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Marvin: Baby of the Year (1989)

This animated special based on the popular comic strip following the adventures of 1-year old Marvin Miller. In this story, Marvin is being babysitted by his grandparents who enter both him... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Marvin Miller (voice)
Chrissy's Mother (voice)
Erin Donica ...
Bea (Marvin's Grandmother) (voice)
Patty Dworkin ...
Meagan (voice)
Jenny Miller (voice)
Jeff Miller (voice)
Vince the Prince (voice)
John Stephenson ...
Roy (Marvin's Grandfather) (voice)
Announcer / Marvin (baby sound effects) (voice)


This animated special based on the popular comic strip following the adventures of 1-year old Marvin Miller. In this story, Marvin is being babysitted by his grandparents who enter both him and his cousin Megan, in the local "Baby of the Year" contest, while his parents are away for the weekend. Written by Hailey-7

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Release Date:

10 March 1989 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Great Animation! Fun story based on a fun strip!
25 March 2002 | by (New Mexico) – See all my reviews

The long running comic strip (20 years to be exact) "Marvin" by Tom Armstrong has always been my favorite comic and when I was twelve years old I was excited beyond belief that it would be animated as a half-hour special. I was not disappointed.

The voice acting was impeccable! Especially the late Dana Hill as 1-year-old Marvin, and Hanna-Barbera regular John Stephenson as Marvin's grandfather, Roy. The only notable character missing was Bitsy, Marvin's dog, but back in 1989 when the cartoon was made Bitsy's role wasn't as big as it is today.

The story plays like a series pilot that never was which is unfortunate. I would have tuned in every week to watch my favorite little guy racing down hallways, crying to annoy his parents and just being the REAL head of the Miller household. All of which were going on much more predominately in the strip at the time (Today the strip seems to focus a bit more on Bitsy than I feel it should).

The character design was also rooted directly in the time the cartoon was made (Mr. Armstrong's drawing style has changed over the years) and in my opinion the timing of the cartoon was perfect because I don't think "Marvin" was ever drawn better than it was at that period (Marvin's father has gone back to his huge nose he had in the early days of the strip).

Which leads me to discuss the animation. This cartoon was one of very few that was animated by Southern Star (Hanna-Barbera Australia) Productions. This was before the company was taken over by Disney and became Walt Disney Animation (Australia). This company, put simply, is among the greatest on the planet (see also my review for "Return to Neverland) and even at this early point in it's existence they show signs of greatness. Animation directors still with the company like Ian Harrowell, Bob (credited in Marvin as Robert) Baxter, and Kevin Peaty were animating at the time and although they seem restrained by storyboards (which were, none the less great) still got to strut their stuff occasionally- such as the great pan-around shot at the end and Jeff and Jenny's fantastic facial expressions throughout. Marvin himself is also animated well. His gestures and facial expressions done while his thoughts are heard by the audience are supportive enough though one can almost feel the animators wanting to animate more than voice timing would allow. Interestingly, a bit character, Chrissy's mom, seems to have been animated the best, but that could be because of her voice actress, Ruth Buzzi.

Th backgrounds were one of the special's very few drawbacks, but in the early days, the Australian background artists were never that great. Over the years, though they have improved greatly (and I mean the artists themselves, not just the studio, such as Richard Zaloudek who was the head of backgrounds on Marvin, and most recently lent his talents to the extraordinary backgrounds in Return to Neverland).

Overall, however, a fantastic cartoon with a fun plot based on one of the greatest comic strips ever drawn. If only this one would be released onto DVD!

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