a one-hour animatedtelevision special which aired on November 27 (Thanksgiving), 1986 on ABC, and was intended to be a pilot for the third Walt Disney Television animated series. The pilot suffered low ratings and it was cancelled. The series did not revive either. It featured five pastel-colored talking (fluppy) dogs that came through a fuppy interdimensional doorway and into the lives of 10-year-old Jamie, with his slightly older teenage neighbor, Claire. The dogs were the intended prey of the evil miser Wagstaff.
Why was it forgotten?: IT WAS A ONE TIME SHOWN FAILED T.V. PILOT.
This was sort of poor scouting on my part.
I wanted to do a bad and/or forgotten Thanksgiving special but the only one I could think of was already talked about by another internet critic. This was the second option I had in mind and I thought it would be about Thanksgiving or at the very least take part around Thanksgiving.
Low and behold, nope, the only connection this has to the holiday is that it just happened to be shown on Thanksgiving. So not only am I a semi-literate idiot but I’m also a bad planner.
Screw it though, we’re gonna talk about Fluppy Dogs anyway.
This ill-fated pilot was birthed from a line of girl’s soft toys about a group of pastel colored dog-like creatures that have adventures by traveling from world to world via a magic gate.
So it’s pretty much a cute cuddly version of the excellent sci-fi series, Sliders. I can get behind that, that sounds pretty rad.
Along with the dolls there was a whole line of picture books, coloring books, and puzzles featuring the Fluppies. At least Wikipedia tells me there are since I couldn’t find anything online aside from the dolls.
“But what’s the cartoon like,” you’re probably asking while rotating your hand, gesturing me to get on with it. Well, it certainly looks nice. The art and animation have that sort of whimsical Disney flare to it and it’s very cute and easy on the eyes. It’s comparable to Ducktales and Rescue Rangers.
What about the story? That’s unfortunately where things take a bit of a dive. I know they only had about 45 minutes to work but somehow this pilot manages to feel rushed yet really slow moving at the same time.
For reference, it starts off with the Fluppies on some sort of daring adventure; they’re on a snow capped mountain, then they go through a portal to get chased by a dinosaur, and then arrive on Earth in which they engage in havoc before getting caught by a dog catcher. It feels like a lot happens in just that 5 minute scene but nothing really does, and it doesn’t really establish much of anything. I suppose if you’re a fan of the franchise going into it you know the backstory and what not but I didn’t even know the names of the main characters. Trust me, I listened closely, I needed to play really close attention and write down the names so I wouldn’t forget them.
That’s pretty much the special in a nutshell. Nothing really ever gets explained and we don’t learn much of anything about anything or anyone. I suppose if the pilot made it to a series than we would’ve gotten more back story and characterization but it didn’t. By that same token, a pilot by definition is supposed to do the job of establishing the series; what it’s about, who it’s about, why, and how things are happening. This pilot sort of answers those questions but doesn’t give us much to go on.
That’s really unfortunate since the idea of dimension hopping dogs sounds like a really swell idea for an animated series. It had heart behind it to, this wasn’t just some soulless, cheap, marketing device which these kinds of cartoons usually are.
While she may have been intended for the series, Fanci, an additional pink Fluppy Dog, was not featured in the pilot.
The Fluppy Dogs special aired on the U.S. television network ABC on November 27, 1986, pre-empting Our World. It scored a Nielsen rating of 5.3/10; placing 70th among network programming, it was the week’s lowest-ranked program
I didn’t 100% like this movie but admittedly it did have promise. It had that Disney magic backing it up which worked marvelously for Adventures of the Gummi Bears and admittedly… the toys are kind of cute.
Just a shame that this movie was so rushed and kind of confusing so it couldn’t find its audience.
Either way, happy Thanksgiving Badlanders. Have a swell holiday and enjoy your time off from school.
By the way, I am NOT the author of this petition. I simply want this to gain recognition and fame. These shows need to be put on DVD completely. People will buy them with a lot of promotion.
The Disney Afternoon was a syndicated block of animated shows produced by Walt Disney Television Animation, which originally aired between 1990 and 1997. In the seven years the block aired, it featured a number of popular shows, both original to the block and previous created shows, including:
-Adventures of the Gummi Bears (1985-1991) - Final 48 episodes
-Ducktales (1987-1990) - Final 25 episodes
-Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers (1989-1990) - Final 14 episodes
-TaleSpin (1990-1991) - Final 11 episodes
-Darkwing Duck (1991-1992) - Final 39 episodes
-Goof Troop (1992-1993) - Proper volume sets of all 79 episodes
-Bonkers (1993-1994) - All 65 episodes
-Aladdin: The Series (1994-1996) - Proper volume sets for all 86 episodes
-Gargoyles (1994-1997) - The final 39 episodes
-The Shnookums and Meat Funny Cartoon Show (1995) - All 13 episodes
-The Lion King’s Timon and Pumbaa (1995-1999) - Proper volume sets for all 85 episodes
-Quack Pack (1996) - Proper volume sets for all 39 episodes
-Mighty Ducks (1996-1997) - All 26 episodes
In addition to these thirteen shows, there was other animation from WDTA produced during this era. This included shows, specials and extended cuts of pilot episodes:
-The Wuzzles (1985) - All 13 episodes
-Fluppy Dogs (1986)
-Sport Goofy in Soccer Mania (1987)
-DuckTales: The Treasure of the Golden Suns (1987) – The movie cut
-The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1988-1991) - Proper volume sets for all 50 episodes
-DuckTales: Time is Money (1989) - The movie cut
-Super DuckTales (1989) - The movie cut
-Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers: To the Rescue (1989) - The movie cut
-TaleSpin: Plunder and Lightning (1990) - The movie cut
-Darkwing Duck: Darkly Dawns the Duck (1991) - The movie cut
-Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too (1991) - The tv special in its original version
-The Little Mermaid: The Series (1992-1994) - Proper volume sets for all 31 episodes
-Raw Toonage (1992) - All 12 episodes
-Marsupilami (1993) - All 13 episodes
-Gargoyles: The Heroes Awaken (1994) - The movie cut
-Boo to You Too! Winnie the Pooh (1996) - The tv special in its original version
-Mighty Ducks: The Movie (1996) - The movie cut
-A Winnie the Pooh Thanksgiving (1998) - The tv special in its original version
All together, these 18 animated shows and 13 animated specials represent the original years of production at WDTA, and arguably the finest animation to ever come out of WDTA’s studios. Many of these shows went on to win many awards, including Emmy Awards, and were featured prominently on a number of “Best of” lists, including in recent years. These shows fueled merchandise frenzies filled with actions figures, t-shirts, back backs and comic books, including re-launched comics from just a few years ago for Darkwing Ducks, Gargoyles, DuckTales and Rescue Rangers. In the early 1990’s, there was even a whole section of Disneyland dedicated to these shows, including a live stage show. These shows have been translated into multiple languages and shown in countries all over the World, including, but not limited to, the former Soviet Union, Germany, Finland, Sweden, India, Hungary, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
Years after a select number of VHS releases, Disney started releasing a number of these Disney Afternoon series on DVD in either multi-disc volume/season sets, or in single discs featuring a few episodes each. Without fan-fair or much advertising, sales of the sets depended heavily on word of mouth. As a result of “lack of interest,” these releases were dropped, without much of a fair shot.
We, as a collective body of fans, urge Walt Disney Home Entertainment to finally release these treasured classics onto DVD in their entirety. We want to enjoy these series, either through the more preferred method of a standard retail DVD, as with most of the original releases, or simply via a Disney Movie Club Exclusive release or the DVD-on-Demand program. The reasons for denying fans access to the entirety of these shows are unfounded, and must come to an end.
If Walt Disney Home Entertainment properly markets and advertises these shows and does not have overly high list prices (two problems that plagued the original releases) we know they will perform better than previous releases. There is a strong fan base for these shows and if you give us the opportunity, we are ready to demonstrate with our pocket books how beloved these shows still are. Thank you.