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|The Great Piggy Bank Robbery|
|Directed by||Robert Clampett|
|Produced by||Edward Selzer (uncredited)|
|Story by||Warren Foster|
|Starring||Mel Blanc (All)|
|Music by||Carl W. Stalling|
|Edited by||Treg Brown (uncredited)|
|Animation by||Rod Scribner|
|Layouts by||Thomas McKimson|
Philip De Guard
|Backgrounds by||Philip De Guard|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.|
The Vitaphone Corporation
|July 20, 1946 (USA)|
The Great Piggy Bank Robbery is a Warner Bros. Pictures Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon short, produced in early 1945, and released in 1946. It was directed by Robert Clampett, and features Daffy Duck in Clampett's penultimate Warner cartoon, produced shortly before he left the studio. The cartoon is largely a parody of the popular Dick Tracy comic book series. This is also the last short Clampett directed that featured Daffy.
On a farm, Daffy waits for his new Dick Tracy comic book to the tune of Raymond Scott's song "Powerhouse". The mailman then arrives and he gets the comic book. To the tune of Franz von Suppé's Poet and Peasant overture, he sprints to a corner of the farm and reads it, noting how much he "love(s) that man!". Imagining what it would be like to be Dick Tracy, he knocks himself out with his own fist.
While unconscious, he dreams he is "Duck Twacy, the famous duck-tec-a-tive." He dismisses a series of calls asking about stolen piggy banks as too small for him, suggesting the callers had been too reckless, until he finds that his own piggy bank has been stolen from his safe. He decides to call Duck Twacy (at one point having a phone conversation with himself) before he realizes he is Duck Twacy. He calls a taxi to follow a car without him, just to keep the bad guys on their toes.
Daffy's search leads him to cross paths with Sherlock Holmes, then onto a tram (driven by a mustachioed Porky Pig in a silent cameo) leading to the gangsters' not-so-secret hideout. He falls through a trapdoor when he rings the bell and follows footprints, even climbing up a wall (which makes him think that the culprit is the Human Fly) to a mousehole. He says that the culprit is Mouse Man and demands "Come out of there, you rat!" and a huge, muscular and angry rat towers over him. Gulping in fear, Daffy timidly tells him to go back in again, and so he does. He runs away, but is surrounded by all the dangerous criminals in town (many of which are parodies of Dick Tracy's rogues gallery) consisting of Snake Eyes (spoof of B.B. Eyes who has dice for eyes), 88 Teeth (spoof of 88 Keys with piano keys for teeth), Hammerhead (a criminal with a hammer for a head), Pussycat Puss (a gangster cat), Bat Man (an anthropomorphic baseball bat who is a name parody of the real Batman (DC Comics is now owned by WB)), Doubleheader (a two-headed baseball player), Pickle Puss (a pickle spoof of Pruneface), Pumpkinhead (a criminal with a jack-o'-lantern for a head), Neon Noodle (a neon spoof of the Frankenstein Monster), Jukebox Jaw (a criminal with a jukebox speaker for a jaw and a turntable on top of his head), Wolfman (an anthropomorphic wolf criminal), Rubberhead (a pencil eraser-headed criminal), and a host of other unnamed grotesque criminals. He then, with a certain lack of tactical sense, declares "You're all under arrest!" The villains then roar at our hero and the chase begins.
In one sequence, the bad guys are seen using well-known Dick Tracy villain Flattop's head as an airstrip with planes taking off. When Daffy is trapped against a wall, Rubberhead "rubs him out" with his head as an eraser, but Daffy appears at the door. Pumpkinhead, meanwhile, moves in with submachine gun blazing. Daffy tosses a hand grenade directly to Pumpkinhead's head and he becomes a stack of pumpkin pies.
As most of the villains jump to trap him in a closet, Daffy squirms out, slams the door shut on them and eradicates the group with sustained fire from a Tommy gun. He opens the door, and the bullet-riddled bodies fall like dominoes. Neon Noodle, the last survivor, sneaks up on Daffy and tries to strangle him. Daffy defeats him by turning him into a neon sign that reads "Eat at Joe's" (a standard WB cartoon gag).
Daffy then finds the missing piggy banks, including his own. He begins to kiss his bank but, since he is dreaming, he does not realize that he is on the farm again, kissing a real female pig. The plump, yet slightly curvaceous, pig is rather smitten by Daffy since she believes he is trying to woo her with the barrage of smooches he plants all around her face. He wraps his kisses up with a peck to the cute pig's little nose. So, in an elegant female voice she says "Shall we dance?" and lovingly kisses him right in the mouth. Now wide awake, Daffy wipes the kiss away disgustedly and runs away. The lady pig says "I love that duck!" and laughs.
Allusions and influence
- The opening where Daffy waits for the mail and gets his comic book, lies down on the ground and says, "I can't wait to see what happens to Dick Tracy!" is a reused gag from Clampett's Farm Frolics.
- Daffy's early line about Dick Tracy, "I love that man!" and the pig's closing line, "I love that duck!" are references to a popular catch-phrase of the time, "Love dat man!", said by the character Beulah on Fibber McGee and Molly. Clampett would use the gag again in his next and final cartoon at Warner Bros., The Big Snooze.
- The gag where Duck Twacy says "I'm gonna pin it on ya" only to be revealed to be playing Pin the tail on the donkey is taken from the Tex Avery cartoon Thugs with Dirty Mugs.
- In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Inside Plucky Duck", there was a segment called "Bat's All Folks" where a spoof of the criminal encounters has Plucky Duck as Bat-Duck encountering Jackster (a donkey parody of the Joker), Puffin (a puffin parody of the Penguin), Question Mark (a parody of the Riddler), and Polecat Woman (a parody of Catwoman). In "New Character Day", there was a segment called "The Return of Pluck Twacy" where Plucky Duck is in the same role that Daffy had here. Here, Pluck Twacy had to rescue Shirley the Loon's aura (who is really Hatta Mari from Plane Daffy) from gangsters like Ticklepuss (based on Sloppy Moe from Wagon Heels), Soupy Man (an anthropomorphic soup can), Jack the Zipper (an anthropomorphic zipper based on Jack the Ripper), the Boston Dangler (an upside-down Bostonian on a trapeze), Flatbottom (a naval criminal with a miniature battleship for a butt), Boxcars (a train conductor based on the Peter Lorre scientist), the Generic Thugs, Wolvertoon (a deformed version of Bugs Bunny), Millipede Pete (an anthropomorphic millipede), the Chorus Line Men, and the other unnamed grotesque criminals.
- Daffy says "sufferin' succotash" while waiting for his Dick Tracy comic. This line would eventually become the catchphrase of Sylvester, who also has a lisp in his voice. Daffy has said this line in Ain't That Ducky, Baby Bottleneck and Hollywood Daffy and repeats it in six more cartoons: The Up-Standing Sitter, You Were Never Duckier, Daffy Dilly, His Bitter Half, Fiesta Fiasco and Skyscraper Caper.
- In the scene in which Daffy is seen through a door in silhouette as Duck Twacy, his shadow briefly morphs into Dick Tracy's trademark profile.
- After Daffy shoots through the door with his Tommy gun and the rogues' gallery of characters begin falling, there is a brief shot of a well endowed woman falling among them.
- An episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold titled "Legends of the Dark Mite" contains a sequence which heavily parodies the cartoon. Unlike when Daffy faces criminals which are parodies, here Bat-Mite faces actual Batman villains (namely the Joker, the Penguin, the Riddler, Catwoman, Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, the Mad Hatter, the Catman, the Polka-Dot Man, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Killer Moth, the Kite Man, Zebra-Man, and Tiger Shark). As an example, miniature Kite Man figures launch off the top hat of the Mad Hatter.
Animation historian Steve Schneider said of this picture:
|“||...Bob Clampett's forever priceless The Great Piggy Bank Robbery is clearly a work of the highest cinematic poetry, for prompting the film's manic hilarity are a sequence of images that remain among the most indelible in cartoon history.||”|
The Great Piggy Bank Robbery was the first of several cartoons in which Daffy Duck would do a parody of a well-known character, but the only one in which he was actually competent. In other take-offs, such as The Scarlet Pumpernickel, he was somewhat buffoonish, though still able to intimidate the bad guys. But, in later stories such as Stuporduck, Boston Quackie, Robin Hood Daffy and Deduce, You Say? (in which he played "Doorlock Holmes"), Daffy was hopelessly outmatched.
In 1994 it was voted #16 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.
John Kricfalusi, best known as the creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show, called The Great Piggy Bank Robbery his favorite cartoon: "I saw this thing and it completely changed my life, I thought it was the greatest thing I'd ever seen, and I still think it is."
- Billy Ingram. "The Beulah Show". Retrieved 2006-09-15.
- Jerry Beck, ed. (1998). The 50 Greatest Cartoons: As Selected by 1,000 Animation Professionals. JG Press, Inc. ISBN 1-57215-271-0.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- Kricfalusi, John (2004). Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume 2 DVD commentary for the short The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (DVD). Warner Home Video.