Daffy Duck's Quackbusters
|Daffy Duck's Quackbusters|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Greg Ford|
|Produced by||Steven S. Greene|
|Written by||John W. Dunn|
|Narrated by||Rolf Saxon|
|Music by||Milt Franklyn|
(majority from old cartoons)
|Edited by||Treg Brown|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
Daffy Duck's Quackbusters is a 1988 Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies film with a compilation of classic Warner Bros. Cartoons shorts and animated bridging sequences, starring Daffy Duck. It was the final theatrical production in which Mel Blanc provided the voices of the various Looney Tunes characters before his death on July 10, 1989. Unlike previous compilation films, Quackbusters uses pre-existing music from older Looney Tunes shorts composed by Carl Stalling, Milt Franklyn and William Lava. It was also one of the two compilation films of classic Warner Bros. cartoon shorts not composed by Robert J. Walsh (the other being 1979's The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie, which was composed by Dean Elliott). The film was released to theaters by Warner Bros. on September 24, 1988. Similar to The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie, which was preceded with the Oscar-winning Knighty Knight Bugs (1958), Quackbusters is preceded with the exclusive short The Night of the Living Duck (1988).
The story of the film serves as a continuation/re-working of Daffy Dilly.
Street corner salesman Daffy tries to make a pitch to reclusive billionaire and "ailing buzzsaw baron" J.P. Cubish (a dog)---who has offered wealth to anyone who can make him laugh before he passes on---only to be stymied by Cubish's butler (also a dog). Eventually driving off the butler, Daffy becomes Cubish's jester, taking uncounted pies in the face while Cubish laughs uproariously. After Cubish's death soon afterward ("died laughing", reports one newspaper), Daffy inherits the Cubish fortune...locked in a safe...under the provision that he will use the money to provide a service to the community and follow Cubish's creed to display honesty in business affairs. The now-wealthy Daffy derides the idea ("What a rube!" he says of Cubish), but his deceased benefactor returns as an unseen ghost, with the intention of reclaiming his fortune from Daffy, unless Daffy agrees to provide a service to the community as Cubish's will stated. The irked Daffy vows to use the money to wipe out ghosts (à la Ghostbusters) such as Cubish.
Setting himself up as a "Paranormalist at Large", Daffy persuades Bugs Bunny to appear in commercials (despite the rabbit's insistence of going to Palm Springs for his vacation), then hires Porky Pig (accompanied by Sylvester) as an underling; Cubish continues to make money vanish from inside the safe whenever Daffy seems to be operating dishonestly.
Sylvester has an exploit with Tweety Bird, where Sylvester is relentlessly chased by a monstrous version of Tweety and develops paranoia in front of Daffy and Porky. Daffy assigns Porky to investigate the resort town of Dry Gulch for any suspicious ghost activity. Porky agrees to take the case and takes the now-paranoid Sylvester with him, who has to defend his owner from killer mice in the town's hotel.
Although Daffy successfully exorcises the ghosts possessing a lady duck (with Daffy momentarily falling under possession from them himself), he discovers that Cubish has stripped his money down to his last million. He then receives a call from Porky, who is returning with Sylvester from their assignment to Dry Gulch, and Daffy reassigns him to the Superstition Mountains, much to Sylvester's chagrin. After receiving a call from Transylvania, Daffy then calls up Bugs and assigns him to investigate. Bugs encounters Count Blood Count, whom the rabbit defeats in a duel of magic words, but Daffy is displeased to hear from him. After receiving a call from the Himalayas, Daffy phones up Bugs again, who is leaving following his encounter with Count Blood Count, and together they go up against Hugo the Abominable Snowman, with Hugo repeatedly mistaking Daffy for a rabbit.
When the city is swept with reports of a tiny elephant, Daffy, presuming this "teensy-elephant thing" to be mere hysteria, hopes to profit by soothing the public with his "expert" testimony. However, no sooner does he announce to the audience that there is no such thing as a tiny elephant then it turns up on Daffy's television interview, rendering him a public laughingstock.
Daffy decides to blame the debacle on the absent Porky and absent-mindedly remarks that there was "nothing wrong with a little dishonesty in business affairs." This proves to be Daffy's undoing, however, as upon realization of what he said, Daffy discovers that the safe is now completely empty except for a few cobwebs and a sign from Cubish: "YOU LOSE, DUCK!" A defeated Daffy trudges back to his desk saying, "I'm finished. Strapped. Kaput." Things get worse for Daffy when Egghead appears as a singing telegram, announcing to Daffy that due to unpaid rent, he is being dispossessed. After the repo crew takes away his belongings, Daffy's building is condemned and destroyed, with him still inside. Before impact, Daffy sadly says to the audience, "One thing's for sure, I've got nowhere else to go but up!"
In the "epilog," Bugs is shown enjoying his vacation in Palm Springs (after the encounter with Hugo) and reading about Daffy's downfall ("Quackbusted", reports the newspaper Bugs is reading), and Porky and Sylvester are stranded in the Superstition Mountains, with Sylvester as cowardly as ever. After a shot of Cubish's grave is shown where it states that Cubish is still dead, it is revealed that Daffy is back where he started, as a street corner salesman, this time, selling paranormal-themed trinkets (including wind-up dolls of Gossamer). However, when Daffy earns a dollar bill, it instantly vanishes. The film ends with Daffy angrily shaking his fist at the sky and screaming "Cubish!" (implying that Cubish is still haunting Daffy) which cuts to a 'Finis' card.
- Mel Blanc - Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Sylvester (archive), Tweety (archive), Hugo the Abominable Snowman (archive), J.P. Cubish, J.P. Cubish's Butler (archive), Mr. Hyde, Birdbath Owner (archive), Asylum Collector (archive), Coyote, Drunk (archive)
- Mel Tormé - Daffy Duck (singing voice)
- Ben Frommer - Count Blood Count (archive)
- B.J. Ward - Melissa Duck
- Roy Firestone - Announcer
- Julie Bennett - Two-Headed Vulture (archive)
- Mark Kausler - Egghead (uncredited)
- June Foray
- Jeff Bennett
Film segments in order
Several cartoons are edited either for time, to fit in with the plot, or have redubbed lines.
- The Night of the Living Duck (opening sequence of Daffy reading comic books and dreaming)
- Daffy Dilly (1948) (used at beginning when Daffy tries to get to Cubish; with the report on Cubish now shown on TV)
- The Prize Pest (1951) (used when Daffy recruits Porky; shortened starting from when Daffy warns Porky of his "split personality" and ending after Porky accidentally scares himself)
- Water, Water Every Hare (1952) (used progressively for the Paranormalists at Large commercials)
- Hyde and Go Tweet (1960) (Sylvester encounters Tweety, who changes into a monster without him realizing it, which leads to his paranoia; edited to show that Sylvester had gone into Daffy's office)
- Claws for Alarm (1954) (Porky and Sylvester's Dry Gulch assignment, with Porky's lines up to when they arrive at the hotel redubbed)
- The Duxorcist (1987) (Daffy's first assignment, where he ends up getting temporarily possessed)
- Transylvania 6-5000 (1963) (Bugs' Transylvania assignment; most of Bugs' lines are redubbed to fit the plot and the ending where Bugs' ears turn into bat wings and Bugs flies away was cut)
- The Abominable Snow Rabbit (1961) (Bugs and Daffy's Himalayas assignment; the opening is altered to reflect the plot)
- Punch Trunk (1953) (a miniature elephant wanders through town, having many encounters with various people; the cartoon was heavily shortened with the bird bath scene edited to reflect the plot. In the credits, the title was mistakenly read as "Punch Truck".)
- Jumpin' Jupiter (1955) (seen in epilogue, identified as the Superstition Mountains)
The film was released on DVD in the United States on August 4, 2009 by Warner Home Video. Three bonus cartoons are included as extras: Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24½th Century, Superior Duck and Little Go Beep. It is also available on iTunes.
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