Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century
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|Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century|
|Merrie Melodies (Daffy Duck/Porky Pig/Marvin the Martian) series|
|Directed by||Charles M. Jones|
|Produced by||Edward Selzer
|Story by||Michael Maltese|
|Voices by||Mel Blanc|
|Music by||Carl Stalling|
|Animation by||Lloyd Vaughan
(special animation effects)
|Layouts by||Maurice Noble|
|Backgrounds by||Philip DeGuard|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.
The Vitaphone Corporation
Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century is a Merrie Melodies cartoon created in 1952 and released on July 25, 1953, starring Daffy Duck as space hero Duck Dodgers, Porky Pig as his assistant, and Marvin the Martian as his opponent. Marvin the Martian had been introduced as an unnamed villain in Haredevil Hare (1948) playing opposite Bugs Bunny (and was given the title 'Commander, Flying Saucer X-2' in 1951's The Hasty Hare), but this cartoon was the first of many appearances of Duck Dodgers. The cartoon is an extended parody of comic book character Buck Rogers, and especially on one collective title of his adventures in particular, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.
The plot of the cartoon involves Duck Dodgers (Daffy) in his search for the rare element Illudium Phosdex, "the shaving cream atom." In the future, the only remaining supply of the element is on the mysterious "Planet X". After Dodgers plots an enormously complicated course to Planet X by way of rocket, his assistant, the "Eager Young Space Cadet" (Porky) points out that they can simply follow a path of planets bearing the letters of the alphabet; leading from Planet A, through Planets B, C, D, and so on (each planet features a single landmass in the shape of the letter itself). Dodgers takes credit for this idea and the two soon arrive on the planet.
Just as Dodgers claims the planet in the name of the Earth, Marvin the Martian lands in his Martian Maggot rocket and claims it in the name of Mars, setting the stage for a battle of wits (or lack thereof) between the two. Dodgers explains he already claimed the planet for Earth and that there wasn't enough room for the two of them. Marvin replies by pulling out his disintegrating pistol saying, "I do believe you are right." Dodgers tells the audience that this isn't a problem as he is wearing a "disintegration-proof vest", and indeed when Marvin fires on Dodgers' command, the vest survives as Dodgers disintegrates. The Cadet brings Dodgers back to normal with an "integrating pistol" but Dodgers accuses him of interference ("Just when I had him going, you had to butt in!") and orders him back to the ship. Dodgers then tries to get the drop on Marvin with a disintegrating pistol of his own but it literally disintegrates when he pulls the trigger. He runs into the ship after avoiding another shot from Marvin. The Cadet comes out and gives a dynamite stick to Marvin, claiming it is a birthday present. The dynamite blows up in Marvin's hand, causing him to hide in his helmet and retreat to his ship.
Next, believing Marvin has had enough, Dodgers sends him an ultimatum by means of an "Ultimatum Dispatcher". The ultimatum is delivered in the form of a bullet that opens up to reveal a message telling Marvin to "Surrender, or be blown into 17,670,002 micro-cells.". Marvin responds by using his own "Ultimatum Answerer" to send a similar bullet to Dodgers and when this bullet opens up, it shoots Dodgers in the face. Dodgers sends another ultimatum in reply, this time saying, "OUCH!". Later, Dodgers tries to see what Marvin is up to with a "Super Video-Detecto set" but when Marvin materializes on the screen, he simply shoots Dodgers in the face again, the shot reaching out through the screen.
Dodgers finally snaps and deploys his "secret weapon" in attempt to destroy Marvin, not knowing Marvin is preparing to do the same with one of his own. Both fire their weapons at the same time, resulting in Planet X being destroyed, ending their conflict in stalemate. Dodgers and Marvin stand barely on the last remaining piece of Planet X which is a space rock. "As I was saying Buster, this planet ain't big enough for the two of us, so, off you go" Dodgers declares while pushing Marvin off what's left of the planet near the end of his speech. Dodgers dramatically claims the last remaining chunk of the planet for Earth with his speech, "And now, this planet is hereby claimed for the Earth in the name of Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century!". The cartoon ends with Marvin hanging from the Cadets's foot and the Cadet hanging helplessly from a root below and latter delivers the final punchline (relating to Dodgers' Pyrrhic victory), "Eh, b-b-b-b-big deal.".
The cartoon was directed by Chuck Jones (credited as Charles M. Jones), with the story by Michael Maltese, voices by Mel Blanc, and original music by Carl Stalling. The animation was credited to Lloyd Vaughan, Ken Harris and Ben Washam, with Harry Love receiving a credit for effects animation. The distinctive layouts were designed by Maurice Noble and the backgrounds produced by Phil DeGuard.
- Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24½th Century (1980).
- Tiny Toon Adventures: "Duck Dodgers Jr.", segment in the episode "The Return of the Acme Acres Zone" (1990)
- Marvin the Martian in the Third Dimension (1996), a 3-D cartoon.
- Attack of the Drones (2003).
- Duck Dodgers (2003–2005), television series on Cartoon Network.
This cartoon is available on Disc 2 of Volume 1 of the Looney Tunes Golden Collection and on disc 2 of the Looney Tunes Platinum Collection: Volume 1 Blu-ray box set with the cartoon restored in high definition.
- Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
- List of cartoons featuring Daffy Duck
- List of Marvin the Martian cartoons
- List of cartoons featuring Porky Pig