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Three Failed 90's Cartoons

Discussion in 'Toons for Big Kids' started by Dave Koch, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Dave Koch

    Dave Koch Cartoon Admin

    Oct 27, 2013
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    In the early 90's, there was three Prime-Time Cartoons that tried to 1-UP "The Simpsons" in the same time-frame. And all three just lasted one season with lousy reviews.

    These shows were...

    "Capitol Critters"
    "Fish Police"
    "Family Dog"

    And what did "The Simpsons" do...make fun of their downfall in a "Treehouse of Horror" episode!

    Does anyone know about these shows?
  2. Robert Bischoff

    Robert Bischoff Newbie New Member

    Nov 12, 2013
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    Dear Mr. Koch:

    I remember the cartoons you mention here...but only barely.

    "Capitol Critters" mostly involved a family of mice living under the U.S. Capitol (I think, or somewhere in D.C.).
    It may have been conceived by Steven Bochco as a way of keeping Neil Patrick Harris off the unemployment line
    (he did at least one voice here), but even though Hanna-Barbera was involved with the production, it didn't do
    them any favors. HB was also involved with "Fish Police", and that did them even fewer favors (I watched it once,
    and not again; apparently, that was more than almost everyone else). It was a type of underwater crime drama, and
    all I remember was John Ritter's voice telling us, "I'm a cop who's a carp." (Are you sure you meant "carp" and not
    "crappie" - like the whole show?)

    I remember "Family Dog" from its pilot on "Amazing Stories", and that was its best episode. The scene I liked best was
    the one after the house was robbed, and the father kept yelling, "BUT THE DOG WAS HERE!" That was about as involved
    as the dog was otherwise; mostly, his scenes showed him being chased away by people snapping, "Stupid dog!" To their
    (slight) credit, CBS replaced this show for a few weeks with "Toon Nite" - which, one week, was a "Bullwinkle Show" rerun
    (no puppet, though).

    (Actually, "The Simpsons" wasn't the only show to spoof these tacky toons - I think "Married With Children" had an episode in
    which "Capitol Critters" was supposedly placed in a "Museum of Failed Television".)

    Yours in toon obsession,

    Robert Bischoff
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  3. IronCookuru

    IronCookuru Laced with plenty of "confidence" (Admin team) Staff Member I SUPPORT BCDB!

    Oct 30, 2013
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    The problems with Fish Police were primarily that they needed it to be a "kid friendly" prime time cartoon, but the source material most certainly was NOT kid friendly. It was based on a "hard boiled detective"/noir kind of independent comic book series, which was definitely not for kids. So it managed to alienate its existing fan base and failed to capture any new fans b/c of the exceeding mediocrity of the finished product.

    As for Capitol Critters, I watched it and remember liking it. But it definitely couldn't stretch the one dimensional gag of "mice living under the White House" much more than a couple of episodes.
  4. artytoons

    artytoons Administrator I SUPPORT BCDB! Forum Member New Member

    Nov 5, 2013
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    "Capitol Critters" lasted 7 episodes on ABC primetime. The remaining 6 episodes were shown on Cartoon Network years later. I was hoping for "Pogo" style political satire with caricatures of politicians as members of a parallel government in Max Mouse's rodent/vermin universe under the White House floorboards but the stories mostly dealt with Max's friendship with Jammet the rat, Moze the cockroach, and various non-political characters. Neil Patrick Harris was also starring on "Doogie Howser M.D." at the time.

    Bochco had promised actual "Senate" and "Presidential" speech and debate moments on the voice soundtrack but that did not happen.

    "Fish Police" lasted 3 episodes on CBS primetime...there were 3 other unaired episodes but it was never shown. The original "Fish Police" comic by Steve Moncuse featured Inspector Gill as a Mick Belker-like undercover police detective who resembled the Catfish detective character (voiced by Robert Guillaume) in the series, rather than the trench-coated Fedora-wearing 30s style detective fish lead character (John Ritter)...and the stories were darker in tone with Inspector Gill being seduced by the vampish Angelfish and seemingly corrupted by the criminal elements in his undersea world. The cartoon version had more of a kid-friendly"Flintstones"-type vibe with punny sealife names for its characters and locations.
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