The Great Piggy Bank Robbery  

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"Tex Avery's cartoons originated on film in the 1930s and 1940s, but millions more know his famous characters from Saturday morning cartoons replayed during the 1970s: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, etc. Another Looney Tunes animator, Robert Clampett, was renowned for his surreal style in both story and visuals. Especially notable are The Great Piggy Bank Robbery and Porky in Wackyland. The Chicago Surrealist Group, in particular, has done a great deal of work on the Surrealist nature of the Looney Tunes cartoons."--Sholem Stein

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The Great Piggy Bank Robbery is a 1946 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes theatrical cartoon directed by Bob Clampett. The cartoon was released on July 20, 1946, and stars Daffy Duck.

The short is Clampett's penultimate Warner cartoon, produced shortly before he left the studio.

Plot

On a farm, Daffy awaits his new Dick Tracy comic book to the tune of Raymond Scott's song "Powerhouse". The mailman then arrives, delivering the comic book. To the tune of Franz von Suppé's Poet and Peasant overture, he sprints to a corner of the farm and begins reading it, noting how much he "love(s) that man!." At one point in this issue, Dick Tracy is fighting Noodlenose. Imagining what it would be like to be Dick Tracy, he knocks himself out with his own fist.

While unconscious, he dreams he is "Duck Twacy, the famous de-tec-a-tive." He dismisses a series of calls asking about stolen piggy banks as too inconsequential for him, suggesting the callers had been too reckless, until he finds that his own piggy bank has been stolen from his safe. He decides to call Duck Twacy (at one point having a phone conversation with himself) before he realizes he himself is Duck Twacy. He calls a taxi to follow a car without him, just to keep the villains on their toes.

Daffy's search leads him to cross paths with Sherlock Holmes, then onto a streetcar (driven by a mustachioed Porky Pig in a silent cameo) leading to the gangsters' not-so-secret hideout. He falls through a trapdoor when he rings the doorbell, and follows footprints, even climbing up a wall (which makes him think that the culprit might be the Human Fly) to a mousehole. He concludes that the culprit is "Mouse Man," demanding, "Come out of there, you rat!"—whereupon a huge, muscular, and angry mouse emerges, and towers over him. Gulping in fear, Daffy timidly tells him to go back in again, and so he does. He runs away, but is surrounded by all the dangerous criminals in town (many of which are parodies of Dick Tracy's rogues gallery), and consisting of:

  • Snake Eyes – Spoof of B.B. Eyes, who has dice for eyes.
  • 88 Teeth – Spoof of 88 Keys, with piano keys for teeth.
  • Hammerhead – A gangster with a hammer for a head.
  • Pussycat Puss – A cat gangster who bears some resemblance to Sylvester.
  • Bat Man – An anthropomorphic baseball bat who is a name parody of the comics character Batman.
  • Doubleheader – A two-headed baseball player spoof of Tulza "Haf and Haf" Tuzon.
  • Pickle Puss – A pickle spoof of Pruneface.
  • Pumpkinhead – A gangster with a jack-o'-lantern for a head.
  • Neon Noodle – A neon figure that resembles Frankenstein's monster.
  • Jukebox Jaw – A criminal with a jukebox speaker for a jaw and a turntable on top of his head.
  • Wolf Man – A wolf gangster.
  • Rubberhead – A pencil eraser-headed gangster.

...Template:Nbspand a host of other unnamed grotesque criminals.

He then, with a certain lack of tactical sense, declares "You're all under arrest!" The villains then roar at Daffy and the chase begins. In one sequence, the villains are seen using well-known Dick Tracy villain Flattop's head as an airstrip with planes taking off. When Daffy is trapped against a wall, Rubberhead "rubs him out" with his eraser head, but Daffy immediately reappears. Pumpkinhead moves in with submachine guns blazing. Daffy tosses a hand grenade directly to Pumpkinhead and he becomes a stack of pumpkin pies.

As most of the villains jump to trap him in a closet, Daffy squirms out, slams the door shut on them, and eradicates the group with sustained fire from a Tommy gun. He opens the door, and the bullet-riddled bodies fall like dominoes. Neon Noodle (who survived because he is a mere neon outline with no physical "center" for Daffy to shoot) sneaks up on Daffy and tries to strangle him. Daffy defeats him by turning him into a neon sign that reads "Eat at Joe's" (a standard WB cartoon gag).

Daffy then finds the missing piggy banks, including his own. He begins to kiss his bank but, since he is dreaming, he does not realize that he is on the farm again, kissing a real female pig. The plump-yet-curvaceous pig is rather smitten by Daffy since she believes he is trying to woo her with the barrage of smooches he plants all over her face. He wraps his kisses up with a peck to the cute pig's nose. In an elegant female voice, she asks, "Shall we dance?" and lovingly kisses him right on the mouth. Now wide awake, Daffy wipes the kiss away disgustedly and runs away. The lady pig then remarks, "I love that duck!," and laughs.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Great Piggy Bank Robbery" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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