Monday, May 10, 2010

The 90s' Favorite Canine Companions


Doug and Porkchop Pictures, Images and Photos

I was actually meaning to write a post about some of our favorite 90s pups two months back when we adopted our dog, but I've been too busy rescuing semi-chewed wallets from the inside of his death-trap jaws and picking up the inner stuffing of his over-loved toys off of the floor to bother. All these TV and movie dogs are always too busy going on Incredible Journeys, professing their love for Taco Bell in Spanish, or rising to fame as canine basketball stars to bother with day to day walking, feeding, and general well-meaning terrorizing of their owners. With this in mind, I was almost certain adopting a dog would be similar to the experiences I'd seen in the entertainment of my childhood. I knew to be prepared for lurking villainous dog fur poachers around every bend and to keep on the lookout for opportunities for my dog to take me on a humorous kid-friendly trip into the world of classic literature. Overall, it was a pretty exciting prospect.

As of yet, however, none of these outcomes have really panned out. I thought the dog was about to transform my living room Wishbone-style into a Shakespearean drama complete with period costumes, but it turned out he was just trying to catch a moth. I haven't given up hope though; it could still happen. I'll be prepared with my Elizabethan snood and pantaloons when it does.

These famous canines may not have given us a realistic depiction of dog ownership, but their general adorableness and lovability makes up for the resultant misconceptions about their magical and athletic abilities. If we overestiamte our own dogs' ability for greatness, it's only because these lovable pups set the bar so high with their hilarious and frequently heartwarming antics.


Chance and Shadow from Homeward Bound





If only we could all hear our dog's innermost thoughts narrated by Don Ameche and Michael J. Fox. They would be alternately wise and mischevious, with a touch of "Dogs rule and cats drool" thrown in for good measure.


101 Dalmatians





After the release of the 1996 live remake of the animated Disney classic 101 Dalmatians, the demand for Dalmatian puppies exploded. The movie created a breed boom, stocking housefuls of vulnerable children with adorable but admittedly rambunctious dalmatians. While the movie pupies were spared the cruel fate of becoming Cruella's fur coat, many of their real life counterparts were frequently abandoned or mishandled. Let the lesson be learned: highly trained Disney movie dogs may be enticing, but that's not what you're going to get at your local pet store or shelter.


Air Bud





Now here's a dog with some serious prospects. Not only was Air Bud an incredibly skilled basketball player, but he later went on to conquer football (Air Bud: Golden Receiver,) soccer (Air Bud: World Pup,) and baseball (Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch) among other pursuits, including Air Buddies puppy spinoffs. If nothing else, this series deserves major props for what may be the most groan-inducing puns to ever grace a movie poster.


All Dogs Go to Heaven





With names like Charlie B. Barkin and Itchy Itchiford, what's not to love? Plus, they're voiced by Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise, some pretty impressive big names during the movie's 1989 release. Everyone learns a lesson, it's sufficiently heartwarming, and all the dogs get to go to heaven. All in all, a pretty good deal.


Otis from Milo and Otis





This originally Japanese movie was dubbed in English for Western release, detailing the cute story of a kitten and a pug puppy who make their way through all sorts of adventures, evenutally settling down with a cat or dog mate of their own, respectively. The animals are adorable, especially Otis, so it's a bit disturbing to learn of the animal cruelty allegated filed against the Japanese filmmakers. I'm just going to hope for the sake of my childhood innocence that the Japanese Humane Society told the truth in the closing credits that no animals were harmed in the filming of this movie.



Beethoven





Here's a solid example of a canine character that bombed with critics but resonated well with enthusiastic and easily amused audiences. Movie reviewers may not have been kind, but the movie's eponymous St. Bernard proved popular enough to spawn a slew of theatrical and straight-to-video sequels. Though I haven't seen Beethoven's Seventh, I can only assume it's equal parts hilarious big dog antics and cutesy symphony title jokes.


The Beast from the Sandlot





Now here is an example of a seriously scary movie dog. To the kids of the Sandlot, this mastiff was their most feared nemesis of the summer. It's pretty safe to say that while it all turned out okay in the end with The Beast, I doubt the demand for mastiff puppies surged as a result of the movie.


Comet from Full House





Here's a revelation: Full House's lovable golden retriever went on to play the title role in the film Fluke. His fur was dyed and apparently restyled to give him a more mutt-like appearance for the film. Turns out by default this makes Comet's post-FH acting career more successful than Stephanie Tanner's or Kimmy Gibbler's. Who knew?


Spunky from Rocko's Modern Life





You've got to feel a little bad for the house pet in a TV show populated by anthropromorphic characters. They're all animals too, but the poor dog is the only one who can't seem to communicate effectively. Tough break, Spunky.


Porkchop from Doug





Porkchop may not have been able to talk, but this dog was awesome. He was forever getting Doug out of jams before going to chill in his igloo doghouse. Get it? Chill? Igloo? No? Okay, okay, fine.


Spike from Rugrats





To be fair to Tommy, as a toddler I always thought the pet food looked pretty tasty, too. I was always rooting for him when I saw the above episode "Fluffy vs. Spike." Fluffy was no match.


Wishbone





What, your Jack Russell terrier never takes you on educational adventures through historically relevant fiction? You're probably just not feeding him the right brand of food. I'd also recommend asking him, "What's the story?" It always worked for Wishbone. You might want to sing it, though.


Yo Quiero Taco Bell Chihuahua






This little guy did for chihuahuas what 101 Dalmatians did for dalmatians. The character was played by canine actress Gidget Chipperton, though she didn't provide her own hilarious Taco Bell-seeking vocals. If nothing else, this little guy did teach even the most unilingual among us a single Spanish phrase. If I ever get lost in a Spanish speaking country where I think there may be a Taco Bell present, I'll know how to find it.


I don't usually do this sort of thing, but I just couldn't resist. In case you were incredibly curious--and I'm sure you were!--here's a photo of my own little monster. He may not be quite as accomplished as these dog stars, but I think we'll keep him. Plus, if we build him an igloo in the backyard, I think he might start co-starring in my Quailman fantasy sequences. It's worth a try.

16 comments:

Cee said...

aww your dog is cute!

Homeward bound is one of my fav animal movies ever...the ending gets me everytime.

Melanie's Randomness said...

Spunky & Porkchop were two of my ultimate favorites!! Milo & Otis too was just unbelievablely cute!!

Lil' Woman said...

Porkchop was def. my favorite!!
But I did watch Homeward Bound a million times!

carissa said...

Great post! I loved Rocko! And porkchop.. And the Never Ending story.. the only missing one is Ren from Ren and Stimpy! He was my most favorite dog of all time. Sighhh.. But still, loved it!

dcgirl9139 said...

90's cats next! I always liked cats better and it used to upset me how much cats were the bad guys.
Not that I can't appreciate some cute doggies.

Lauren Kelly said...

Oh my goodness, I had so forgotten about that show “Doug”…. I used to LOVE it!!!! :)

Sadako said...

Your dog is a sweetie. I love his bat ears.

I'm so glad you remembered Wishbone. Oh, but speaking of PBS dogs--don't forget Arthur's dog, Pal. He was awesome, too.

for the love of pictures said...

You had me at Doug and Quailman :) and I agree, you can't forget Pal!

Badass Geek said...

Otis, Otis, Otis, Otis.

Heather Taylor said...

Loved Wishbone so much! A dog that enjoys going on literary journeys is man's best friend indeed ;)

Alison said...

Porkchop and Spike were the best!
I used to pretend that my dog was Porkchop. I believe I drew out blueprints for what the inside of his kennel looked like. Porkchop wasn't the only dog with a sweet house!

Ali said...

Milo and Otis ALL. The. Way.

Anonymous said...

Beethoven was one of my sisters' and my favorite movies. In fact, I watched it yesterday and ended up quoting half of the movie. :) I am blown away about the Comet/Fluke info. I loved that movie. You forgot to mention, though, that Garcia from Reno 911 was the voice of the Taco Bell dog.

Anonymous said...

Beethoven was one of my sisters' and my favorite movies. In fact, I watched it yesterday and ended up quoting half of the movie. :) I am blown away about the Comet/Fluke info. I loved that movie. You forgot to mention, though, that Garcia from Reno 911 was the voice of the Taco Bell dog.

Amiee said...

I always got really sad at the end of All Dogs Go To Heaven, and yes agree about the Milo and Otis cruelty. Funny how when we were kids we didn't think it was strange about a kitten falling down a waterfall?

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