Western Animation / Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century


Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century (an obvious parody of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century) is a 1953 Chuck Jones short featuring Daffy Duck as the eponymous Duck Dodgers, a cocky, spectacularly inept space hero who, with the help of an Eager Young Space Cadet played by Porky Pig, battles Marvin the Martian for control of Planet X, only known location of "Illudium Phosdex," the shaving cream atom.

Also an obvious send-up of the Cold War, with Earth representing the United States and Mars ("the Red Planet") the Soviet Union. The escalation of their conflict is a perfect illustration of the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction.

The popularity of this short led to a number of subsequent Duck Dodgers adventures, including a Duck Dodgers cartoon series fifty years later. The cartoon is also listed as #4 on The 50 Greatest Cartoons list, and is one of The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes.

Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century provide examples of:

  • 2-D Space: Subverted. When plotting a course to Planet X, Dodgers demonstrates that while you navigate space with North, South, East and West, you also use Up and Down (and relative terms such as Downeast), just as you would when navigating in three dimensions.
  • The 50 Greatest Cartoons: #4.
  • An Aesop: Whether obvious or not, the creative team behind this short stated that it is an allegory for the Cold War. This can be read in the 50 Greatest Cartoons book.
  • Armor Is Useless: The Disintegration Proof Vest works perfectly. Too bad it doesn't cover the whole body.
  • BANG Flag Gun: The Ultimatum Dispatcher.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: The Eager Young Space Cadet.
  • Bulletproof Vest: The disintegration-proof vest is disintegration-proof...but not the guy inside it.
  • Captain Space, Defender of Earth!: Or, to be more specific... DUCK DODGERS, IN THE TWENTY-FOURTH AND A HALF CENTURY!
    Cadet: B-b-big deal.
  • Comically Lopsided Rivalry: Given Marvin was designed to give Bugs Bunny a hard time, Daffy for the large part is completely at his mercy until he enforces a Pyrrhic Victory. Eager Young Space Cadet helps him get in a small Curb-Stomp Cushion with an explosive "birthday gift," however.
  • Disintegrator Ray: Too bad it disintegrates itself rather than the target.
    Dodgers: And brother, when it disintegrates, it disintegrates.
    (the gun dissolves into dust)
    Dodgers: Well, what do you know? It disintegrated.

Alternative Title(s): Duck Dodgers In The Twenty Fourth And A Half Century