Chuck Jones is by far my favorite animation director of all time, and Tony Zhou is currently my favorite video essayist. Put them together? Yep, this is nine must-see minutes right here. And I’m also reminded that I need to get back to my Looney Tunes series that I started months ago and seemingly abandoned – but I didn’t, I promise! It’s just delayed.
The 50 Day Movie Challenge asks one question every day, to be answered by a few paragraphs and a clip, if possible. Click here for the full list of questions.
Today’s prompt: What is your favorite animated film?
The original thought behind this question was probably to choose an animated feature, but it doesn’t actually specify. If you include shorts in the question, my favorite animated film is by far Chuck Jones’ Duck Amuck. By this time Jones had refined Daffy Duck from a loony sidekick to Porky Pig and others characters into one of Looney Tunes’ most interesting characters – neurotic and self-centered, whose tendency toward misplaced self-confidence lands him in trouble every time.
With Duck Amuck, Jones gives Daffy center stage and spends the whole time basically screwing with his head, meanwhile breaking the fourth wall and highlighting the constructedness of the animation art form. It’s among the most postmodern of any film, not something you expect from an animated comedy short, but Jones consistently pushed the envelope on what kinds of things the animated short could do, and this is one his most experimental and most brilliant.