It’s time to give Daffy Duck some love, as great of a character that Bugs Bunny is, you can not deny Daffy Duck’s importance to the Looney Tunes, and the duck has definitely certainly had his fair share of great cartoons over the years, let’s take a look at his 10 best, these are the top 10 best Daffy Duck cartoons:
10. The Duxorcist & The Night Of The Living Duck
In the late 1980s, WB created two new Daffy Duck shorts with more of a supernatural comedic approach because films like Ghostbusters and Beetlejuice were popular at the time and this was also Mel Blanc in the final years of his life having passed away in 1989 and he was still providing the voice for many of the WB characters at the time.
In The Duxorcist, Daffy is a paranormal exorcist who gets a call from Melissa Duck, who has been possessed by a demon.
It’s a really solid short even though it uses a lot of recycled music and sound effects and maybe the animation isn’t quite as strong as the golden age cartoons but it’s still pretty damn funny with great lines such as this:
With Night Of The Living Duck, more of the same and I’ll even say that this isn’t a particularly funny short on its’ own but what makes it works are the numerous homages to sci-fi pop culture as well as small stuff like Mad Magazine among other things and you can’t go wrong with Mel Torme’s singing:
9. The Wise Quacking Duck
Essentially, Daffy running away from getting killed by Elmer Fudd-ish Mr. Meek to impress his wife “Sweetypuss” and of course, hilarity ensues:
This is basically Daffy Duck at his absolute looniest and it just works on so many levels, add in the great direction and timing of director Bob Clampett and you’ve got a classic Daffy Duck cartoon.
8. The Scarlet Pumpernickel
The cartoon is a story within a story. Daffy Duck is fed up with comedy and wants to try a dramatic act instead. He offers a script to Warner Bros.’ chief Jack L. Warner – whom he addresses, as most people did, as “J.L.” – called The Scarlet Pumpernickel, which he wrote himself (under the name “Daffy Dumas Duck.”) and has the Looney Tunes characters cast as the rest of the characters.
The whole thing is about Daffy tired of doing comedy and wanting to do something more dramatic…and yet it still comes across as a comedy and it’s hilarious, Daffy consistently trying to get this story made and just watching it transpire throughout the cartoon to the point where it ends on a great joke that I will not spoil here, this is a classic Chuck Jones cartoon with a lot of great animation, slick humor, and just over the top insanity, this is one that just works all the way around.
7. Nasty Quacks
The father of a suburban family gets a black duckling for his daughter, Agnes, who dotes on the duck. The duck quickly grows up to become Daffy Duck, whose loud and obnoxious behavior is driving the man to distraction, but Agnes defends her pet at every turn.
Just another great one where the main crux is just watching Daffy continuously kick the living crap out of this father throughout the short and there comes a point where the father decides to get his daughter a new baby duck and the daughter falls for it and the facial expressions on the father after this happens (and pretty much all the facial expressions in this cartoon) are friggin’ hilarious like this dad is looking at Daffy and going “yeah, I’m about to fuck you up big time” and he pummels the shit out of him as soon as the daughter leaves with this baby duck.
And then you get moments like this:
I mean, what else do you need to say to that and it leads to another great ending gag before the end credits so, I’m not even gonna question it, it’s Looney Tunes, why even bother.
6. The Hunter’s Trilogy (Rabbit Fire/Rabbit Seasoning/Duck! Rabbit! Duck!)
Can’t really do a list of the best Daffy Duck cartoons without including this famous trilogy of shorts.
They all pretty much have the same plot, Bugs & Daffy are duking with each other to decide who gets shot by hunter Elmer Fudd, but what makes all three shorts work is the great dialogue between all three of these guys in each short just works so well. Yeah, there’s a lot of really good slapstick and typical Looney Tunes style humor to go along with it but in these shorts, the great dialogue written by Michael Maltese as well as the great animation by Chuck Jones carries the shorts through and through and are so enjoyable to watch every single time.
5. A Pest In The House
A sleepy man demands total quiet from hotel manager Elmer Fudd, but bellhop Daffy’s noisy antics keep prompting the exasperated guest to sock Elmer in the face.
“The film is notable for featuring a sort of “in-between” interpretation of Daffy. He is not necessarily the zany, impish interpretation used famously by Tex Avery and Bob Clampett, nor is he the greedy, self-centered version that Chuck Jones later popularized in the 1950s. As Paul Dini said in the DVD audio commentary for this cartoon: “[In this cartoon, Daffy] is really kind of almost like a sprite. He’s just a little, almost elfin creature who’s not really out to hurt anybody or has any ill will or malice toward anybody. He’s just completely out of his mind.”
What makes this cartoon so funny is just watching Daffy constantly ignoring the hell out of this guy and watching Elmer take the blame. The payoff at the end of the episode when it seems like Elmer has outsmarted Daffy is priceless and I won’t dare spoil what it is. It’s the second best collaboration between the two, the best one we’ll get to later.
4. To Duck Or Not To Duck
Daffy challenges duckhunter Elmer to a boxing match, rigged in his favor with the collusion of the duck referee. In the stands, Elmer’s dog Larrimore suspects that something funny is going on, but he’s drowned out by Daffy’s all-duck cheering section.
This is the best Daffy/Elmer collaboration by far. The whole short exists to build up this fight between these two and the way they decide to pay it off is fantastic. It’s like A Pest In The House where I won’t spoil the ending but I will say that the end of this cartoon is probably one of the best payoffs in any Looney Tunes cartoon.
3. The Great Piggy Bank Robbery
Daffy Duck has a dream in which he is Duck Twacy, a detective forced to fight an army of grotesque villians.
This cartoon has some of the most manic elements of comedy and animation ever put in any Looney Tunes cartoon. The whole sequence with the villains and just how cleverly put together they were is one of the funniest and most memorable moments of any Looney Tunes cartoons. There’s also great jabs at both Dick Tracy and even Sherlock Holmes plus that great level of comedy the Looney Tunes are known for. It’s one of the best cartoons they’ve made.
2. Duck Dodgers In The 24 1/2th Century
Space hero Daffy battles Marvin the Martian for control of Planet X.
Would be crazy not to include this one as Duck Dodgers has gone on to have such a strong following to the point where there was even a cartoon series for Duck Dodgers that lasted three seasons. Everything about this just works, the characters, the comedy, the setup, and the big payoff at the end of the episode. It’s another classic from the Looney Tunes library.
and the #1 best Daffy Duck cartoon is…
You really can’t have a better cartoon than this one for Daffy Duck.
The short-tempered Daffy Duck must improvise madly as the backgrounds, his costumes, the soundtrack, even his physical form, shifts and changes at the whim of the animator.
One of the classic Looney Tunes cartoons ever, everything about it just works, the concept of it, the story, Daffy consistently getting madder and madder as his world around him just keeps getting more messed up, the animation, and the big payoff at the end, I won’t spoil it but let’s just say the person who is responsible gets his comeuppance in another cartoon.
MOVIES MENTIONED IN THIS POST
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