#15 -- The Scarlet Pumpernickel

Title - The Scarlet Pumpernickel
Director - Chuck Jones
Released - 1950

Interesting Fact -- Voted #31 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field in 1994

Reason for Placement --

Who would have thought even cartoon characters get tired of being comedians? In this short, Daffy begs his boss to let him do a dramatic part, and reads to him a script that he wrote, "The Scarlet Pumpernickel". This was a major change for Daffy, as we see him in this new role as a masked bandit, channeling his own version of Errol Flynn as he saves his lady love, Melissa from the tyranny of... Sylvester and Porky. Yep, they're the villains in this one.

The Scarlet Pumpernickel is one of those cartoons that is not only fun to watch, but has so many interesting little details. First of all, this short has one of the biggest casts of Looney Tunes stars: you have Daffy, Sylvester, Porky, and even Elmer Fudd and Henery Hawk make cameo appearances. Second, this was only one of a few shorts that had numerous references to its birthplace, Warner Bros. Studios (Daffy even holds a conversation with co-founder Jack Warner, who remains off-screen and is referred to as J.L.). Also, there's the fun fact that as Mel Blanc used the same voice for Daffy and Sylvester (Daffy's voice was sped-up to give him a higher pitch), so the scenes of them together is essentially Blanc talking to himself... in the same voice!

And finally, you have what is probably the most controversial ending ever in a Looney Tunes short: after he finished plugging his script to J.L., Daffy pulls himself up, completely exhausted, and says, "...there was nothing left for the Scarlet Pumpernickel to do, but blow his brains out... which he did."


"It's getting so you have to kill yourself to sell a story around here!"


  1. [QUOTE]And finally, you have what is probably the most controversial ending ever in a Looney Tunes short[/QUOTE]

    That ending was only controversial when the censors became stricter in deciding what was inappropriate in kids' cartoons (your decade may vary, but I know this was done in the 1990s).

  2. A great Daffy short. the writing is spot on. I especially like Sylvester's monologue:
    "Firthht, I am happy, for I am to wed the fair Melith-tha. Then...I AM FURIOUS! For I desthPIsthe the Sthcarlet Pu-pu-pumpernickel."
    Or Daffy's comment after he smashes into a wall:
    "That's funny. That never happens to Errol Flynn."