Original medium: Television animation
Produced by: Peter Hannan Productions
First Appeared: 1998
Creator: Peter Hannan
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The idea of a cat and a dog joined at the hip, facing opposite directions, was not entirely new when Nickelodeon (Backyardigans, The Wild Thornberrys) launched CatDog on October 4, 1998. The previous year's Simpsons

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… Halloween episode had featured a brief glimpse of Bart's dog, Santa's Little Helper, connected that way with Lisa's cat, Snowball. An observant viewer once spotted a similar creature on a book cover in the Hey Arnold! background. As long ago as 1938, one of them turned up in the classic Warner Bros. cartoon, Porky in Wackyland.

But CatDog didn't merely flash an image, hoping to get a quick laugh out of the mere thought of such a bizarre creature, but explored the idea in depth, by making him, or rather them, the protagonists of the series. For example, being both different from the norm and hopeless in a fight, they were vulnerable to bullies — such as The Greaser Dogs, street toughs who (addressing only the Dog end) called him "Catbutt". And the relationship between the two ends, who were as close as Siamese twins despite belonging to different species.

Cat and Dog were as different as were real-life representatives of their types. Cat was smart and sneaky. and usually, through guile, got his way when he and Dog came into conflict. Nonetheless, when it came to suffering the consequences that always befall cartoon characters for one reason or another, Cat usually got it worse than Dog.

Dog, on the other hand, fell for Cat's schemes not so much because he was less smart (tho he was), as because he was a less pushy guy, loyal and easily swayed. He had a short attention span, and could be distracted by whatever happened to be going on in the vicinity — or, if nothing was going on, by his own imagination.

Other major characters included Winslow the Mouse, who looked like a rat. Winslow lived in a hole in CatDog's wall. Dog was pretty friendly with him, but he and Cat didn't get along so well. Rancid Rabbit didn't like either; and since he usually had a position of authority in whatever endeavor they were trying, had plenty of chances to vent his dislike on them.

Cat's voice was Jim Cummings, current voice of Disney's versatile bad guy, Pete, whose other credits include Darkwing Duck and Winnie the Pooh. Dog was Tom Kenny, also the voice of the Mayor in Powerpuff Girls, Plastic Man (in 21st century Batman animation), and Spongebob Squarepants. Winslow was Carlos Alazraqui (Mr. Crocker in Fairly OddParents). Rancid was Billy West (Stimpy).

CatDog was created by writer/animation man Peter Hannan, and produced by Hannan's Peter Hannan Productions. Three seasons, totalling 66 episodes, were made. Also, there was a feature-length production, CatDog: The Great Parent Mystery, which Nickelodeon broadcast in 2001,


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Text ©2009 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Nickelodeon.