Duck Dodgers (TV series)

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Duck Dodgers
Duck Dodgers 2003 Cartoon Network title card.png
Genre Post-Apocalyptic
Action-Adventure
Comic science fiction
Space opera
Comedy-drama
Format Animated television series
Directed by Spike Brandt
Tony Cervone
Voices of Joe Alaskey
Bob Bergen
Richard McGonagle
John O'Hurley
Michael Dorn
Tia Carrere
Opening theme "Duck Dodgers" performed by Tom Jones
Composer(s) Robert J. Kral
Douglas Romayne
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 39 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Sander Schwartz
Producer(s) Spike Brandt
Tony Cervone
Paul Dini
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Warner Bros. Animation
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Broadcast
Original channel Cartoon Network
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original run August 23, 2003 (2003-08-23) – November 11, 2005 (2005-11-11)

Duck Dodgers is an American animated television series, based on the 1953 theatrical cartoon short Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century, produced by Warner Bros. Animation from 2003 to 2005.[1] The series is a space opera, featuring the fictional Looney Tunes characters as actors in metafictional roles, with Daffy Duck as the titular hero. It originally aired on Cartoon Network, and it currently airs reruns on Cartoon Network's sister network, Boomerang.

Concept[edit]

Though primarily based around the original Duck Dodgers short (which is set in roughly 2350 AD), the series has also taken many visual and thematic cues from other Looney Tunes shorts unrelated to the Dodgers character and its science fiction premise. Many other familiar characters from the Looney Tunes pantheon are featured in the series, often given traits to fit within Duck Dodgers's own universe. For example, Yosemite Sam becomes "K'chutha Sa'am," a parody of Klingons in Star Trek, Elmer Fudd becomes a parasitic mind-altering alien disease known as "The Fudd" (a combination of The Flood and The Borg), Witch Hazel was Leezah the Witch in one episode, Count Blood Count was Count Muerte in two episodes, and Wile E. Coyote was a Predator-like alien hunter in one episode where Martian Commander X-2 and K-9 were hunting. Nasty Canasta, Taz, Rocky and Mugsy, and The Crusher also made appearances on this series as well as the Gophers Mac and Tosh as martian gophers on an alien golf course. In a two-part episode, The Shropshire Slasher appears as a convict named the Andromeda Annihilator. In addition to these pop culture references, the show's theme (arranged by The Flaming Lips) is sung by Tom Jones, in a style reminiscent of Jones' performance of the theme from the James Bond film Thunderball. Jones also appeared in caricature form in the second season episode "Talent Show A Go-Go," to sing his signature song, "It's Not Unusual." The episode "In Space, No One Can Hear You Rock" featured Dave Mustaine of heavy metal band Megadeth, and the band performed "Back in the Day."

Duck Dodgers was nominated in 2004 Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Television Production Produced For Children, Music in an Animated Television Production, Production Design in an Animated Television Production, and Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production. It won the Annie award for 2004 for Music in an Animated Television Production, music by Robert J. Kral. It was also nominated 4 Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing - Live Action and Animation and Special Class Animated Program in 2004,[2] and again in 2005.[3] It later won for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program - Joe Alaskey.[4] This series ended production in 2005 after its third season.

Characters[edit]

Galactic Protectorate[edit]

  • Captain Duck Edgar Dumas Aloysius Dodgers – (voiced by Joe Alaskey) A hapless soul that was accidentally frozen for over three centuries for reasons not known. He was later revived by Dr. I.Q. Hi in the 24½th century. Through scheming and lies he managed to trick everyone into believing he was a 21st-century hero. In reality, he was only a water-boy for the Midstate University football team, and "Quarterback Quack" shows that he only carried out this façade at the insistence of a time-travelling X-2, who unwittingly made Dodgers into the hero he was known as. Dodgers is arrogant, selfish, greedy, lazy, cowardly, gullible, and not particularly intelligent. However, he occasionally displays surprisingly high levels of heroism and competence, suggesting that he is not quite as daft as he appears to be, although he mostly succeeds through sheer dumb luck and the work of the Eager Young Space Cadet. Ironically, Commander X-2 actually caused Dodgers to become a minor football star in the final game of the season, which is what he used to parlay himself into captaincy in the Protectorate, meaning that he is, technically, not lying when he claims he won a championship football game in his own time. It is implied that he can't read, though this is contradicted several times. He also has shown to have quite the ego, when he caused the energy core of his ship to explode while using the lasers to carve his name on a nearby planetoid for example, and burning out the auxiliary core to make toast. Though he doesn't show it often, Dodgers cares deeply for his cadet, even though he often demeans and puts him through humiliating situations. In episode 25 he is described by Psy Q. Hi as an ego-maniacal, bipolar, narcissist, and pathological liar with sociopathic tendencies.
  • The Eager Young Space Cadet – (voiced by Bob Bergen) Looks up to Dodgers, seeing him as a father-figure in many ways. He is utterly loyal to Dodgers and doesn't doubt a word he says. Despite being much smarter than his so-called hero, he lets him give all the orders. Dodgers cares deeply for his Cadet though he rarely shows it, and often tries to take credit for the Cadet's work. Dodgers relies heavily on the Cadet's assistance and would likely fail most missions without it. It should be noted that the Cadet is also fairly successful as a ladies man, often being the one who gets the girl Dodgers swoons over. He graduated summa cum laude from the Protectorate Academy. Very little else is known about his past, though one episode portrays him as being the Prince and Ruler of his home planet of Swinus 9 in another it reveals his sister was sold to the sausage factory, with his own set of villains trying to dethrone or otherwise eliminate him. Since this was revealed in a story the Cadet told while babysitting his overly rambunctious niece and nephews, Porko, Puerco, and Sow (a joke on Animaniacs' Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, and even voiced by the same people), and they expressed no prior knowledge of this, it is unknown whether or not this is true or just his attempt to impress his impressionable relatives. He has claimed to have ended world hunger to Count Muerte, although this could be seen as bragging to a stranger. The Cadet is played by Porky Pig.
  • Dr. Ignatius Q "I.Q." Hi – (voiced by Richard McGonagle) The overweight scientist that revived Dodgers after being frozen for three centuries. Serious and hard-working, he is often irritated and frustrated with Dodger's incompetent side, and doubts that Dodgers truly was a 21st-century hero. In addition to being a hard-working scientist, he constantly wears gloves that stretch up his arm, ending at his elbow and leaving a gap between his fingertips and the glove's tips (which he did not wear in the 1952 short). Also, every year, he tags along with Dodgers, flying as a cadet to see how orders are received on Dodgers' ship, much like the Cadet. In college, he majored in Pointless Minutiae, which his mother warned him against. He also has a slight potassium deficiency.
  • Captain Star Johnson – (voiced by John O'Hurley) Johnson is a rival captain of Dodger's in the Galactic Protectorate. Gifted with a University education, Johnson has a Flash Gordon-like personality about him, and once took Dodgers to court over his incompetence. Since then, Johnson has been involved in freeing Mars from the military coup by General Z9, and searching for gangsters when Dodgers went missing for a brief period of time. He also played rocketball in college.
  • Bigfoot – (voiced by Michael Patrick McGill) In "The Six Wazillion Dollar Duck" (a parody of The Six Million Dollar Man), it was revealed that Bigfoot worked for the Protectorate as a Maintenance Supervisor and was also the first (thing) to receive cyborganic implants (Steve Boston was the first man to receive them, but before The Protectorate tested it on someone with a similar anatomy). These implants enhanced his combat abilities, as he is able hold off several centurions before they bait and trapped him with pie. He seems to not be very educated as the only two words he says are "Duck" and "Stereo".

The Martian Empire[edit]

  • Martian Commander X-2 – (voiced by Joe Alaskey) The confident commander of the Martian military who is Dodgers' arch enemy. He is infatuated with the Martian Queen that he serves, and considers Dodgers more of a nuisance than a true enemy. He once essentially created Duck Dodgers by going back in time and making him a hero so as to not be proven wrong by the queen (the queen did figure it out and was punished). He is played by Marvin the Martian.
  • The Martian Queen (AKA Queen Tyr'ahnee) – (voiced by Tia Carrere) The beautiful ruler of Mars. She is infatuated with Dodgers and, just like Cadet, believes him to be a true hero, although she still dislikes him at times. She is something of a female version of Marvin Martian and wears outfits reminiscent of Martian Princesses in the John Carter of Mars book series. In episode "To Love a Duck", the Queen showed her feelings to Dodgers and wanted to marry him which almost did happen. However, he changed his mind when the Martian commander tricked him into thinking he had to run methane farms on Uranus and left the queen. Doing this, however, made the queen outraged and wanted revenge against Dodgers. In the episode "The Queen is Wild", it is shown she is a very skilled and powerful warrior. In the same episode, she had a chance to destroy Dodgers, but she still loved him too much and held back, giving Dodgers the chance to attack and escape. Martian Commander X-2 once dated and very nearly married her, but the queen decided not to because she still loved Dodgers. Her name is pronounced like "tyranny."
  • Commander K-9 – (voiced by Frank Welker) Martian Commander X-2's dog.
  • Martian Centurion Robots – (voiced by Michael Dorn) The faithful robotic servants of the Mars Empire. They appear to be sentient, and make up a large portion of the Imperial Army, while the organic Martians act as officers. This is a homage to the Cylon Centurions of Battlestar Galactica. Dorn's casting may be a nod to his popular sci-fi character Worf from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • Instant Martians – Strange bird-like Martian beings with purple hair. They were used briefly as an escape ploy by Commander X-2. They emerge from minuscule seeds that are activated when they come in contact with water. They first appeared in the 1958 cartoon Hare-Way to the Stars, in which the Martian Commander ordered them to capture Bugs Bunny.

Planets[edit]

  • Earth - The HQ of the Galactic Protectorate, as well as the homeworld of Dodgers, the Cadet and several of the heroic characters of the series.
  • Mars - Barren, hostile home of the Martians, ruled over by Queen Tyr'ahnee. The planet boasts a large army of robot centurions, and bears some resemblance to ancient Sparta.
  • Klunk - Homeworld of the Viking-like Klunkans, a parody of the Klingons, who are led by K'Chutha Sa'am.
  • Vacation World - A planet visited by Dodgers in The Wrath of Canasta. A parody of Westworld.
  • Hollywood Planet - Artificial planet that resembles the Universal Studios logo. The planet is one giant film studio, and was partially damaged in Hooray for Hollywood Planet.
  • Fridgdonia VII - Queen Tyr'ahnee imprisoned The Cadet on this ice-planet to lure Dodgers into a trap in The Queen is Wild. Based on Hoth.
  • Swinus 9 - The Cadet's home planet. It is modeled after Baghdad.[citation needed]
  • Exile Planet - This planet was mentioned by Archduke Zag.
  • Niponno - A technocratic world seen in The Menace of Maninsuit. It is modeled closely on Tokyo and other Japanese cities seen in early Godzilla films.
  • Masativo the Living Planet - A sapient planet from Deathmatch Duck which resembles a large Geode. Masativo was presumably destroyed by the Cadet where his diamonds were harvested by the end of the episode. He is almost a parody of Ego the Living Planet and Mogo (who is also a sapient planet and member of the Green Lantern Corps).
  • Maltese VII - Dodgers claims to have a time-share on this planet in Deathmatch Duck. It is presumably named after Looney Tunes writer Michael Maltese.
  • Nostrillia - A planet where its inhabitants resemble noses. Dodgers was sent there to do community service as punishment for accidentally causing an incident that would've brought peace to both Mars and Earth
  • Nolandus - Nicknamed "the island planet" as it consists only of several desert islands separated by vast oceans. Dodgers and Martian Commander X-2 are stranded here in Just the Two of Us, before discovering it to be a holiday resort that the Cadet and the Martian Centurions were vacationing at.
  • Dakota - A planet modeled after either North Dakota or South Dakota or both.
  • Groovica - A 1970s disco planet in the ABBA Bee-Gee Quadrant.
  • Explodicon - A planet that houses a large variety of massive explosives (dynamite, tri-nitro-touriline, etc.).
  • Felinia - A planet inhabited by cats.
  • Caninius - A planet inhabited by dogs (both Felinia and Caninius needed a peace treaty).
  • Aquarium - A planet that resembles an aquarium. It is the home of the Sharkarians and the Dolphinites.
  • Oa - Homeworld of the Guardians of the Universe and headquarters for the Green Lantern Corps, depicted in the episode The Green Loontern. Included among the Lanterns serving on Oa in the episode are Kilowog, Tomar-Re, Guy Gardner, and Hal Jordan, who are still alive on Earth in the 24½th century.

Episode list[edit]

Voice Cast[edit]

Guest Voice Cast[edit]

DVD releases[edit]

Warner Home Video released Duck Dodgers - Season 1: Dark Side of the Duck to DVD on February 19, 2013 and "Duck Dodgers - Season 2: Deep Space Duck" on July 23, 2013.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date
Season 1 13 February 19, 2013
Season 2 13 July 23, 2013

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FOR YOUNG VIEWERS; The First Duck in Space? That Is So Daffy". The New York Times. 2003-09-21. Retrieved 2010-10-20. 
  2. ^ "The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Announced for the 31st Annual Daytime Emmy® Awards" (PDF). The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved March 4, 2004. 
  3. ^ "The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Announced for the 32nd Annual Daytime Emmy® Awards" (PDF). The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved March 2, 2005. 
  4. ^ "The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Announces Winners for the 31st Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy® Awards" (PDF). The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved May 15, 2004. 

External links[edit]