September 28, 2006

Scrap Happy Daffy (1943)

Scrap Happy Daffy (1943)

Directed by Frank Tashlin

Animation: Art Davis.

This is a wartime propaganda film, and is fettered by that; it was probably rushed out the door to get the message out. But good reasons for sucking don't make those suck things suck any less. On a $1 DVD from Walmart in the "Toon Factory" line. For what is a pretty long propoganda film at 8 minutes, it's pretty enjoyable.


Daffy sings a song that probably named "We're In To Win", imitating Mussolini, Hitler and Tojo. Hitler's wearing a white hat with what looks like a German Eagle instead of a swastika; this seems out of character, and I wonder if it means something. Swastikas abound later on tho. Note the heavy linework behind the mirror. It's not actually bad in and of itself, but it doesn't jibe with the character styles.

Multiple Daffys in the broken mirror. Reusing a single piece of animation, to maybe give the illusion of more work, works pretty well here.

Keeping Daffy out of frame to showcase a chick in a bathing suit. They even go back to it and hold. This probably saved on animation while adding titillation. Strangely, the woman is a bit poochy in the mid section, and seems to be wearing a one piece that goes a bit down the thigh. It makes me think it might have been cribbed directly from some life modeling or something, but it at least differs from the general impression I get of WWII pinup body styles. Maybe all the hot chicks had to be sent overseas for the troops, and home propaganda films had to be rationed out with realistic women.

Dog tired daffy. Bent over, panting, feather standing up on his shoulders. Note the simple chalk drawn images as a background.

Transitioning in a cross fade from a horse's ass to Hitler, while playing the theme identified on Cartoons For Victory as "Who's A Horse's Ass". Daffy also says "How do you like that" and then something that sounds like "schikel gruber". I wonder if it means shit eater.

Weird German swearing subtitles.

Silhouette speaking into mic ("destroy that scrappile"). Prefigures later Bugs space cartoon, as does the radio tower.

The one good background part: the scrappile destroyer zooming to the scrap pile (the tall silhouette) shows a great looking the entry way to the yard.

Ass glasses joke. And Daffy's tail becomes a hand.

Ghosts of Daffy's history. Saves paint to do them in white inking, which looks cool.

Chiaroscuro Daffy. Looks good; but that seems out of place.

Daffy duckman look. Weirdly out of place with the rest of the cartoon. Abnormally long waggling of the eyebrows too. It should do it more briefly, surrounded by motionlessness.


The title card is lame. So many good title cards; what happened here?

Salvage Warden Sign looks like from the time of plunging production values in the '60s. It pans over other signs from there, "Get That Tin Out" "Get That Brass Out" "Get That Iron Out", ending with "Get the lead out"

Bad writing. Daffy hears something. Laughs it off as "mice". Then he hears it again and says "moose". Mel Blanc's delivery might be to blame.

Weird Daffy neck error; cranes neck around fence, then neck seems to be coming from the fence end. Oops. It looks more like an error in motion than it does in a still.

Mirror gag where Daffy is telling the eyes in the dark to come out, and it turns out to be him in a mirror. Except he's all moving around and the eyes are static.

Having a goat be the scrap heap destroyer is cool, but Daffy's interaction with him is stilted.

Daffy made of glasses. It's interesting. but doesn't quite work. I wonder if they were trying to especially encourage recycling glasses. The goats horns are even eventually turned into glasses.

Super American. Looks like crap. Big meaty Daffy. So wrong. Or badly done.

Hitting artillery shells. Just like regular Superman; altho it works better in comedy than in drama, it still seems off.

In the end it was a dream. But it wasn't. Um, ok. This could be funny, but not how it's done here.