The Iceman Ducketh
|The Iceman Ducketh|
|Looney Tunes (Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck) series|
|Directed by||Phil Monroe
|Produced by||David H. DePatie
|Story by||John Dunn|
|Voices by||Mel Blanc|
|Music by||Bill Lava|
|Animation by||Bob Bransford
|Layouts by||Bob Givens|
|Backgrounds by||William Butler|
|Studio||Warner Bros. Cartoons|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Release date(s)||May 16, 1964 (USA)|
|Running time||6 minutes|
The Iceman Ducketh is a 1964 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon starring Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. This cartoon short is directed by Phil Monroe and co-directed by Maurice Noble, with a story by John Dunn. It was the last Warner Bros. theatrical cartoon featuring Bugs and Daffy together until Box Office Bunny in 1990, and the last that Chuck Jones worked on, though he was fired at an early stage of production and replaced by Monroe (by the time it was released, Jones had already produced two cartoons at his new studio, Sib-Tower 12).
The roaring of the angry bears in the cartoon seems to be the same sound effect used for the monster's roar in the feature film The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, which was also produced by Warner Bros.
At a trading post up in the Klondike, many fur trappers have come in to trade in their furs for big bucks after a successful fur trapping season. When Daffy Duck sees Garcon, the manager of the trading post, giving money to the last fur trapper, he checks in to ask if trading in furs for money is true. Garcon answers it's true, but Daffy decides to go out and trap some fur for money, just as Garcon warns him that fur trapping season is over due to the approaching winter.
Scoffing at the idea of winter, Daffy vows to catch a fur just as winter sets in just as suddenly. Bugs Bunny makes a snow rabbit, telling us it'll fool Daffy for a while while he makes his getaway. Daffy comes up to the snow rabbit and warns him not to move or be pulverized. When the coal nose of the snow rabbit falls off, Daffy takes that as movement and proceeds to whack the snow rabbit to pieces until he hits a hibernating bear, whom the snow rabbit was built over. Angry at having his hibernation disturbed, the bear claws Daffy, who runs off thinking the bear missed until he falls to pieces.
Just as Bugs is tutting off Daffy's misfortune, Daffy catches up and pokes his rifle at him. When Bugs asks Daffy if he's got some antipathy towards him, Daffy states he's only after the fur, of which he finds Bugs' to be the softest he's felt. As Bugs starts bragging about getting his suits from "the same tailor as the Duke of Windsor," Daffy just states he's not interested in any "sales pitch" (Ken Harris animates this scene—his last work at Warner's). Daffy refuses to give Bugs a sporting chance and threatens to shoot him in the neck, but Bugs kisses him, plugs up his gun with his carrot and runs away. Daffy tries to shoot Bugs, but the gun expands from the carrot and as Daffy tries to dislodge the carrot; the gun explodes in his face. Daffy then snarls: "Ooooh, I LOVE him!"
Later, Daffy ignores a sign warning him there are hibernating animals, vowing that Bugs can be the only animal that's not going to get any sleep this winter. No sooner does he say that than he comes across an alarm clock, that rings and wakes up another hibernating bear. Thinking Daffy to be responsible for the rude awakening, the bear chases him straight into a cave where Bugs directs them. Bugs then seals up the cave entrance with a boulder, leaving the bear to pummel Daffy, who finally exits the cave looking a little worse for wear.
Further on, Bugs has come across a sign warning him that he's in avalanche territory just as Daffy comes running up. Bugs manages to inform him of where they are and instructs him to follow on tiptoe. Daffy obliges and, after a few seconds, asks Bugs if it's safe to talk. Bugs pretends he didn't hear, prompting Daffy to ask again in his loudest whisper. When Bugs again pretends not to hear, Daffy gets mad enough to simply shout his question, causing snow to fall all over him. Bugs informs him that it wasn't safe then and Daffy thanks him by shouting again and getting more snow in the face.
Back at his hole, Bugs goes down for a rest just as Daffy comes up with dynamite. As Daffy trails out the wire, Bugs moves the hole so he secretly places the dynamite next to Daffy, just as Daffy prepares a detonator. After the dynamite explodes on Daffy, Daffy states how he's going to cry.
Bugs manages to take refuge in a tree, forcing Daffy to put firewood around the stump in an attempt to smoke him out, but the fire melts the snow on the tree, causing it to fall on Daffy and freeze him in an ice statue. Bugs takes this event to make his getaway, but Daffy manages to free himself and get blasted by his own gun while trying to free it from the ice statue ("Whose side are you on?"). Using skis, Daffy pursues Bugs to the lake, firing his gun as he goes. Inspired by a guy's action in a toothpaste ad, Bugs creates an "invisible shield" by throwing out a bucket of water, which freezes into a shield, which Daffy crashes into. This gag spoofs Colgate commercials of the early 1960s.
Up a hill, Daffy drops a pebble that rolls into a giant snowball, in the hopes it will engulf Bugs. The snowball misses Bugs by a few inches, but engulfs three hibernating bears in a cave and falls out the other end of the cave. After a brief boulder catapult gag, similar to those from the Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoons, the snowball lands on Daffy, who runs up a tree just as the angry bears threaten to massacre him.
Later that night, Bugs decides to turn in for winter hibernation and bids Daffy and the bears goodnight. Daffy, now looking blue from the cold and worse for wear from an unseen fight with the bears (that might've taken place during the blackout between this scene and the snowball gag), simply curses over the mess he's gotten himself into while still clinging to the treetop.
"The Iceman Ducketh" is available, uncensored and uncut, on the Looney Tunes Superstars DVD. However, it was cropped to widescreen.
- On the Fox version of The Merrie Melodies Show, the syndicated version of The Merrie Melodies Show, and the version shown on the now defunct WB, two parts were cut:
- Daffy pulling Bugs' carrot from the gun barrel after Bugs plugs it, along with Daffy getting shot and saying sarcastically: "Oooh, I LOVE him!".
- The part after Daffy gets turned into an ice statue where Daffy climbs out of the statue, tugs on the gun that's still in there, and gets shot.
- While Fox ended the scene with Daffy stuck in his own ice sculpture after Bugs' line: "See you after the spring thaw, pal!" (while Daffy was still stuck in his own ice sculpture), the syndicated "Merrie Melodies" show and The WB! ended the scene after Daffy gets out of his own ice sculpture and says: "We'll see who gets the last laugh around here!" right before he tugs on the gun.
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