Duck Dodgers

From Academic Kids

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Daffy Duck, Mars Exploration Rover Mission patch

Duck Dodgers is the fictional star of a series of cartoons produced by Warner Bros. He is actually the famous (but still fictional) cartoon star Daffy Duck, cast in the role of an intergalactic future "hero".


Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century

Duck Dodgers first appeared in the 1953 cartoon short Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century, directed by Chuck Jones. Jones created a spoof of the popular Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Flash Gordon science fiction serials of the 1930s, casting the brash, egomaniac Daffy Duck as the hero of the story. The cartoon is widely praised as one of the greatest and funniest Warner Bros. cartoons of all time (though some would argue that honor belongs to one of a number of Bugs Bunny's cartoons, including The Rabbit of Seville and Bully for Bugs).

The plot of the cartoon involves Duck Dodgers' 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," which fortunately is found when Dodgers follows a path leading from Planet A to Planets B, C, D, and so on. Dodgers is about to claim Planet X in the name of the Earth when Marvin Martian lands on the same planet and claims it in the name of Mars. The stage is set for a battle of wits (or lack thereof) between the two cartoon stars.

Porky Pig also appears in the cartoon, playing the role of the "Eager Young Space Cadet." As he does in a number of Jones' cartoons, he plays the role of the straight man, getting the job done and foiling the villain while Daffy Duck blusters and repeatedly gets himself blown to smithereens.

Considering the period in which the cartoon was produced (the Red Scare was in full swing during the 1950s era), some scholars have used the cartoon to parallel the futility of the Cold War and the arms race. They note that by the end of the cartoon, the planet that Duck Dodgers and Marvin the Martian are fighting over has been destroyed, and the remaining area claimed by Daffy at the end is barely more than a pebble in size. The dismissive attitude to Dodger's pyrrhic victory is epitomized by Porky's cynical response to his boss' overblown proclamation, "B-B-Big deal."

Duck Dodgers sequels

There were two additional short film sequels to "Duck Dodgers". The first sequel, also produced by Chuck Jones, was titled Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24½th Century and was released in 1980. The plot of this sequel cartoon was nearly a carbon copy of the original, and while it was visually impressive, it was largely disappointing to fans.

The second short, titled Marvin the Martian in the Third Dimension, was a 3D cartoon released in 1996 to select venues. These included the flagship Warner Bros. Studio Store in Manhattan, and Warner Bros. Movie Worlds on the Gold Coast, Australia and in Bottrop-Kirchellen, Germany. It included a range of interactive effects including a splash with water. Unlike the other Dodgers cartoons, Porky Pig did not appear.

Duck Dodgers series

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Eager Young Space Cadet, Duck Dodgers, and Marvin the Martian
In 2003; the Warner Bros. studio produced a full-fledged animated series entitled Duck Dodgers, which aired on the Cartoon Network cable channel. It was nominated in the 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. As of 2004, this cartoon is still in production and is on its second season.

Episode list

  1. The Trial of Duck Dodgers / Big Bug Mamas
  2. The Fast and the Feathery / The Fowl Friend
  3. Duck Deception / The Spy Who Didn't Love Me
  4. Duck Codgers / Where's Baby Smarty Pants
  5. I'm Gonna Get You, Fat Sucker / Detained Duck
  6. K-9 Kaddy / Pig of Action
  7. Shiver Me Dodgers
  8. They Stole Dodgers' Brain / The Wrath of Canasta
  9. The Green Loontern
  10. Quarterback Quack / To Love a Duck
  11. Hooray for Hollywood Planet
  12. The Queen Is Wild / Back to the Academy
  13. Enemy Yours / Duck Departure
  14. Pig Planet
  15. Invictus Interruptus / Pet Peeved
  16. The Menace of Maninsuit / K-9 Quarry
  17. Talent Show A-Go-Go / The Love of a Father
  18. The New Cadet / The Love Duck
  19. The Fudd
  20. The Mark of Xero / I See Duck People
  21. Deathmatch Duck / Deconstructing Dodgers
  22. MMORD / Old McDodgers
  23. Diva Delivery / Castle High
  24. Surf the Stars / Samurai Quack
  25. Of Course You Know This Means War and Peace (1)
  26. Of Course You Know This Means War and Peace (2)
  27. Till Doom Do Us Part
  28. Villainstruck / Just the Two of Us
  29. The Kids Are All Wrong / Win, Lose or Duck
  30. Boar to Be Riled / Clean Bill of Health
  31. Best of Captains, Worst of Captains / That's Lifomatica

Guest-starring Looney Tunes characters

Although the series is based mainly on the Duck Dodgers short, other Looney Tunes characters have made occasional guest star appearances. In addition to the Instant Martians from the Bugs Bunny short Hare-Way to the Stars, guest stars on the Duck Dodgers show have included:

Interestingly, Bugs Bunny himself has never appeared on the show, although he has been mentioned occasionally.

Further appearances

Duck Dodgers also made an appearance in a 1993 episode of the TV series Tiny Toon Adventures, where Daffy Duck's pint-sized protege and student Plucky Duck also visited the futuristic world of Duck Dodgers.

A Nintendo 64 video game, entitled Duck Dodgers, has also been produced.

The original cartoon also appeared in a 1994 episode of the science fiction series Babylon 5, where it was revealed that Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century was Security Chief Michael Garibaldi's "second favorite thing in the universe".

Portions of this cartoon can be seen and heard in the background in a scene from the 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Duck Dodgers appears in the 2003 feature Looney Tunes: Back In Action when Daffy notes that the only character that could save the film's proverbial day was Duck Dodgers; he then realizes that Dodgers is his alter ego.

External link


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