The Scarlet Pumpernickel is an animated Warner Bros. Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon short which was voted #31 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.
The cartoon is a story-within-a-story. Daffy Duck is fed up with comedy and wants to try some more serious roles. He offers a script to the Warner Brothers executive “J.L.”, called The Scarlet Pumpernickel, which he wrote himself under the name “Daffy Dumas Duck.” As Daffy reads the script to J.L., the cartoon cuts away to various scenes and then back to J.L.‘s office. Each time, Daffy announces a page number. By the cartoon’s end, the script has exceeded 2 thousand pages (movie scripts much in excess of 100 pages were usually rejected as too long back in those days).
In this script, the clumsy Scarlet Pumpernickel (Daffy) must save the Fair Lady Melissa from being married to a man she does not love, the Grand Duke (Sylvester) under the Lord High Chamberlain’s (Porky Pig) orders. Melissa loves Scarlet, but her happy mood is extinguished in a heartbeat when the Chamberlain orders her to “keep away from that masked stinker”. The Chamberlain gets a brilliant plan and decides to marry Melissa to the Grand Duke in exchange for killing the Scarlet Pumpernickel. Toward the end, the Grand Duke and the Scarlet Pumpernickel engage in an intense duel, but no conclusive ending is given as to who ultimately wins the battle. Daffy, as the scriptwriter, overdoes the ending as an unlikely series of random and accelerating natural disasters, including skyrocketing food prices (most notably “kreplach”) before attempting suicide, but failing. —Wikipedia
Charles Martin “Chuck” Jones (September 21, 1912 – February 22, 2002) was an American animator, cartoon artist, screenwriter, producer, and director of animated films, most memorably of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts for the Warner Bros. Cartoons studio. He directed many of the classic short animated cartoons starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote, Pepé Le Pew and the other Warners characters, including Duck Amuck, One Froggy Evening and What’s Opera, Doc? (all three of which were later inducted into the National Film Registry) and Jones’ famous “Hunting Trilogy” of Rabbit Fire, Rabbit Seasoning, and Duck! Rabbit! Duck! (1951–1953).
After his career at Warner Bros. ended in 1962, Jones started Sib Tower 12 Productions and began producing cartoons for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, including a new series of Tom & Jerry shorts and the television adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. He later started his own studio, Chuck Jones… read more
Jones described his version of Daffy as a character 'that expresses all of the things we're afraid to express'. And for me that's when he's at his best, as great as Duck Amuck is this film has much of the same meta commentary just in a more specific context, where Daffy illustrates his frustrations with the film industry. Great little satire.
"It's getting so you have to kill yourself to sell a story around here!"