340. Rocket Squad – Chuck Jones

song-of-the-prairie

SUMMARY: Daffy and Porky assume the roles of space detectives in this deadpan spoof of TV cop shows.

WHY IT’S HERE: Chuck Jones’s ‘Rocket Squad’ is a gag-filled spoof of ‘Dragnet’ and the more obscure police drama ‘Racket Squad’. Of all the genre spoofs starring Porky and Daffy that Jones directed, ‘Rocket Squad’ is probably the least well known. This may be due to its more limited look and its almost spot-gag style which doesn’t allow the cartoon to build up the same head of steam as, say, ‘Robin Hood Daffy’ or ‘Duck Dodgers in the 24th ½ Century’. Speaking of which, long time cartoon fans will recognise several reused backgrounds and ideas from ‘Duck Dodgers…’, which adds to the air of cheapness that pervades ‘Rocket Squad’. Despite not being as sumptuous or energetic as it predecessors, ‘Rocket Squad’ is still an excellent cartoon for many reasons. For one, it has a cracking script by Tedd Pierce filled with tons of great one liners (“My names Monday, my partner’s name is Tuesday. He always follows me”) and an unusual opportunity for the lead characters to play the material entirely straight. Aping their ‘Dragnet’ counterparts, Porky and Daffy maintain hilarious deadpan expressions throughout and Daffy’s ongoing narration is accordingly monotone and emotionless. While it will never be as highly respected or well-loved as Jones’s other genre spoofs, ‘Rocket Squad’ is still well worth seeing just for the fact that it is a very funny cartoon which takes something of a different approach which pays off in spades.

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