Cartoon of the Day: Daffy – The Commando

Daffy – The Commando
1943
Directed by Friz Freleng
Available on: Looney Tunes Golden Collection Vol. 6

We’ve focused a lot on war-time shorts with a message this week, but there were still shorts that were purely for entertainment. “Daffy – The Commando” is one such short. Even though it draws its inspiration from the war, there’s no agenda here other than to get the war worn audience to laugh for seven minutes.

In this short, Daffy Duck is up against a German Vulture, complete with monocle and dress uniform. He looks a lot like Colonel Klink from Hogan’s Heroes, the fact that he has an assistant named Schultz only helps further this comparison…of course this came many year’s before the classic TV series.

These are the days of the Looney Daffy. He’s out to cause trouble…he does that to everyone. It just so happens that on this day he happened to run across a couple of Nazis. The film moves from gag to gag with a brisk pace, but my favorite bit is Daffy’s first where he uses the Nazi’s search light to put on a shadow puppet show.

One again, we have a Hitler character to finish the film. This time he is drawn in a very un-stylized way. In fact, my untrained eye would guess that the artists may have rotoscoped actual film footage of Hitler for this particular short.

Because of it’s war-time theme, this short was pulled from the TV rotation many years ago, but it’s a fun Daffy short and a great example of how the studios tried to get audiences to lighten up a bit during the war years.

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