Living Duck," "Daffy Dilly," "The Prize Pest," "Water, Water Every Hare," "Hyde And Go Tweet," "Claws For Alarm," "The Duxorcist," "Transylvania 6-5000," "The Abominable Snow Rabbit," "Punch Trunk," and "Jumpin Jupiter."
"Night of the Living Duck" and "The Duxorcist" (the film's two new full cartoon segments) were later re-used in the 1992 TV special Bugs Bunny's Creature Features, while "The Duxorcist" would later join the Saturday morning rotation on ABC's Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show.
"The Night of the Living Duck" contains examples of:
- Larynx Dissonance: Played for Laughs. Daffy takes some Eau De Torme mouth spray and proceeds to sing with the docile tones of crooner Mel Torme.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: "Smogzilla" is effectively Godzilla.
- Short Film: "The Night of the Living Duck" plays before Quackbusters proper (in every release of the film itself), and has nothing to do with the plot of the film itself.
- Stock Sound Effect: Daffy's screams from being eaten by Smogzilla are re-used from "Boobs in the Woods".
The main film contains examples of:
- 13 Is Unlucky: The number on Daffy's office is 1313. You can guess how things will happen for Daffy afterwards.
- 555: Daffy uses such a number in his TV advertisements.Daffy: Just call 555-5925. Remember, thats the same as dialling 555-KWAK.
- Adaptational Jerkass: In the original "Daffy Dilly", Cupish was just a dying man that got a juice of life again from Daffy's buffoonery. The film expands on this, revealing that even in death, Cupish revels in Daffy's misery, giving him a Spiteful Will after a long tenure as his personal Butt-Monkey, and cursing him with bankrupsy and misfortune whenever he doesn't uphold the terms (or sometimes even when he does).
- Adaptation Expansion: Serves as one for "Daffy Dilly", in which Daffy inherits the Cubish fortune after the latter's death, but eventually has to uphold the terms of Cubish's will.
- Advertised Extra: The poster, video cover, and credits make it seem like Tweety is an equal star to Daffy, Bugs, Porky, and Sylvester, but he's only featured in Hyde and Go Tweet and a little bit of original animation following the sequence.
- Ambiguous Situation: It's entirely possible that Cubish set up the whole miniature elephant incident as a last resort to reclaim the last of his fortune.
- And Starring: Done for a gag. Bugs gets his name in massive letters, credited as "Special Guest Appearance by BUGS BUNNY as himself", complete with triumphant fanfare...followed by "And starring daffy duck", written tiny, with the Wackyland rubber band music to go with it. His name didn't even warrant capital letters.
- Art Shift: The animators actually changed the characters' designs accordingly to fit the classic cartoon that featured those very designs. For example, Daffy transition to his Robert McKimson designs in the scenes leading up to "The Prize Pest."
- Bookends: Daffy starts the movie off as a street corner salesman, trying to make a living (or rather, a fortune), he returns as a struggling salesman in the epilogue after everything Daffy owned was repossessed.
- Bowdlerise: Some television showings (specifically, Cartoon Network, back when their animated movie block was called "Cartoon Network's Cartoon Theater," not "Flicks") cut out the scene near the beginning where Daffy offers a six-pack of Billy Beer with the cars he's selling, as well as the noose scenes from "Claws for Alarm."
- When "The Duxorcist" became its own short and aired on ABC, the part where Daffy calls the possessed female duck a schizophrenic, refers to her as "Sybil," and asks if there's "any more like [her] in the family" before adding "Could you send back that older sister of yours?" was replaced with a previous cut part (that came after he kisses her) where he says, "I don't know my own strength," as ABC felt the offending part was making fun of the mentally ill.
- Butt-Monkey: Daffy.
- Can't Take Anything with You: Averted! Cubish's ghost will stop at nothing to take back his fortune if Daffy doesn't agree to uphold his will's terms.
- Compilation Movie: This movie combines classic Warner Bros. cartoons to create an original story. It is kind of jarring to hear the by then aged voice of Mel Blanc suddenly transition to his more expressive performances in the classics.
- Two of the shorts, "The Duxorcist" and "Night of the Living Duck," were made within a year of the film (and the latter was made for the film).
- Composite Character: The result of film meshing a selection of cartoons from different eras and directors into a coherent package has this effect on Daffy, establishing him as a greedy and desperate Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist as later shorts did, but maintaining his mischievous opportunistic side from early on.
- Die Laughing: Cubish apparently dies this way.
- Downer Ending: Though through Rule of Funny and not that Daffy didn't have it coming. See Humilation Conga.
- Additionally, Porky Pig and Sylvester get lost in the desert, though Porky doesn't seem to mind. Porky still doesn't believe that Sylvester sees scary things. However, Porky is also unemployed now, though he might not yet be aware of it (Bugs, on the other hand, doesn't seem to mind that Daffy's business went under).
- Eat the Camera: Daffy while he's still on the wrecking ball. It's the exact same scream and exact same visual effect used in "To Beep or Not to Beep".
- Everyone Has Standards: As sadistic as Cubish gets throughout the movie, he will not tolerate Daffy mistreating Porky or Sylvester. He also thinks that phrases that aren't done literally, like "juggling the books", are dishonest too.
- The Friends Who Never Hang: Well, co-workers who never hang out. Daffy's business consists of himself, Bugs Bunny, and Porky Pig, but outside of them all appearing together in the commercials, Bugs and Porky never appear together.
- Happy Ending Override: Though he had to put up with humiliation, "Daffy Dilly" still ended with Daffy supposedly getting rewarded for entertaining Cubish, making for a rare successful gain for him. The film extends on the plot and reveals that Cubish, now a disgruntled and sadistic ghost, not only curses Daffy out of his inheritance, but seemingly any other money that he earns from that point onward, dooming Daffy to a life of poverty, and changing the Bittersweet Ending of the short into one of the darkest outcomes that Daffy has ever suffered.
- Hope Spot: After the last of Daffy's money has been taken away, he gets a knock at the door, expecting a client. Unfortunately, it's just Egghead delivering the news that his bills are unpaid and he's being reposessed. Followed by the moving people taking all his stuff away and the building getting demolished with him still in it.
- Humiliation Conga: After Daffy gets humiliated on the air about the tiny elephant story, he plans to blame Porky for everything. This, along with an absent-minded remark about "nothing being wrong with dishonesty in business affairs", proves to be the final straw for Cubish, who takes Daffy's remaining money (and leaves behind a sign ribbing it in). He then gets his possessions repossessed and the entire apartment building is demolished (with him still in it!). And apparently, Cubish's curse is still on him, as a dollar he earns instantly vanishes once he gets it.
- To make matters worse, Daffy earned the money legitimately, fulfilling Cubish's Last Request to have a good laugh before he died (at the expense of Daffy's dignity). The conditions that come with it weren't revealed until after Daffy had spent who knows how long working for him without complaint, and now he has to live the rest of his life under the heel of a sadistic ghost. Cubish is a grade-A Jerkass.
- Karma Houdini: J.B. Cubish. Despite being dead, he's able to take away the money he left to Daffy (though to be fair, it was whenever Daffy did or considered doing something that goes against the terms of the will). And after taking the last of the money, it's implied that he's responsible for Daffy being reposessed and the building torn down with him in it, and afterwards, he takes away a dollar Daffy earned as a street corner salesman, which has nothing to do with the terms of the will.
- Kick the Dog: At one point, Daffy struggles to take care of his tax exams and breaks down crying. As he does, though, Cubish's ghost is heard laughing sadistically, KNOWINGLY that Daffy is struggling and suffering.
- At the end of the movie, Daffy is back to being a salesman, and upon earning a dollar for selling a toy legally and legitimately, the dollar vanishes in Daffy's hands, implying that despite Daffy trying to sell legally, Cubish is screwing Daffy for life! Cue Skyward Scream.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: "Spooks spooked, goblins gobbled, UFOs K.O.ed, aliens alienated, vampires evaporated, and monsters remonstrated."
- Noodle Incident: Referenced after the female duck starts acting strangely.Daffy: Oh, brother, not another schizophrenic dame.
- Off-Model: Despite their best efforts, switches between the classic cartoons and the new bridging segments are really noticeable.
- Oh, Crap!: Every time Daffy realizes he's pissed off Cubish and his money starts disappearing.
- Phone Word: Daffy, Bugs and Porky run a Ghostbusters-esque agency, and their phone number is 555-5925, or 555-KWAK.
- The Real Spoofbusters: Spoof is in the title and in the premise.
- Recycled Soundtrack: Unlike the other compilation films, which used new music for the bridging sequences (usually by Dean Elliott or Robert J. Walsh), the score to this film is compiled from numerous Looney Tunes shorts of the past. If you're well-versed in the original shorts, it can be fun to hear the music in different contexts.
- Ridiculous Repossession:
Daffy: Did you hear the one about the woman that couldn't pay the exorcism bill? Her soul got repossessed!
- In The Duxorcist, Daffy exorcises some ghosts off a pretty woman by making jokes. This is the one that works like gangbusters:
- In the film's final act, once the ghost of J.P. Cubish finally takes away all of his fortune, it takes approximately five seconds afterward for the bank to send a Singing Telegram telling Daffy that he's broke and they're coming to take everything away and forty seconds after that for the repo men to take all of Daffy's office furniture, the building to be condemned and Daffy to be kicked out of the building via a wrecking ball to the face. The implication is that Cubish was somehow able to cause all this.
- Setting Update: The scene from "Daffy Dilly" where Daffy hears of Cubish from the radio is replaced with new footage showing the report on a television screen (with the original audio playing over it).
- Skyward Scream: "CUUUUUUUUBIIIIIISH!!!"
- Southern Belle: Most likely the female duck's natural voice, as she talks like this after the ghosts are exorcised.
- Spiteful Will: Cubish grants Daffy his fortune as inheritance as promised, but under the stipulation he can't spend a dime on himself, only charitable causes. And he must "display honesty in all business affairs". Oh, and apparently, he can take it with him if he refuses.
- Storefront Television Display: While Daffy is trying to sell his wares on the sidewalk, he looks in a window and sees a TV news report about J. P. Cubish offering his fortune to the one who can make him laugh one more time before he dies. This was a modification of a scene from the short Daffy Dilly, in which Daffy listens to the news on a radio, but this wasn't 1948 anymore.
- Tempting Fate: When Daffy inherits Cubish's fortune and thinks about spennding it on himself, he remarks, "What's he gonna do? He can't take it with him." He's dead wrong.
- Tropical Epilogue: Bugs finally gets that Palm Springs vacation he wanted all through the film.
- Verbal Backspace: Happens whenever Daffy does something to anger Cubish and tries to keep his money from disappearing (though in the case of what Daffy said about Bugs, Cubish only stopped when Daffy said he'll make [Cubish] vice-president).
- Villain Protagonist/Nominal Hero: Daffy is up to his unscrupulous ways again and plans to follow a Scrooge-like career until the supernatural trouble leads him to become a ghostbuster-for-hire instead.
- Vocal Evolution: Being one of his final performances before his death (aged 81 no less), Mel Blanc's performances as the Looney Tunes regulars in the new footage sounds very noticeably more worn and gravelly than that in the reused shorts. Especially noticeable for Daffy and Porky, whose new dialogue isn't pitch shifted like it normally is. According to director Greg Ford, Mel was very worn out when recording, and his work required a lot of editing to get up to par (the aforementioned lack of pitch shifting was to try and maintain the nuance Mel could still accomplish).
- The Voiceless: Sylvester in the new linking animation.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Bugs is relaxing in Palm Springs, Porky and Sylvester are lost in the Superstition Mountains, Cubish is still dead, and Daffy is back to selling merchandise on the streets (with a dollar he made legitimately suddenly vanishing because Cubish is a dick).
- Whole Plot Reference: The main plot parodies Ghostbusters.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: After losing everything, Daffy ends the movie as a street salesman again, and upon Daffy finally making an honest dollar, Cubish takes that away too, with the implication that he will be doing this to him forever. Cue the Skyward Scream.