Unpopular Opinions: Keep Daffy Duck Daffy!
Recently, thanks to one of our regular correspondents Inspiration Date, it has come to our attention that Warner Brothers’ Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Production has been re-christened New Looney Tunes.
And with the new title comes a slight alteration in the show’s format: the series now features the rest of the Looney Tunes gang alongside Bugs Bunny. Here’s the new opening:
Upon learning of this, I perked up a little when I read that this format change would include new shorts featuring my favorite Looney Tunes character, Daffy Duck.
I was initially apprehensive about how this team of producers and writers were going to render Daffy, especially in the wake of The Looney Tunes Show, but then I read that this take on Daffy would be “totally nuts”, and then I saw some clips:
And this was my reaction:
Which brings us to today’s Unpopular Opinion: I’ve always liked the earlier, crazy Daffy Duck more than the later, greedy, selfish version.
Don’t misunderstand me; I like the egomaniacal, greedy, cowardly version of Daffy well enough. I enjoyed the “Duck Season/Rabbit Season” trilogy. Chuck Jones did a masterful job of playing this darker version of Daffy opposite Bugs Bunny and as the completely unfit genre film heroes in the 1950’s shorts, but unfortunately Jones seemed to have done his job too well; for a long time afterwards many artists, writers, producers and fans have come to accept this version of Daffy as the definitive version, and this is the take of the character that most often permeates his appearances.
I have nothing but respect and admiration for Chuck Jones, but part of me wishes he had never tried to change Daffy (maybe Jones could’ve used another character for the greedy, selfish jerk role, like resurrect Gabby Goat or Beans or somebody else) so we could still have the bonkers version of the character throughout the subsequent decades, as that version’s always been my favorite. For a long time, I had to settle for imitations, like Quack-Up from Hanna-Barbera’s Yogi’s Space Race.
In fact, I sometimes like to imagine an alternate universe in which the loony Daffy never went away, so we could get that version in productions such as Tiny Toon Adventures. How cool would it have been to have a Tiny Toons version of insane Daffy Duck? Imagine how different Plucky Duck would’ve been.
I don’t know how the general public is reacting to New Looney Tunes‘ version of Daffy, since for some reason Turner/WB and Cartoon Network are fridging the show and not airing it in the US (it’s not even airing on Boomerang Online!), which ticks me off, but that’s a separate rant unto itself, but if I could say one thing to Warner Brothers, it would be this:
Daffy Duck is fine as a greedy, selfish, snarky, cowardly, self-serving loudmouth, but he’s best when he’s unhinged, demented and totally nuts! Keep Daffy Duck daffy! It’s in his name, for crying out loud!