Duck Dodgers is an American animated television series, based on the classic cartoon short Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century, produced by Warner Bros. from 2003 to 2005. The series aired on Cartoon Network and it starred Daffy Duck as the titular character. It last aired in reruns on Cartoon Network's sister channel, Boomerang. On 12 May 2007-May 17, 2008, telecasts started on Nova Television in Bulgaria.
Though primarily based around the original Duck Dodgers short (which is also set in the "24 and 1/2" century, or 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 Dodger'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 take-off of The Flood in Halo, though more closely resembling The Borg in Star Trek: The Next Generation), 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. 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" feature 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 for a Daytime Emmy Award in the category of SPECIAL CLASS ANIMATED PROGRAM in 2004 and again in 2005. This series ended production in 2005 after its third season.
- Captain Duck Edgar Dumas Aloysius Dodgers - A poor, hapless soul that was accidentally frozen for over 300 years. He was later revived by Professor I.Q. Hi in the 24th and one half century. Through scheming and lies he managed to trick everyone into believing he was a twenty-first-century hero. In reality, he was only a water-boy for a football team. He is cowardly, lazy, selfish, 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 dumb luck and the work of the Eager Young Space Cadet. He is played by Looney Tunes staple character Daffy Duck.
- The Eager Young Space Cadet - 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, 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.
- Professor Ignatius Q "I.Q." Hi - The overweight scientist that revived Dodgers after being frozen for 300 years. Nervous and hard-working, he is often irritated and frustrated with Dodger's incompetence, and doubts that Dodgers truly was a twenty-first-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).
- Captain Star Johnson - 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.
- Martian Commander X-2 - 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. Though in reality, he is almost as incompetent as Dodgers, evidenced by the fact that he essentially created Duck Dodgers by going back in time and making him a hero. He is played by Marvin the Martian.
- The Martian Queen (AKA: Queen Tyr'ahnee, pronounced "tyranny") - The beautiful ruler of Mars. She is in love 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 ancient Egypt royal garb. Martian Commander X-2 once dated her.
- Commander K-9 - Martian Commander X-2's dog. Played by K-9.
- Martian Centurion Robots - 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. All Centurions are voiced by Michael Dorn.
- 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.
- 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, 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 Eager Young Space Cadet on this ice-planet to lure Dodgers into a trap in The Queen is Wild.
- Swinus 9 - The Eager Young Space Cadet's home planet. It is modeled after Bagdad.
- Exile Planet - This planet was mentioned by Archduke Zag.
- Niponno - A technocratic world seen in The Menace of Maninsuit. It is modelled 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.
- Maltese VII - Dodgers claims to have a time-share on this planet in Deathmatch Duck.
- Nostrillia - A planet where its inhabitants resemble noses.
- 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 Centurians were vacationing at.
- Dakota - A planet modeled after either North Dakota or South Dakota or both.
- Groovica - A 70's disco planet in the ABBA Bee-Gee Quadrant.
- 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.
- Main article: Duck Dodgers/Episodes
- Joe Alaskey - (Daffy Duck as) Duck Dodgers, (Marvin the Martian as) Martian Commander X-2, Beaky Buzzard, Drake Darkstar, Hubie and Bertie, Rocky, Muttley
- Bob Bergen - (Porky Pig as) the Eager Young Space Cadet
- Michael Dorn - The Martian Centurion Robots, Captain Long, Klunkin Warrior
- Tia Carrere - The Martian Queen
- Richard McGonagle - Dr. I.Q. Hi
- John O'Hurley - Captain Star Johnson
- Charlie Adler - Bigfoot
- Carlos Alazraqui - Commandante Hilgalgo
- Loni Anderson - Herself
- Edward Asner - Guard Captain
- Dee Bradley Baker - Alien Hunter, Attack Droids, Captain Richards/Giant Space Monkey, Rookie Guard
- Tisha Terrasini Banker - Aurora Soleil
- Dick Beals - Baby-Faced Moonbeam
- Jeff Bennett - Count Muerte, Victor Von Boogieman
- Jodi Benson - Capt. Torelli, Princess Incense
- John Billingsley - Dr. Psy-Q Hi
- Lewis Black - Manobrain
- Paget Brewster - Rona Viper
- Clancy Brown - Archduke Zag
- Corey Burton - Martian Commander Z-9
- Bruce Campbell - Pork Piggler
- Dane Cook - Van Chancy
- Jim Cummings - Tasmanian Warrior, Black Eel, Koo Koo
- Tim Curry - Magnificent Rogue
- Stacey Dash - Paprika Solo
- John de Lancie - Sinestro
- Grey DeLisle - Catapoid, Boodikka
- Dom DeLuise - Roy Serpenti
- Dustin Diamond - Himself/Xainius the Eternal
- John DiMaggio - The Crusher, Long John Silver the 23rd, Kilowog, King Great White
- Chris Edgerly - Steve Boston
- June Foray - Lezah the Wicked
- Stan Freberg - Martian Gopher King
- Jeff Garlin - Camoman
- Macy Gray - Lady Chanticleer
- Castulo Guerra - Sergeant Vasquez
- Jennifer Hale - Counselor Combustion Samus Aran Metroid Prime Series
- Jess Harnell - Martian Gopher #2, Puerco
- Tom Jones - Himself
- Tom Kane - President, Walter Carbonite
- Tom Kenny - Harry Vermin, Flame Valet
- Maurice LaMarche - K'chutha Sa'am, Dr. Woe, Masativo
- Mako - Happy Cat, Achoo
- Tress MacNeille - Sow
- Vanessa Marshall - The New Cadet (2nd Time)
- Ed McMahon - Himself
- Candi Milo - Rickki Roundhouse
- Dave Mustaine - Himself
- Daran Norris - Hungortus
- Rob Paulsen - Martian Gopher #1, Porko
- Burt Reynolds - Royal Serpenti
- Kevin Michael Richardson - Agent Roboto, Mugsy, Nasty Canasta
- Kelly Ripa - The New Cadet (First appearance)
- Randy Savage - Master Sergeant Emily Dickinson Jones
- Riders in the Sky - Western Band
- Kevin Smith - Hal Jordan/Green Lantern
- John Stephenson - Ganthet
- Tara Strong - Katma Tui
- James Patrick Stuart - Chancellor Flippauralius
- Quentin Tarantino - Master Moloch
- Genndy Tartakovsky - Himself
- Brian Tochi - The Whoosh
- Lauren Tom - Dr. Yoshimi
- Frank Welker - Captain Rodman, Ch'p, K-9, Maninsuit Coyote O'Donnell aka Calamity Coyote
- Billy West - The Fudd
- Jane Wiedlin - Cassiopeia
- Brian Wilson - Himself
- Henry Winkler - Dr. Maniac
References to Other Media
- In "The Green Loontern," Dodgers temporarily becomes a Green Lantern (of DC Comics fame) after accidentally picking up Hal Jordan's laundry. In the first part of the episode he forgets the real Lantern's Oath and makes up his own version, parodying not only the oath but an early Batman quote and the Pledge of Allegiance:
- In blackest day or brightest night
- Watermelon, cantaloupe, yadda yadda
- Erm...superstitious and cowardly lot
- With liberty and justice for all!
- In "Till Doom Do Us Part," Agent Roboto assembles some of Duck Dodgers' old enemies to form the Legion of Duck Doom (parody of the Legion of Doom). It's made up of Crusher, Fudd, Catapoid, Count Muerte, New Cadet, Black Eel, Nasty Canasta, Commandante Hilgalo, Baby-Faced Moonbeam, Long John Silver the 23rd, K'Chutha Sa'am, and Taz.
- Though he is briefly referenced in two episodes, Bugs Bunny does not make a single appearance in the series.
- In "Surf the Stars," Duck Dodgers eats a can of pineapples and instantly becomes stronger, possibly a reference to Popeye and his spinach.
- In "Samurai Quack," Duck Dodgers eats a poisonous blowfish, and falls into a coma. In the coma, Dodgers dreams that he is Samurai Quack, a parody of Samurai Jack.
- In the episode Fins Of War, a character resembling SpongeBob SquarePants can be seen.
- "Pig Planet" features an appearance by the Cadet's nephews and niece, named Porko, Puerco, and Sow. These particular characters' personalities and voices were based on those of (and were possibly a tribute to) Yakko, Wakko, and Dot from Animaniacs. They were even voiced by the same actors: Rob Paulsen, Jess Harnell, and Tress MacNeille.
- In "Shiver Me Dodgers", Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble of the The Flintstones are seen in the line of pirates wanting to join the crew of Long John Silver the 23rd. However, in keeping with the theme of the episode, they were shown in pirate form.
- The episode The Spy Who Didn't Love Me featured a character named Yoshimi, which is also the name of the title character from the album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, by the Flaming Lips, who arranged the series' opening theme.
- The beginning of the episode Just the Two of Us has Dodgers narrating in which he gives the current star date, à la Star Trek: The Original Series. The star date happens to be 8675.309, a probable reference to the 1982 song 867-5309/Jenny, performed by Tommy Tutone.
- The FUDD is a reference to the Flood a parasitic enemy from the video game series Halo.