Looney Tunes (1948)
After Bugs Bunny had begun to outwit Yosemite Sam – the creation of the senior director Friz Freleng – director Chuck Jones decided to create the opposite type of character, one who was calm and soft-spoken, but whose actions were legitimately dangerous. Marvin the Martian was the result, and made his debut in 1948’s Haredevil Hare. Marvin is the quietest of the Looney Tunes villains, and is very clever and competent in general. However, he is also comedic.
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.”
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 apparently attracted merchandising interest, the name “Marvin” was seen in The Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie—more than 30 years after his birth!