Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Toons After Dark: Family Dog (1993)

In the early 90's, ABC & CBS each attempted to develop animated primetime series in answer to Fox's The Simpsons, but couldn't find the right formula.

Family Dog had its roots in a 1987 episode of NBC's Amazing Stories, a Steven Spielberg-produced anthology series that lasted just 2 seasons. Created by Brad Bird, this was your typical domestic pet cartoon, assuming your pet was raised on, say for example, Harry the Dirty Dog and Dennis the Menace.

Unfortunately, viewers voted with their remotes, as six years had passed since the backdoor pilot had aired. Bird had moved on, and if memory serves he was working on, ironically enough, The Simpsons, by this point. The creative pedigree, aside from Spielberg, who had a couple of daytime toons on the air by this point, included Tim Burton and Paul Dini, the latter having graduated to icon status thanks to a certain Dark Knight.

Following is the series finale, "Family Dog Gets Good and Sick".

This wound up filed under "troubled productions". Universal & WB collaborated with Amblin (Spielberg's company) on the show, and after showing dissatisfaction with the overseas animators, had Canada's Nelvana Studios redo the episodes.

Rating: C.

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