Friday, September 23, 2011

Fluppy Dogs - Part 1

Everybody has a cartoon they remember bits and pieces of but can't remember the name or what it's about. A cartoon that you saw as a kid, but now you wish you could remember the name because you're a little unsure if it was actually something you saw or something you made up in your head.

In my case, it was Disney's Fluppy Dogs. Never heard of it? I wouldn't be surprised really.

Whenever some Disney fan acts like they're the only person in the world that
knows about The Black Cauldron, bring this up.
This might sound silly, but for a very large portion of my life I swore I saw an animated film on the Disney Channel about talking dogs that could open up doors out of midair with a magic key but I couldn't remember the plot, the title, or even most of the movie beyond little snippets that would appear in my head. But no matter who I talked to, no one had heard of this film. I quickly became more and more distraught, gradually going from "hey, remember this animated TV special Disney would air in the 90's about talking dogs with magic keys?" to "I swear to god this happened why won't anyone listen to me!?" to unfortunate souls like my various roommates and the people standing in line for Space Mountain. Luckily YouTube came to the rescue and proved that I was at least sort of sane (because no sane person would get an art degree, believe me) and didn't suffer from hallucinations as a child.

The reason this movie hasn't been released on DVD or even so much as mentioned by Disney is that Fluppy Dogs could really be dubbed Floppy Dogs on account, when this special first aired, it was one of Disney's lowest rated programs. I'm picturing a room of animators, all pleased that the grueling months are over and they made this really awesome pilot, and then the Nielsen Ratings come in and everyone starts hitting the bottle.

Which kind of sucked for Disney because they had aspirations of turning this into a series and even had released a couple pieces of merchandise (because Disney can and will release merchandise of anything they make) before they knew how much this movie was going to fail in terms of gaining an audience. See, before they released the special, Disney joined up with Kenner Toys (the makers behind Strawberry Shortcake) in an attempt to make a merchandise-driven cartoon similar to My Little Pony or He-Man. Only problem; no one bought the merchandise. I can tell because this stuff shows up on eBay for dirt cheap.

Yeah, this still probably isn't ringing a bell with anyone.
Had this movie been a hit and had the show been picked up, it would've been in-between Adventures of the Gummi Bears and DuckTales chronologically. As it stands, the closest you'll probably get to having a Fluppy Dogs show is watching reruns of The Wuzzles, which by the way, isn't very well-remembered either.

Since this movie is only like 45-50 minutes long, it makes sense that I divide this analysis of this movie into exactly two parts, like a Subway sandwich meant for two. I will also apologize for the quality of this movie's screenshots because, since it never got a DVD or even a VHS release, the only surviving copies that circulate the darkest reaches of the Internet today was pulled from video recordings from the 80's.

So let's dive into one of the most forgotten TV specials bearing the Disney name. This is...

Fluppy Dogs - Part 1

December 1, 1986

Availability: Online Only

Now, ask yourself, dear readers. What's the best way to open up an animated special on cute, multicolored dogs with fluffy yet floppy ears? If you said anything other than "a hellish landscape cloaked in eternal storms and dark rock spires", then congratulations, you're not one of this movie's writers.

Oh geez, one of the writers is named Barkin. That had to be intentional.
The moment this movie starts, we see terrified yet adorable puppies, one of them voiced by the late Lorenzo Music aka Peter Venkman from The Real Ghostbusters, cautiously inching their way on precarious rocky cliffs. While the credits roll on by, one of the dogs actually slips and nearly plummets to his death. A couple seconds in and already Fluppy Dogs has established that it's darker and edgier than those other cute puppy shows infesting the airwaves. The Pound Puppies wish they were this cool. 

Before the audience assumes that the entire movie is going to take place in Mordor, the canines decide to clue us in on just why they're here. See, these dogs aren't just dogs with a strange, slightly pretentious name; they're also dimension hoppers. Adorable dimension hoppers, unlike the ones in Sliders. They just entered Hell on accident and are now locating another entry point by scent (because they're dogs) so that they can leave before they find out just what lifeforms managed to adapt to life on this storm-drenched underworld. These are the same dogs that appeared in "Home for a Fanci Flup", apparently.

I wondered if their group was originally a lot bigger, and it turned this from cuddly to depressing.
And how do they do this? Why, they use a glowing key to summon actual doors at these specific locations in order to walk into another dimension of course. Believe me when I say this, but this is the one thing people remember about the Fluppy Dogs TV special. The key that can open doors to other worlds. The idea of there existing a key that, if inserted in mid-air, summoned a door leading to another dimension was such an amazing idea that the memory of it persisted a lot longer than, say, the plot of this TV special or even the dogs' names.

...come to think of it, this is the second cartoon I've done on this blog that has had a dimension-traveling piece of equipment that was never utilized to its full potential. First Felix the Cat: The Movie and now this. Why does interdimensional travel get crapped on so much in animation? It's such an awesome concept!

Dear Disney, please revive this idea. You don't even have to use the dogs. Signed, Me.
So the dogs travel through the hole they made in the space time continuum (I sure hope those ripples through the other dimensions don't cause major world-destroying cataclysms) and barely make it in time before the cliff they were standing on collapses. Thank goodness for good timing, or else we'd be seeing fluffy little plush dolls fall to a bone-shattering, neck-snapping death and that would've been a tragic way to start a cartoon.

I played this game on the Sega Genesis once! I think it was called "Rocket Knight Adventures".
What's behind the other door? Paradise! While this place does look like a nice place to stay (and looks a lot like the first level of every platformer videogame in existence), the dogs are instantly saddened by the fact that they're still not home. Awww, that's depressing.

Finally, the true conflict surfaces, and when you consider the literal infinite amount of possibilities of different parallel universes and other dimensions, their constant, restless journey to find their ways back to their world seems both futile and kind of a downer compared to most Disney show characters. The worst Scrooge McDuck had to deal with was losing his vat full of money; he was never stranded on alien worlds, never knowing whether the next dimensional door will lead to his doom instead of his homeland. Despite the name, Fluppy Dogs is dark.

Plus there's always the fun possibility that they end up in a world with a toxic atmosphere, or end up
opening a door to a world that had collapsed into a neutron star millions of years ago...
 Also, apparently in this planet, there is both beautiful plant life and ravenous ugly dinosaur mutants that don't think twice about wanting to eat brightly colored aliens that fall out of an unexplained magic door. Silly Fluppy Dogs, believing that there is respite in this hopeless, inescapable journey. No matter where you go, you're doomed to being thrown into near-death experiences.

Pink skies, giant flowers, and purple dinosaurs? This is the most flamboyant death jungle ever.
We're treated to a rather mundane chase sequence between badly drawn reptile and dogs until they once again located and open another door. Unlike the inviting gold-plated door summoned in that horrifying deathscape earlier, this door looks like an ugly, terrifying dungeon door that will no doubt lead to certain doom.

Now that I think about it, how do the doors generate their look anyways? Is there some sort of universal random generator for these things, are the doors related to the dimension they're opening it in (which would explain the dinosaur door right now but not the gold door earlier), or do the doors reflect the state of mind of the one opening the door?

...and I just realized that I just spent ten minutes of my life, time I will never get back, on thinking about the magical mechanics of puppy operated dimensional rips through space. My parents must be proud of me.

What's in this horrifying dragon-encrusted door anyways? Earth of course! Wow, either these doors are ironic or the universe is telling us its opinion of us. Yeah, go to hell, universe. I don't like you either.

Yes, my friends, even though some bipedal talking dogs in unnatural colorations just made a dungeon door manifest right in the middle of a grocery store, absolutely no one but a baby in a grocery cart noticed. Oh great. Just like most cartoons in the 80's, humans in this movie are apparently completely clueless to changes in our surroundings because we're just so jaded and trapped in our abysmal society because humanity sucks. Maybe it's me, but if dogs (or any sort of animal, really) emerged out of a rip in our known reality, I would at least go "What the hell!?" and get out my cell phone to record it so I can post it onto Youtube.

Also, I bet the bored security guard watching the camera footage had fun seeing this. It probably made him quit drinking.
Rainbow-colored layouts! Super sized bites with deliciously intense natural fruit flavors!
The dogs run at full speed out of the grocery store, leaving behind both an unimaginative action sequence involving toppling can pyramids (does anyone ever see those things in real life?) and hundreds of dollars of broken, damaged, and otherwise smashed merchandise in their wake. But it's okay when the Flups damage an entire store's supply of oranges or laundry detergent! They're adorable!

Hey, thanks for driving up the price of oranges in the entire tri-county area, asshole!
Rainbow-colored cuteness doesn't mean they're entirely smart, because right after they escape the horrible confines of processed foods and affordable prices, they speed right into traffic, causing a major traffic jam that includes several generic cars and an extremely weirdly shaped car that is most definitely the owner of the vehicle compensating for something. Or it's Cruella de Vil's car slightly altered to be unrecognizable. Either way.

So yeah, essentially the Fluppy Dogs enter an alien world with an alien civilization and alien vehicles that can potentially kill them and figure the best strategy is to keep running, regardless of the consequences. You'd think after hopping through so many dimensions, they'd have grown some common sense.

That is one phallic car there, villain.
We then zoom into the contents of the car and find a rather stingy old fellow who isn't even trying to hide the fact that he's a bad guy. Really, if your first line of dialogue in a production is "If they give us any trouble, buy them out", then you're rotten to the core. Or a Hollywood lawyer, but that's just being redundant.

I also like how, between his mustache, his eyebrows, and his head of hair, there's like four different hair colors on his face. I've heard about the drapes not matching the carpet but this is ridiculous!

"Yes, I want every piece of furniture in my house to be a different shade of grey! I'm the bad guy, you know."
To make matters worse, one of the Fluppy Dogs actually jumps on the hood of his car (because the Fluppy Dogs are dumbasses and can't organize their group properly) and inadvertently reveals to the villain that he can speak. This auditory surprise prompts Mr. Wagstaff (yes, that's his name. This is seriously what they're going for) to say "That dog talked!" and exit his car in the middle of traffic in an attempt to chase it down. I'm surprised he's lived this long if he lacks basic survival logic such as "never exit a moving vehicle, even if traffic is jammed up".

"Quick! There's a sale at Limited Too!"
I will give this guy credit, even if his last name is hilariously, extraordinarily, fantastically lame. He's like the only guy that cares that there's purple and blue dogs causing traffic jams, destroying store merchandise, wearing clothing, and running around on their hind legs in this city. He even steals a camera in order to get photographic evidence (even though there were dozens of eyewitness accounts and honestly, how is this not a big news story?) and buys off the local policeman because he's evil and corrupt. With a final "I must have them for their collection!", Wagstaff firmly cements his role as this show's villain right from the get-go.

...and personally, I can't help but wonder if Wagstaff is one of the reasons why this premiere didn't do as well as it did. He's not exactly the most interesting Disney villain in the world. It's kind of a downgrade to go from Duke Igthorn and his army of ogres to THIS.

Yeah, I can sort of see why this failed.

Meanwhile the Fluppy Dogs make it into an alley way, but they're too exhausted to fight back as an animal control van pulls in and hauls them off to doggy prison, aka, the animal shelter. See, Fluppy Dogs? This is why you enter a world with some sort of a strategy. I mean, geez, the humans weren't even paying attention to you until after you were bulldozing through the store like that.

...well, wait. If Wagstaff can control the police (there's a scene where he can steal a camera scot-free because he's rich), then how come he couldn't track that animal control van? I know he later checks the animal shelter, but that's only after a whole day passes on by. Did he just not consider the fact that the Fluppy Dogs were picked up by any dogcatchers? Man, humanity is dumb in this movie.

I wonder if there's a way to chart the dominant and recessive traits of their
fur colors using Mendelian Genetics.
Anyways, we fade into a dog pound, a dismal place with barking dogs, broken dreams, and Peggy Lee as a dog singing "He's a Tramp". I have to say, the architecture looks quite lovely in its festive medieval dungeon look because no animal shelter in any animation ever is positive. The Fluppy Dogs immediately note that the dogs in the cages next to them are primitive, dumb creatures because they "don't even wear clothes", which just cracks me up. You know, because they're so well-dressed. I guess it's totally fine to run around totally starkers as long as you have a good hat on. Hats are for civilized people!

...wait, I wonder what they would say if they saw an Earth dog in a sweater? What then?

"Look at this poor creature! It doesn't even have any character-defining items slung around its neck!"
Suddenly, humans! The moment some homo sapiens, or "tall creatures", as they rather boringly put it, arrive on the scene, Fluppy Dogs wisely decide to strip themselves of all of their clothing (which I imagine got preeeetty awkward for the group, since there are different genders and different ages involved) and start acting like actual dogs. The plan? If the tall creature (good lord) adopts Stanley the blue-colored leader Flup, he can later come back to the pound and bust the rest of them out of there so they can continue on their hopeless journey.

...just a quick question, Fluppy Dogs. So far, Stanley has done nothing that's indicated that he's any more intelligent or capable than the rest of the multicolored pooches. Why does HE need busting out? Why are they even following him? Tradition?

"If anyone asks if you're ripping off of Pound Puppies, feign ignorance."
Anyways, we cut to the person who entered, and it turns out it's a caring, protagonist-type of a mother who's looking for a birthday present for her ten year old son. I don't even have to tell you which dog she picks out, but in her defense, if you saw a bright blue dog in an animal shelter, you'd probably take it home too. That'd be too much to pass up.
"Aww, you look just like a Saturday Morning Cartoon reject. My son's gonna love you!"
The music is all happy and bright as bland nondescript woman carts away a weirdly shaped blue canine that can strangely walk on two legs (so wait, did Lilo and Stitch inadvertently make a subtle reference to this movie?), but then when the camera cuts to this really awesome-looking mansion, suddenly it turns all dark and serious. Wagstaff manor I presume?

Dude. That's so The Haunted Mansion from Disneyland. Don't try to tell me otherwise.
And man oh man, the moment we enter the interior, we find out that Mr. Wagstaff is an absolute dickhole. He's Gaston on steroids, because not only does he have enough taxidermied animals in his study to make a member of PETA slit their wrists, but he also has a bunch of caged rare and exotic animals just sitting there right next to him, filling the room with their scrumptious agony. Because apparently he eats the suffering of endangered species to gain power. Nice to know that Disney was going to make a subtle, two-dimensional bad guy for this proposed show.

Also, I think I saw an episode of Animal Hoarders that looked exactly like this house. I can hear the sad piano music now...
"I use antlers in all of my deeeecooorating!"
While the butler is showing us all that he's not completely evil by giving a female boa constrictor named Lucy extra food, Mr. Wagschlong decides to ham it up to the fullest by shouting "Just as I thought! Those were FLUPPIES!" at the top of his lungs (Disney villains are always hams, I've noticed) the moment he spots a Fluppy picture in his giant picture book of mythical creatures he just has conveniently stashed next to his animal collection. Yes, it turns out the Fluppy Dogs are considered mythical in our world and they're from "a land of snow and colorfully lighted skies". Indeed.

...okay, two things. First, "colorfully lighted skies" in "a land of snow" is the freakin' aurora borealis and it occurs on Earth. How the hell does he or the book writer not know that and portray this as something magical. Two, if Fluppy Dogs are supposedly mythical creatures, then why wasn't anyone reacting when a tribe of them was running through busy city streets!? I really am having a hard time believing that an entire city is this stupid. If, say, gnomes magically appeared in Los Angeles and ran through a busy street, you bet your sweet ass that every news channel on the face of the Earth would be on that story.

In short, this plot sucks and Disney should feel bad. This is making "Getting Antsy" look like Shakespeare.

"If we market these things to the right audience, we'll be billionaires!"
After that journey into idiocy, Wagstaff decides to channel his inner Gargamel and order his butler to gather up some nets so that they can hunt FLUPPIES! I love how Wagstaff just can't say the word "Fluppy" without screaming it out in all caps and chewing the scenery, and it's around this point that I really wish Wagstaff had a better name (preferably one that wasn't phallic) and character design. It's like there's an interesting character and engaging ideas wanting to burst forth from his grey, uninteresting shell. I understand if maybe they thought they'd be clever by having the villain of a troupe of sherbet-flavored animals be devoid of any color, but come on, at least make us believe that he seriously caught all of those animals himself.

...did he catch all those animals himself? He apparently has nets and an eagerness to hunt down animals for his collection, but I'm honestly having trouble believing that Wagstaff caught an honest to god jaguar and timber wolf with his bare hands. I know this came before Beauty and the Beast, but this would've worked so much better with Gaston as an aging, semi-retired businessman and LeFou the butler. Tell me you don't see it.

"As a specimen, yes, I'm intimidating!"
But then, male protagonist! We meet Jamie, who has a hat larger than most of Europe, and he's celebrating his tenth birthday by barging into the kitchen and demanding his mother to hand him the goods like a rude little snot. And, I hate to say this, but this kid is as bland as they come. It's like if Disney fed all of their child protagonists and some cellulose into a blender, mashed the resulting mush into a vaguely boy-like shape, and then handed the abomination a baseball cap that would embarrass Mighty Max with its bright primary colors. Thanks for not living up to your awesome name, kid.

Despite the air holes, it's just another ridiculously large hat inside.
However, it turns out that in addition to being as exciting as a bowl of bran flakes, this kid's also an asshole, because the moment he opens up the box containing his new hound, he gets all mopey and downtrodden that the dog isn't as big as he wanted and doesn't want anything to do with his new pet. Ha ha, wow. What a jerk. You know, your mom didn't have to get you a puppy, Jamie. Show some respect.

...but then again, the Fluppy Dogs were marketed as toys for little girls (just look at that picture book from the beginning of this post for all the proof you need) before this special came on so maybe that's why he's so depressed. This is the equivalent of getting a Sky Dancer for your birthday instead of a Dragon Flyz.

"I wanted an Atari."
And, while he's walking the weirdly-colored flea bag, Boring Child Protagonist just keeps on whining about how he wanted a big dog like a police dog, and the very thought of having a little puppy is going to make "the guys" laugh at him because he told them ahead of time that he was getting Chuck Norris in Dog Form. What an ungrateful little brat. Pets, especially dogs, are a pretty big commitment and he's not even trying to bond with the animal his mom picked out for him. Hey kid, trust me, I've lived with big dogs. At least with your Fluppy, he's civilized enough not to leave land mines in the front yard. He'll even use the actual toilet.

"My friends are going to laugh at me when they see that my dog looks like a Care Bears reject."
Stanley can stand this about as much as the rest of us, so the moment the kid is distracted by how horrible it is to have a small dog, the stuffed animal totally blows this popsicle stand and runs away from Jamie. Good riddance. I don't even feel sorry for the kid when he turns around and finds that he's dragging an empty leash because he killed my love for names that start with the letter J. 

But the kid manages to see the hound getting away and gives chase, not once questioning the fact that his dog can now run on hind legs. Pursued by a thick slab of blandness, Stanley runs to where else but to a conveniently placed construction site within walking distance of the kid's house.

Ah yes, the versatile unfinished building construction site with absolutely no security. A staple of such cartoon classics such as Tom and Jerry, the Looney Tunes, and various Disney shorts. I guess the show figured that after having a toppling pyramid of cans in a grocery store, a villain who uses antlers in all of his decorating (to match the every last inch of him that's covered in hair), and a pound with a dungeon motif, they figured they'd be that much more original by having this crop up. The Fluppy Dogs are only cliched ironically.

DANGER: Overused cartoon trope ahead. Proceed with caution.
And, sure enough, the kid is a big enough dumbass to put himself in danger in an attempt to find the dog. Since apparently dogs can use ladders (the Fluppy Dogs can, but that's not the point), Jamie thought it was a good idea to climb a rickety old ladder up two stories and check to see if the mongrel was hiding on some support beams. As expected, the ladder falls, Jamie grabs onto the steel bar, and he starts grunting and sighing "Unh!" and "Ahh!" over and over. I'm not sure why those are the sounds they went for in terms of "distressed kid noises", because if you turn away and stop watching what's taking place onscreen, it sounds like something very dirty and very illegal.

From what the cartoons tell me, you can totally mess around in construction sites and not be in any real danger.
The Fluppy Dog saves the poor mentally challenged kid, revealing his human-like intelligence to the human in the process, but a lingering question remains as to whether Jamie deserved to be saved. All he's done in this cartoon is complain about his birthday present and nearly get himself killed. Perfect hero material.

"Well, huh, my strange, exotically-colored dog is secretly an alien. Who would've thought?"
The secret's now out and Stanley, figuring that if the kid knows one secret, he should know all of the secrets, just reveals to Jamie all of his magical, eldritch powers about opening doors to other worlds while Jamie gets him something to eat. Even though, just a couple minutes ago, the kid was dragging him through the neighborhood on a leash and complaining that he wanted a bigger smelly dogbeast. I guess Jamie's warmed up to his pet now that he's aware of its dimension-hopping sentience.

"Man, the guys are going to be sooo jealous. Let's see Pete's Rottweiler rip holes through time and space!"
Also, Stanley hates dog food, but he sure loves pizza that's fresh from the refrigerator. What is it with mutant animals from the 80's and their mysterious love for pizza?

Although wait, this came out before the famous Ninja Turtles show. Holy crap, did TMNT rip off of this movie!? My mind is blown.

While the raspberry blue furball eats fattening processed cheese and congealed grease, Jamie says that he'll use his birthday money to bail the rest of the Fluppy Dogs out. Unfortunately, Jamie only has enough money to buy one dog (which is actually pretty realistic, and I can't believe I found a realistic element in freaking Fluppy Dogs) and only ends up with the purple girl dog. Not sure why he went with the purple one, since the only thing more emasculating than receiving a fluffy blue stuffed animal for a pet is to have a fluffy purple stuffed animal for a pet.

"But mom, you have to collect them all!"
Showing up with a bright purple animal in the house went about as well as you would expect (especially since the mom got Jamie a male dog and he adopted a female dog, and who knows if they're fixed or not?), but the mom offers that maybe he can give the animal to Claire, the girl next door. I smell a plot development, and it smells like wet dog!

Also, wow, who just walks up to someone's house and unloads animals on the people inside? Pets are sort of a big deal.
"Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?"
We meet Claire, who Jamie insists hates him, but any conflict that would've arose from this is quickly dismantled because Claire opens her door, says "she's adorable!", and just takes the purple female Fluppy Dog without putting up a fight. We also learn from this scene that the purple Fluppy is named Tippi, because she's married to Al Gore.

So I guess her parents were okay with her just randomly adopting a dog...
After we get a touching moment with the Flups, the cartoon assaults us with a deadly amount of ham by having Mr. Grey Mc Greygrey drive at dangerous speeds, run up to the local animal shelter (oh hey, he actually used logic!), and yell "Let me in!" while pounding on the doors even though it's really obvious that the business is closed. And then, because the cartoon has an obsession with overdramatic acting, it decides to top that by having Mr. Penisname call and yell at the mayor of the city just so the closed animal shelter can open up just for him. Holy crap, what is Wagstaff's problem? Was he always this eccentric or did he just get senile in old age?

Also, even though this takes place at night, the background artists painted sunny afternoon skies. Hah hah, good going, guys.
"Dismissed! Rejected! Publicly humiliated! Why, it's more than I can bear."
But then, they remember to paint night skies in the following scene where Jamie and his talking blue flea bag go to bed. While engaging in some classic E.T.-styled "hide the alien from the parents so they don't know their house is being invaded by magical, talking monsters", Jamie and Stanley discuss their game plan. Stanley and his adorable cuteness says that they'll have to break into the dog pound in order to get the rest out, and Jamie and his suffocating tedium says that breaking into places is illegal. This causes Stanley to say "but they're treating us like dogs and we're not!", which would be inspiring if this movie wasn't named Fluppy Dogs. Should've thought of that before coining the species name, guys.

Oh, and Stanley insists on wearing a nightgown to bed (and using Jamie's toothbrush) even though he was totally fine with walking around on all fours naked throughout most of the day. And man, if we weren't dealing with something furry and doglike, this situation gets pretty awkward.

"Sorry about the whole attaching a collar to your neck and forcing you to walk for my amusement thing from earlier."
"I'll be fine with it, as long as we never speak of it again."
When they hop into bed, Monotonous Male Child says that maybe the mutts could just reveal that they're intelligent and then they can get out, on account of all those human rights laws. This causes Stanley to react with disgust and say that then, the Fluppies will be treated like freaks (because humans are assholes and hate anything magical) and makes Jamie promise that he'll never reveal the fact that he has a talking dog with a magic key living with him because anyone knowing about them would be disastrous.

As much as I want to buy this explanation, the humans certainly didn't seem to care that canines were, again, running around on hind legs wearing clothing through the streets. I know I keep bringing this one scene up but it leaves such a gaping plot hole in this whole thing. It's like the dangling thread that unravels an entire sweater, only this sweater's made out of blue dog hair.

I love how this dog wears Jamie's clothing, uses his toothbrush, and then lectures him. What a jerk.
They go to sleep, but not before we learn that the reason the Fluppy Dogs are stranded in a strange alien world and can't find their way back. Why are they lost in the cold reaches of space, never knowing if they'll ever find their way home? Because they wanted "adventure".


Wow, Stanley, that's...really, really lame and contrived. Seriously, that's it? Why do I suddenly don't feel sorry for your plight?

After we get that really bad journey into the Flup's psyche, they finally fall asleep and overall the movie seems to be puttering on a low tank. But wait! The cartoon hasn't had anything whimsical happen in a while! Let's have Tinkerbell pixie dust pour out of Stanley's ears when Jamie scratches him on the head!

Eww, that is one stinky dog.
Before you can say "What the hell am I watching?", Disney decides to completely and utterly rip off Little Nemo and the Adventures in Slumberland by having the bed levitate through the air and carry the child across the city in a magical flying bed.

And before anyone can go correct me, yes, I know about Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks. I'm still sticking by my Little Nemo statement.

What kind of dream will you dream Little Nemo?
What kind of dream will be yours tonight?
While all of this crazy crap is going on, including a scene where Jamie narrowly avoids crashing the bed to the ground and resulting in one of the most bizarre deaths ever (imagine the newspaper report on that), Stanley has the gall to just casually turn to Jamie and say that in some worlds, weird stuff just happens to them. Basically he's saying that this normally doesn't occur to the Fluppy Dogs and Earth just happened to give them crazy levitating powers whenever someone scratches their head. Okay. Now I wonder what other strange powers they acquired in random worlds. I can just picture it now...

"Look, Stanley! If I pet my head and rub my tummy at the same time, I can grow an extra set of arms!"
"Golly, it must be because of the radiation that we absorb whenever we travel through interdimensional doorways! Awesome!"

"Yeah, this just happens. Because Fluppies!"
While they engage in some inexplicable bed levitating, Stanley cries out that they can free the others tonight. Why? Because, in the blue dog's words, "Adventure, Jamie! Adventure!". So of course they fly over to Claire's house because...apparently they need an extra pair of hands. Actually, I have no idea why they waste time in going to Claire's house when they could be going to the pound. We're fine without the purple mongrel, thanks.

But I quickly forget this when I see Tippi or, more importantly, what the insane artist that is Claire did to her own dog. That woman needs to be arrested for animal cruelty, I swear. Also, what little girl dresses up her pets in a mohawk?
"For the Horde!"
After that journey into Claire's madness, Stanley tells Tippi to jump on the bed quickly before Claire sees. Sure enough, she does see, which leads to Jamie saying the classic, ever-humorous line "I'll explain later".

I just love this setup, by the way. To sum up this scene, a young teenaged girl walks into a room and finds her next-door neighbor on a levitating bed stealing her purple dog while his blue dog sits next to him emitting fairy sparkles. "I'll explain later" doesn't cut it, Jamie.

I have to admire Claire for taking this rather well, but considering the fashion disaster earlier, I think the only reason she doesn't care that much is because she's currently as high as a kite.

"Duuuuude, the neighbor kid is on a flying bed. Far out."
They fly off to the pound, and manage to get there right when the mayor helps Old Gaston, presumably without asking any questions, get into the pound. Now they have to race against the clock to get the others before Mr. Phallicname harvests them all for his collection. Seeeee? This is why they should've just left Tippi and her dreadful hairstyle at home!

Unfortunately, this was only the beginning, and soon, Jamie became the accomplice of diamond heists and car thefts.
I do love Mr. Wagstaff's face when he starts talking to himself (as evil villains are wont to do) about how soooon, his rare animal collection will have the rarest animal of all. All villains are expected to do some sort of gloating, but he seals the deal by clutching his fists like he's seeing his favorite pop star in concert and whispering "Fluppiiiies" under his breath like a creeper. I can't make this stuff up if I tried.

"Oh my god, little fuzzy wuzzies! They're so cuuuuute!"
Inside the dog kennels, Stanley and Tippi find the others and...whoa now.

I'm positive that this is illegal.
Ooookay, just what as been going on while the two of them were away? Looks like the green one was getting his groove on while his oppressive leader, who was restricting his sexual urges this entire adventure, was finally out of the picture. And yes, I realize that the red dog is a boy. Ozzie (the green one's name) just happens to play ball on both sides of the field.

Oh, and Wagstaff sees them escape. But that's not as important as what happened behind the scenes. And yes, I'm choosing to mull this strange, disturbing thought over instead of paying attention to the chase sequence between adventure-seeking bipedal canines and a crazy old man, because really, you know what's going to happen. Old Gaston is going to lose because he's about twenty years too old for his Saturday Morning Cartoon Villain job and has lived the cushy life of being better than everyone else for way too long.

I love how absolutely no one comments on the purple one's drastic change in style.
We leave Wagstaff to tell the mayor that he saw the mythical gaudy animals get away on a flying bed, but before he's hauled away to a nice, padded room, we cut to Claire's house and find out that the purple dog just gave up and decided that she might as well let her fashionably-challenged owner in on the secret too. Probably because that flying bed needed more than a "it was just a weather balloon" from our heroes.

I will give the movie props for a funny line. When Claire utters the stock "You can talk" line in a voice that sounds more irritated than in awe, Tippi says "I wish you wouldn't keep saying that, I've been talking since I was three". Oooooh. I hope Claire has some ice for that epic burn!

But seriously, what did Claire expect? She adopted an intelligent purple dog that the neighbor kid, who never talks to her, mysteriously showed up on her doorstep and offered to her. Maybe if Claire read more fantasy novels, she'd be aware of when things like this happen.

"Yeah, okay, I guess you can use my hair dryer, magic talking dog."
Meanwhile, back at Jamie's house, we find his room totally trashed and with random dogs strewn everywhere, sort of like my best friend's room after finals. Apparently he took in the other three canines because apparently Claire can only handle one dog under her roof on account she's useless. As for the strange mess in his room even though Stanley only levitated the bed? Well, I guess in a scene left on the cutting room floor, Jamie's attempts at landing the bed were about as successful as Launchpad picking up groceries in the Thunderquack.

"Hi mom! I don't have strange furry aliens in my room!"
With all of the Fluppies now in possession of the good guys and with the two human protagonists clearly established, now would be a good time to call it quits for now. That, and I reached the halfway mark of this movie.

Part 2 will logically bring about the end of this short special and hopefully will answer questions like "Will Wagstaff pose an actual threat?", "Will the red and yellow dogs show any signs of personality?", and "Will Jamie ever finish his homework?". Find out next time. This is your friendly blog writer signing out and reminding you to always spay and neuter your talking, dimension-traveling aliens.

Some multicolored dogs have opened a door to Part 2!