"Hmm. Sea picture, eh? I always wanted to do a sea epic. Now, Mr. Rembrandt, if you'll kindly oblige with a little appropriate scenery. *singing* Over the sea, let's go, men. We're shovin' right off, we're shovin' right off... again?"
The universally acknowledged 'changing the goalposts' extended metaphor is applied with a vibrant interplay between character and animator in this mini-meta-masterpiece. A frustrated Daffy usually acts as a catalyst for genius. Chuck Jones is a dab hand at orchestrating exactly that.
8 - I remember watching this one dozens of times in my preadolescence, not knowing a word of English at the time, and still finding it absolutely hilarious. That last bit in particular always cracked me up. Chuck Jones was a master of the visual gag. Fuck the fourth wall, too.
This might be the one of the best Looney Tunes cartoons in film history. Every piece of it lands perfectly as everything from the scenery around Daffy to the sounds coming out of his mouth to the very make-up of his being is manipulated by an unseen figure. An incredible deconstruction of the very nature of the animated short, as if Daffy is merely an actor working for an incredibly insane God.
I'm often finding excuses to show 'Duck Amuck' to my students. It's a remarkably accessible piece of clever-clever meta-fiction and genuinely funny to boot. I'm more of a Donald than a Daffy guy, but the irascible duck is certainly on form here! Mel Blanc's increasingly exasperated voice work really sells it. A lot of fun! It should be shown before comedy films to get the audience in the right frame of mind.
"Duck Amuck" is a perfect example of the genius that is Chuck Jones and his influence on the Looney Tunes cartoon. It's clever and witty nature presents and charming and enjoyable story, taking full advantage of its animated medium. Definitely worth watching.