You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘cruelty’ tag.

Director: Ryszard Czekała
Release date:

If ‘Syn‘ was an unsettling watch, ‘Apel’ is no less than a grueling. Set in a German concentration camp, the film shows a Nazi officer commanding a large group of prisoners to bow and to rise, over and over again. Then one of them refuses to bow…

‘Apel’ is an extreme film, not only in concept, but also in execution. Czekała uses very original cinematography and extreme ‘depth of field’, with large parts of his drawing being out of focus. Especially the shot in which the Nazi officer walks by rows and rows of people is particularly impressive, and it’s unclear to me how Czekała reached this effect. The film is as bleak as can be, and quite an unpleasant watch, but Czekała’s mastery of the animated form is undeniable.

Watch ‘Apel’ yourself and tell me what you think:

‘Apel’ is available on the DVD-set ‘Anthology of Polish Animation’ and on the DVD box ‘Annecy – Le coffret du 50e Anniversaire’

Director: Chuck Jones
Release Date: September 2, 1950
Stars: Daffy Duck, Porky Pig
Rating: ★★

The Ducksters © Warner Bros.Chuck Jones is famous for directing cute characters, but throughout his career he directed some extraordinarily cruel cartoons, like ‘Fresh Airedale’ (1945), ‘Scaredy Cat‘ (1948) and ‘Chow Hound’ (1951). ‘The Ducksters’ is probably the cruelest of the lot, and in this cartoon the cartoon violence feels more painful than funny.

In ‘The Ducksters’ Daffy Duck is a quizmaster and Porky the unlucky contestant in the radio quiz ‘Truth or Aaagh’, an extreme take on the radio (and later television) show ‘Truth or Consequences’, which had been around since 1940. The cartoon violence starts immediately, as the opening shot features a tied-up Porky slowly approaching a sawmill. A few scenes later, Daffy shoots someone in the audience.

Throughout the picture Daffy remains the ultra-violent trickster, until the tables are turned in the end. However, Daffy is neither loony nor misguided, being in the midst of a transition of character, which renders him ‘just cruel’, and very unsympathetic, indeed.

Luckily, Chuck Jones knew a better a use for the duck, using him as a misguided hero (e.g. ‘The Scarlet Pumpernickel‘ (1950) and ‘Drip-along Daffy‘ (1951), or playing him against the cleverer Bugs Bunny (e.g. ‘Rabbit Fire‘, 1951 and ‘Rabbit Seasoning’, 1952). These cartoons are all far funnier than ‘The Ducksters’.

Watch ‘The Ducksters’ yourself and tell me what you think:

This is Porky Pig cartoon no. 134
To the previous Porky Pig cartoon: Golden Yeggs
To the next Porky Pig cartoon: The Wearing of the Grin

This is Daffy Duck cartoon No. 54
To the previous Daffy Duck cartoon: Golden Yeggs
To the next Daffy Duck cartoon: Rabbit Fire

‘The Ducksters’ is available on the DVD-set ‘Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume One’

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,118 other subscribers
Bookmark and Share

Follow TheGrob on Twitter