In the 1990’s, Nickelodeon reinvented the cartoon genre with a brand new collection of edgy, modern shows that brought all new meaning to the word wacky. A psychotic chihuahua teams up with a nitwit cat in The Ren & Stimpy Show, a wallaby and a cow learn about the ways of the world in Rocko’s Modern Life and three comical monsters go to scare school in Aah! Real Monsters. And then there was the crazy brainchild of Peter Hannan known as CatDog.
As the title suggests, CatDog features a creature that is half cat, half dog with an extended, rubbery body connecting them just past the front paws on either end. Like all brothers, these two both love and despise each other depending on the moment. Dog (voiced by Tom Kenny) can hardly abide Cat’s taste in books and music and Cat has had enough of Dog’s propensity to chase trash-trucks. Even though they must be the same age, Cat is the “older” brother, always looking for a way to make life better for the both of them, and always ready to help when his counterpart needs a paw (or two.)
Dog is the baby brother who needs constant looking after. He’s very much a victim of his primal instincts so food and fun are high on his list from the time he wakes until the time they go to sleep in their communal bed.
As with all good cartoons, CatDog have a variety of antagonists for our heros to deal with. The Greasers Dogs are a street gang who get their kicks making fun of CatDog. Rancid Rabbit is the stereotypical angry boss who blows his stack whenever CatDog is near and there’s my favorite, Eddie the Pulverizer who is voiced by A-Team‘s Dwight Schultz.
From an adult viewpoint, it’s not as well-written as Rocko’s Modern Life. The stories are based on repetitive humor such as repeated attempts to sneak into a taco restaurant that are constantly thwarted. It is the kind of humor kids will enjoy and if you have siblings that can’t get along, CatDog’s obvious message might help the situation.
The new DVD release of CatDog features the first ten episodes of the first season. It includes “Mush, Dog, Mush” where Cat enters Dog in a sled race, “The Collector” where Cat gets wrapped up in his Mean Bob action figure collection and “Work Force” where CatDog go to work at the Kavity Crunch cereal factory.
Now here’s a clip to get you in the mood for some great 90’s Nickelodeon!