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DVD Review: Daffy Duck: Frustrated Fowl:

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Ever have one of those days where you feel you can’t win? Welcome to Daffy Duck’s crazed world where nothing is fair. There’s a reason that Daffy Duck resonates with most people; we’re just as frustrated as Daffy and live in a world where, well, we have to “duck” the consequences of our action or feel like we live in a world where we just can’t win. Daffy represents the human existence in our little nether world where we wish for the best knowing that it will never happen.

The perfect example of Daffy’s world is the trilogy of shorts that Chuck Jones and Michael Maltese created “Duck! Rabbit! Duck”, “Rabbit Fire” and “Rabbit Seasoning”. It demonstrates that Daffy may THINK he occupies his own world but, in reality, he’s trapped in the seventh circle of Hell where the world revolves around Bugs Bunny (or someone else), spinning just fast enough to bump Daffy in his butt and knock him off his feet.

Warner has issued a new collection of Daffy cartoons, none of which have been released on DVD before. These shorts aren’t necessarily the best Daffy had to offer but there are many solid classics here, including “Tick Tock Tuckered”, “Nasty Quacks”, “Daffy Dilly”, “Wise Quackers”, “The Iceman Ducketh”, and others.

The “Golden Collection” of Warner Brothers “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” classics drawn from a wide span of years generally very good to exceptional. Unfortunately, Daffy Duck: Frustrated Fowl isn’t one of them. While the cartoons included here are from good to exceptional, the presentation is not. Someone at Warner made the bean counting decision to present these in widescreen. They weren’t planned, shot or ever presented in widescreen. As a result, the image has been stretched and cropped to fit modern TVs; that’s a bad thing because much of the humor here is visual, so some of the humor is blunted as a result.

I’m really surprised that Warner, which usually does an exceptional job of presenting their classics, has chosen not to reissue these titles correctly.  That’s too bad because these cartoons, many of which haven’t appeared on home video anywhere, may not get another release.

My advice is to avoid this set along with Bugs Bunny: Hare Extraordinaire (Looney Tunes Super Stars), which has same problem. The Looney Tunes Super Stars DVD Foghorn Leghorn Friends Collection is presented correctly and is well worth picking up although be aware that there are only nine cartoons in the collection that are actually Foghorn Leghorn cartoons. 

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About Wayne Klein