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Looney Tunes: Marvin The Martian's 10 Best Appearances

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  • Posted on 05th Aug, 2022 13:15 PM
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From his introduction in 1948 to shorts like The Hasty Hare, Marv Attacks, and more, discover Marvin the Martian's best Looney Tunes appearances.

Although it's been around since 1930, the Looney Tunes brand continues to provide endless entertainment for new generations of cartoon fans everywhere. One of the most iconic characters in the Looney Tunes canon includes Marvin the Martian, a beloved alien originally voiced by Mel Blanc who made his first appearance in 1948.

Unfortunately, due to the massive failure of Space Jam: A New Legacy, Warner Bros. recently removed the planned Marvin the Martian live-action movie from its production schedule. Until more about the movie is heard, it's time to look back and relive Marvin the Martian's best moments on Looney Tunes to date.

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Haredevil Hare (1948)

Marvin's very first appearance in Looney Tunes came in the 1948 Chuck Jones' short "Haredevil Hare," in which Bigs Bunny is coaxed into becoming the first bunny sent to the moon. Upon arrival, Bugs interacts with Marvin, a villainous extraterrestrial intent on detonating Earth with Uranium. As the first outer-space-themed short in series history, the cartoon is important for pushing the boundaries of new frontiers.

Aside from introducing the character with Mel Blanc's trademark voiceover, his antagonism towards Bugs, and extending the Looney Tunes universe to the cosmos, an entertaining dynamic that would persist for decades, the short marked the introduction of Marvin's pet bugle K-9 as well, making Marvin more relatable and sympathetic than most foes from the get-go.

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The Hasty Hare (1952)

With Marvin the Martian's oft-cosplayed visual aesthetic and nasal voice finalized for the first time, "The Hasty Hare" finds the adorable alien tasked with returning an Earthling to Mars. Along with K-9, Marvin recruits Bugs, who mistakes them for trick-or-treaters, before he thwarts the martians' mission and redirects their spaceship back to Earth.

Beyond an entire plotline dedicated to his character and seeing his flying saucer for the first time, "The Hasty Hare" is clearly one of Marvin's most memorable moments for his hilarious aggression and overuse of force, which includes atomizing K-9 with his laser gun after Bugs making him think his pet pooch has betrayed him. The look and sound of Marvin are also set in stone for the first time, giving extra historical import to the episode.

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Duck Dodgers In The 24.5 Century (1953)

In "Duck Dodgers in the 24.5 Century", Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and the others are forced to travel to Planet X to obtain the shaving cream element known as Illudium Phosdex. When they land, Marvin arrives in a Martian Maggot spaceship and claims the planet for his own, leading to a hilarious showdown between the adorable alien and the Duck Dodgers.

With five sequels created for the short, the episode was rated #4 on the 50 Greatest Cartoons Of All Time in 1994 by 1,000 Animation Professionals (per Mubi), proving its massive popularity. Aside from marking the Duck Dodgers' first Looney Tunes appearance, the short proves that entire plotlines can be built around Marvin without necessarily relying on his dynamic with Bugs alone.

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Hare-way To The Stars (1958)

In "Hare-Way To The Stars," Marvin once again tries to blow up Earth, this time using the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator. When Bugs meets Marvin on Mars and dashes his plans, Marvin counters by propagating Instant Martians by spraying them with water, giving further insight into how Marvin's alien race is grown from seed pods.

Beyond another substantial narrative that gives Marvin a much meatier role than a simple cameo appearance, the short also marks the first time Marvin's flying saucer crashes onto Earth, making his character more familiar and even humanized compared to his past appearances. The short is so popular that clips have been used in several Looney Tunes specials.

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Mad As A Mars Hare (1963)

In one of Bugs Bunny's best shorts "Mad as a Mars Hare," Bugs takes a rocketship to Mars and plants a metal carrot as a flag to claim the planet as his own. Marvin takes umbrage with this and tries to eliminate Bugs with a disintegrating gun, only to be accidentally disintegrated himself. Marvin doubles down with his time-projector gun to turn Bugs into his slave, only to be thwarted and pounded to the ground in a hilarious fashion.

In addition to the wildly amusing one-on-one battle between the two for three minutes straight, "Mad as a Mars Hare" marks the final appearance of Marvin the Martian in the golden age of American animation, marking a 17-year absence until the entertaining E.T. would show up again in a Looney Tunes cartoon.

Duck Dodgers & the Return Of The 24.5 Century (1980)

Appearing in a Looney Tunes short for the first time since 1963, Marvin makes a magnificent return in "Duck Dodgers & The Return of the 24.5 Century," which also marked the first Daffy Duck and Porky Pig cartoon since 1965. The plot kicks off when the Dodgers crash land on an egg-shaped planet and find Marvin plotting to destroy Earth.

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"Oh drat! These computers are so naughty and so complex I could pinch them," Marvin drolly laments as Daffy approaches and insults the alien by calling him a kid playing with toys. Aside from the sheer joy of seeing Marvin for the first time in two decades, the episode ends with the rare feat of Marvin signing off with "Don't worry folks. After all, it's only a cartoon" as the visor of his helmet slams over his eyes. History, indeed!

Spaced-Out Bunny (1980)

In "Spaced-Out Bunny," a philosophic Bugs Bunny falls prey to a trap laid by Marvin in a forest on Earth, instantly setting the environment apart from most of his episodes set on Mars. Out to capture a playmate for Hugo the Abominable Snowman on Mars, Marvin tranquilizes Bugs and sics Hugo after him once they reach the red planet.

When Bugs hilariously turns Hugo on Marvin by telling him he needs a robot, Marvin goes on the offensive and tries to explain that he has never been a robot. The appearance is one of Marvin's best due to being named Marvin the Martian for the first time in a cartoon short, as well as marking Mel Blanc's final time voicing Bugs in a Warner Bros. Looney Tunes short. Besides, who can forget the Mickey Martian wristwatch Marvin gets as a clear homage to Mickey Mouse?

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Superior Duck (1996)

In a highly amusing Superman parody directed by Chuck Jones, "Superior Duck" Daffy Duck is a superhero intent on going good in the universe. Daffy interacts with some of the most iconic characters, including Marvin, who quickly trains his disintegrating pistol at him after Daffy crashes into his Martian Maggot flying saucer.

While little more than an extended cameo, the appearance is a wonderfully nostalgic callback to "Mad as a Mars Hare," not to mention the first time Marvin really appeared in a Looney Tunes short since 1980 ( he did appear in other cartoons in the interim). The rousing return is also a great reminder that Marvin has it out for Daffy as well as Bugs, a constant source of entertainment.

Marvin The Martian In The Third Dimension (1997)

In the only official Looney Tunes short to bear his namesake, "Marvin The Martian in the Third Dimension" made history by becoming the first computer-animated short film to be viewed with 3D glasses. Mixing old and new technologies, the plot concerns Daffy Duck preparing for a movie role as a Martian fighter, only to be interrupted by a seriously confused Marvin.

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The short marked such a seismic shift in the progression of Looney Tunes that it was included as an attraction at Warner Bros. Movie World and the Six Flags Great America amusement park roughly one year after it was released. In an expensive, daring new direction, Marvin has never looked better than in 3D.

Marv Attacks (2021)

In a funny riff on Mars Attacks!, "Marv Attacks" is one of the longest shorts the Martian has appeared in the revived Looney Tunes Cartoons. The plot finds Bugs awakening to learn Earth has been invaded by Martians and is forced to become Marvin's faithful servant. In typical fashion, Bugs outwits the slow-minded Martian in hysterically humiliating ways.

While the short lacks Chuck Jones' trademark direction and Mel Blanc's signature voice work, it more than atones with its stunningly crisp animation and an organic continuation of the Bugs-Marvin dynamic. As one of Marvin's most recent moments to shine, it's also a stark reminder that Marvin deserves to be featured in more Looney Tunes appearances movies forward, especially to conquer Jupiter as he promised in "Marv Attacks."

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