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    Daffy Duck (1964-1968; 1980)

    "FAIRY GODPARENTS!'" — Denzel Crocker

    This is a good article.


    Daffy Duck
    "You're despicable!" - Daffy’s reaction to his flanderized self.
    Gender: Male
    Type: Wrathful Psychopathic Hunter
    The Extremely Dark Side of Daffy Duck
    Species: Duck
    Portrayed by: Mel Blanc
    Status: Alive
    Media of origin: Looney Tunes
    First appearance: Porky's Duck Hunt
    The Iceman Ducketh (flanderized)


    "Having Daffy try to chase Speedy? And him going from a screwball egotist to... Yosemite Sam basically? That doesn't work. It sounds really eerie hearing Daffy saying all these crazy things about how much he wants to kill Speedy and having him do things that Daffy really shouldn't do."

    Media Mementos, when describing the atrocious flanderization of Daffy Duck during the DePatie-Freleng, Format Films, and Seven-Arts eras in his video "The Dark Age of Looney Tunes (7K Subscriber Special!!!)"


    Daffy Duck is a fictional character from the popular Warner Bros. Looney Tunes franchise and is one of the franchise's major characters. He is voiced by Mel Blanc and was created by Tex Avery.

    In general, he is one of the most beloved cartoon characters, but during "The Iceman Ducketh", "The Chocolate Chase", and between 1964-69, his character was badly flanderized.

    Why He Was Extremely Despicable

    Note: This only applies to his character in the DePatie-Freleng (1965-1967), Format Films (1967), and Seven-Arts (1967 & 1968) eras, but "The Chocolate Chase" and "The Iceman Ducketh" (1964) as well.

    1. He has been flanderized beyond recognition, even worse than that of Claude Cat, the Road Runner or any other Looney Tunes character in general, and has suffered the worst character derailment out of all characters in this era. He has gone from a hilarious screwball egotist to a grouchy, humorless sadist who tries to kill Speedy Gonzales for his own sake.
      • In this era, he is often paired up with Speedy Gonzales. While not necessarily a bad thing, it is still an awkwardly mismatched character pairing due to very poor chemistry between the duo.
        • In addition, in "Tease for Two", Daffy is also horribly miscast as an antagonist to the Goofy Gophers, as there is very poor chemistry between the duo.
          • In another addition, in "The Iceman Ducketh", "Suppressed Duck" and "Quacker Tracker", he is also miscast as a crazy, sneaky, duck-turned-wrathful hunter, which is a much better role for Elmer Fudd and/or Yosemite Sam instead of him. This doesn’t make any logical sense as well, even by Looney Tunes standards, since ducks are not predatory animals by nature nor do they prey on animals of the same size or larger than them. That said, real ducks will occasionally chase and eat mice.
      • This awkward mismatching between Daffy and Speedy is due to the DePatie-Freleng, Format, and Seven-Arts studios only being allowed to use a limited number of classic Looney Tunes characters due to budget constraints (most notably Daffy Duck, Speedy Gonzales, as well as Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner), but it still doesn't excuse why Daffy should be paired with Speedy during these eras.
      • Despite his unlikable nature in this era, he in general is overused in these cartoons (specifically the Speedy Gonzales cartoons), regardless of how unneeded he is in each cartoon Speedy appears in, such as "The Spy Swatter" for example, to the point where it gets old.
      • Recasting an iconic cartoon character who was originally a wacky protagonist and/or mischievous anti-hero with sympathetic qualities like Daffy Duck, as a flat-out evil villain with zero empathy and redeeming traits is an extremely abysmal idea that was bad from the start, which was why it upset and angered so many fans of the Looney Tunes franchise and Daffy Duck’s character in general. Most importantly, the idea of Daffy Duck being the antagonist took a step way too far for Daffy in a more mean-spirited and violent direction.
      • While he may have been greedy, selfish, and grouchy in his earlier years, he was never completely diabolical, making this extremely out of character for him.
    2. Due to his flanderization, he was also miscast as a greedy, selfish scumbag villain. This characterization would go on until the final short produced in this era.
      • He is much angrier and even more short-tempered than ever before, to the point that it becomes exaggerated and unfunny. Overall, his flanderization in these eras turned him into literally a "duck knock-off of Yosemite Sam", except with none of Yosemite Sam's humor, likability, and charm. In other words, At least the other major Looney Tunes villains/antagonists such as Elmer Fudd, the already mentioned Yosemite Sam, Sylvester and Wile E. Coyote are hilarious and have some charm and humility to them.
    3. His maliciousness and jerkiness have completely been amped up to eleven (even more so than in previous shorts). On top of that, all the abuse, antagonisms, villainous and underhanded actions he inflicts on his victims are incredibly cruel, hurtful, and done in an extremely mean-spirited manner rather than lighthearted and funny, since he always just goes way too far with his ruthless actions. Several examples include "Well Worn Daffy", "Assault and Peppered", and "Snow Excuse" being the absolute worst offenders of such, where his treatment of Speedy and his friends was the most malicious and cruel than ever.
      • Speaking of which, he is barely a funny cartoon character during this era, which is ironic since "Daffy" in his name means "crazy". When he was first created in 1937, he was mainly responsible for putting the "Looney" in Looney Tunes, which means it's a shame that the zaniest and wackiest Looney Tunes character from the 1930s-1950s is heavily reduced to the exact opposite of what he was before. And to add salt to the wound, all traces of his original screwball personality from the 1930s-1950s cartoons are completely nonexistent.
      • A good example of how hurtful his antagonisms are in this era is in "Assault and Peppered" where he whips these poor Mexican mice for starving on his property, especially considering the small size of the poor Mexican mice in comparison to Daffy himself, which can potentially be deadly to these mice, an act which goes into domestic abuse territory. This is evident when he whips one of the poor Mexican mice for the second time, the impact of the whip is so strong that his sombrero disintegrates, leaving him with a bald head!
      • During these eras, he is extremely selfish, greedy, and heartless as he only cares about himself and has absolutely zero empathy for anyone else, enough to give the seasons 6-10 version of Mr. Krabs a run for his money. Some good examples of this are "Well Worn Daffy" and "Snow Excuse", where he heavily disregards Speedy and his mouse friends and their risk of dying from being deprived of water (in the case of "Well Worn Daffy") or warmth (in the case of "Snow Excuse") to survive in favor of only getting what he wants, and doesn't care if they die while attempting to even murder all of them with gun violence in the slightest. He even outright denies Speedy and/or his friends just a measly little crumb of food to feed themselves despite them being on the brink of starvation in both "Moby Duck" and "Chili Con Corny".
      • His sadism has reached extremely cruel and beyond-sickening levels in "Well Worn Daffy", as in that cartoon after depriving water Speedy and his mouse friends who are dying of thirst, he even taunts the mice by taking a shower with the water in front of them, chases them away with a shotgun for coming near the well, and later attempts to blow up his well just so that Speedy and his friends can’t get any of his water, despite them dying of thirst.
    4. He is willing to go so far as to break the law to abuse Speedy Gonzales and his mice friends and/or even get what he wants, so much to the point that within Speedy Gonzales' universe, he can already be considered a wanted criminal. For example;
      • In "Go Go Amigo" he threatens the local radio station XYZ Radio at gunpoint to play "dumb music" just so that Speedy and his friends can’t listen to music at Daffy's electronics store.
      • In "Suppressed Duck", he heavily disregards the rule stated by the park ranger to stay out of the bear boundary line just so that he could shoot down one of the bears.
      • In "Corn on the Cop", he (along with police lackey Porky Pig) abuses his power as a policeman and goes after Granny, thinking that she is the bank robber in disguise, and still proceeds to persistently chase her down around the entire city, failing to realize the fact that Granny isn't the crook, which is considered police brutality.
      • In "Go Away Stowaway", when he finds out that Speedy stows away on the ship, he tries to kill him or get him locked away to the point of sinking an entire cruise ship.
      • In many cartoons such as "Well Worn Daffy", "Chili Con Corny" and "Snow Excuse" for example, he is often almost always inflicting gunfire violence on Speedy Gonzales and his mice friends by chasing them while shooting them with a hunting rifle to express his hatred for them.
    5. His gags have gone from hilarious and entertaining to mostly flat, stale, unfunny, and for the most part, extremely dark, offensive, and tasteless during these eras (and not in a good way).
    6. He is also very insensitive and intentionally racist, evidenced in how he always abuses Speedy Gonzales and his fellow Mexican mice in almost every episode he appears in, once making fun of their Mexican accents and saying they should learn to speak English properly in "Moby Duck" when he insulted Speedy with his line "Company? Hmph! You can't even speak good English!".
      • In "Tease for Two", he even made fun of the Goofy Gophers' British accents by cruelly mocking their lines "So nice seeing you guys. Drop along again sometime" before violently kicking the gophers away while they're stuffed in an empty can.
      • In "See Ya Later Gladiator", he seems to have such a huge hatred for Mexican music that he even throws his broom outside to express his hatred.
      • He is also a classist who hates poor people for no reason, as one of the poor mice said in "Assault and Peppered". On that topic, in the same cartoon, despite that the poor Mexican mice apologize to him for offending him and "starving" on his property, he refuses to forgive them and instead proceeds to whip them and shuts them up twice, and declare war on them without any further second thoughts.
    7. On occasion, his design goes off-model, mainly due to the low budget of the cartoons at the time, with the later Seven-Arts era being the worst offender of this. This is especially apparent in "See Ya Later Gladiator".
      • During these eras, he frequently looks angry and grumpy for no particular reason, despite him rarely expressing this in the original cartoons (especially during his original "screwball" incarnation in the 1930s and 1940s), which is not only unsettling but also already adds to his cruel and mean-spirited nature.
    8. His flanderization is one of the main reasons why the DePatie-Freleng, Format Films, and Seven-Arts eras of Looney Tunes are hated by critics and fans.
    9. Before his official flanderization started in the DePatie-Freleng era, he already had a more villainous role towards Bugs Bunny in his final pairing with him in the classic era in "The Iceman Ducketh", where he attempts to kill Bugs for his fur just for the money.
      • His villainous characterization got even worse during his final pairings with Speedy in the Seven-Arts era beginning with "Speedy Ghost to Town" (with the notable exceptions of "Fiesta Fiasco" and "Skyscraper Caper") as in these later cartoons Daffy is completely aware of Speedy's presence and only commits evil and selfish acts towards Speedy and his mouse friends out of pure malice.
      • It hit rock bottom in his last pairing with Speedy in "The Chocolate Chase" as he goes way too far to steal all the pesos from the city mayor who wants to feed the poor village mice chocolate bunnies for Easter!
    10. Like Claude Cat, his bumbling antics often cause him to destroy property like his own home or accidentally get himself into so many painful situations (i.g slamming himself into an ice wall Bugs created in "The Iceman Ducketh") that are played for comedy even when it gets old, making him a predictable and destructive if well-deserved Butt-Monkey.
    11. Mel Blanc's voice as Daffy can get annoying and obnoxious at times due to him yelling the majority of his lines, not helping is the fact that Daffy, being a character who is always grouchy, often yells angrily at almost every single character he's with, especially Speedy Gonzales and his friends.
    12. Most of his dialogue during this era is incredibly cringe, off-putting, distasteful, and infuriating since the majority of his dialogue frequently consists of him angrily taking out his hatred and frustrations on other characters (particularly Speedy Gonzales and the Goofy Gophers) for very little reason, which he would have never said in the original cartoons (and fits more the role to Yosemite Sam instead, since he frequently says something similar to that to Bugs Bunny in the original cartoons, as mentioned earlier in WHWD #2).
      • A good example of such dialogue from him coming from this era is the infamous scene where Daffy ADMITS THAT HE TAKES PURE PLEASURE ON WANTING TO KILL BUGS all because he hated him in "The Iceman Ducketh" when he said "I love doing this, especially because I DESPISE him!". Again in the same short, he also made a rather cheesy and laughable sarcastic rant when he got blasted by his rifle thanks to Bugs tricking him: "OOOHHHH, I LOVE HIM!!!" which suspiciously sounded like "OOOHHHH, I LOATHE HIM!!!".
    13. In both "Chili Con Corny" and "Mucho Locos", he successfully wins over Speedy as an evil villain, especially the former, hence making him a huge Karma Houdini in those episodes.
      • Even in some sorts where he gets his "comeuppance" like "Go Away Stowaway", it feels very light, given his downright criminal and terrorist actions throughout the short.
    14. Overall, this 1964-1968 incarnation of the character takes his biggest problem from 1955 short "Stork Naked" (being much angrier and short-tempered than he usually is) and makes it even worse, though while this isn't saying much, Daffy in that short (let alone his later 1950s and early-1960s "greedy egotist" incarnation overall) is slightly better than the 1964-1968 Daffy since at least he is less of a short-tempered jerkass and is much friendlier.

    "Woo-Hoo!" Qualities

    1. He was a much better character before 1964 and has massively redeemed himself after "See Ya Later Gladiator". (Though he got flanderized again only once in "The Chocolate Chase", at least it was just once and he still redeems himself after this episode.)
      • Speaking of which, both the movie Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas and the TV series The Looney Tunes Show, both adaptations take the ideas of Daffy being a horrible person and do it way better, since in both instances Daffy is not taken too seriously like he was in the 60s, and portrays it much better than the 60s era as a "narcissistic idiot" who is prone to making mistakes that are portrayed a little realistically compared to 60s Daffy (and Daffy in general).
    2. At least he always got his comeuppances for his actions at the end of almost every single episode of this era, so he's not too much of a Karma Houdini. Which can be entertaining to watch sometimes.
    3. There are some rare instances during this era where Daffy is likable, has his original personality, and is not mean-spirited, such as "Corn on the Cop" (despite abusing his power as a police officer), "A Taste of Catnip", "Fiesta Fiasco" and "Skyscraper Caper".
      • He knew why he was chasing Speedy Gonzales, so he went into therapy as shown in "A Taste of Catnip". On a belated note, that episode pokes fun at how his pairings with Speedy Gonzales are a horrible mismatch by depicting his obsessions with chasing Speedy as "abnormal".
    4. The idea of Speedy Gonzales having a more threatening and evil foe instead of always facing the already incompetent and sympathetic Sylvester is an interesting idea, even if Daffy is not the best choice since Yosemite Sam would already better fit the role.
      • Although Daffy is miscast as a loathsome villain, he's a surprisingly effective and threatening villain in this instance.
    5. Mel Blanc still did a legendary job voicing him, as always, at least whenever there is no overly angry shouting coming from him.
    6. His design is still nice to look at (only when it's not looking off-model).

    Trivia

    • A little-known fact is that real ducks will occasionally eat mice they find.
    • He is the only Looney Tunes character who has successfully defeated Speedy Gonzales

    Videos

    Comments

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