Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw
Release: March 18, 1988

Pound puppies first big screen movie. Based on the ABC Saturday morning cartoon. Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw is an animated feature film released on March 18, 1988 by TriStar Pictures. The film was based on the Tonka/Mattel toy line and Hanna-Barbera television series of the same name. It was directed by Pierre DeCelles, and starred the voices of Brennan Howard, B. J. Ward and Tony Longo. The film's story centers on a magical artifact called the Bone of Scone, a reference to the Stone of Scone in Arthurian legend, that gives "Puppy Power" to the Pound Puppies (dogs) and Pound Purries (cats). However, a villain named Marvin McNasty plans to take it and use it for world domination. Without the Bone of Scone, humans will not understand what the animals are saying and, if it is broken, Puppy Power will forever be lost. The Legend of Big Paw was the last theatrically-released animated feature from the late 1980s to promote a major toy line, a common trend in the American cartoon industry during that time. The film did not fare well with critics or audiences during its original release, and grossed more than US$500,000 domestically. It premiered on DVD in North America on October 24, 2006. Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw was produced by Atlantic Releasing, Carolco, Family Home Entertainment and Kushner-Locke with The Maltese Companies, and was financed by Tonka, the original owners of the Pound Puppies franchise.[2] The film's director, Pierre DeCelles, was also an art director and directing storyboard artist during production. According to DeCelles, the film took 5½ months to complete, starting in the fall of 1987. The first 2½ months were spent on preparing its layouts and storyboards, and the remaining time on the animation, backgrounds and shooting. The overseas work was done by Wang Film Productions and Cuckoo's Nest Studio, two Taiwanese companies known for their contributions to children's animated series. The movie's animation and character design were different from what was featured in the Hanna-Barbera series, and did not contribute to the latter's continuity. A new set of characters were introduced for the film: Pound Puppies Collette, Beamer, and Reflex, and the Pound Purries Hairball and Charlamange, along with two teenagers, Tammy and Jeff, that replaced the 11-year-old Holly. Critical response to The Legend of Big Paw was unsupportive at most during its theatrical run. The Hollywood trade magazine, Variety, called it "uninvolving and endlessly derivative". The Sacramento Bee deemed it "miserably drawn" in comparison to what Disney was offering at the time, and the San Francisco Chronicle gave it an "empty chair" rating. A reviewer in the Detroit Free Press found it "dull and unoriginal", but praised the songs that were written for it. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who also denounced it, began their review thus: If you're in your 40th year and not your fourth, Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw requires the extra dosage of insulin reserved for such treks into celluloid and commercial [sweetness]. But even 4-year-olds have trouble swallowing this cartoon whole. Writing for The Animated Movie Guide by animation expert Jerry Beck, Stuart Fisher gave the film one star out of four, and saw the film's artistic quality as "a mixed bag". "[While] the backgrounds are somewhat imaginative and colorful, the character animation is flat and lifeless. Rapid cuts to new angles of the same shot seem to try to cover up limitations of the animation technique," he continued. Moreover, Fisher and the Philadelphia Inquirer took note of its purpose as a toy commercial, a trend that was prevalent in the animation industry during the late 1980s. During its short run in U.S. theaters, The Legend of Big Paw only grossed more than US$500,000. It was the only animated feature produced by Carolco, and distributor TriStar's only one until 2001's The Trumpet of the Swan. The film was also the last in a line of 1980s animated productions for the big screen which featured established toy properties as their main characters. Previous examples included movies that were based on the Care Bears and Transformers. Family Home Entertainment, one of the companies involved in the film's production, released Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw in VHS format on September 14, 1989. Its successor, Lionsgate, premiered the film on DVD in the United States on October 24, 2006. Hanna-Barbera did not make the film but did license out some of the voice actors from the ABC cartoon for the film.

Reflex: "I love you!"
Bones: "This thing has teeth like needles!"
Lumpy: "Fits right in with your pin head."
Lumpy: "Do you know what the boss will do when he finds out we've only got half?"
Bones: "Do you think he'll punish us?"
Lumpy: "No, he won't punish us... HE'S JUST GONNA KILL US!!"
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