Now this list was one of the HARDEST to compile (then again this is the 50's trio of Warner directors we're talking about ! The 50's are much better than what the miserable bigots say about it...). There is a fuckload of excellent stuff to choose from so I had to make it more balanced to give a better idea of Chuck's contributions. Anyone who's read whatever I post knows who will appear the most in this list (despite doing my best to restrain myself !).
20) DOUBLE OR MUTTON (1955)
After the first two confusing yet funny episodes ("Don't Give Up the Sheep" 1953 and "Sheep Ahoy" 1954), this is where the names and reationships are finally established: the sheepdog's name is now Sam, the wolf is Ralph, and they're both just working stiff who punch in at the start of the day and punch out at the end. The concept itslf is brilliant: the enemity between the 2 characters is just a day's job.
Also resulted in a pretty hilarious video game.
19) OFTEN AN ORPHAN (1949) / SCAREDY CAT (1948)
- Charlie the Dog is one of my favorite Looney Tunes Characters.He has meaningful motivation : to find a home,but he is so overbearing (sort of a guy who tries too hard to make friends at a party) that it never turns out the way he'd expect it to or gets the exact opposite reaction.
Here, he and Porky Pig have a non-stop battle that goes back and forth through the entire story with the dog winning but without cheating .
- Porky Pig and his loyal cat Sylvester move into a big scary looking house and Sylvester (who doesn't have any dialogue in this) is instantly afraid. And he has every right to be : the house is over-run with homicidal mice and booby traps. So it is up to our feline pal to save the oblivious Porky and his own skin ... will he succeed ? Tune in next week, same cat-time , same cat-channel !
18) FAST AND FURRY-OUS (1949)
This short marks the first appearance by both Wile E. Coyote and The Road Runner (gotta love Mike Maltese's choice of birds !).
A lot of people accuse this series of being the same cartoon over and over... the same PREMISE, yes ! The same toon ? No ! In fact you'll never know HOW the Coyote's plan will fail , this is where the comedy comes from. Also , the meticulous timing shows you how the most basic action becomes hilarious.
Wile E. is really the star of the series and here this is his best design . I love the lean mean lupine best ! The Road Runner is mostly a good-looking plot device rather than a character (still not a demonic one like Tweety !) but he does the job as a nigh-impossible to catch prey and admirably so ! (Wile E. gets him eventually but the result is not what he expected at all!).
17) HIGH NOTE (1960) / FELINE FRAME-UP (1954)
- Various musical notes set up the sheet music to get ready for a performance of The Blue Danube Waltz. However, a sole note is missing due to hitting the boose hard ...
- The best Marc Anthony and Pussyfoot would not be , though good it is, Feed The Kitty (1952). Here , it works much better due to the presence of the vicious and petty Claude , he is just a great bastard here and gets the most laugh due to getting what he deserves in the end , Karma is harsh after all ...
16) RABBIT RAMPAGE (1955)
One of the most underrated cartoons of all-times ! Yeah, the predecessor was superior (because it easily had the superior character, if not the best in Jones's filmography...), but Rabbit Rampage is fucking brilliant.
First off, fame and vanity can get to ANYONE's head, not just Daffy's. And while Bugs is not as exhuberant as the waterfowl, he is still egotistical and vain in a different way. The best , if not all , Bugs cartoons revolve around the notion of control ! Bugs may not seem like that most of the time due to his cool demeanor and pragmatism, but he gets REALLY unnerved when it does not go his way . THIS is one of the occasions where the trickster demi-god gets a dose of his own medicine.
Another subtlety here is that the identity of the animator MATTERS (while in Daffy's case it was just a surprise ending...) and , since you know who it is, makes Bugs's punishment all the more sadistic and delicious ! And Bugs knows WHO it is all the time so he has to deal with it ! XD Not being the Stinker sure stinks.
So if you want to understand WHO Bugs Bunny is, this picture is MANDATORY ! Just don't listen to the maroons who constantly put it down ...
15) ALI BABA BUNNY (1957)
The Best Bugs/Daffy buddy picture and the apotheosis of Daffy's greed. While travelling underground, Bugs takes a wrong turn at Albuquerque (shocking !) and finds a treasure cavern. Daffy spots a gigantic cache of riches, and like the moderate and in-control guy we know he is, he wants it all! That is until Hassan El-Jabri finds him ... The duck also teaches us that hitting a Genie back to his lamp might not be the most inspired idea to have...
14) LITTLE BEAU PEPE (1952)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDVIQ4… Well it sums up Pepe doesn't it ?
I really liked every Pepe cartoon ( unlike his detractors who seem to be quite stuck-up ) but this one takes the cake, only followed by "Past Perfumance"(1955) as the Skunk's best cartoon.
The entire last part where Pepe carries the unconscious Penelope to a tent and proceeds to invent AXE perfume is just that great !
"Why is it that whenever a man is captured by a woman, all he wish to do is get away?" Indeed !
13) OPERATION RABBIT (1951)
Wile E. Coyote's sophomore cartoon (and a work of Geeenius !) and where we discover how he sounds like. Instead of road-runners, here he tries to show his ability at hunting lagomorphs. But the one he happens to hunt is a particularly sadistic karmic trickster: Bugs Bunny .
Of course, this is where Wile E. invents all the trends for future supervillains to come such as:
- Spending your time bragging about your superiority
- Not finishing off your enemy right there !
- Going from a complicated plan to an even more complicated plan without even estimating your target.
Though the whole use of ACME "effective" gadgets to capture Bugs was a first at the time !
12) A BEAR FOR PUNISHMENT (1951)
Father's Day turned into a circle of hell !
Mama and Junior pour on heavy-duty pampering to make sure the holiday is Papa's best day ever but it does not turn out as expected.
A very simple premise makes for mass hysteria ! Also add in with voice artists Billy Bletcher, Bea Benaderet and Stan Freberg giving the most remarkable performances they ever gave as these characters and you got yourself a master-piece !
11) CHEESE CHASERS (1951)
The final of six films in the Hubie and Bertie series and what a finale !
The two mice eat so much cheese that it actually makes them never want to have it again. So, with that in mind, they decide to end their lives by offering themselves up to Claude the Cat. Claude finds that way too suspect so he refuses to eat them and soon sinks into paranoia. Soon Claude goes to the local bulldog ( Marc-Anthony ?) to murder him ... confounding our canine pal ,forcing him to write the whole story from start to finish ...
10) YOU WERE NEVER DUCKIER (1948)
This is the only Jones cartoon where Daffy is actually jealous but officialy where material greed takes place in his laundry list of qualities !
Offended that a contest only pays the best duck $5 while paying the best chicken $5,000 (fowl discrimination that's what it is!), he decides to dress up like a chicken. That's when young Henery Hawk comes in search of a nice, tasty chicken to bring to his father. Thinking that Mr Hawk is a chicken judge, Daffy follows the kid to collect the lout earlier. Well that will work fine for him ...
9) A HOUND FOR TROUBLE (1951)
Kicked off the boat in Italy, Charlie forces himself upon a pizzeria owner. Donning his best Italian accent and garb, Charlie sets to work as a waiter,showing us the best way to make a fine wine !
8) CASE OF MISSING HARE (1942)
Ala Bahma, plasters his show posters all over the forest and even gets to pie Bugs on the face. The vindictive rabbit goes to the show for revenge...
This is the first cartoon where Jones got Bugs right and a childhood favorite .Some of these gags are among the best that I have ever seen (the escrime ? Priceless !). The whole cartoon is a huge laugh fest,if you don't know it, look it up !
7) RABBIT FIRE (1951)
If you don't know this cartoon , well what are you waiting for ?
This is the very first time there is an actual interaction between the studio superstar rabbit and the not-popular-anymore duck (but he will end up as the superior character in the long run !).
The plot is ,of course, a classic : In order to survive in the wild, Daffy Duck plants signs pointing that it is rabbit season so that the lagomorph gets it instead of him. (Then again , this kind of fowl play is not new to Daffy. Remember that he was ready to kill a duckling who took his place as a family's pet or let a big dog freeze to death... Psychopathic comedy is an art on its own.).
Of course, our fiendish fowl NEVER estimates that Bugs Bunny is a vicious but subtle and patient trickter and that the hunter was as sharp as a bowling ball.
This leads the argue over which one of them should be hunted (because to Daffy, patience is for wusses...) by the ever-gullible Elmer Fudd. Bugs of course keeps it cool and collected as Daffy screams his head off never knowing what he really IS saying, resulting in his bill being blown off.
I picked this one due to the shady friendship it sets up between Bugs and Daffy and because both of them have equal action rate in it.
As for the 2 others , I love them but the thing is a) "Rabbit Seasoning" (1952) is a bit too talky, b) "Duck , Rabbit, Duck!" (1953) is for the most part a Daffy cartoon due to how much of a show-stealer the waterfowl is and how beautifully violent it gets ! So I chose the most balanced of the bunch , along with the best ending ever ....
6) THE DUCKSTERS (1950)
Excellent parody of popular quiz shows (and the torture Jigsaw did not think about!): If you don't answer the impossible questions , you get tortured with falling boulders, cascading water, conveyor-belts with those spinning saws and whacks of a mallet to the head. All clean wholesome fun !
Daffy Duck is just at the height of his sadism as the demented host dishing out pain and humiliation to Porky Pig.
Daffy shamelessly writes the rules himself; Porky gamely abides by them... until the very end where Daffy's host power abuse get to finally annoy the porkster !
5) DOVER BOYS (1942)
The first real classic piece that Chuck Jones churned out while at Termite Terrace.
The story parodies a juvenile book series from the early nineteenth century, so it's not like anyone today remembers where the original source material comes from (This is how you do afucking PROPER PARODY ! Take notes !). Plus,How could anyone tell that animator Ken Harris was the evil Dan Backslide , Cowardbullycadandthief !
4) DUCK AMUCK (1953)
The cartoon that can be interpretated in so many ways ... but ultimately a middle finger to any jackass who says that Daffy can't work on his own (the shit people can spew I swear !) or is not deep.
The plot ? Well Daffy squares of against God ...literally !
Pencils, brushes and erasers intrude torture the duck, changing the scenery, sound, colour, camera positions and even the appearance of Daffy himself.
Only Daffy's prominent ego is the key to his survival and the source of his pure badassery ! THROW ANYTHING AT HIM , and he'll keep fighting ! There is a cartoon for him to act in , this little black duck has a good show to put up for his audience ! Saying that this is a true tour de force is pointing at the pointing. While "Rabbit Rampage" was a pure character study of the lagomorph,"Duck Amuck" is much more : It studies and shows who Daffy IS in depth and shows him at his most vivid and a description of how absurd fate can be at times, and the best way to keep up with that is to never stop struggling !
3) RABBIT OF SEVILLE (1950)
Easily the greatest Bugs Bunny cartoon of all ! This has everything I love about the rabbit and there isn't a single false note about it !
Listening to Bugs sing his own lyrics for the opera (Welcome to my shop/Let me cut your mop/Let me shave your crop), you almost get the impression that the lyrics were written specifically for him. You have also the crossdressing, razor blades , cannons, guns , hammers ... everything that makes violence great ! Rossini's music really got honored through these perfect 7 minutes !
2) DUCK DODGERS IN THE 24th AND 1/2 CENTURY (1953)
You were expecting this one, didn't ya ? Featuring one of the most dangerous Looney Tunes characters ever against Daffy at his hammiest and heroic (or tries to be)... how could this not be in the damn list ?!
"Duck Dodgers" as a fully formed satire seemed to mark a point from which there was no returning. The WB characters would "enact" Mad magazine style satires as they seem to be perfect vehicles for spoofing or injecting themselves into anything from movies to operas to novels to comics or mangas.
In this short, we see Dodgers flying to a place called Planet X, however Marvin The Martian, is also trying to take control of Planet X (despite no apparent need for shaving cream !). The vanity of both sides gradually escalates until Dodgers decides to win by blowing up the entire damn planet, considering it a victory... that is left to debate, I say !
Of course , the snarky and in control "eager young space cadet " comments on the manic situation his cuckoo for cocoa-puffs superior is creating ...
And in case you want to know about the show that is derived from it devilkais.deviantart.com/art/C… ...
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Well since Chuck took some time and started hit his stride from 1942 and on , so what will be here ?
ANY DAFFY CARTOON I HAVE NOT LISTED and... Fresh Airedale (1945),Trap-Happy Porky (1945), Bear Feat (1949), Rabbit Hood (1949), 8-Ball Bunny (1950),Bunny Hugged (1951), Chow Hound (1951), Feed the kitty (1951), Punch trunk (1953), Bewitched Bunny (1954), Bully For Bugs (1955), Rocket Bye Baby (1956), What's Opera Doc (1957), Whoa Be Gone (1958),Nelly's Folly (1962), Now Hear This (1962)...
1) THE SCARLET PUMPERNICKEL (1950)
This is it.The cartoon that embodies everything I love about Jones's cartoons. And the one I got the most inspiration FROM !
a) It uses his greatest actor , Daffy Dumas Duck, at the height of his energy and hamminess.
b) It is a wonderful satire, the kind of genre the duck has been perfected into mastering ! Case in point, this is a spoof of the scarlet Pimpernel by Alexandre Dumas.
c) The dark humor in it is just delicious !
This short pays hommage to both Friz's " You Oughta Be in Pictures"(1940) and Clampett's "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery"(1946) by taking the aspects these 2 shorts introduced to Daffy and refine them into a more eloquent, adult and still hyperactive duck.
It starts off with Daffy in Mr. Warner's office saying that he is sick of doing comedy and would like to try his hand at acting in an action-adventure picture (that he's , in all modesty, written all by himself). This is where Daffy is UNBEATABLE as a parodist: He thinks he can be taken seriously , he completely embraces his role (never referencing to himself as Daffy when acting) but is completely oblivious to the absurdity of the situation. (Why they don't make any of those is anyone's fucking guess...unimaginative fools...).
The story is acted out by Daffy and an all Looney cast (namely Porky as a surprising great villain, Sylvester at his most threatening, Henery Hawk as a messenger, Elmer as a humble in-keeper, etc.). However, upon watching this narrative played out, we see that Daffy didn't really think his script through (he omitted the climax ... Woops !).
And the final message is just perfect to conclude it "It's getting so you have to kill yourself to sell a story around here"!
And such Greatness in only 7 minutes!
Merci encore Chuck, à toi et ton équipes pour tes cartoons uniques , aux tonalités subtiles, sombres, ironiques,mais toujours hilarantes ! Dieu te garde ...
P.S. : Yes, I do like his "Tom & Jerry " ! They are not on par with the H&B ones , but they still are worthy cartoons !
Glad you enjoy this ! My next project is to make the biggest Medley I can of the ACME world ! Once again, honored to see people who have the great taste to fully appreciate the greatness that is Daffy . And my next collage will pack so much greatness that the odious, unnerving, despicable purists shall have they eyes melt out of its sheer scale ! And I'm no politician so I'm not giving empty promises .
I love your caricature of Jones here.
Also, I'm glad to see Cheese Chasers finally get some love. That cartoon really pushed Chuck's eye expressions to the limit. Chuck has always had good unique eye designs, but I think that it really shines in that cartoon.