|Marvin the Martian|
|Looney Tunes character|
|First appearance||Haredevil Hare (1948)|
|Created by||Chuck Jones|
Marvin the Martian is an extraterrestrial character from Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons. He frequently appears as a villain in cartoons and video games, and wears a helmet and skirt. The character has been voiced by Mel Blanc, Joe Alaskey, Bob Bergen and Eric Bauza, among others.
The character first appeared as an antagonist in the 1948 Bugs Bunny cartoon Haredevil Hare. He went on to appear in four more cartoons produced between 1952 and 1963.
Marvin's design was based on the Hoplite style of armor usually worn by the Roman 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."
Marvin was never named in the original shorts – he was referred to as the Commander of Flying Saucer X-2 in The Hasty Hare in 1952, and sometimes referred to as "Antwerp" in promotional material or other projects like the live stage show version of Bugs Bunny in Space. However, in 1979, once the character attracted merchandising interest, the name "Marvin" was selected for The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie.
Marvin appeared in five theatrical cartoons from 1948 to 1963:
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 (1958), being candy-sized "Instant Martians" that become full-size on addition of drops of water).
Marvin wears a Roman soldier's uniform, with basketball shoes. The style of these shoes resembles the Chuck Taylor All-Stars brand name, considered to be the "generic" or "standard" basketball sneaker. The helmet and skirt that he wears are green and his suit is red (in a few of the original shorts, his suit was green and the helmet and skirt golden). His head is a black sphere with only eyes for features. The curved crest of his helmet appears, with the push-broom-like upper section, to comically resemble the helm of an ancient Greek hoplite, or the galea of a Roman centurion. The appearance of the combination of Marvin's head and helmet led to Bugs Bunny referring to him as a "bowling ball wearing a spittoon" in one short. Marvin speaks with a soft, nasally voice, and often speaks technobabble. He is also known for his trademark quotes "Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an Earth-shattering kaboom!", "Isn't that lovely?", and "This makes me very angry, very angry indeed." (which is usually followed by him huffing and puffing)
On numerous occasions, Marvin has tried to destroy the Earth with his "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator" (sometimes pronounced "Illudium Pu-36" or "Uranium Pu-36"). The original reference to "Uranium Pu-36" changed to "Illudium PU-36" in subsequent cartoons. The "Pu" is a reference to plutonium. Marvin always laboriously over-pronounces the name of the device, which resembles a stick of dynamite, in order to avoid any possibility of confusing it with some other similar form of explosive technology. Marvin attempts to destroy the Earth because, he reasons, "it obstructs my view of Venus"; he has been trying to destroy the Earth for more than two millennia, suggesting that members of his species, and possibly Martian creatures in general, have extremely long lifespans. Marvin is consistently foiled by Bugs Bunny. He has battled for space territory, Planet X, with Daffy Duck, a.k.a. Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century.
He has appeared in three animated shows - as a toddler in Baby Looney Tunes, as a primary antagonist in the Duck Dodgers television series and as a supporting character in The Looney Tunes Show.
Over a decade prior to any of these, 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 "The Man from M.A.R.S." and had a cameo appearance 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" (which also featured the cute kitten Pussyfoot) and in "Star Warners", along with his dog K-9, and most recently in a MetLife commercial.
Cartoon Network also created a 2-minute filler piece featuring Marvin, entitled "Mars Forever" by Fantastic Plastic Machine. It's a disco-style video combining clips of Marvin and Bugs Bunny from their encounters in "Haredevil Hare", "Hare-Way to the Stars", as well as bits of "Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century" and "Rocket-Bye Baby".
Marvin has also appeared in a number of video games. He served as the main antagonist in the Genesis video games Taz in Escape from Mars and Bugs Bunny in Double Trouble, the Super NES game Daffy Duck: The Marvin Missions, and the Game Boy Color game Looney Tunes Collector: Alert!. He also appeared in Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time for the PlayStation where he was the boss of Dimension X, and in the final level of Sheep, Dog, 'n' Wolf. He is also a recurring enemy in the Quantum Beep stages of Road Runner's Death Valley Rally for Super NES. He also was an enemy in Looney Tunes: Back in Action. He is also a playable character in Looney Tunes: Space Race, Looney Tunes: Marvin Strikes Back! and Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal. 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 role in Looney Tunes: Back in Action where he was hired by the ACME 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 thwarted 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).
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 (but also mentions that he is planning to destroy the Earth as well). At first, Daffy does not let him take Christmas off, since he expects the employees to work on Christmas Day. After being visited by the abrasive yet well-intentioned Christmas ghosts, Daffy is redeemed, and as part of a surprise Christmas celebration, gives Marvin a rocket that will go faster than the speed of light, allowing him to make it to Mars by yesterday.
Marvin is the main antagonist in Looney Tunes: Rabbits Run. In the film, he plots to turn the Earth invisible and sends his henchman Cecil Turtle (who posed as a government agent) and a pair of disguised Instant Martians to get Lola Bunny's perfume which is able to turn anything invisible. However, his plan is fooled by Bugs Bunny, who gets Marvin to accidentally destroying his lair (and Mars in general).
In nearly all of his appearances, Marvin is shown using a small pistol that fires either bubbles of pliable plastic or energy beams, and he is seen in Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24½th Century, with Gossamer, a hairy red monster, as his assistant.
Marvin's descendant Melvin (voiced by Joe Alaskey) appeared as a one-time antagonist in Loonatics Unleashed.
Marvin is a minor character in Space Jam: A New Legacy, voiced by Eric Bauza, where he appears alongside K-9 after Bugs claims Tune World in the name of the Earth. Marvin arrives to claim Tune World in the name of Mars, though Bugs tricks him into thinking that Tune World is in the clear. Bugs hijacks Marvin's ship and retreats with LeBron James to find the other Tunes. A recurring gag is that Marvin gets knocked out by the hatch of his ship everytime he regains consciousness.
On July 29, 2008, Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment announced plans for a live action/computer-animated film starring Mike Myers as the voice of Marvin and Christopher Lee as Santa Claus. The film would have involved Marvin trying to destroy the Earth during Christmas by becoming a competitor of Santa Claus but being prevented from accomplishing his goal when Santa wraps him inside a gift box. Alcon compared the project to other films such as Racing Stripes and My Dog Skip. It was initially scheduled for an October 7, 2011, release, but the movie was later taken off the schedule and no word on it has been heard since. Test footage of the film and the Eddie Murphy vehicle Hong Kong Phooey was leaked on December 28, 2012.