TAKE ME TO THE PICTURES


Beethoven



Name of show that this character is from:  Beethoven: The Animated Series
Title of Episode:



Original Air date:  Fall 1993 (NETWORK: CBS )
Where can I find this episode now?: VHS Good, the Bad & the Poodle

EPISODE TYPE: Fantasy Situation  & Blink Moment
(see Common Themes section for more on this category)

WHAT IS BEETHOVEN?: A non anthro, furry, brown and white furred, pet St. Bernard Dog

IS HE MACRO ORIGINALLY?: No        

HOW DID HE BECOME MACRO?:  Naturally that size in the situation

WHAT DOES HE BECOME AFTER HE GREW?: Larger version of himself.
           
IS GROWTH SHOWN?: No                                                                                                                              

MACRO NAME: Dogzilla

QUOTE:      NONE

SEX:    Male

LOCATIONS: New Tokyo

MACRO SIZE (Approx or Average ): 300 feet

NATURE: Chaotic Evil

DESTRUCTION LEVEL DONE: High - Lots of buildings destroyed or damaged or covered in saliva.

SYNOPSIS OF EPISODE: George comes home from a long night out and just wants to relax. He is less then pleased when he opens the door and sees the living room has been turned upside down by their pet dog, Beethoven who is busy running around with the kids right by him. George has had enough of this as he can never have a clean house due to the dog. He drags Beethoven outside and puts him into his pen where he heads back in not understanding why he puts up with that dog.

Back in the house , George's youngest daughter Emily is getting ready for bed and drifts off to sleep. She suddenly has a dream where she is playing in a sand box and a bunch of bullies show up to ruin her time. Her brother can't stop them as they outnumber the two of them. Emily pulls out a huge flashlight with a dog symbol on it and points it to the sky. The sky lights up with a dog insignia much in the shape of Beethoven's face. Beethoven sees the signal back at his doghouse and jumps behind it leaping out donning a super hero outfit. The dog zooms into the air and starts to take on the bullies who are no match for his dog breath power and saliva rope. He starts to drool and ties them up in his pools of saliva carrying them off away from Emily and her brother victoriously.

Emily smiles happily in her bed as her dream ends continuing to sleep. George meanwhile gets settled into bed claiming that Beethoven is nothing but a monster. His wife tries to reassure him that he's just a sweet dog but George is insistent on the fact that it's a monster and falls asleep. He starts to have a dream as well where he is the designer of  redesigned Tokyo that he calls "New Tokyo" After he pulls the blanket covering the city with a rope someone walks up to him to inform him that they have a problem. A gigantic sized Beethoven suddenly shows up and starts to destroy various buildings as he walks by. People start to scream and try and run but only slip in the pools of saliva that Dogzilla drools down over them. Cars spin out of control, buildings topple as he sends drool in every direction. Every building starts to crumble as before George can look next, the whole city is covered in saliva or half destroyed. George shakes his head in total disgust that his once clean and beautiful city is ruined. Dogzilla just bends down and gives George a huge slurp as George cries out in fear as he is slurped into the sky by the massive tongue.

George tosses and turns as he has his nightmare as Beethoven is woken by a female canine friend of his outside of the house still in his caged area. She asks why he puts up with George and Beethoven defends him saying that he is part of his family and he means well. His female friend thinks Beethoven has no idea what he's talking about and strolls off as Beethoven continues his thought about being part of the family and falls asleep. As he starts to dream he is on a black and white 50's sit com where he is the father of the series , standing anthro and wearing a business suit. George's wife serves him dog food at the table. While the now father Beethoven helps out each kid with home work problems, style problems and continues to eat. He then goes to take George out for a walk, who is now in his underwear, on all fours and wearing a leash as if George is now the pet and Beethoven is the master.

Beethoven wakes up and leaves his pen and enters the dog door entering into the kitchen. The kids all remark that they had wonderful dreams last night with Beethoven as a hero. George wakes up sitting at the table saying he had a horrible nightmare and goes to eat his food. When he asks what's for breakfast , his wife replied "Kibble and eggs" as he looks down to see he is eating dog food as if the dream was still going on. He screams out in a panic.


REVIEW OF EPISODE: The macro moments are very short in length so there isn't much to go on here. The idea though I thought was great but if it were done as a full episode rather then just a quick less then 2 minute blip, it would have been really great. I must admit I'm not a big fan of the movies or of this cartoon series. I found it to be just a play on the same gag over and over, much in the way Marmaduke comics are just one gag about the dog being a great dane, this is a gag about the dog being a slobbering and too big for the house to handle, St. Bernard.  Also I didn't think the movies were that popular to warrant it's own cartoon series (yes as of this writing it's going onto it's 5th movie, but still..) as do we really need another cartoon about a dog with other friends who are dogs and the situations they get into? Beethoven is two different characters. He's a playful and trouble making pet when he's with his human family and he's a  brave and strong willed leader when he's with his animal friends who can talk to them with a gentle voice.  That's pretty much what you should expect with this series. Him with the family acting one way, him with his dog friends acting another. A mixture of both, lots of slobbering here and there.. and you got yourself a low budget, milking it for everything it's worth, based on a moderately successful movie series and off we go.  Thank goodness it only lasted one season.

As far as the situation that we had in this episode.. It was all right, not great, not terrible. Just ok really. The only way we would have him big is the way it was done. A fantasy situation. This cartoon is based on a real life reality so that being the case, you won't find any growth potions or labs to wander into. The only way we would see Beethoven stomping through a city was if it wasn't really happening. So at least they did that. But the episode is a little disappointing. Starts off wanting to be a Godzilla Situation but it's so short and so lacking in anything similar, I don't think it can really be called that.  A few people running and the monster named Dogzilla is not enough to make a Godzilla spoof as much as they tried to here. Dog Dreams is based on the dreams of three focal characters of the family. All three have dreams based around  their perspective of Beethoven and/or Beethoven's human family and put to the extreme in dream like fantasy situations. So we have the little girl who sees him as a hero and a wonderful dog so he was a superhero in her dream. And we have Beethoven himself thinking he is like one of the family so he takes the place for the human father as if he saw himself as the true leader of his family and not just a pet. And then we have the father, George who sees Beethoven as some home wrecking monster and hence we get Dogzilla. This all would have been fine if they actually had a path to go with these situations and didn't have to rush through each one due to the episode being only about 10 minutes long in length. With those time constraints they weren't really able to do much in any of the situations.

It was all just one running gag, as I stated above. To sum it up in two words. "Dog Slobber". That's pretty much what the joke is. Beethoven drools a lot and it's either a powerful weapon or a tool of destruction or both. As a superhero he made a lasso out of  his slobber tying up the bullies. As Dogzilla he slobbered causing buildings to fall and cars to spin out of control. As the father he slobbered over the older daughters hair making it perfectly straight. Ok , enough with the slobber jokes already. They weren't funny and they were just getting tired even by the end of this short 11 minute segment.  Also for some reason they seemed to draw him with his tongue hanging out all the time. I guess they were going for some image that George had of him, or to also reinforce the whole slobber thing. But was kinda silly looking rather then scary any way you slice it.

I can't say so for myself, but I'm sure a lot liked the idea of a 300 foot Beethoven suddenly showing up and causing trouble. It is a fun situation and good idea if done right. But what do we get? We get him standing there, slobbering, walking a few feet, slobbering some more. People holding up umbrellas to avoid the slobber. Cars spinning in pools of slobber. Buildings crumbling by flying slobber. George licked by a huge tongue as he cries out in terror. The writer missed the boat here. He may want to watch the movies again as that's not all Beethoven is about and that's not entirely how George sees him.  This is all supposed to be a nightmare the father is having about how Beethoven is nothing but a furry monster. And that being the case, the one joke didn't work as that's not all he sees in him and the situation was way to short to get anything eventful occurring within.  If the whole 11 minute segment was just one of the dreams and not 3 short short situations, it would have been fun to have played up on a whole situation, which ever of the three they went with. (Preferably the Dogzilla one for this pages preference) but we get what we got and it could have been a lot better and a little longer too.  It's better then nothing and not horrible as it still makes for a cool blink moment as I know it would be interesting to see a 300 foot St. Bernard suddenly show up, but if all he's going to do is slobber and stuff, he may as well stay home.

They also really could have done better then the ill-conceived and used before and after name  of Dogzilla.  Every giant dog monster seems to get that name in cartoons. Just seems very uncreative is all. Basically this was just a fun blink moment at a giant Beethoven, it's no frills and no originality but it still has it's cool parts and gives us a nice opinion of what George thinks of the family pet.  The writer just took common themes that each character had of Beethoven and put it to the extreme. The clean city was supposed to be George's house that was always dirty from Beethoven. Etc. Not the worst of ideas even, but this episode came off more as a draft then a finished product and maybe with more work and rewrites this could have really worked well all around. One thing though  I couldn't help but to think to myself  is that if I had a dream like that, it sure wouldn't be a nightmare. If only I had nightmares like that. I would sleep quite well at nights.  Anyway I don't know what George was so afraid of. He got out of the situation was just a lick and destroyed city. He doesn't even live in Tokyo and the dog didn't even harm him in his own nightmare. I tell you some folks just expect to much out of  their pets. He would sleep a lot better if he saw the humor of the situation overall.  Oh well.


RATING:   C-

 


MEMORABLE QUOTES AND MOMENTS IN EPISODE

(A huge boom is heard as everyone looks away from the podium George is talking at)
Citizen of Tokyo: "Oh no!!! It's Dogzilla!!!
"
(A gigantic St. Bernard slams a huge paw down as he looms next to buildings)


****************

(Mass panic ensues as everyone is running trying to get away from the huge monster)
A fleeing citizen: "He will destroy us with his dog slobber!"

*****************


FINAL NOTES:

*This cartoon is based on the first two Beethoven movies, except it more is based on the first as there is very little from the second referenced in the episodes.  The dog in this cartoon could talk only to other animals, while the humans just saw Beethoven as a regular pet, his animal friends could hear him speak.  The cartoon only lasted for one season and was part of CBS's saturday morning cartoon block.  Each episode is about 11 minutes long, meaning there were two different episodes per show. 

*Like other episodes dealing with dream situations, this one too had all the buildings in one shade of color (this time being bluish) to give the illusion of a dream and not of reality. 

Errors--

      Factual -- This was supposed to take place in Tokyo but everyone in the crowd that George was talking to was Caucasian in appearance. Either George dreams in one color or people in Japan didn't care to much about  a redone city and it only attracted tourist to cover the story. 

      Continuity -- Was confusing to see what the slobber was actually doing. Sometimes he slobbered on buildings and the buildings fell. Sometimes he slobbered on them and they stayed standing just covered in slime. If the slobber was able to destroy buildings, I don't think a few umbrellas that some of the folks were holding would have helped either. 

 

+ :Beethoven looks cool as a giant stomping through the city.  Good expressions on Beethoven giving him an evil yet playful look. 

- :Very short in length overall, the Dogzilla segment is about 2 minutes total. Could have been better. Was just one running gag that wasn't as funny as they wanted it to be.  Unoriginal name of "Dogzilla".


PICTURES OF BEETHOVEN


Welcome to New Tokyo     Dogzilla shows up to spoil the show     Running is a very good idea

Well he seems to be having fun     Those annoying buildings keep getting in his way     Boy he sure likes to hang his tongue out a lot

That's one way to clear a path     I don't like that look on his face     It's slobberin' time

This is one city crushing dog you don't wanna mess with     At least a few cars survived     Now that's an evil grin if I ever did see one

I wouldn't stand there if I were you human     I hope he's housebroken     He just wants to give you a kiss

                                                                                Eww..slimy

AVI


49 Seconds
Beethoven has become Dogzilla, in this nightmare situation. Now nothing remains clean as he slobbers and shakes up the whole city with every stomp he makes.