Thursday, April 22, 2010

053 Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur

Title: Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur
Studio: Warner Bros.
Date: 4/22/39
Produced by
Leon Schlesinger
Charles Jones
Story by
Dave Monahan
A.C. Gamer
Musical Direction
Carl W. Stalling
Series: Merrie Melodies
Running time (of viewed version): 7:46

Synopsis: A caveman hunts Daffy Duck, who ends up killing everyone with his ill advised daffiness.

Comments: This is the first of three WB cartoons in a row that are on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 3. They're not all together on the set (they're each on a separate disc), they were just released in order (Chicken Jitters came out on the same day as this one, but it is not part of that three; CJ and the three LTGCv3 cartoons were all released in one 14 day period tho). Unusual for such a concentration, when official DVD releases (as of this writing) only give us 7 out of the 44 WB cartoons for 1939. Casper Caveman talks more or less like Jack Benny (and looks like an even uglier Gabby). But they really didn't capture his dulcet tones. There's a long drawing saving sign sequence (20 seconds), which ends musically with what I think of as an end of cartoon crescendo, tho it's not the end. And that sequence isn't the only place written jokes show up in this cartoon. This is yet another cartoon where the title character isn't the lead; not even the second title character is the lead. The caveman is the lead. 1939 hated whoever it was supposed to put in its cartoons. I hate early Daffy myself, but by this point he was a little more clever and sly than he had been, especially with his final line. There's no cel animation until more than a minute into the cartoon, 35 seconds after the standard opening title sequence is finished. Casper is sure an ugly sod. Fido the dinosaur's face looks like they just used a seal model. There is an appearance of the traditional WB ballet music when Fido is concussed, with extra harp. (This marks my completing entries for 1/3 of the US theatrical short cartoons of 1939.)


  1. This one of my favorites from this period. The Jack Benny character was actually dead on for what Jack's personality was a few years prior to this. Pre-miser Benny, this was about how his delivery was and types of jokes he did on his show around 36-38 when he was titled the MC of his own shows.

  2. Even though I've never been impressed by it, Jack Lescoulie's Benny voice was liked by somebody. He was hired to do it for NBC's tribute show marking Jack's 10th year on radio.

  3. The sign gags were among the first in a series of sign gags Jones would use over the years, such as the "Rabbit Season" signs in the hunting trilogy and Wile E. Coyote's held-up signs, usually right before the next disaster hits. Jones also begins a career-long trend of making Daffy the loser by the iris out in his cartoons -- he's a little saner here than in the Avery and Clampett Daffys of the 30s, but their Daffy would usually emerge both crazy and triumphant; once Daffy starts thinking semi-normally here by coming up with the inflated duck scheme, he's a gonner.