What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the "bad guy" in this '80s cartoon is the main human character's guardian, and she has no other adults to turn to. No explanation for the guardian's animosity (or that of her daughter) is ever offered. Otherwise, there's not much here to concern parents aside from some very mild cartoon violence (fights in a cloud of smoke/flying fists, etc.).
What's the story?
POUND PUPPIES is the story of a pack of homeless dogs and their efforts to protect their human companion, Holly (voiced by Ami Foster) -- with whom they share a magical bond -- from her evil guardian, Katrina (Pat Carroll). At the same time, they're hoping to find homes for themselves and the endless quantities of puppies that overrun the pound.
Is it any good?
Fans of the show from its original '80s run describe it as "better written than Care Bears," which is one of those comments that begs a lot of questions. And even if it is better written, it lacks the Bears' sweetness (some might say sappiness), replacing it with a kind of sardonic good will and wry attitude toward the typical "help your friends" message that passed as educational television back in the day.
The storylines can be creative and complex, and they do require some brainpower to follow. Catchy song-and-dance plot recaps start each post-ad break segment, and the non-singing characters' annoyance at these pauses in the action is amusing.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about why the characters do the things they do. Why does Holly's guardian, Katrina, want to shut down the pound? Would there be any story without her? What's the point of the little songs that are sung after every break? Families can also discuss the fact that this show was originally heavily tied in to a line of toys. Kids: Which do you like better -- shows that you have toys for, or ones that you don't? Why?