The Iceman Ducketh (Looney Tunes)
The Iceman Ducketh is a 1964 Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Phil Monroe and Maurice Noble starring Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck in their final onscreen pairing together during the Golden Age. Daffy tries to hunt Bugs Bunny for his hide but keeps getting his plans thwarted by Bugs and some angry hibernating Grizzly Bears. It is considered to be the worst Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck cartoon.
Why It's Frozen
- Despite this cartoon produced by the Chuck Jones team, Chuck Jones himself has absolutely no involvement at all in this short. During production of this cartoon, Chuck Jones, who was originally slated to direct this cartoon, got fired during this cartoon's pre-production in 1962 and therefore was replaced by Phil Monroe, a fellow animator from the Jones team, hence resulting in the butchery of Bugs and Daffy's characters and poor story executions of this short as listed below.
- Alongside "Stork Naked", Daffy's character was heavily flanderized here compared to the rest of his depictions in the classic era and this was one of the first cartoons where he was miscast as an evil villain since he wants to kill Bugs Bunny just for the money. Also, unlike previous Bugs and Daffy pairings where both the rabbit and duck are frenemies (both friends and enemies at the same time) often due to Daffy's jealousy over Bugs' immense popularity, here they are depicted as straight-out sworn enemies that downright hate each other.
- And to make things worse, Daffy's character started to become much worse once he was paired with Speedy Gonzales in the DePatie-Freleng/Seven Arts eras.
- On top of that, Daffy's role as a big game hunter killing Bugs with a hunting rifle doesn't really suit his character at all: this role should've been cast more appropriately to Bugs' full-fledged antagonists like Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam (which the Looney Tunes Cartoons episode "Siberian Sam" with a similar premise as this cartoon, thankfully fixed this aforementioned mistake by rightfully casting Yosemite Sam in the roles of Bugs' antagonist instead of Daffy).
- Simple solution: Why didn't Daffy end up killing one of the bears, if not, ALL of them for trying to maul him, and sell THEIR fur off instead? That would have been a perfect way to earn his dough, rather than trying to harm Bugs Bunny, and besides, he'd earn more money at the trading post that way since bears have much thicker fur coats than rabbits do.
- Most of the slapstick is unfunny and poor.
- The cartoon feels like a rejected Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd cartoon but with Daffy Duck in Elmer Fudd's place.
- Various plot holes that don't add up or don't make much sense due to bad writing:
- How did Bugs Bunny already know Daffy was after him when he was making a snow rabbit to trick Daffy? Also if the bear is sleeping in the pile of snow, why didn't it attack Bugs?
- Another scene where Daffy is hunting Bugs and runs into an alarm clock that goes off and wakes the bears. It's never explained if Bugs put it there as a trap or if the bears have one themselves which seems odd.
- Annoying running gag with Daffy getting attacked by the grizzly bears after disturbing their hibernation. As mentioned above, he could have just killed them for their fur, rather than going for Bugs Bunny after each failed attempt.
- While nowhere near as bad as Daffy Duck in this cartoon, Bugs Bunny is also unlikable since he comes off as bland on this cartoon and keeps humiliating Daffy in numerous ways, though justified since Daffy was the one who tries to kill Bugs Bunny for money.
- Obnoxious sound effects used poorly at wrong times.
- Ill-fitting music by William Lava, especially the title card, which is actually French music... It also doesn't really fit the winter theme well.
- Most of the animation is very cheap and lackluster.
- Laughable and cheesy quotes likes "I saw a guy do this in a toothpaste ad once!" (which even became an internet meme) as well as Daffy's sarcastic rant when he got blasted by his own rifle thanks to Bugs "OOOHHHH, I LOVE HIM!!!" which suspiciously sounded like "OOOHHHH, I LOATHE HIM!!!".
- Overall, this cartoon is a bad way to end the long-running rivalry between Bugs and Daffy in the classic era.
- Mel Blanc, as usual, does a good job voicing Bugs and Daffy.
- No matter how hard Daffy tried to kill Bugs, at least he still gets what he deserves in the end, much like most of his pairings as a miscast villain with Speedy Gonzales.
- Despite being unlikeable as he comes across as bland like SpongeBob on Married to Money, Bugs Bunny is the only tolerable character in this short, since he has all the right to fight back against the evil Daffy.
- Occasional snappy dialogue, as when Bugs declares, "I get all my suits from the same tailor as the Duke of Windsor," to which Daffy replies, "Never mind the sales pitch, just skin the rabbit!" Later, Bugs sets up the famous "Invisible Shield" gag with, "I saw a guy do this in a toothpaste ad once."
- The animation has a few moments. When Daffy utters his rebuttal to Bugs' Duke of Windsor wisecrack, the still very capable hands of Ken Harris are evident. The works of Richard Thompson and an uncredited Virgil Ross can also be spotted by experts.
- Co-director Maurice Noble, layout artist Bob Givens and background artist William Butler keep this cartoon eye-pleasing.
- A later Looney Tunes Cartoons episode “Siberian Sam” produced 56 years later, which has a similar premise as this cartoon, thankfully avoided most of these problems as listed above.
- As mentioned above, the short spawned the "I Saw A Guy Do This In A Toothpaste Ad Once" meme.