Puppies was a Flash-animated
reboot of the toy franchise, and the second cartoon based on them. Pound Puppies
continued to be popular throughout the 80s and early 90s, and were redesigned
at the turn of the century to represent actual dog breeds instead of the
generic model that was in use. The line would come to an end in 2002 and laid
dormant until Funrise acquired the license
the line in 2014.
In the interim, Tonka,
who had introduced the Pound Puppies to the American market after gaining the
rights from Irwin
ran into financial trouble from purchasing Kenner Parker
in 1987. They themselves ended up needing to be bought out and were purchased
in 1991. In 2009, Hasbro entered into a joint venture with Discovery Communications
to re-launch the Discovery
channel with family-oriented programming. Since Hasbro was responsible for
acquiring and developing the programming, they turned to their own toy
franchises as the starting point for them. Pound
Puppies became one of the launch programs for the network that would be
known as The
|Niblet, Strudel, Lucky, Cookie and Squirt in front of Shelter 17.
Like the original
animated series from the 80s, Pound Puppies focused on a group of dogs who operated in secret out
of a dog pound to find “a pup for every person, and a person for every pup”. However,
this time the dogs, designed by Martin Ansolabehere,
were less anthropomorphic and more dog-like; resembling their respective breeds.
Amongst the Pound Puppies was Lucky (Eric McCormack), a German
Shepherd/Scottish Terrier/Golden Retriever/Jack Russell Terrier mix, the
group’s cool and collected leader; Cookie (Yvette Nicole Brown), a Boxer, the
tough-talking but sweet second-in-command; Niblet (John DiMaggio), an Old
English Sheepdog, who was clumsy and dim but had a big heart; Strudel (Alanna
Ubach), a German Dachsund, the resident egotistical genius of the group that
invented all the gadgets used by the Pound Puppies—particularly the computer
database that helped find puppies matches; and Squirt (Michael Rapaport), a
Chihuahua, the street-smart pessimist of the group who was Niblet’s best
friend. They worked underneath Shelter
at the Happy Valley shelter with the aid of Strudel’s squirrel
assistants (who handled her building due to her lack of
fingers). A running gag included Lucky and Cookie’s unspoken attraction for
each other; unspoken because every time Lucky got the nerve to act on it
something would interrupt him.
|The Super Secret Pup Club: Cupcake, Rebound and Patches.
the series progressed, it was shown that the Pound Puppies were just one of
many units around the world. They even had an unofficial side branch, the Super
Secret Pup Club, started by Patches
a Dalmatian puppy that idolized Lucky. Cats even had their own version called
Kittens, which were run by Ace (McCormack) and Fluffy
(Brown), who were virtual copies of the Puppies in cat form. Pups adopted out
were given a doghouse-shaped tag for their collars, because “once a Pound
Puppy, always a Pound Puppy”.
|McLeish and Olaf.
The human running the pound was Leonard
McLeish (René Auberjonois); a short-tempered man who hated his job and always
demanded things be done the right way. His employee was the eccentric, kind
caretaker of the pound, Olaf Hugglesbjork (M. Emmett Walsh), and often helped
visitors find their ideal pet. Ketchum
was the silent, seemingly emotionless dog catcher that would bring new dogs to
the pound, often instigating that episode’s quest.
|The General with 67 charges she needs adopted. Easy peasy, right?
Other characters included Leonard’s
who initially hated dogs until she met Niblet’s sister, Rebound
Leonard’s brother-in-law Mayor Jerry
Larroquette), who often pushed Leonard into doing
things for him and berated him for any mistakes; Dolly
a pink poodle and legendary member of the Pound Puppies network; Agent
(Lauren Tom), an Akita Inu who worked with
the Chinese Pound Puppies; Cupcake
a Boxer/Labrador mix who was a member of the Pup Club and Cookie’s adopted
an Italian fisherman; and Dot Henderson
Lucky’s eventual owner and the only human who knew about the Pound Puppies.
|The base under the shelter.
Puppies started on October 10, 2010 with the launch of The Hub. Like the
1980s series, it utilized elements of The Great Escape and
Hogan’s Heroes in depicting how
the pups got in and out of the pound and kept McLeish in the dark. It was developed
by Wendy Moss Klein,
Ansolabehere and produced by Hasbro Studios
& Joe Productions for the first season. 9 Story Entertainment
worked on the first seven episodes before DHX Media/Vancouver
took over for the remainder of the series. Writers included Germain, Ansolabhere,
Bart Jennett, Mark Drop, Rachel Lipman, Eric Truehart, Rich Fogel, Billiam Coronel, Jule Selbo, Silvia Olivas, Steven Tsapelas, Tony Infante, Mike Ferris, Nancy Steingard, Peter Hannan, Janna King, Alan Hanson, Evan Gore, Merriwether Williams, Chelsea Meyer, Richard Whitley, Stephen Cedars, Temple Mathews, Phil Walsh, Benji Kleiman, Sib Ventress, Jos Humphrey, Joe Purdy, Lisa Melbye and Jean Ansolabhere. Jonathan Evans
for Spaceman Music
composed the series’ theme, while Daniel Ingram
Andrews handled the series’ score.
|One of the DVD sets.
The series ran for 3 seasons, ending
after 65 episodes; enough needed for syndication. It has continued to air on
The Hub and its successor in reruns. In 2012, Hasbro produced a new line of
toys for the show, adapting several characters into plush
figurines. The plush toys came with an adoption certificate,
which was also available through a website. Shout! Factory
released 57 of the episodes across 11
DVD collections between 2012 and 2016. In 2019, Hasbro
would license the brand out to Basic
Fun! who produced reproductions
of the classic 1980s toys.