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Marvin the Martian
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Marvin in Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century
First appearance Haredevil Hare (July 24, 1948)
Created by Chuck Jones
Voiced by Mel Blanc (1948-1989)
Joe Alaskey (1990- current)
Bob Bergen (Space Jam)
Eric Goldberg (Looney Tunes: Back in Action)

Marvin the Martian (or Marvin Martian) is a fictional character appearing in the Looney Tunes cartoons. Despite appearing in only five of the original shorts, Marvin has developed a cult following. Marvin's likeness appears in miniature on both the Spirit and Opportunity rovers on Mars.

Conception and creationEdit

Animation director Chuck Jones noted that Bugs Bunny soon learned to outwit Yosemite Sam (the creation of the senior director, Friz Freleng), so he decided to create the opposite type of character; one who was quiet and soft-spoken, but whose actions were incredibly destructive and legitimately dangerous. Marvin the Martian made his debut in 1948's Haredevil Hare.

Marvin's design was based on a conception of the god Mars. "That was the uniform that Mars wore – that helmet and skirt. We thought putting it on this ant-like creature might be funny. But since he had no mouth, we had to convey that he was speaking totally through his movements. It demanded a kind of expressive body mechanics."[1]

Marvin was never named in the original shorts (though he was called Commander, Flying Saucer X-2 in The Hasty Hare in 1952), but decades later when the character attracted merchandising interest, the current name was selected.

Actor portrayalEdit

In his first appearance Mel Blanc gave him a stuffy, nasal voice, but later the Martian adopted an accent resembling Received Pronunciation. Marvin was voiced in recent years by Joe Alaskey, Bob Bergen, and Eric Goldberg.

HistoryEdit

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File:Nasa mer marvin.jpg
Further information: List of Marvin the Martian cartoons

Marvin hails from the planet Mars, but is often found elsewhere. He is often accompanied by his dog "K-9," and sometimes by other creatures (one gag, first used in Hare-Way to the Stars (1957), being candy-sized "Instant Martians" that become full-size on addition of drops of water).

Marvin wears a Roman soldier's uniform (a reference to Mars being the Roman god of war) with old-fashioned basketball shoes. His head is a black sphere with only eyes for features. The crest of his helmet appears, with the push-broom-like upper section, to comically resemble an ancient Greek hoplite's helmet. The appearance of the combination of Marvin's head and helmet allegedly led to Bugs Bunny thinking he was a "bowling ball wearing a spittoon" in one Looney Tunes animated short. Marvin is given a timid, nasal voice and often speaks technobabble. The helmet and skirt that surround him are green and his suit is red to represent his Martian race or heritage. He is also known for his trademark quotes "Where is the kaboom? There was supposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!", "Isn't that lovely?", and "This makes me very angry, very angry indeed."

On numerous occasions, Marvin has tried to destroy the Earth with his "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator" (sometimes spelled as "Eludium Pu-36"), which resembles a mere stick of dynamite. Marvin attempts to destroy the Earth because, as he says, it obstructs his view of Venus, and Marvin has been trying to destroy the Earth for over two millenia. The original reference to "Uranium Pu-36" changed to "Illudium Q-36" in subsequent cartoons [1]. Marvin is consistently foiled by Bugs Bunny. He has battled for space territory with Daffy Duck, a.k.a. Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century.

He appeared in two animated shows on Cartoon Network — as a toddler in Baby Looney Tunes, and as a primary villain in the Duck Dodgers television series. In the former, he is picked on by the other Baby Looney Tunes (except Taz) for being "weird", as he is too shy to speak to them, before they befriend him upon seeing how helpful he is. In the latter, he works for the Martian Queen, Queen Tyr'ahnee, on whom he has a crush. The latter reuses his original name from The Hasty Hare (although the opening credits list him as Marvin playing Commander X-2, in the same way as Daffy is playing Duck Dodgers). Over a decade prior to that, he guest-starred in a Tiny Toon Adventures segment titled "Duck Dodgers Jr.", where he was accompanied by an apprentice named Marcia the Martian. He was also in a Taz-Mania episode and did a cameo in The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries ("What's the Frequency, Kitty?"). Marvin also made appearances on Animaniacs, notably in the Mindy and Buttons Short subject, Cat on a Hot Steel Beam and in Star Warners, along with his dog K-9. Marvin has also appeared in a number of video games. He served as the main antagonist in both the Mega Drive/Genesis game Taz in Escape From Mars and the Super Nintendo game Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions. He also appeared in Bugs Bunny Lost in Time for Sony Playstation where he was the boss of Dimension X, and in the final level of Sheep, Dog, 'n' Wolf. He was a common enemy in the Quantum Beep stages of Road Runner's Death Valley Rally for Super Nintendo. He also made a brief cameo in the 2003-2007 CN Fridays intro.

Marvin was also cast as the referee in Space Jam (though he did not stay to referee the whole game due to Bupkus beating him up), and then later had a major villainous role in Looney Tunes: Back in Action where he was hired by the ACME chairman, Mr. Chairman (Steve Martin), to finish DJ (Brendan Fraser) and the gang at Area 52. In the film's climax, he reappears to bring the Blue Monkey diamond to the ACME satellite, but is foiled by Bugs (who he duels in a parody of Obi Wan Kenobi and Jango Fett in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones) and Daffy (who arrives as Duck Dodgers to save Bugs after he is exhausted from the battle), resulting in Marvin trapped in a bubble floating through space.

Marvin appeared in the Looney Tunes version of A Christmas Carol, Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas as an employee at Daffy Duck's "Lucky Duck Super Store". Marvin was homesick for his planet, Mars, and wanted to go back for Christmas. However, Daffy would not let him take Christmas off, and demanded that he and other employees work on Christmas Day. After being visited by the Christmas ghosts, Daffy changes his ways, and gives Marvin a rocket that will go faster than the speed of light, allowing him to make it to Mars by yesterday.

In nearly all of his appearances, Marvin is shown using a small pistol that fires either bubbles of pliable plastic or energy beams. He is also apparently immortal or long-lived, since he mentions doing over a thousand years of research to create the Illudium Q-36 Space Modulator, and he is seen in Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century.

Other mediaEdit

Future filmEdit

On July 29, 2008, Warner Bros. Family Entertainment and Alcon Entertainment announced a live action/computer animated film starring Marvin. The film involves Marvin intending to destroy Earth during Christmas, but the protagonist prevents Marvin from doing so by wrapping him inside a gift box. Alcon compared the project to their other films such as Racing Stripes and My Dog Skip.[2] It is slated for release in late 2011, and is currently in pre-production.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Korkis, Jim. "The Return of Duck Dodgers". Outré 1 (7): 25. 
  2. McNary, Dave (2008-07-29). "WB to develop 'Marvin the Martian'". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117989712.html?categoryid=13&cs=1. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 

External linksEdit

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