Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Duck Dodgers: Dark Side of the Duck - Season 1 Review

Duck Dodgers: Dark Side of the Duck - Season 1

Tom Jones singing, " Duck Dodgers in the twenty- fourth and one-half century " made you know this cartoon was different than the rest. The opening theme song with his voice started each of Duck Dodgers adventures.

Duck Dodgers brought the silly out of nowhere to Cartoon Network in 2003. I remember stumbling upon it while channel surfing and going, "Why is there a good cartoon on without any warning?" loudly and very inconsiderate of anyone near me.  I don't even know if CN announced it schedule like it does today. From the first episode I saw, I was hooked on Daffy Duck playing Duck Dodgers, Porky Pig playing the eager young space cadet and Micheal Dorn, Worf from Star Trek, voicing Martian robots.

Duck Dodgers is an idiot. A moronic fool with terrible manners. He's inconsiderate, dangerous to others and belives himself to better than everyone. He was the perfect choice to be a captain in a cartoon. He's joined by a stellar cast like Marvin the Martian Manhunter who goes by Martian Commander in the series. Martain Commander hates Dodgers, but for good reason, he's a jerk. Martian Commander also lacks self-esteem and can be seen calling his mother too much. He is not running the show as the sexy Martian Queen voiced by Tia Carrere, see Wayne's World 1 or 2, is his sexy leader. Though they don't have mouth, which is addressed, people want to kiss her face.

The series is sci-fi action mixed in with cartoon hijinks and parody. Duck Dodgers is sent on missions to protect the earth from the Martians, explore the universe and all the routine stuff in sci-fi shows. It does an excellent job of doing this by parodying well know sci-fi stereotypes and tropes. Star Trek is feasted upon. One of the early episodes even takes a swing at Iron Giant from Warner Bros Animation which gave up competing with the big studios and last movie in wide release was Happy Feet Two in 2011.

This cartoon digs into its treasure trove of  Warner Bros cartoon characters past by bringing back one-shot characters from the original Looney Tunes and breathing life into them again as aliens or in some way recasting them for the present. There's even an episode devoted to Green Lantern, that has to do with a mix up at the cleaners . Funny for both newcomers and old fans of the comic series.

This still has some looney in the toon. The show has well-written out jokes and zany plots, but a good helping of violence and explosions, also just stabs at Dodgers hygiene. Plenty of burping too.

No two episode are quite a like. Though you have the same used tropes you're getting them from Daffy Duck playing a space captain in a cartoon, so there's really nothing like it. The show even created a pretty well crafted continuity and kept the look and feel of show consistent, which many other cartoons fail at. I do like the overall character designs of the universe. I could also say redeisgns as Yosemite Sam becomes a funny looking version of a Klingon.

"K-9 Kaddy" might be the weak link here, but it's only half an episode. It involves The Martian Commander's dog K-9 trying to stop some space gophers and really seems like a one shot attempt from a writer that fails. Perhaps the lack of our brave idiot Dodgers was the problem.

Quality of the episodes was fine for a DVD release. The menu system could have been a lot nicer, there seems to be a template the Warner Bros Home Entertianment uses instead of creating something from scratch. There is the original theatrical short as an extra as a nice touch.

This was one of Warner Bros best cartoon series in the last 13 years, add it to your collection if you love cartoons or sci-fi. I can't wait for the two other seasons to be released. Beware the Fudd!!! It's a joke on the Borg and the flood, thanks Star Trek and Halo.