Friday, December 12, 2014

Geek TV: Krypto the Superdog!

krypto animated 1Concept: The adventures of Superman's dog, Kevin (the earth boy Krypto lives with), Streaky the Super-Cat, Ace the Bat-Hound, and the entire Dog Star Patrol (based on the Space Canine Patrol Agents) in an animated series that may or may not be part of the bigger DC Animated Universe (see notes).

Total Episodes: 39 (two stories per episode)

Original Air Dates: March 25, 2005 - December 15, 2006

Original Network: Cartoon Network

Characters:

Krypto (Samuel Vincent): Portrayed as a white Labrador Retriever, Krypto has all the powers that Superman does, although some are naturally heightened due to his being a dog (such as super-smell and super-hearing). When his rocket from Krypton landed on Earth, he was found by Kevin and taken in, where he poses as an ordinary dog until trouble looms, and he goes into action as Superdog!

Streaky (Brian Drummond): The cat next door, Streaky is owned by a girl named Andrea. He is an orange cat with a yellow streak on his back that resembles a lightning bolt, like his comic book counterpart. Streaky makes friends with Krypto immediately (all animals can talk to each other in this universe), and when a duplicator ray bounces off of Krypto and strikes Streaky, it gives him similar superpowers. Streaky doesn't take super-heroing as seriously as Krypto, and is much more oriented towards getting food.

Kevin Whitney (Alberto Ghisi): Krypto's earth owner (with permission from Superman). It's Kevin who convinces Krypto to take on the superheroic identity of Superdog, although at first he tries to disguise Krypto as Superman himself! Kevin can understand Krypto and the other animals thanks to a space communicator from Krypto's rocket that acts as a universal translator.

Mechanikat (Mark Oliver): The main antagonist of the series, Mechanikat is a cyborg intelligent cat from outer space who plans to conquer earth. He's usually defeated either by Krypto himself, or with the help of the Dog Star Patrol. He rarely takes action directly, but prefers to use others to do his dirty work, such as Snooky Wookums (Nicole Bouma), a kitten who uses his cuteness and smarts to cause trouble, and Delilah (Kathleen Barr), another feline agent of Mechanikat who is a master of technology.

Ace the Bathound (Scott McNeil): Batman's pet dog (although Ace insists he's Batman's partner), Ace is a Great Dane (he was a German shepherd in the comics) who uses detective skills as well as a utility collar and a personal flying Batwing. He considers Krypto an ally. His nemeses are the pets of Catwoman, the Joker, and the Penguin.

The Dog Star Patrol: A superpowered group of dogs, based on the Space Canine Patrol Agents from the comics, in which each member has their own unique power. The leader is Brainy Barker (Ellen Kennedy), who has telepathic and telekinetic powers. Other members are Mammoth Mutt (Kelly Sheridan) who has powers like Bouncing Boy of the Legion of Super-Heroes; Bull Dog (Michael Dobson), a bulldog with bull-like horns; Paw Pooch (Dale Wilson), a basset hound with eight legs that can grow, and give him super-speed running; Tail Terrier (Peter Kelamis), a Scottish Terrier who can stretch his tail and use like a lasso; Tusky Husky (Terry Klassen): A Siberian Husky who has a giant front tooth that can be used like a drill; and Hot Dog (Trevor Deval), a Dachshund who can generate incredible heat and breathe fire.

The Villain's Pets: Most of the other villains on the show are the pets of super-villains. Ignatius (Scott McNeil) is the green Iguana belonging to Lex Luthor; Bud and Lou are a pair of spotted hyenas that belong to the Joker (although on Batman: The Animated Series they belonged to Harley Quinn); Isis (Kathleen Barr) a Siamese cat who belongs to Catwoman; and the Bad News Birds (Arte the Penguin, Griff the Vulture, and Waddles the Penguin) who belong to the Penguin. 

Geek Pedigree:

The series was directed by Scott Jeralds, who has had a fairly long career in TV animation. You might know his work from The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, Muppet Babies, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures, A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, Fish Police, The Addams Family (1992), The Pirates of Dark Water, Static Shock and other shows, including brief stints on Superman: The Animated Series and the later Legion of Super-Heroes. Among the writers were: Alan Burnett, who wrote a lot of episodes of the previous DC animated shows, including Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, and Batman Beyond; Paul Dini, who of course worked on all those same wonderful shows and more; and Rich Fogel, who has similar credits.

The voice actors, naturally, had worked prior to the show. Sam Vincent voiced AFC Blinky in Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars, Forge on X-Men: Evolution, Edd on Ed, Edd, 'n Eddy, and later credits include voicing HERBIE, Peter Parker and the Trapster on Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, but he's done lots of other voice work as well as a few on-camera appearances. Brian Drummond previously voiced Vegeta and others on Dragonball Z, Venom on Spider-Man Unimited, as well as many, many other voice roles both before and after Krypto the Super-Dog. Scott McNeil was the voice of Piccolo on Dragonball Z, did a few voices on Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars!, Wolverine in X-Men: Evolution, and also many other voice roles before and since. Kathleen Barr's most geeky voice role prior to Krypto was probably voicing Dot Matrix on ReBoot. Trevor Devall had voiced Pyro on X-Men: Evolution. 

DVD Release: There have been two DVD releases of episodes, but a complete series set hasn't happened.

Website: http://www.cartoonito.co.uk/tv-show/krypto-the-superdog seems to be the only site with a page dedicated to the show, and includes online games and more.

Notes: As indicated at the beginning, it's possible this show is intended, however tenuously, to be connected to the wider DC animated universe that began with Batman: The Animated Series and continued through to Justice League Unlimited and later direct-to-video movies. The reason I suggest this is that Superman, Lex Luthor, and Lois Lane (who all made at least single appearances on the show) are all more or less on-model with their Superman: The Animated Series versions... plus there's the fact that Bud and Lou as well as Isis had previously appeared on Batman: The Animated Series, although they were altered a bit for Krypto the Superdog. I enjoyed this show a lot, even if it was intended for younger viewers (gee, can you guess why I liked it?), and still have a lot of the toys that came out based on the show to this day.

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