A Coy Decoy (1941)
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Aside from this point, "A Coy Decoy" is basically a fun, interesting short where Daffy meets characters in books and does things in books. I liked this short quite a lot (despite the other reviewers on here). The way Daffy is so in love with the clockwork duck is vaguely disturbing, yet highly amusing at the same time. Porky is a nice edition to the episode, though it was not vital for him to be there. The wolf is an example of how people thought of wolves in those days as well, blood-thirsty, terrible animals, which of course they never really have been (unless they are very hungry). I also liked the style of animation used - and the theme of the episode.
For people who are totally into Daffy Duck and for people who do not mind the occasional racist joke in cartoons, enjoy "A Coy Decoy"!
Available on YouTube.
Every cartoon had to have a song in these days, so we start off with a medley by The Westerner' Porky and Ugly Duckling' Daffy. Porky is really only there at the beginning because they needed somebody to set up the punchline at the end. The rest of the movie belongs to Daffy. The Duck cracks a rather racist gag involving 'Black Beauty' at the beginning, but since he's black himself he can probably get away with it.
Daffy moves to another book, The Lake', while the Wolf of Wall Street' uses a toy duck (the title character) from yet another book to snare that screwy duck. When Escape' is blocked Daffy makes use of Hurricane', The Mortal storm' and Lightning' to get rid of the wolf, For whom the bell tolls'. We also find out that The Bridge of San Luis Rey' is about a pair of dentures.
The main characters don't really have to act, just be themselves: Daffy has to be crazy, the Wolf has to be hungry and Porky, well he never had much reason to be anywhere anyway. In the end 'A Coy Decoy' does not amount to much more than a song, a chase sequence, lots of puns and of course a reference to the war.
5 out of 10
Have a lot of appreciation and admiration for Bob Clampett, with a visual and humour style so distinctive and easily recognisable. His early work was very variable but when on top form and in his prime the best of his work was great and even more. 'A Coy Decoy' is not one of Clampett's best. It is a decent cartoon though, even if there are funnier, wittier and fresher cartoons from him, and did see some of Clampett's unique style all over it and being at ease with the material.
Will agree with anyone who found the 'Black Beauty' gag in not particularly good taste, the stereotypical nature is far from subtle and it was not very funny on top of that.
For me, despite liking Porky on the whole and usually his partnership with Porky is legendary, he is a bit bland here and didn't really see the need for his inclusion considering the cartoon doesn't do much with him.
However, Daffy as ever is a sheer delight, it is hardly surprising why he is one of animation's best, most interesting and most popular characters. He is just so much fun to watch and his manic personality is so well suited to the material.
Supporting characters are far from forgettable and provide a lot of fun. The wolf matches Daffy beautifully and the literary characters are fun to spot. Mel Blanc as always does a fantastic job with the voice work, showing an unparalleled ability to bring individuality to multiple characters.
The animation is as always atmospheric in crisp black and white, with lots of smooth movement, imaginative detail in the gags and rich and meticulous detail in the backgrounds. Carl Stalling's music score is as ever high in energy, liveliness, character, lushness and whimsy, and not only is dynamic and fits effortlessly with the action but enhances everything. Beethoven's "Moonlight" sonata is used inspiringly.
What's more, 'A Coy Decoy' is enormously entertaining elsewhere, with some amusing wildness, wit and bite starting to show at this point in the dialogue. Plus there are some beautifully timed and animated and imaginative sight gags, that contain some surprises and a lively pace. Sure, familiarity with what is being referenced is in order which wasn't an issue for me being one who was familiar.
Overall, decent if not great. 7/10 Bethany Cox
We get here one of Clampett's typical racist jokes: Daffy falls into a copy of 'Black Beauty' and emerges riding a kerchief-headed 'mammy' stereotype.
One thing that bothers me about both this 1941 cartoon and its remake 'Book Revue' is that most of the so-called 'book' titles in both toons -- such as 'The Wolf of Wall Street', seen here -- are actually movie titles. In cases where a title could apply to both a book and a film (such as 'The Bridge of San Luis Rey' here, or "Dante's Inferno" in 'Book Revue'), it's obvious that the audience were expected to think of the movie rather than the book. Either the Warners scriptwriters didn't know many book titles, or else they wouldn't give their audience credit for being literate. In 'A Coy Decoy', I was pleasantly surprised to see references to 'The Yearling' and 'For Whom the Bell Tolls', best-selling books which (as of 1941) hadn't yet been filmed.
'A Coy Decoy' gets its title from a plot development here which wasn't used in the remake: the wolf uses a clockwork female duck to entice Daffy. This is a running theme in many Clampett cartoons, continuing right into his 'Beany and Cecil' era: a male protagonist is lured by an artificial female; either a male in disguise, or else a mechanical surrogate (a fembot?). Clampett seemed reluctant to put genuine female characters into his toons.
There's a nice tinkling music-box motif for the she-duck (Warners cartoons almost always had excellent music tracks), and there's a cheeky final gag, one of Clampett's less obvious sexual entendres. That final gag is the only place where this cartoon surpasses its remake 'Book Revue', which is superior all down the line until it ends in a weak 'cissy' joke (another of Clampett's predilections). I'll rate 'A Coy Decoy' five points out of 10. Take out that unnecessary racist joke, and I might bump it up to six.
"A Coy Decoy" was probably one of the placeholders that the Warner Bros. animation department cranked out in between the really famous cartoons, especially since 1941 saw Bugs Bunny's undeniable ascension to super-stardom. The cartoon is really obvious as a Bob Clampett cartoon when Daffy is unwittingly hugging the wolf, and the wolf's snout starts looking rubbery. But without a doubt, the really fine phase of Clampett's, Daffy's and Porky's careers began in 1942, and was fully evident in Clampett's 1943 cartoon "A Corny Concerto".
So, this one is OK, not great.
The whole story takes place in a bookstore, where the characters of the books come to life every evening. So we have, among others, the Ugly Duck (Daffy) and the wolf of Wallstreet. They wind up in a chase after the wolf tricked Daffy with a phony duck (hence the title).
And chase is all there is in this little cartoon, that doesn't have any real appeal nowadays. Only fun if you're a true fan of the Looney Tunes I guess...