The Family Dog

Before there was Family Guy there was The Family Dog.

FamilyDog.jpgFirst appearing as part of Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories season 2 in 1987, this hit segment got it's own short-lived TV series in the early 90s. It follows the misadventures of the Binford family, with the main focus of the show being the family dog.

At the time of it's debut in the late 80s, it was considered a "bold and risky" move for Spielberg to do it as an animated cartoon, as at the time cartoons were strictly thought to be for kids. This ended up being Spielberg's first animated work and they say it is a landmark production for launching the 90's "renaissance" of modern animation that we have today.

When it was picked up by CBS for a full series, Tim Burton got involved with Spielberg, and contributed as a producer to the story's production and character designs. While 13 episodes were ordered, only 10 episodes saw the light of day as the series was panned for "crude scripts" and "cheap production value."

I'm sure with shows like the The Simpsons and Family Guy being as popular as they are today, let alone half the shows that are on Adult Swim, it would probably fare pretty well if it was brought back - especially if Tim Burton was involved again, as he now has quite the cult following which was just starting to build up at the time the show originally aired.

I remember being just a kid when The Family Dog aired and I remember watching it almost weekly with my mom and my aunt, as we just laughed our butts off at the dog and his interactions with people and especially his family. Yes, compared to what we have now, the animation value is a bit low, but this was the early 90s - even early episodes of The Simpsons have low animation values compared to the episodes of today!

Below is the first part of the pilot that originally aired as part of Amazing Stories - you can watch the last 2 parts by clicking the links at the end of the video. I was actually surprised to find this and other episodes on Youtube, as I had looked over a year or so ago and couldn't find it! This episode is in 3 parts - the first part revolves around the dog seeking attention from the different family members; the second part is the family watching home movies, and then in the third part the family decides to send the dog to a school to learn how to be a tough after their home gets broken into several times while they are out; yet the results of the school aren't quite what they had in mind!


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