L-r: Little Dog, Big Dog.


Medium: TV animation
Produced by: Hanna-Barbera
First Appeared: 1993
Creator: Donovan Cook
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As the 1990s were starting to bring their radical changes to the television animation industry, Hanna-Barbera, still one of the industry's heavy hitters despite the fact that it hadn't had a real hit since Smurfs in 1981 (and that one hadn't even originated with them), was looking to the styles …

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… of the past. In 1992, Fred Seibert, formerly of Nickelodeon, was installed as their head of production. The first show he added to their schedule was 2 Stupid Dogs, which was made in three segments, just like some of their very early shows (e.g., Yogi Bear and Peter Potamus) — but with the '90s type of humor that had been pioneered by The Simpsons and Beetlejuice. Two of the segments. the first and last, starred the Dogs themselves, while the one in the middle was Secret Squirrel, plucked from the past and retitled "Super Secret Squirrel".

As the name implies, the stars were dogs who weren't very bright and there weren't very many of them. They didn't have names, but were referred to as The Big Dog and The Little Dog. Big was a lazy sheepdog. Little was an excitable, cowardly dachshund. Little was probably the stupider of the two, but it was a hotly contested title. Big would often help Little out when they were faced with something scary, like a cat.

The show was created by animator and director Donovan Cook, part of a talent pool that included Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Laboratory) and Craig McCracken (Powerpuff Girls), who also worked on the show. John Kricfalusi (Ren & Stimpy) contributed some of the "poor taste" (which he proudly claims) that led to it, along with Disney's Schnookums & Meat, being widely regarded as a Ren & Stimpy knock-off. It did debut during that show's first flush of popularity, on September 11, 1993.

Big Dog's voice was provided by Brad Garrett (Lobo in Justice League animation), and Little Dog's by Mark Schiff (Huckleberry Hound in Wake, Rattle & Roll). In the middle segment, this incarnation of Secret Squirrel was voiced by Jess Harnell (Wakko Warner) and his partner, Morocco Mole, by Jim Cummings (Cat in CatDog).

The show first aired on cable TV, and transferred to Cartoon Network (Grim & Evil) to form an early part of its output. Altogether, 33 episodes were made.


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Text ©2009-10 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Hanna-Barbera.