Saturday, February 14, 2015

Looney Tunes: "The Stupid Cupid"

Premiered November 25, 1944.

"Say, keep your arrows out of other people's businessesses... buster! You shot me last year, and look what happened. Tied down. No more fun. Now look at me. A has-been. A hen-pecked duck. A canvasback Cassanova. And it's your fault, you bare-backed bandit. So beat it, bub. Take a powder. Scram!"
-Daffy Duck

Cupid (Frank Graham), who bears a striking resemblance to Elmer Fudd, is flying around, shooting his arrows at males of various species.

They all turn into love-struck Romeos.

Cupid eventually tracks down Daffy Duck (Mel Blanc).

But Daffy had enough of Cupid's arrow last year.  He was shot, got married, had a bunch of kids and is "tied down".

But Cupid nails him again, prompting Daffy to fall for a chicken.  She's not interested, but Daffy chases her around the coop.

In the middle of the chase, her husband, a muscle-bound rooster shows up and is out for blood.

J.A. Morris says:
This is a great Looney Tunes short.  I'm a huge fan of the old Warner Brothers cartoons, but this is one I haven't seen many times.

It was directed by Frank Tashlin, who later went on to helm live action films like The Girl Can't Help It and Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?  Tashlin was a master of sight-gags, and this cartoon is full of them, as these screen caps indicate.

Check out this sequence below.  A bluebird is shot by Cupid's arrow.

We see him morph into an airplane.

Great stuff.


There are some aspects of this toon that haven't aged well.  We try not to judge works of the past by today's standards, but these aspects keep me from giving it a higher rating.  My co-blogger goes into this in more detail below.
The animation in The Stupid Cupid is outstanding and Stupid Cupid is must-see for Daffy fans and all fans of classic cartoons.

J.A. Morris' rating:

3 Valentine Hearts.

RigbyMel says:

This is great classic Looney Tunes, as J.A. Morris says.    The animation is top-notch and the gags (mostly) still play well.

Cupid takes aim at Daffy
That being said, I have two issues with it, both of which stem from it having been produced in the 1940s when cultural mores were a little different than they are in the early 21st century.  

Bulldog struck by Cupid's arrow whilst chomping on cat
First, there is a gag involving a dog chasing a cat.   The dog gets shot with one of Cupid's arrows and wishes to be amorous with the cat in a very Pepe Le Pew fashion.   The cat's reaction is to pull out a gun and shoot himself in the head nine times (thus, taking out all nine lives).    This feels very uncomfortable on a number of levels.

Secondly,  I feel kind of bad for Mrs. Daffy and the chicken who is the recipient of Daffy's new amorous attentions.  They didn't do anything wrong.  I guess we can blame that on Cupid's arrows?   Love is strange.

That being said,  this is a fun, silly cartoon and worth checking out if you're a fan of classic Warner Brothers animation.

RigbyMel's rating:

2 1/2 Valentine Hearts.