Daffy - The Commando is a 1943 Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Friz Freleng. Daffy Duck is a commando, dropped behind enemy lines, and causes havoc to the German commander, Uberkomt von Vulture, who tries to capture him. As with many of the World War II-themed cartoons put out by the major studios, Daffy - The Commando was placed under an unofficial ban from broadcast or video distribution by Warner Bros. and other rights-holders such as Turner Broadcasting and AOL Time Warner. It can currently be found on the home video Bugs & Daffy: The Wartime Cartoons and the second disc of the sixth installment in the Looney Tunes Golden Collection line of DVDs.
A German commander, Von Vulture, gets a telefunken from the "Gestinko Gestapo", threatening him with his 'ka-rear' if he lets "Vun-More-Kommando" through. The telegram in translated English reads 'vun more kommando ...'. In the original, very broken German, it reads, "Dummy! A sauerkraut potato soup isn't eaten made with veal. [Signed] The Apfen of History. "From left to right, the "Apes of Wrath" are Hitler, Hirohito, and Mussolini.The music playing is from Wagner's opera Das Rheingold. Hearing a plane overhead, he calls in a soldier, Schultz, whom he abuses by knocking him regularly over his helmet with a mallet. Schultz and Von Vulture go outside and use a searchlight to look for Daffy, who is floating down on a parachute, whilst singing in a Cockney accent.
After a quick "Put out those lights!" gets the lights out, Daffy uses his fingers to make shadow puppets and dancing chorus girls. When Von Vulture chases Daffy behind a curtain of asbestos, Daffy makes a face similar to the stereotypical Japanese faces used in cartoons at the time (see, for example, Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips), causing Von Vulture to run off frightened.
Back at his bunker,there is a semi-nude photo of a woman on the wall in Von Vulture's bunker. Daffy addresses Von Vulture as "Liederkranz", after the smelly cheese, is presented with a bomb from Daffy, ticking down. Von Vulture hands the bomb off to Schultz, who is blown through the roof. When Schultz falls back, Daffy stops Von Vulture from hitting Schultz over the head with a mallet, and instead hits him. Von Vulture (pausing briefly to salute a skunk with "Heil Hitler!") chases Daffy to a telephone booth, which Daffy possibly calls it a "Telefunk" booth, where Daffy continues to make fun of Von Vulture.The telephone booth scene has Von Vulture thinking he's talking to Schultz, but finds himself talking to operator Myrt from the Fibber McGee & Molly radio show.
Daffy then jumps in a plane, narrowly avoiding being shot by 'a mess of Messerschmitts', referring to the Nazi Messerschmitt BF 109 Light fighter aircraft, when he's shot down by Von Vulture (his plane literally being blown to pieces). Daffy then runs into a howitzer, and is shot out by Von Vulture. However, Daffy flies (as the 'Human Cannonball') into Berlin, where Hitler is making a speech to his people  Daffy jumps up and whacks Hitler on the head with a mallet, causing Hitler to yell for Schultz, similar to Von Vulture.
The Telephone Booth Scene
A scene where Daffy is on a pay phone as Von Vulture is trying to get into the booth has Daffy speaking to him in German, while holding cue card-like signs with the dialogue translated for the audience (a classic example of "breaking the fourth wall"). In many public domain prints, the signs are illegible, but read as follows:
Daffy 1: Kannst du nicht sehen diese telefunk ist busy? Bleiben sie ruhig! ("Can you not see this tele radio is busy? Stay calm!") Sign 1: ENGLISH TRANSLATION: "Can't you see this telephone is busy? Wait your turn!"
Daffy 2: Bitte, mein herr, haben sie ein ein pfennigstück? ("Please, my lord, have they a penny a piece?") Danke schön.("Thank you.") Sign 2 TWO MORE ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS: "Got a nickel, bud?"/"Thanks."
Daffy 3: "It's all yours, Von Limburger!" Sign 3: GERMAN TRANSLATION: "Ich bin fertig mit der telefon, Herr Von Limburger." ("I'm done with the phone, Mr. Von Limburger.")
When von Vulture enters the phone booth, he attempts to contact Shultz, but instead gets an operator, "Ist dat you Myrt?" (Myrtle The Operator was the never-heard switchboard operator in the highly successful Fibber McGee radio show of that era. "Is that you Myrt?" was a popular catchphrase in the show, and subsequently, in many Warner Brothers cartoons, which took situations from radio dramas and comedies as their inspiration.)
- This short, as well as a few other Warner shorts, is in the public domain, after United Artists (successor-in-interest to Associated Artists Productions) neglected to renew the copyright in time. It is now featured in "Bugs and Daffy: The Wartime Cartoons" released by MGM/UA and on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 6 on the "Wartime Cartoons" disk.
- Although it is in the public domain, it probably is one of the 11 banned Looney Tunes shorts not allowed to be aired on television due to its World War II and Hitler references.
- ↑ Hitler's speech is nonsense: "Haben Sie nicht Liebe? ... alle zusammen ... Ach, du lieber. Mein Herr. Mein Pupkin. Mein Milch. Mein heilige ... (the music used in the background is similar to an organ grinder.)