Yankee Doodle Daffy
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|Yankee Doodle Daffy|
Yankee Doodle Daffy Title Card
|Directed by||I. Freleng|
|Produced by||Leon Schlesinger|
|Story by||Tedd Pierce|
Billy Bletcher (uncredited)
|Music by||Carl W. Stalling|
|Animation by||Richard Bickenbach|
|Layouts by||Owen Fitzgerald|
|Backgrounds by||Paul Julian|
Leon Schlesinger Productions
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
The Vitaphone Corporation
|June 5, 1943 (USA)|
|6:43 (one reel)|
Yankee Doodle Daffy is a Warner Bros. Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon short released on June 5, 1943, directed by Friz Freleng and written by Tedd Pierce. The short was the second Technicolor Looney Tunes entry to feature Porky Pig and Daffy Duck (after My Favorite Duck).
The title and introductory music are inspired by the 1942 film Yankee Doodle Dandy, a major hit and a Warner release. Other than the fact of both films being about show business, they have no plot elements in common.
At Smeller's Productions, Porky Pig, a producer, loaded down with luggage and a golf bag, hangs a sign on his office door reading "No casting today" and leaves his office in a hurry to board an airplane. However, Daffy Duck, a talent agent, forces Porky back into his office, wanting to secure an audition for his client, droopy-eyed child performer Sleepy Lagoon (a reference to the 1942 Sleepy Lagoon murder). The pitch, intended to demonstrate Sleepy's allegedly wide and varied repertoire, consists of Daffy himself performing an array of musical and stage acts in his usual, absurd and unoriginal fashion. Sleepy meanwhile stays seated, nonchalantly licking an enormous lollipop and silently commenting on Daffy's ludicrous behavior using signs bearing rebuses, such as "ham" ("excessively theatrical"), "screwball" ("crazy and absurd"), and "corn" ("corny").
The songs that Daffy performs include I'm Just Wild About Harry, William Tell Overture and Angel in Disguise (the same song that Bugs Bunny and Sylvester the Cat would sing in The Wabbit Who Came to Supper and Back Alley Oproar, respectively).
Porky, with mounting frustration, (as it is his day off) repeatedly tries to escape from the pitch. Daffy handily foils each attempt in increasingly improbable ways, including by turning out to be the pilot of Porky's plane and then turning out to be the parachute Porky uses to escape said plane. After Daffy finally takes it upon himself to harass Porky with an outrageous finale, Porky decides to just get it over with by allowing Sleepy to audition.
Sleepy calmly leaves his seat and begins to sing the song, The Garden of My Heart, in a strong, operatic baritone (provided by Billy Bletcher) that is not only surprising given his small stature but also substantially more dramatic than any of the acts Daffy used in the pitch. However, during a high note near the end, he erupts into a long coughing fit before weakly croaking the rest of the line.
Authors Michael S. Shull and David E. Wilt consider it ambiguous as to whether this cartoon contains a World War II-related reference. When Daffy is revealed as the pilot of the plane, he is wearing an aviator's goggles and helmet. In this guise, Daffy sings "We watch the skyways o'er the land and the sea, ready to fly anywhere the duty calls, ready to fight to be free". (A theme originating in the Warner picture Dive Bomber.) This could be a reference to military aviation.
Yankee Doodle Daffy is available fully restored on Disc 2 of Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 1.
- Shull, Michael S.; Wilt, David E. (2004), "Appendix E.", Doing Their Bit: Wartime American Animated Short Films, 1939-1945, McFarland & Company, ISBN 978-0786481699
- Webb, Graham (2011). The Animated Film Encyclopedia: A Complete Guide to American Shorts, Features and Sequences 1900-1999 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, NC: McFarland. p. 391. ISBN 978-0-7864-4985-9.
- Maltin, Leonard. Of Mice And Magic: A History Of American Animated Cartoons (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Plume. p. 427. ISBN 0-452-25993-2.
- Shull, Wilt (2004), p. 216
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