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Howard T. Duck

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Howard T. Duck
Howard T Duck
Alias(es) Howard the Duck
Appeared in Howard the Duck
Actor Chip Zien (voice)
Ed Gale
Tim Rose
Steve Sleap
Peter Baird
Mary Wells
Lisa Sturz
Jordan Prentice

Howard the Duck is the alter-ego of Howard T. Duck.

Biography

Howard the Duck

Late at night in "Duckworld," which is a version of planet Earth, but with talking ducks living there in place of human beings. The audience see Howard enter his apartment and listen to his answerphone messages, before settling down in his armchair and flicking through a series of TV channels, in which none of the programs on there satisfy him. Afterwards while looking at the latest edition of "Playduck" (a reference to Playboy), his armchair begins to vibrate violently (which Howard compares to a "quake") and takes off like a rocket with Howard being unable to get off the chair. The chair with him still sitting in it flies through the door of his flat, and then through the plaster walls of his neighbors, before entering orbit and ending up in Cleveland on planet Earth.

Upon ending up in what was to later become his new home, he is immediately confronted by a gang of punks, who think he is a child in costume. The gang carry him into a club in which Beverly's (Lea Thompson) band Cherry Bomb are playing, only to be chucked out by the bouncer also thinking he is wearing a costume to get entry while being a minor. After ending up in an oil drum, Howard hears a fight going on outside, which is involving Beverly and two thugs pretending to be fans. Howard uses his skills of "Quack Fu," to defend Beverly while the thugs find it hard to believe they are being confronted by a talking duck, and quickly scamper. After asking Beverly where he is, she later decides to invite him round her flat, rented out by the manager of her band.

The next day Beverly takes Howard to see Phil Blumburtt (Tim Robbins), who she believes is a scientist who can help Howard get back to Duckworld. After first meeting Howard and telling him to do impossible activities like burning a hole through a plank of wood, he leaves the lab in disgust before revealing that he is a really a janitor. Howard being annoyed with this dismisses Beverly, and goes off to cope with life on Earth by himself, with his first task to look for a job. Via an employment agency, he lands a job working in a hot tub sauna center and leaves not long after already starting due to being treated unfairly by his employer, in which he is thrown into a bath with the task to fix a clogged water jet. Howard gets revenge by pushing him into a bath of green infected water.

Feeling run out of self-esteem, Howard takes a bus ride back to Cleveland, with many of the passengers mocking him for his appearance. Howard shortly enters the club while Cherry Bomb are playing inside and overhears the band's manager mocking the band, saying that he's going to pay the band their salary, but is making it obvious to the audience and his friends that he has no intention to. Howard joins the conversation with the manager asking his gang "What's is that!!?" while looking confused before Howard asks if he's the bands manager, and if he is, he does not like the way he is "talking about Beverly," before a fight on the bar engages and Howard eventually threatens the bands manager to give him the money in which he does, and then informs him he is no longer their manager. While Cherry Bomb are playing, they are unaware of Howard's presence and are disappointed at the behaviour of their crowd, before Phil turns up and sees Howard with the band. He later manages to with a pair of tweezers, pull off one of the feathers from Howard, and quickly scarpers saying the reason why he ended up on Earth, can be discovered by comparing the feather with one they have back at the lab.

After rejoining Beverly, she takes Howard back to her flat, only for Lumburtt to enter without knocking due to the door already being open. He comes along with two of his colleagues in attendance who are Dr. Jennings (Jeffrey Jones), and Larry (David Paymer) who explain to him while showing a video camera recording, that they were doing a routine procedure that takes place at the lab, only for the experiment to go out of control and cause the laser to hit Howard's planet instead. After the resulting explosion, a single feather fell and matched the one Lumburtt got from Howard after a test was done on them both, meaning that Howard ended up on Earth because the lazer hit his flat in Duckworld, causing the "quake" that made his chair take off with him in it, and end up in Cleveland.

With Howard suggesting he can be sent back to Duckworld if the laser can be put into reverse, he is taken to the Dynatechnics lab alongside Beverly only to find out on arrival the laser is seriously damaged due to another explosion, and Howard cannot get back for the time being, this brings down a "Dark Overlord" who is not seen by the audience at the time, and takes over Jennings body. Meanwhile the police arrive and arrest Howard on the charges of "illegal Alien", which the detective makes up on the spot, only for Howard to escape by throwing a policeman's cigar (Paul Guilfoyle) into a nearby bin and jump on top of him while attempting to retrive the cigar and knock him over in the process. Beverly then finds a gun and uses it to threaten him, so he hands over the keys for Howard's handcuffs.

While on the run, Howard and Beverly bump into Dr Jennings again, but this time in the state of being taken over by the Dark Overlord. With Howard and Beverly both unaware of this, they escape in Jennings car onto the freeway with him driving dangerously while the process of being possessed by the Overlord is taking place. They stop outside a diner just before he is fully taken over. Inside the Diner, the Overlord in Jennings body explains his attempts to call forth his fellow aliens from the Nexus of Sominus so that they may take over the world, and can only exist on Earth inside another humans body as their appearance would be seen as "hideous and revolting". Shortly afters a fight between Howard and a group of truckers engages, only for the fight to end with the Dark Overlord kidnapping Beverly and driving off in an articulated truck, belonging to one of the truckers and Howard finding Phil Lumburtt inside a police car wearing handcuffs. Howard tells him about Beverly and climbs through the car window, while Howard tries the door and is unlocked. Phil leads Howard to an escape route while the police are questioning witnesses, and discover a light aircraft operated by pedals and a small petrol powered engine. The vehicle is inoperable, so Phil while still handcuffed gets Howard to help him with a nearby tool kit to repair it, and the next day with the police discovering them just as they are about to make their escape quickly get away. At first Howard had problems trying to take off, but does so after a few attempts and they engage in a police getaway. This sees Howard get revenge on a group of duck hunters, by flying low enough so they fall into the water, and managing to execute a loop-the-loop with the pedal plane. The chasing police vehicles attempt to shoot the plane, and make a series of holes in it's wings and also disconnect the fuel supply, which Phil repairs while still being handcuffed. The police cars are eventually outrun, and with the plane unable to fly after having it's wings demolished after an incident with a freight train, ends up in a lake with Phil helping Howard escape from drowning.

Meanwhile, Jennings while being taken over by the Dark Overlord, realizes he is running out of power as it's the main source the Overlords feed on to keep their strength up, and so with his extended tongue uses the lighter socket to charge himself up, before taking a trip to a power station tour with Beverly tied up in the back while he is gone and attempts to make her escape. On the tour a unit is shown to the visitors which holds one million kilowatts of power, which the Dark Overlord breaks into while the tour continues and charges himself up with the power, before making his escape by breaking through a plaster wall. With Beverly tied back up, he brings her to the Dynatechnics lab and straps her to a metal bed which is held underneath the laser, so more Dark Overlords can be brought down from The Nexus of Sominus, and one ends up inside Beverly. Howard and Phil after entering the lab, discover the ongoing events and retreat to a security coded room that holds weapons. After Phil gets the code wrong, Howard kicks the door down and is informed by Phil, that there is a laser projectile that can in theory destroy the Overlord, but has "not yet been tested." After breaking the lock of the storage facility that contains the weapon with a sledgehammer, and breaking the chain of his handcuffs, Howard discovers an electric buggy and asks Phil what one of the buttons does while pressing it, before it shoots off into the lab and knocks the door down. Howard jumps into the vehicle with the laser projectile on it, and activates the laser while aiming at the Overlord. At first Howard thinks he's destroyed him alongside Jennings, and hears Jennings say that he has freed the Overlord from his body, but the Overlord himself is still in the lab.The Overlord now exposing himself in his real form, aims his tail at Phil and Beverly and shoots a laser from them, which after hitting the both of them puts them in a frozen state (he does this three times during the final showdown). Meanwhile Howard attempts to board the buggy, but the Overlord reaches out at his leg dragging him away. Jennings however throws towards him an electric cutting device and slices off the tail. Back into the buggy, Howard runs over the Overlords foot causing considerable pain, before spinning back round to face the Overlord and once again activates the lazer on him just before he attempts to shoot Howard with his laser tail while calling him a "Punny little duck." Howard however beats him to it and destroys the Overlord, before Phil and Beverly return to their normal state.

However, the laser is still in the process of bringing down the other Overlords, with Howard having no choice but to destroy the laser with the projectile from the buggy so the Overlords are destroyed on their way down to Earth. This results in Howard's loss of a ride home, a decision he comes to accept as it means Earth is safe. Howard becomes Beverly's manager and hires Phil as an employee on her tour.

Character traits

Howard T. Duck is a smart and intelligent alien, gifted with a sharp sarcasm and a brilliant mind which allows him to escape from incredible situations. He's a champion of "quack-fu", a special martial art from Duckworld, but, on Earth, his techniques aren't effective at all.

Relationships

Behind the scenes

  • Lucasfilm built animatronic suits, costumes and puppets for the film. Because of the limited preparation time, varied "ducks" created for the film would explode or lose feathers, and multiple ducks were built with the wrong proportions.
  • The voice of Howard, Chip Zien, was not cast until after shooting completed. Because Ed Gale's voice was difficult to hear when he wore his suit, Huyck ordered Gale to perform his scenes without speaking any of the required dialogue, which was later synchronized during the editing process.

Trivia

  • The movie verson of Howard the Duck is much more polite and politically correct than the comics one.

Gallery


MDB

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