He had a nice daughter, a nice son, but, he was really bad news. And the first thing he said when he came over was, “I don’t know anything about animated cartoons, but I know scripts and I want scripts presented to me every time your finished”. That was fine, because we didn’t have scripts, we only had storyboards. And he never understood what a storyboard was, so he was there, I think, eight or ten years.
Oh, I thought it was terrible. As someone who worked with these characters for upwards of 40 years … I can tell you with the utmost confidence, Porky Pig would never say “I think I wet myself”. On the off-chance that Bugs were to be faced with the situation of a basketball game standing between freedom and extraterrestrial domination, he wouldn’t have needed anyone’s help, and moreover it wouldn’t have taken him an hour and a half. Those aliens, whether they were tiny or colossal, would’ve been dealt with in short order come the seven-minute mark.
I have watched with fascination his [Daffy’s] growth from his earliest haphazard pluralized personality through adolescent, to the splendid bombast of his maturity in the fifties. Daffy has become the spokesman for the egoist in everyone, but he remains always undaunted by the inevitable requital: the fear of consequences that makes makes cowards of the rest of us.
Of course, when, Disney was making the Silly Symphonies, he was doing post-musical shorts, and so well-done, that what we were trying to do was do a little bit of the Disney in every cartoon.
I was criticized because they said I was imitating Disney. It seemed to be quite natural to learn how the hell they would do these things like they did, and to make them believable. But I didn’t know what to do apart from studying the people who were before me.
I think what he [Friz Freleng] brought to Daffy, in that period, was Daffy being thoroughly obnoxious. And I think that really was very very funny, because he wasn’t unappealing when he was doing it. And later, when Chuck hit on the “Rabbit Fire” trilogy, and the dynamic changed a little bit between Bugs and Daffy, Friz adopted that, because it seemed to get a lot of good character mileage. So now Daffy was the foil for Bugs always being the winner.
Everybody dislikes the boss. Do you know of anybody that doesn’t dislike their boss? Only the ones who are on top, who have been promoted to the top, like them. They hated Eddie Selzer because he knew nothing about animation. They hated Leon Schlesinger, they hated anybody who became their boss. But I didn’t hate’em, because I thought I was treated very well. I was treated as the senior director at Warners. I don’t know whether the others hated me or not, but naturally they didn’t tell me. But I think a certain amount of jealousy goes along with creative people like that, where everybody thinks a certain amount of jealousy goes along with creative people like that, where everybody thinks he’s the best and that somebody else has got his job. That goes on, I think, beyond animation.
Well, you know, Daffy and Wile E., are failures, in their own way, and all of us, I think, can understand characters like Daffy, the Coyote, Sylvester and so on, because all of us are more familiar with mistakes than we are with trials. And so, a “comic loser” is right with us, we know about that. And everyone of the great comedians, with one or two exceptions I said, everyone of them are losers, and they have small trials. At the end, when [Charlie] Chaplin got up at the very end of the picture, he would demonstrate what he was because, at the end, he shifts his coat and then he walks away, twirling his cane. But that little shift to the coat is like a nudge to a hero, it’s like going like that than leaping. But that little adjustment to his coat was what made him what he was.
I was tempted to go to MGM, it was about 1938, when they opened up a cartoon studio, I thought it was gonna be like Schlesinger’s, just do your own thing. But it wasn’t that way at all. Once I went over to MGM, I knew it was a mistake, but I had to fullfill my contract. The minute it was up, I headed back to Warner Bros.. I was very happy to get back there, ha-ha.