Going to do a few in a row here:Porky's Duck Hunt
This is the introduction to Daffy Duck, who starts out the short as just an innocent duck being shot at. During the space of the cartoon, he becomes a silly, dancing duck, willing to help fix Porky's gun after it failed to shoot at him. Even so, he remains fearful of being shot throughout the short, which in later cartoons he loses.
Disjointed, with some parts that have little to do with Porky's general narrative, the funniest part is right at the beginning, with hunters all shooting at a lone duck, only to all miss. That was well timed.
Daffy has a long ways to go before he becomes one of the great Loony Tunes stars.
3/5Daffy Duck and the Dinosaur (1939)
I threw this one in because it's one of my favorites from when I was a kid. Daffy is being chased, this time by a caveman who sounds like Jack Benny. Daffy is smart, able to plan around the attacks on his person, instead of just acting silly.
I think I loved this because I used to watch Jack Benny's TV show and "Casper the Caveman" is a good representative of him, including his grumpiness and his sarcastic asides. But best of all, a couple of the gags really work, like the thrown stone becoming sentient and the unexpected finale. The huge "breathing" duck is an image I kept with me all growing up, for whatever reason.
I still love this one, even if it's only for nostalgic reasons. 4/5You Ought to be in Pictures
Here we have Daffy as a well known character, but not on a level as the famous Porky Pig. So Daffy cooks up a scheme to convince Porky he should be a leading man in features instead of shorts, opposite famous actresses. Porky is gullible and convinces Leon Schlesinger, the producer of Loony Tunes, to tear up his contract to free Porky to seek other employment. Leon assures us he knows Porky will be back.
This is a combination live action and animated piece that looks like it was a lot of work to make, but the final product is fun, innovative and wonderfully meta. Fritz Freleng, the director of the short, had just returned to Warner Bros. after attempting to work at MGM for a time. The innocent pig turns violent when he realizes the ambitions of the duck, but it all turns out well. It's clever and we see some of what becomes the genius of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?