Muscle Tussle

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Muscle Tussle
Directed byRobert McKimson
Produced byEdward Selzer
Story byTedd Pierce
StarringMel Blanc
Gladys Holland
Music byCarl Stalling
Edited byTreg Brown
Animation byRod Scribner
Phil DeLara
Charles McKimson
Herman Cohen
Keith Darling (uncredited)
Layouts byRobert Givens
Backgrounds byCarlos Manriquez
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
April 18, 1953
Running time

Muscle Tussle is a Warner Bros. Merrie Melodies theatrical cartoon short released in 1953 and reissued in 1961 as a Blue Ribbon, directed by Robert McKimson and featuring Daffy Duck.


Daffy goes to the beach with his girlfriend Melissa (voiced by an uncredited Gladys Holland, an actress heard in United Productions of America's adaptation of Madeline, 1952), and prepares to take her picture. While posing, she sees a muscle-bound duck and turns her attention toward him. Daffy gets upset and scolds the muscle-bound duck (a soft-spoken yet still arrogant fellow) for “tryin' to muscle in on [his] chick”, he replies that he'll bob Daffy so hard he'll have to open his vest to eat if he says one more word. Daffy takes the threat as a joke, and the muscle-bound duck proceeds to hit Daffy so hard that his head sinks into his stomach. In a daze, Daffy orders "One cheeseburger, hold the onions". Melissa urges Daffy to fight back, but he backs off and instead attempts to curry favor with the larger duck. Disgusted by his cowardice, Melissa goes off with the muscle-bound duck and bids Daffy farewell, calling him a "scrawny little nine pound weakling" which offends Daffy as he considers himself a "scrawny little ten pound weakling." Daffy tries to win back his girl and takes some muscle tonic, bought from a glad-handed traveling salesman who happens to be nearby, which he thinks has made him as strong as the muscle-bound duck. Daffy repeatedly falls short in his attempts to demonstrate his strength, but through a fluke (and one of the salesman's props, a "five thousand-pound" barbell), manages to dispatch his rival in the end; the muscle-bound duck lifts the "barbell" which sends him rocketing thousands of feet into the air. When he plummets back to Earth and takes on a squatted down form from the impact, he tells the couple "You all can call me shorty!", and waddles off. The couple then leaves the beach, with Melissa saying she likes her man “tall, dark and gruesome”, which describes Daffy all over.

Edited version[edit]

  • The ABC version of this cartoon cuts the part where the big, muscular duck pounds Daffy's head into his shirt.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Duck Amuck
Daffy Duck Cartoons
Succeeded by
Duck! Rabbit, Duck!