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|To Duck or Not to Duck|
To Duck .... or Not to Duck is a Warner Bros. cartoon in the Looney Tunes series, released in theatres in 1943, directed by Chuck Jones and featuring Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. The film initially is set by a lake, but concludes at a boxing match. Mel Blanc provides the voice of Daffy, while Arthur Q. Bryan, who is not credited in the title card, provides the voice of Elmer.
Elmer Fudd is hunting ducks with his dog Laramore. He shoots Daffy Duck from the sky and apologizes saying that he is "a great sportsman." Daffy says he wouldn't be so tough without his hunting equipment and challenges Elmer to a "fair" fight.Elmer is unaware that he is led to a boxing ring surrounded by many duck spectators. The referee of the fight is also a duck. The odds are clearly against Elmer since the referee laughs while announcing his name followed by boos from the crowd, with only Laramore cheering from a separate stand, for which he is knocked down by brickbats thrown at him by the duck spectators. The referee starts complimenting Daffy, like Daffy "Good to His Mother" Duck.
Before the match starts, the referee exhorts the two opponents to "fight clean", winking to the audience, who collectively shout, "Oh, brother!", and calls for "no rough stuff -- none of THIS! Or THIS! Or like SO!", each time demonstrating an illegal move on Elmer and knocking him silly. Daffy, in turn, picks up where the referee left off, asking, "You mean none of THIS? Or THIS?", manhandling (or duckhandling) Elmer similarly every time. Daffy clobbers Elmer with a hammer as the bell is rung. Elmer falls to the mat and the referee provides a quick ten-count. He declares Daffy the winner and new champion. Perplexed, Elmer protests, "I'm not the one to compwain, Mr. Wefewee, but I thought you said no wough stuff! none of THIS! Or THIS! Or wike SO!", giving it back to both the referee and Daffy in extreme exasperation.
- This is the first cartoon to feature both Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd together.
- The duck referee is intended to be the same plump and jovial referee from Count Me Out. In Count Me Out, the referee was voiced by Tex Avery, while in To Duck Or Not To Duck, the referee is voiced by Mel Blanc, since Avery had already left Warner Bros. for MGM at the time the latter cartoon was made. The referee would later appear in The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries episode, Furgo, where he is named Ducky Wheeze and voiced by Billy West.
- The cartoon has fallen into the public domain, as United Artists (successor-in-interest to Associated Artists Productions) failed to renew the copyright in time. It is found on many VHS tapes of public domain cartoons, with very badly faded colors (and the a.a.p. logo intact) AND with the 1952-53 blue ribbon for unknown reasons, that must be a damaged print.
- It has been fully restored on the Looney Tunes Golden Collection: Volume 6 and the restored version is still able to freely distribute due to the public domain status.
- It is the earliest-released color Looney Tune to have these each of these two distinctions: to fall into the public domain, and to have its original opening and closing titles survive (the two color Looney Tunes that preceded it, The Hep Cat and My Favorite Duck, remain under copyright, and were given Blue Ribbon reissues; both have been restored on DVD, but each still feature the Blue Ribbon titles)