#1 -- Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century

Title -
Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1953

Reason for Placement --

For me, it really doesn't get much more perfect than Duck Dodgers; Jones gives us a brilliantly animated & hilarious voyage through space by everyone's favorite little black duck, Porky tagging along as his Eager Young Space Cadet, as the two go up against Marvin the Martian for claim over Planet X.

I don’t even know where to begin on why I love this cartoon so much; there’s the playful banter between Dodgers and the Cadet, the incredible background designs of Maurice Noble, the fun futuristic feel that really helped capture the awe left in wake of the Space Race… I could go on for hours.

Not only is the humor and style top-notch in this toon, but you also have to look at the legacy that Duck Dodgers has left behind. The short was voted #4 of the top 50 greatest cartoons by members of the animation field, nominated for a Hugo Award, later got a sequel (titled Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24½th Century) released in 1980, and an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures was made featuring Plucky as Daffy's new eager young space cadet. The short even inspired a TV show on Cartoon Network, featuring new adventures as Dodgers and the Cadet (aka, Daffy and Porky) faced off with Marvin the Martian.

This short was so popular with sci-fi fans that when George Lucas re-released Star Wars, he included Duck Dodgers as a preceding cartoon!

And with that, this countdown is hear by “Completed” in the name of… DUCK DODGERS OF THE 24½TH CENTURY!!!

Honorable Mentions

Well, we're almost done, just one more cartoon to go and the list is officially complete! However, before we wrap this up, I wanted to take a moment to give honor to the cartoons that I really wanted to put on the list, but sadly didn't get the chance to. There were a few shorts that I'd planned on putting further up on the list but later found I couldn't fit them in, some that I simply forgot, and a few that fellow readers requested I add but I didn't get a chance. I'm actually surprised at the amount of feedback I've gotten on this list, it's really fun to see how many people on this site are just as big of fans of Looney Tunes as I am.

Now I'm not saying that I regret my list in any way: I chose the ones that I felt were the best, and I'm sticking to it, but that doesn't mean that I'm not upset that there weren't more cartoons that I had room for. After all, the Looney Tunes Golden Collection sets feature a grand total of over 380 cartoons alone, and they're still not done releasing DVDs!

And, on a side note, I want to thank you all for reading this blog and invite you to check out Stickman & Inkblot, a new animation blog that I'll be contributing to regularly.

So let's not waste any more time. Here are my Honorable Mentions:

- Transylvania 6-5000 (1963), directed by Chuck Jones
---Bugs goes up against a vampire, who doesn't love that?

- Buckaroo Bugs (1944), directed by Bob Clampett
---Believe it or not, this was a special request from one of my readers, and I really felt bad that I wasn't able to include it.

- No Barking (1954), directed by Chuck Jones
---Not only is this a fun cartoon, but it was animated entirely by Ken Harris, one of Jones' top animators.

- The Hole Idea (1955), directed by Bob McKimson
---The premise of creating a portable hole is funny enough, but there's also the fact that McKimson not only directed this short, but animated it all on his own. Now THAT'S impressive!

- Hollywood Steps Out (1941), directed by Tex Avery
---Termite Terrace was well-known for putting caricatures of famous actors and actresses in their shorts, but this is probably the most famous one, staring an entire ensemble of Hollywood's finest in all their animated glory.

- Water, Water Every Hare (1952), directed by Chuck Jones
---Bugs finds himself locked in a castle with a mad scientist (parodying Vincent Price) and everyone's favorite giant orange monster, Gossamer (called Rudolph in this short)!

- Daffy Dilly (1948), directed by Chuck Jones
---While struggling as a salesman for joke and novelty items, Daffy learns that a dying millionaire will bequeath his fortune to anyone who can make him laugh again... if only Daffy can get past the butler first!

- Bugs and Thugs (1954), directed by Friz Freleng
---Bugs has his first encounter with Rocky and Mugsy, a pair of low-life gangsters who learn the hard way not to mess with everyone's favorite rabbit.

And finally... a tie between A Wild Hare (1940) and Porky's Duck Hunt (1937), for being the first cartoons to feature the modern version of Bugs (as well as his first pairing with Elmer Fudd), and the introduction of Daffy Duck!

So remember, that's not all, folks! See you back here soon with my pick for the #1 greatest Looney Tunes Cartoon of all time!

#2 -- Duck Amuck

Title - Duck Amuck
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1953

Interesting Fact -- Voted #2 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field in 1994

Reason for Placement --

I can actually remember getting excited when this cartoon came on. Everyone's favorite little black duck starts out the toon as a swashbuckling action hero... only to soon run out of background. And so we begin a battle for the ages, as Daffy dukes it out with the "unnamed" animator to get the cartoon underway (and just to give you an idea of how big a nerd I am, I can actually remember geeking out when they revealed who the animator was).

This cartoon was actually started as a kind of experiment by Jones; he wanted to see that if you really changed a popular cartoon character around, would you still recognize him? If you took away his voice, or made him look like THAT (see above photo), would you still know it was Daffy Duck? Plus, this was one of the first cartoons to have the main character break the 4th wall, directly addressing that he knows he's in a cartoon and he knows there's an audience. Daffy is in rare form as he tries to get the toon under control, only to be thwarted constantly by the animator. We all love watching Daffy lose his temper and go nuts at his foe, and the short makes it even better by not letting us see the antagonist: it's just Daffy on his own, pulling out his own feathers and losing every shred of dignity he has.

Even now as an adult, I still find myself reciting the dialogue along with Daffy; it's like listening to your favorite song on the radio, you don't even realize you're doing it.

This toon has been parodied to death by nearly everyone: my personal favorites include the Nostalgia Critic's homage during his "Old vs. New: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory vs. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" video, and the final episode of Clerks: The Animated Series. It's also worth mentioning that this short had a sequel made only two years later: Rabbit Rampage, which featured Bugs Bunny in the same situation, forced to participate in a cartoon where he knows the animator is going to make his work a living hell. This is an absolutely hilarious short, and yes, I really wanted to find room for it on the countdown, but decided that I could only give one spot to this story, and I had to give it to Duck Amuck.