September 16, 2017


(The Hub/Hub Network, October 10, 2010-November 16, 2013)

Hasbro Studios, Paul & Joe Productions (season 1), 9 Story Entertainment (episodes 1-7), DHX Media/Vancouver (episodes 8-65)


            Pound 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 and restarted the line in 2014.

            In the interim, Tonka, who had introduced the Pound Puppies to the American market after gaining the rights from Irwin Toy, ran into financial trouble from purchasing Kenner Parker in 1987. They themselves ended up needing to be bought out and were purchased by Hasbro in 1991. In 2009, Hasbro entered into a joint venture with Discovery Communications to re-launch the Discovery Kids 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 Hub.

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 17 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.

As 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 (Jessica DiCicco): a Dalmatian puppy that idolized Lucky. Cats even had their own version called the Kennel 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 (RenĂ© 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 mother Agatha (Betty White), who initially hated dogs until she met Niblet’s sister, Rebound (Brooke Goldner); Leonard’s brother-in-law Mayor Jerry (Dabney Coleman & John Larroquette), who often pushed Leonard into doing things for him and berated him for any mistakes; Dolly (E.G. Daily), a pink poodle and legendary member of the Pound Puppies network; Agent Ping (Lauren Tom), an Akita Inu who worked with the Chinese Pound Puppies; Cupcake (Cree Summer), a Boxer/Labrador mix who was a member of the Pup Club and Cookie’s adopted daughter; Claudio (Jeff Bennet), an Italian fisherman; and Dot Henderson (Grey DeLisle), Lucky’s eventual owner and the only human who knew about the Pound Puppies. 

The base under the shelter.

            Pound 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, Nancy Steingard, Paul Germain and Joe Ansolabehere and produced by Hasbro Studios and Paul & 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 and Steffan 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 toys and small 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.

Season 1:
“The Yipper Caper” (10/10/10) – An “unmatchable puppy” finds—and loses—his perfect match while McLeish attempts to impress his brother-in-law.

“Nightmare on Pound Street” (10/29/10) – The Puppies try to find a home for the weird-looking Freddie.

“Rebound” (11/5/10) – Hyperactive Rebound keeps being returned to the pound, but she ends up finding a home with McLeish’s mother.

“The General” (11/19/10) – The legendary General comes to the Puppies for help adopting out 67 puppies while Cookie attempts to connect with her feminine side.

“The Prince and the Pupper” (12/3/10) – Squirt decides to switch places with a rich lookalike named Cuddlesworth.

“Catcalls” (12/17/10) – The Puppies and the Kennel Kittens try to get a pup and a kitten adopted to the same home where one of the parents hates each of the species.

“King of the Heap” (12/24/10) – A Rottweiler wants to get adopted by a junkyard owner, but he ends up adopting Niblet instead.

“My Fair Rebound” (8/13/11) – Rebound has the Puppies get her into show shape so that she can win a dog show and help Ms. McLeish show up her rival.

“Quintuplets” (8/13/11) – A group of quintuplets refuse to be adopted separately.

“Dog on a Wire” (8/20/11) – Strudel’s escort mission leads her to helping a circus keep running, and to a choice of circus life or returning to the pound.

“Homeward Pound” (8/27/11) – Squirt and Niblet accidentally end up on a plane that takes them to Canada.

“Rebel Without a Collar” (9/10/11) – Cookie develops a crush on a coyote that has her considering leaving the pound, much to Lucky’s dismay.

“Taboo” (10/1/11) – The Puppies believe a puppy is bad luck.

“Toyoshiko! Bark Friend Machine” (10/8/11) – Milton Feltwaddle brings a robot dog to the pound who can understand Strudel.

“Zoltron” (10/15/11) – Zoltron comes to the Puppies for help in finding his family, but there’s a strong possibility he may not even be from Earth.

“The Really Weird Dog” (10/22/11) – Lucky wants to help Rover find his person, which won’t be easy since he’s an alligator.

“Bone Voyage” (11/12/11) – Rebound believes she’ll never see Ms. McLeish again after she goes on a cruise.

“Snow Problem” (11/19/11) – The Puppies act as sled dogs to help Tundra impress his perfect person.

“The K9 Kid” (11/26/11) – Pepper wants to become a police dog, but she’s neither the right size or breed for the job.

“The Call of the Squirredog” (12/3/11) – Squirt reveals the origin of Mr. Nut.

“I Never Barked for My Father” (12/10/11) – Lucky’s father hides out at the pound to escape the dog catcher, but Lucky has some unresolved issues from his childhood to deal with.

“McLeish Unleashed” (12/17/11) – Feltwaddle takes over the pound when McLeish is promoted and turns the pound into a prison.

“Olaf in Love” (1/7/12) – A new puppy wants to live with Olaf and Gertrude, so the Puppies must get the two together so that she can be adopted.

“Kennel Kittens Return” (1/14/12) – Squirt infiltrates the Kennel Kittens to retrieve a device they stole.

“Mutternal Instincts” (1/21/12) – With her family always busy, Cookie becomes close with a puppy she names Cupcake.

“Lucky Gets Adopted” (1/28/12) – Lucky ends up adopted, and he’s not too happy about it.

Season 2:
“Zipper the Zoomit Dog” (6/2/12) – Squirt vows to train Zipper to catch frisbees in order to get revenge on a dog from Squirt’s past.

“The Fraud Princess” (6/9/12) – Ms. McLeish’s new boyfriend brings a nosey playmate over for Rebound.

“The Super Secret Pup Club” (6/16/12) – Told they’re too little to join the Puppies, Rebound and Cupcake form their own group with Patches.

“Barlow” (6/23/12) – An old basset hound’s laziness spread through the pound while a legendary dog comes seeking placement for his grand-pups.

“There’s Something About Camelia” (6/30/12) – Camelia has a lot of great matches, so the Puppies try to find her perfect one.

“Good Dog, McLeish!” (7/7/12) – McLeish is hypnotized into thinking he’s a dog and joins the Puppies.

“The Ruff Ruff Bunch” (7/14/12) – The Puppies look for a lost dog while the Pup Club joins a high society dog club.

“Salty” (7/21/12) – An aging sea dog tries to pick his own person.

“Squawk” (7/28/12) – Niblet shares the Puppies’ secrets with a talkative parrot McLeish is watching.

“The Accidental Pup Star” (8/25/12) – The Puppies try to keep McLeish from exploiting Rebound’s talents for fame.

“No Dogs Allowed” (9/1/12) – A landlord institutes a no-dogs policy, resulting in a lot of returns to the pound.

“Pound Preemies” (12/1/12) – A premature litter is accidentally adopted by three girls, which the Puppies must find to get them back to their mother.

“I Heard the Barks on Christmas Eve” (11/24/12) – The Puppies need a miracle to place thousands of pups overflowing the shelters all over town.

Season 3:
“Working K-9 to 5” (6/1/13) – Dolores becomes a newspaper delivery girl in order to prove to her dad she can be responsible enough for a dog, but her deliveries keep ending up late.

“Cuddle Up Buttercup” (6/1/13) – The Puppies scramble to find a puppy the right home as she looks too much like the latest toy sensation.

“The Pups Who Loved Me” (6/8/13) – A visiting British Puppy accidentally has his flying car taken by the Pup Club while on a mission to place a pup with his perfect home.

“Fright at the Museum” (6/15/13) – Placing a pup with the daughter of a museum curator brings Niblet and Squirt face-to-face with a reincarnated cat mummy.

“Puddles the Problem Pup” (6/23/13) – The Puppies try to get a dog with a weak bladder a home.

“It’s Elementary, My Dear Pup Club” (6/29/13) – Pepper and the Pup Club try to prove a boy innocent of school vandalism so he can adopt a pup.

“Hot Dawg!” (7/6/13) – Headquarters puts a new Puppy on the team who has trouble focusing on their mission and instead concentrates on wooing female dogs.

“I’m Ready for my Close Pup” (7/13/13) – Cupcake subs in for a dog star that needs a break, but the fame quickly goes to her head.

“When Niblet Met Giblet” (7/20/13) – Niblet falls in love with another sheepdog and Lucky and Cookie follow when he goes to find her after she’s adopted.

“Once a Ralph, Always a Ralph” (7/27/13) – A new arrival scares off potential adopters, and the Puppies think he’s sabotaging their operation on purpose.

“Hello Kitten” (8/3/13) – A kitten ends up at the pound and the Pup Club tries to help place her, but the Kennel Kittens have other ideas.

“Beauty is Only Fur Deep” (8/10/13) – A heroic rescue dog arrives without any fur, but even with the toupee Squirt makes him his lack of confidence is a turn-off for adopters.

“The Watchdogs” (8/17/13) – After being mistaken for a superhero, Strudel begins a double life that causes her Puppies work to suffer.

“Hail to the Chief” (8/17/13) – Agent Ping tasks Strudel with finding the perfect family for an energetic pup.

“All Bark and Little Bite” (8/24/13) – Patches’ friends tease him for hanging out with girls.

“Lucky the Dunce” (8/31/13) – Strudel’s new device causes Lucky to become zany.

“Back in Action” (9/7/13) – An old TV star dog feels useless until he’s needed for a rescue.

“The Truth is in Hear” (9/14/13) – Too many sci-fi movies has McLeish believing the dogs are space aliens.

“No More S’Mores” (9/21/13) – A shy pup ends up with the High Energy Scouts and the Puppies have to get him to a perfect home before he’s overwhelmed.

“Doubles Trouble” (9/28/13) – A siblings’ squabble threatens their adoption.

“Little Monster” (10/5/13) – Noodles wants to get rid of the family’s new baby.

“Rebound’s First Symphony” (10/12/13) – An argument with Ms. McLeish makes it tough to place Yoyo with her perfect person.

“Lord of the Fleas” (10/19/13) – The Puppies must rescue a pup from an island before the volcano erupts.

“The Road to Empawerment” (10/26/13) – A motivational speaker prompts Niblet to lead three pups on a dangerous journey of self-discovery.

“The Pupple’s Court” (11/9/13) – Lucky’s instincts land him in trouble with the Pound Puppy tribunal.

“Lucky Has to Move” (11/16/13) – The Puppies try to foul up a promotion for Dot’s father so Lucky doesn’t have to move.

Originally posted n 2017. Updated in 2021.

No comments: