Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Nostalgia Critic Pounds the Pound Puppies

Ponder for a moment the essential unfairness of a world in which Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, and any number of other high-quality animated series of the 80s and 90s failed to rate a theatrical movie release, but Pound Puppies -- POUND friggin' PUPPIES! -- made it to the big screen in 1988's Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw.  With a new version of the series now running on The Hub, what better time to see what the Nostalgia Critic thought of this feature-film release.  Short answer:  Not much.

I will say that I thought the "50's music" conceit worked reasonably well here, though the "Big Paw" riff on "Duke of Earl" got the decade wrong ("Duke" was a hit in 1961).  You can hear Nancy Cartwright (pre-Bart, pre-Fawn Deer, and, needless to say, pre-honorary-degree from alma mater Ohio University) and the inevitable Frank Welker (using his Big Time Beagle and Bubba Duck voices, no less) in the voice cast, too.  But, all in all, this movie is pretty dire going, it would seem.   If you had the confidence in the TV series to create a theatrical release based on it, then why would you feel it necessary to change backstory, character designs, et al. so blamed completely?


Ryan Wynns said...


As 1990 rang in, my age still registered as a single digit ... so but a couple years earlier, I'd found one of the (the first, I think...) Care Bears movie and the Rainbow Brite movie quite enthralling ... and yet, until now, I didn't even realize that there was a Pound Puppies movie!

Generally, I've found the Nostalgia Critic to be quite reasonable and fair, and often quite relatable, though when he takes on Disney Afternoon series, my reactions are coming from a place of over-sensitivity and protectiveness ...but needless to say, I think far more highly of him than the two people blathering their way through a podcast review of DuckTales: The Movie that I came across some time ago, in which they lamented what they saw as an inexplicable lack of "duck jokes" and the confounding situation of Scrooge not "flapping his arms like a duck" as he fell earthward from Merlock's airborne citadel.

-- Ryan

Joe Torcivia said...

Honestly, Chris, why does a great animated series even NEED an accompanying theatrical release? It didn’t extend the life of DUCKTALES by anything that wasn’t already in the can, and THE SIMPSONS would still be approaching 20-and-a-half seasons whether or not that (rather good) movie was ever made. BATMAN TAS actually went on to greater heights and spinoffs to this day, despite a (again, rather good) theatrical release which failed to garner any box office support.

Was the “legend” of POUND PUPPIES (“Friggin’” optional) in any way enhanced by the existence of this product? Or was it more for quickie exploitation? I’m guessing the latter. Just as well, to me, that things like this don’t exist (in large part) for properties I care about.

I much prefer what Warner Bros. is doing with the DC Comics characters – more or less QUARTERLY Direct-to-DVD releases… like this one.

All the while the same group of characters remains “alive” in new and ongoing series like Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Young Justice, etc. Though I wish the new Green Lantern series wasn’t animated in CGI. That’s enough to make me bypass it!

“Duke of Earl” probably sounds ENOUGH like a ‘50s tune that anyone making a POUND (Friggin’) PUPPIES movie could make such a mistake – or, perhaps they didn’t care because it was just “for kids”. Such a mix-up was the impetus for a FAMILY GUY episode, when a ‘50s-themed diner realizes the tune “Surfin’ Bird” was from the ‘60s – and gives the discarded 45 record to Peter Griffin, who becomes characteristically obsessed with it to the distress of the family.

Chris Barat said...


AFAIK, the only series besides DUCKTALES that TNC has reviewed to date has been GARGOYLES. I am a little surprised that he hasn't tackled more DTVA series.

I inmagine I'll refrain from using the DT podcast when starting my DT retrospective.


Chris Barat said...


Well, to be fair, direct to DVD releases only became a big deal later in the 90s, so, at the time PP got its movie, a theatrical release provided some real cachet. In this case, unwarranted cachet, but still.

DTVA seems to be playing catch-up in the direct to DVD realm with its PHINEAS AND FERB and KIM POSSIBLE releases. All well and good, but, for "Golden Age" fans, about a decade and a half too late...


Joe Torcivia said...


I’d rather have the last remaining episodes of DT, DW, etc, than ANYTHING made for video. Especially (I fear) as they would make them now! More childish, etc.

Comicbookrehab said...

I remember wanting to see this movie when I was a kid, but it wasn't playing anywhere nearby. Then I read the Digalot "legend" in Jeff Rovin's "Encyclopedia of Cartoon Animals" (which I used to have for a lonnnggg time until it fell apart and ... the internet made it perishable). And it was on DVD. I bought a copy last month for five bucks at Pathmark...words fail me. Actually, it felt like a long episode of the tv show with fewer jokes. It was odd that they got everyone from the tv show except Dan Gilvezan to reprise their roles and the "story" ... there are some oddly "dark" moments involving the mother dog and the other puppies going "rabid" - pretty weird for a film that looks like it was clearly meant for 4 year old children. Then again, i was 6 when I saw "Transformers:The Animated movie" and actually felt a little sad when Starscream got killed. ;)