Animation History
January 1, 2018 posted by Jerry Beck

“The Return of Duck Dodgers” Storyboard by Michael Maltese – Part 2

Happy New Year! We are now “in the future” – when you hear the sound of the gong, it will be the year 2018. And to celebrate a new day, the new week, a new month and the new year we present part 2 of the original Michael Maltese storyboard to Duck Dodgers and the Return of the 24 1/2 Century. It’s been fascinating to compare this with the final film, re-written and directed by Chuck Jones.

To Read Part 1 (the first 25 pages of this storyboard) Click Here. Special Thanks to Mike Kazaleh, for sharing this rare item with all of us.

(Click boards below to enlarge)



Post-Script: Mike Kazaleh obtained the The Return of Duck Dodgers storyboard board while on staff at Tiny Toon Adventures in 1990. Kazaleh co-wrote a “sequel” to Duck Dodgers for the series, Duck Dodgers Jr. (excerpt is embed below). He also designed a few characters and created these model sheets – with “attitudes stolen from the original” film.


11 Comments

  • Loved Duck Dodgers Jr that was part of ‘Return to the Acme Acre Zone’ on Tiny Toons. Tress Macneillle did a great job as the beatnik-speaking Marsha the Martian. As well as Frank Welker as “Dr. IQ”.

  • The second half certainly picks up. Interesting that Gossamer was part of Maltese’s original story—his appearance here is more logical than in the final cartoon, in which he’s shoehorned in for fan service. (Ditto for the abominable snowman in “Spaced-Out Bunny”.)

    Thanks again, gents. I love Mike’s drawings. More than anything in the actual cartoon.

    • Er—that was in reference to the great Kazaleh models, of course. Not that I don’t like Maltese’s drawings, just specifying the Mike I was speaking of. Thanks, Mike(s).

    • The second half certainly picks up. Interesting that Gossamer was part of Maltese’s original story—his appearance here is more logical than in the final cartoon, in which he’s shoehorned in for fan service. (Ditto for the abominable snowman in “Spaced-Out Bunny”.)
      I’m amused we get a naked Gossamer which is a lot funnier than just being shaved to absolutely nothing in the finished film. And of course Porky gets the last laugh (even if it’s the same line as before).

  • Maltese’s ending was a little stronger than the one in the final cartoon. The interaction between Dodgers and K-19 is interesting and full of potential. Jones did include the Martian watch gag in the TV special Bugs Bunny Busting Out All Over.
    One thing that surprised me is when Daffy said “son of a bitch”. Swearing on cartoons was still unheard of on mainstream animation but I imagined that the Looney Tunes characters would do it if given half a chance. I doubt Jones would have included it, though.

    • He obviously would not have been ALLOWED to include it, whether he had wanted to or not.

    • It’s a birthright that cartoonists use words in the script/outline/board they would never even *try* to get into the final picture. Maltese was just following a tradition he undoubtedly helped start.

  • I can honestly say now, I would have preferred it if the 1980 Duck Dodgers short had actually used this story instead of the finished one.

    • I did think the Acme Hair Clipper joke in the final short was better than the singing gag planned here.

    • I wouldn’t had mind the hair clipper joke but I do like the idea of a naked Gossamer being scared enough to flee as we see here than to simply be clipped to nothing but sneakers. Not to say it’s not completely funny, but I guess I’m a sucker for shaved/stripped characters like that.

      But in the end, as Thad puts it last time, what we have is “Jones’ usual self-conscious, world-weary sophisticate pap”. But then again, I suppose letter Marvin off the hook does seem not nearly as ballistic as showing him getting to blow up the planet anyway.

  • Another copy of this storyboard appears to be located at the University of Wyoming, as part of the Michael Maltese papers.

    https://rmoa.unm.edu/docviewer.php?docId=wyu-ah07794.xml

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