Last week, in my ongoing Oscar nomination submissions listings (which we are talking a break from for a few weeks) we posted Chuck Jones’ 1980 theatrical-turned-Thanksgiving-special short Duck Dodgers and The Return of the 24th 1/2 Century. It was said in the comments (by “Brandon”) that “Allegedly, Jones disliked Michael Maltese’s script and immediately tossed it out.” Jim Korkis also weighed in, as he had heard it “was almost as bad as the finished cartoon”.
Clearly there is controversy and debate about this cartoon. What did Maltese write and how much of it was used in the final film? Luckily, animator Mike Kazaleh saved a copy of the original board created by Maltese – obtained by Kazaleh while working with Maurice Noble on the “Duck Dodgers Jr.” segment of Tiny Toon Adventures. Kazaleh noted Noble recalled Jones accepting the boards from Maltese – telling the writer “I like it. Let me add a few of my touches.”
Just how many of those ‘touches’ we can now determine. Maltese’s board is fifty pages (with three storyboard panels per page), so I’m going to break it in half and present the first 25 pages this week (Merry Christmas!) and the second half next Monday (Happy New Year!). In the tradition of the chapter-play inspirations of Star Wars and Buck Rogers, our first part (below) even ends with a cliffhanger! Click each page to enlarge. Enjoy!
For Part 2 of the storyboard: CLICK HERE.