Road Rovers

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Road Rovers was a cartoon about a team of superdogs that briefly aired in 1996 and 1997, with an even shorter revival by Cartoon Network in 1999. It was created by Warner Brothers.

Road Rovers was an attempt to cash in on the sentai craze that was still popular at the time: Five teens (in this case dogs) are given special powers (here, uplifted via a 'transdogmafier') and cool gear (power armor and various vehicles -- in fact, there were more vehicles than episodes) and the patronage of a mysterious saint (here, 'the Master', working for both the United States and the United Nations) versus a great evil (here, the semi-feline cyborg Parvo, among others).

Although it was broadcast in four languages (English, German, Portuguese, and Spanish), and the cartoon was the second-highest rated show that Warner Brothers was showing at the time (just behind Superman), the cartoon was canceled after only thirteen episodes. There are many reasons, but one most commmonly cited was the humor of the show. In an attempt to draw teenagers as well as young children, some adult-oriented jokes were included; for example, one episode featured the infamous "Russian Names" song, which included a verse that sounded like a certain profanity, and an earlier episode had some minor villains flying into trees crotch-first, Colleen commenting that "they'll be singing soprano into their 80's". These jokes naturally went over the heads of young children at the time; for teenagers, they were unexpected and humorous, and for most parents the jokes were unwelcome in a kid's show. Most furs only recognize Road Rover's humor in retrospect.

The real reason for the cancellation, however, is often suspected to simply be the fact that no merchandisers were interested in Road Rovers.

Of particularly interesting note is that before the cancellation, a Road Rovers Christmas special had been made, and commercials mentioning it aired on the WB, but the series was cancelled before the special itself could be shown.

Characters[edit]

Blitz was a Doberman, and his abilities reflected that: extra-strong claws and teeth. He had a liking for Peppermint milkshakes and an obsession with biting bottoms ("tooshies"). He also had an extreme crush on Colleen, which is mostly ignored (along with his existence) by the collie.

Exile was a husky. His abilities included superhuman strength and various vision-related powers (night vision, heat vision, et cetera). He also sported an extremely affected Russian accent.

Colleen was a collie, with her ability being incredible intelligence, amazing martial-arts, and hearing. She knew some medicine and martial arts. She is involved in a love triangle between Hunter and Blitz, with Hunter being her love interest, and he occasionally reciprocating it, while she ignored Blitz's advances towards her. She has the embarrassing secret of failing paper training.

Hunter was a golden retriever mix, with his special ability being super speed, with a thing for tennis balls. He was the leader of the team, and Colleen's love interest, occasionally reciprocating her feelings. Signature line: "Yet another unexpected twist!"

The Master was a human (formerly Prof. William Shephard), who is more often heard than seen. When he is seen, however, his eyes always glow with a bright light, which he chocks up to "special effects". Signature line: "You're all good dogs. Good, good dogs."

Muzzle, a rottweiler, was the failure of the team; although he gained powers, he gained them at the cost of his sanity. Ergo, while he was cared for by The Master, and given a mostly-easy life (as he was already The Master's pet before the experiment, then known as Scout), he was also extremely violent and totally insane. Unlike his comrades, Muzzle did not change shape at all. He spent most of his time confined to a strait-jacket and muzzle and strapped to a luggage rack. As a last resort, Muzzle would be called upon to dispatch an enemy with his berserk attacks ("Muzzle 'em!").

Shag was a sheepdog who, in contrast to his specie's reputation, was shy and meek. He had many powers, including strength, speed, and toughness. he was just too timid to use them most of the time. Like Muzzle, his appearance did not really change when he was "activated" (though he could stand on his hind legs). This was often used to the team's advantage, as he could pass for an ordinary sheepdog and hide things in his fur. He only spoke in a sort of doggish "baby talk", which the team (save for Hunter) often have trouble understanding.

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