Marvin the Martian

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 was voiced by Mel Blanc, Joe Alaskey, Bob Bergen and Eric Bauza, among others.

Marvin the Martian
Looney Tunes character
Marvin the Martian.svg
First appearanceHaredevil Hare (July 24, 1948)
Created byChuck Jones
Voiced byMel Blanc (1948–1989)
Joe Alaskey (1989–2008)
Rob Paulsen (1992)
Maurice LaMarche (1993)
Greg Burson (1994–1995)
Bob Bergen (1996 and 2012)
Eric Goldberg (1996 and 2003)
Jeff Bergman (1998)
Neil Ross (1998)
Sam Vincent (2002)
Billy West (2007)
Eric Bauza (2011–present)
Damon Jones (2011–2015)
(see below)
In-universe information
AliasMarvin Martian

The character first appeared as an antagonist in the 1948 Bugs Bunny cartoon Haredevil Hare.[1] He went on to appear in four more cartoons produced between 1952 and 1963.[2]

Conception and creationEdit

Marvin's design was based on a 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."[3]

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. However, in 1979, once the character attracted merchandising interest, the name "Marvin" was selected for The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie.[4] Before though, Jones personally referred to him as Antwerp, due to his ant inspired conception, as well as Jones finding the Martian’s personality as a twerp. The name was even used for official Looney Tunes media and merchandise before The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie was released.

Marvin appeared in five theatrical cartoons from 1948 to 1963:

Voice actor portrayalEdit


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). 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 an ancient Greek hoplite's or a Roman centurion's helmet. 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").[6] The original reference to "Uranium Pu-36" changed to "Illudium PU-36" in subsequent cartoons. 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.[7] 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.

Later appearancesEdit

He has appeared in three animated shows - as a toddler in Baby Looney Tunes, as a primary villain in the Duck Dodgers television series and in The Looney Tunes Show.

  • In Baby Looney Tunes, Baby Marvin shares a lot of similarities with his adult counterpart. His helmet, however, sports a propeller rather than a push-broom. Also, his shoes are smaller in proportion. He appears in the War of the Weirds episode as a visitor to Granny's house. Throughout most of the episode, he is nonverbal as he is too shy to talk to the babies; he fidgets and mumbles when Baby Bugs and Baby Taz try to talk to him. He tries to make friends, but he is shunned and ridiculed by the babies (except for Baby Taz) for being "weird". The babies still shun and play tricks on him, until he cries. Baby Taz courageously befriends him and speaks on his behalf. He fixes Baby Bugs' broken toy rocket and is able to talk when Baby Bugs offered to play his toy. The babies feel guilty for being unfriendly and they eventually befriend him. He is mainly featured in the song Oh Where Has My Martian Gone? (based on the children's song Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?), and made appearances in a few other music videos.
  • In Duck Dodgers, he is a Martian commander in service of the Martian Queen Tyr'ahnee. This show reused 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).
  • Marvin the Martian appears in The Looney Tunes Show episode "Reunion" and appeared in the "Merrie Melodies" short "I'm a Martian", voiced by Eric Bauza. Here, he is described as a former classmate of Daffy's who has been plotting to destroy Earth since graduation. The episode also has a flashback, in which it is revealed that the yellow headdress on the top of his helmet is actually his hair, showing that in high school (before he started wearing the helmet) he kept it down.

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 24th-and-a-half 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 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 villainous role in Looney Tunes: Back in Action where he was hired by the ACME chairman, Mr. Luther J. 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), 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 (but also mentions that he's planning to destroy the Earth as well). At first, Daffy doesn't 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 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 in 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’’.

In popular cultureEdit

The launch patch for the Spirit Mars Rover, featuring Marvin the Martian.
  • Marvin from Daddy Daycare (2003) frequently wears a Marvin Martian T-shirt

Film adaptationEdit

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.[12] 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.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1989). Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Co. p. 187. ISBN 0-8050-0894-2.
  2. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. p. 103. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  3. ^ Korkis, Jim. "The Return of Duck Dodgers". Outré. 1 (7): 25.
  4. ^ Miller, Thomas Kent. Mars in the Movies: A History. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2016. ISBN 978-0-7864-9914-4. p. 134
  5. ^ Rover Finds Life On Mars, retrieved 2019-11-30
  6. ^ Differences of opinion exist regarding the correct pronunciation; Chuck Jones rendered the modulator's name as Q-36 in print in Chuck Amuck : The Life and Times of an Animated Cartoonist (New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1989; ISBN 0-374-12348-9), p. 213.
  7. ^ Adamson, Joe (1990). Bugs Bunny: 50 Years and Only One Grey Hare. Henry Holt. ISBN 0-8050-1855-7
  8. ^ "I can do Marvin the Martian - Clueless quotes". Retrieved August 24, 2017.
  9. ^ "Photographic image" (PJPG). Retrieved 2017-08-24.
  10. ^ Here Are All the References In Ready Player One, By Abraham Riesman, Mar. 28, 2018,
  11. ^ Steven Spielberg's 'Ready Player One' visually striking but emotionally unfulfilling, By Bill Goodykoontz, USA TODAY NETWORK Published:March 28, 2018
  12. ^ McNary, Dave (July 29, 2008). "WB to develop 'Marvin the Martian'". Variety. Retrieved July 30, 2008.
  13. ^ "'Hong Kong Phooey' Movie Test Footage Revealed; 'Marvin The Martian' As Well (VIDEO)". Huffington Post. December 28, 2012. Retrieved December 28, 2012.

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