Wacky Quacky (1947)

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Wacky Quacky (1947)
Wackyquacky.jpeg
There's nothing "wacky" about this cartoon at all.
Series: Phantasies
Episode Number: 49
Air Date: March 20, 1947
Writer: Cal Howard
Director: Alex Lovy
Previous episode: "Uncultured Vulture"
Next episode: "Leave Us Chase It"


Wacky Quacky is a Phantasy short that was released on March 20, 1947, and was produced by Screen Gems.

Plot

When a hunter attempts to set his sights on Quacky the Duck, he instead finds himself being hunted by Quacky himself.

Why It’s Not Wacky

  1. One of the characters and the short itself are just blatant rip-offs from one of the more popular Looney Tunes shorts and characters like Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd and the concept itself (even more noticeable than Famous Studios' Herman and Katnip). It’s surprising that Warner Bros. at the time didn't sue Screen Gems for shameless copyright infringement. This is also one of the reasons why this short is so rare since it currently exists on a faded 16mm print.
    • Even the short's title is incredibly unoriginal as well. It’s very derivative to that of Daffy Duck's name.
  2. Speaking the character designs, they are also very poorly-done since their designs are heavily plagiarized from those of Looney Tunes:
    • Quacky the Duck looks exactly like Daffy Duck (at least by Bob Clampett's version of Daffy Duck from the 1940s Looney Tunes cartoons) but the only difference in it is the fact that his ring is purple rather than white. Also, he is also unlikable considering that he acts jerky and what he has done in WIS #6. In fact, even his voice sounds very similar to Daffy.
    • The hunter is just a discount Elmer Fudd copy with very minor changes to his design.
  3. Several of the jokes drag on for very long. Some of which even go as far for about 10-30 seconds like the log joke, the duck imitating joke and the running one at a time before getting tired joke.
    • This doesn't help that some of them are sort of slow-paced as well.
  4. The plot itself feels like it stole content from the earlier shorts that were made by Looney Tunes like "Porky's Duck/Hare Hunt", "Daffy Duck and Egghead", and more. All three involve a hunter trying to kill an animal with a screwball type personality to it except it’s less charming.
  5. The voice acting, especially the "quacking sound”, can be pretty irritating.
  6. Disturbing ending: Quacky himself kills everyone in this cartoon such as the hunter by forcing him to hit on the brick wall and the flying ducks by shooting them at the end. Finally, he makes a fourth wall joke realizing what he has done...
  7. The short feels like it was made just to cash-in on the trend of the Looney Tunes-esque humor, a common thing back in the 1940s. While many animation studios at the time like MGM for example all did this in order to compete against Looney Tunes (Warner Bros’ most popular theatrical cartoon series at the time) by incorporating the Looney Tunes-esque slapstick humor in their cartoon shorts. This short from the Screen Gems studio however failed miserably at doing so.
  8. While this isn't much of a problem, the cartoon itself is too short because of missing parts only clocking at more than 4 minutes 50 seconds, a time much shorter than other cartoon shorts produced at the time.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The animation is good at times along with the background itself.
  2. The musical score can be decent at times. It may sound average at some places, but still.
  3. At least some of the voice acting isn’t bad.

Trivia

  • The director Alex Lovy and writer Cal Howard from this cartoon would later work on the early Seven Arts cartoons of Looney Tunes, particularly the ones with Speedy Gonzales, Daffy Duck, Cool Cat, Merlin the Magic Mouse and Second Banana. The two also made the maligned "See Ya Later Gladiator" short.
    • Though unlike Alex Lovy, Cal Howard had previously worked for the Warner Brothers studio during its heyday; specifically, he co-directed "Porky's Phoney Express" (which is seldom shown on American television today due to the prominence of Native American stereotypes), "Katnip Kollege" and "A-Lad-In Bagdad" (which is rarely shown on American television today due to black and Arabic stereotypes) with Cal Dalton and wrote a handful of cartoons ("Gold Diggers of '49", "Little Red Walking Hood", "The Sneezing Weasel", and, "Canned Feud").
  • According to the copyright catalogue, Columbia Pictures renewed the animated short film for the original copyright holder in 1974 within the required 28-year period as the renewal identifier is R577570. Thus it will not be long lasting until the first day of January 2043 to enter the public domain.[1]

References

  1. Library of Congress, Copyright Office (1974), Catalog of Copyright Entries: Motion Pictures and Filmstrips (Parts 12-13), Wikimedia Commons.

Videos

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