STUDIO:  Warner Home Video
MSRP: $14.98
RUNNING TIME: 79 Minutes
3 Bonus Cartoons

The Pitch

A talking ghost contemplates his mortality when coming face-to-face with the supernatural.

Ten minutes later, he’s logged onto the DCU Forums bitching about how Legion of 3 Worlds’ ending was PoMo bullshit.

The Humans

Mel Blanc, Roy Firestone, Julie Bennett, Mel Torme and others

The Nutshell

Daffy Duck’s Quackbusters was the last in a long line of feature films that Warner Brothers popularized in the later 70s through late 80s. Taking advantage of a smaller home video market and the lack of cable television proliferation, WB found a comfortable niche for the Looney Tunes characters. Getting the classic animators to create 22 minutes of new material and then frame it around carefully chosen classic shorts. When I was 7, I thought I was seeing a new feature. Now, I feel like I was cheated.

The Lowdown

J.B. Cubish has just kicked the bucket and bequeathed millions of dollars to Daffy Duck. Daffy sets up a business to fight spectral enemies of humanity, thus insuring that Cubish doesn’t takes his millions of dollars back. Cubish is a ghost himself with a rather screwed-up sense of moral duty. He believes the free market determines the measure of a man and he expects Daffy to respect that. Naturally, this leads into a paper-thin Ghostbusters parody.

Quackbusters isn’t so much an anthology as its previous Looney Tunes feature predecessors. What it succeeds in doing with its twenty some-odd minutes of new material is create a compelling stage for Daffy to show his chops. The ebony tinted mallard has always benefitted from being far more mean-spirited than his rabbit counterpart. But, he lacks the charm of Bugs and his gags tend to get a little repetitive.

The shorts collected in this film range from 1987’s The Duxorcist to the 1961 classic Abominable Snow Rabbit. While, we get Daffy heavy material…too much time is given to the supporting players. Plus, the Daffy Bugs team-ups tend to favor Bugs more, as Daffy keeps getting portrayed as the bumbling evil fool. Chuck Jones came out against the film during its initial theatrical release as lacking a cohesive plot to support the main Daffy story. But, that would’ve required a bigger budget and more time on Warner Brothers’ part.

Such things weren’t going to happen, as the studio hadn’t really bothered with feature animation for the shorts since 1967. Given that 1988 was a far different time than the present, it might be kind of hard to imagine WB’s desire to milk recycled material on the theatrical circuit. Yet, if you go back and look at the procession from Bugs Bunny / Road Runner Movie to 1,001 Rabbit Tales to Quackbusters…there’s something to be seen. There’s an over-extension of the natural parameters in which the cartoons were meant to be seen. What plays well at six minutes is tiresome at eighty. I’d just hate to see a potential viewer get turned away from the house that Bugs built because of a cash-in opportunity.

Quackbusters as a film doesn’t exist. It’s a collection of plundered moments stitched together to show the work of animation giants. Yet, it’s nothing more than hoping that a younger audience can fine a few chuckles at the slapstick antics of talking animals. Sure, it beats sticking their ass in front of the latest in brain-dead computer drivel. What I wonder is what does seeing second-hand animation do for a younger person’s appreciation of the art?

The Package

DVD comes to you with three bonus Looney Tunes shorts that show off Daffy Duck at his best. You get the classic Daffy Duck short that introduced Duck Dodgers. Plus, the other two animated shorts spotlight later WB work from 1996-2000. Little Go Beep highlights the Road Runner and it is making its DVD debut on this disc. Also, there’s Superior Duck which marks one of Chuck Jones’ last directing efforts. Outside of that, you get nothing.

He vants to suck your blood. He also wants to see Blade pay the Twilight kids a visit.

7.9 out of 10