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Birth of a Notion

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Birth of a Notion
Directed By: Robert McKimson
Produced By: Eddie Selzer (uncredited)
Released: April 12, 1947
Series: Looney Tunes
Story: Warren Foster
Animation: John Carey
Manny Gould
I. Ellis
Thomas McKimson
Layouts: Cornett Wood
Backgrounds: Richard H. Thomas
Film Editor: Treg Brown
Voiced By: Mel Blanc
Stan Freberg (uncredited)
Music: Carl Stalling
Starring: Daffy Duck
Leopold the Dog
Mad Scientist
Joe Besser Duck
Preceded By: A Hare Grows in Manhattan
Succeeded By: Tweetie Pie

Daffy attempting to throw the baseball bat onto Leopold's master

Birth of a Notion is a 1946-animated, 1947-released Looney Tunes (re-issued as a Blue Ribbon Merrie Melodies, with the ending theme song still being that of the Looney Tunes) cartoon featuring Daffy Duck, as well as a dog named "Leopold" and an unnamed mad scientist.

Director Robert McKimson used his "Barnyard Dawg" character design as Leopold, while the scientist is a caricature—both visually and vocally—of character actor Peter Lorre.

Birth of a Notion is one of three shorts that had been scheduled for direction by Bob Clampett before he left Warner Bros. Cartoons; the other two were Bacall to Arms and The Goofy Gophers, both of which were finished by Arthur Davis. Mel Blanc voiced Daffy Duck, Leopold and Joe Besser Duck, while uncredited Stan Freberg voiced the mad scientist.


The title is a play on Birth of a Nation, but there is no other connection to that film.


Daffy doesn't feel like going to the trouble of flying south for the winter like other ducks. He manages to con the rather simple-witted dog, Leopold, into letting him stay for the winter by pretending to have saved Leopold's life. Unfortunately, Leopold's master is a mad scientist (modeled after actor Peter Lorre) who needs the wishbone of a duck for his experiment.

Daffy, understandably, is not keen on this notion, but instead of finding another place to stay, he keeps trying to get rid of the scientist, while Leopold tries to save his master's life. At one point, Daffy throws a baseball bat at the scientist from behind, and Leopold grabs it in time to keep the impact non-lethal; however, his master misunderstands, taking the bat away and breaking it into many pieces with his bare hands, while quietly intoning "Don't you know that might make me very angry, and I would do terrible, horrible things to you!" before patting a terrified Leopold on the head and saying "I'm going to bed now, Leopold."

Daffy then attempts to kill the scientist while he's sleeping. But it backfires when the scientist wakes up and starts to go after Daffy. Meanwhile, Leopold feels all too left out of the picture.

Daffy finally leaves and Leopold left after him when his master had a sudden desire for a dog's wishbone. So Daffy goes to another house, only to find another duck (with a Joe Besser-like voice and characterization) already there. That other duck kicks him into the air (the Southern way). So Daffy decides to give in and fly south, jet-propelled. On his flight, he is surprised to find he has company: Leopold, somehow aided by a fan strapped to his back, is flying south too, to flee away from his wishbone-crazed master.


  • When this cartoon aired on the now-defunct The WB! channel, Daffy's attempt to stab the mad scientist in his sleep with a knife was cut.

Technical Errors

  • Several older syndicated prints had the Blue Ribbon ending sequence replaced with one utilized by Associated Artists Productions, featuring Bugs Bunny busting out of the Looney Tunes drum while the 1937 Merrie Melodies closing theme plays under it; see The Up-Standing Sitter for more info.
  • While the American Turner "dubbed version" retains the original 1946-1955 Looney Tunes ending music cue, the European Turner "dubbed version" replaces the original ending music cue with the 1941-1955 Merrie Melodies ending music cue. In both dubbed versions they have the same altered end card; the 1947-1948 red rings and blue background Merrie Melodies ending card.



External links

Daffy Duck Cartoons
1937 Porky's Duck Hunt
1938 Daffy Duck & EggheadWhat Price PorkyPorky & DaffyThe Daffy DocDaffy Duck in Hollywood
1939 Daffy Duck and the DinosaurScalp TroubleWise QuacksNaughty Neighbors
1940 Porky's Last StandYou Ought to Be in Pictures
1941 A Coy DecoyThe Henpecked Duck
1942 Conrad the SailorDaffy's Southern ExposureThe Impatient PatientThe Daffy DuckarooMy Favorite Duck
1943 To Duck or Not to DuckThe Wise Quacking DuckYankee Doodle DaffyPorky Pig's FeatScrap Happy DaffyA Corny ConcertoDaffy - The Commando
1944 Tom Turk and DaffyTick Tock TuckeredDuck Soup to NutsSlightly DaffyPlane DaffyThe Stupid Cupid
1945 Draftee DaffyAin't That DuckyNasty Quacks
1946 Book RevueBaby BottleneckDaffy DoodlesHollywood DaffyThe Great Piggy Bank Robbery
1947 Birth of a NotionAlong Came DaffyA Pest in the HouseMexican Joyride
1948 What Makes Daffy DuckDaffy Duck Slept HereThe Up-Standing SitterYou Were Never DuckierDaffy DillyThe Stupor SalesmanRiff Raffy Daffy
1949 Wise QuackersHoliday for DrumsticksDaffy Duck Hunt
1950 Boobs in the WoodsThe Scarlet PumpernickelHis Bitter HalfGolden YeggsThe Ducksters
1951 Rabbit FireDrip-Along DaffyThe Prize Pest
1952 Thumb FunCracked QuackRabbit SeasoningThe Super SnooperFool Coverage
1953 Duck AmuckMuscle TussleDuck Dodgers In The 24½th CenturyDuck! Rabbit, Duck!
1954 Design for LeavingQuack ShotMy Little Duckaroo
1955 Beanstalk BunnySahara HareStork NakedThis Is A Life?Dime to Retire
1956 The High and the FlightyRocket SquadStupor DuckA Star is BoredDeduce, You Say
1957 Ali Baba BunnyBoston QuackieDucking the DevilShow Biz Bugs
1958 Don't Axe MeRobin Hood Daffy
1959 China JonesPeople Are BunnyApes of Wrath
1960 Person to Bunny
1961 The Abominable Snow RabbitDaffy's Inn Trouble
1962 Quackodile TearsGood Noose
1963 Fast Buck DuckThe Million HareAqua Duck
1964 The Iceman Ducketh
1965 It's Nice to Have a Mouse Around the HouseMoby DuckAssault and PepperedWell Worn DaffySuppressed DuckCorn on the CopTease for TwoChili Corn CornyGo Go Amigo
1966 The AstroduckMucho LocosMexican MousepieceDaffy RentsA-Haunting We Will GoSnow ExcuseA Squeak in the DeepFeather FingerSwing Ding AmigoA Taste of Catnip
1967 Daffy's DinerQuacker TrackerThe Music Mice-TroThe Spy SwatterSpeedy Ghost to TownRodent to StardomGo Away StowawayFiesta Fiasco
1968 Skyscraper CaperSee Ya Later Gladiator
1980 The Yolk's on YouThe Chocolate ChaseDaffy Flies NorthDuck Dodgers and the Return of the 24½th Century
1987 The Duxorcist
1988 Night of the Living Duck
1990 Box Office Bunny
1991 Blooper Bunny
1992 Invasion Of The Bunny Snatchers
1995 Carrotblanca
1996 Superior Duck
2003 Attack of the Drones
2004 Daffy Duck for President
2012 Daffy's Rhapsody

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