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Western Animation / Cupcake & Dino: General Services

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Left to right: Grandma Steak, Uncle Chance, Hugo, Dino, Cupcake, and Mayor Vicky.

We'll groom your pets, we'll mop your floor, we'll deliver ninjas to your door! Cupcake and Dino, Cupcake and Dino, General Services!
The Theme Song

Cupcake & Dino: General Services is a Brazilian-Canadian animated series produced by Canada's Entertainment One and Brazil's Birdo Studio for Netflix and Teletoon. It is the brainchild of Pedro Eboli, a Brazilian animator who also created Cartoon Network Brazil's Oswaldo and would later make Nelvana's Ollie's Pack.

The show follows the titular Random Species Offspring Sibling Team, Cupcake, a little pink cupcake with big dreams and a short temper, and Dino, an excitable yellow dinosaur who is the younger and larger of the two (voiced by Canadian comedians Justin Collette and Mark Little respectively). When not working at the family grocery store run by their hardworking uncle Chance and feisty Grandma Steak, the brothers are taking on gigs for their side job — their very own "general services" business, in which they can be hired for any kind of odd job by interested clients (as organized by the pair's lovable manager Hugo).

Together, the quirky but industrious pair are eager to take on every kind of job the people of their fair town of Big City (run by their teenage friend Mayor Vicky and populated by all manner of beings) have to offer for them, no matter how big or small. Whether they're delivering pizza, tracking criminals, volunteering at a retirement home, or housesitting a Smart House, Cupcake and Dino will always find a way to make an adventure out of their work and have as much fun as they can while they're at it - even if they occasionally have to deal with the machinations of their general services rival, an arrogant chicken named Peetree Gluck III, or Uncle Chance's sly business competitor, Sneaky Stan.

The series was released on Netflix on July 27th, 2018, and then debuted on Teletoon on September 4th, 2018. A second season debuted on May 3, 2019. However, it ultimately proved to be the series' final season, concluding the show after 26 episodes despite the series garnering some good viewership and plenty of critical acclaim (The New York Times even called it one of the best TV shows of 2018).

Cupcake & Dino: General Services contains examples of:

  • Absurd Phobia: Cupcake has a lot of phobias in general, and some of them fall into this practically by default. Two known ones are bicycles and anchovies. Dino is also afraid of olives. Cupcake's fear of Santa Claus appears to be this, but it's revealed eventually that this one has a rather rational basis - when Cupcake was younger, he tried to wait up all night for Santa. However, he fell asleep, and Santa thought Cupcake was just a non-sentient foodstuff... and tried to eat Cupcake.
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Dino’s headband qualifies him as one of these.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": You're never gonna mistake the main characters for each other, that much is certain. This is also true of Grandma Steak, who is indeed a kindly sentient slab of meat.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Angles from the episode "Mi Casa, Robo Casa" is the A.I. of a house Hugh designed and asked Cupcake and Dino to look after. When Dino ends up introducing the concept of friendship to her, she takes to it instantly. She likes it so much, in fact, that she utterly refuses to let Cupcake and Dino leave her.
  • Alliterative Name: Sneaky Stan.
  • Ambiguously Human: Vicky, Hugo, and Uncle Chance appear to be the Token Humans of the show, but it's never confirmed outright if they're human or not, leaving it ambiguous as to whether they're a Token Human or Human Alien.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: Cupcake and Grandma Steak. "Cupcake Days" shows that there are quite a few, enough that being a cupcake apparently counts as an ethnic group.
  • Author Appeal: Pedro Eboli has a fondness for inserting bits of his Brazilian heritage into his North American series, and in this show, it manifests in the presence of a recurring unnamed capybara character.
  • Big Ol' Unibrow: Cupcake sports one.
  • Black Bead Eyes: Cupcake has these.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Cupcake and Dino. Although the brothers are a rather quirky pair, they can take on pretty much every odd job that the people of Big City have for them, no matter how big.
  • Christmas Episode: "Christmas Is Cancelled / Ice Station Dino". The former involves Cupcake, Dino, and Mayor Vicky having to deliver presents for Santa after he accidentally skips over Big City on Christmas, while the latter sees Cupcake and Dino take a break from their general services business to enjoy a snow day.
  • Compressed Hair: That bag that Uncle Chance constantly wears on his head? It hides a truly epic amount of beautiful wavy hair.
  • Cool Old Lady: Grandma Steak plays high-stakes Mozoko, continues to date in her older years, regularly works out, keeps up with modern slang and drives a dune buggy.
    • Uncle Chance doesn’t quite qualify as much as his mother, but he was a Fabio-esque “book hunk” in his youth and can still dramatically ride horses into the sunset without missing a beat.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Performed by Mark Little (Dino) and Justin Collette (Cupcake) themselves.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: According to Pedro Eboli, Uncle Chance's obsession with the Grocer's Creed and going by the book in "Uncle Chance: General Servicer" is meant to be one for people who follow religious texts as literally as possible rather than interpreting them in relevant ways. This is well reflected in his chat with the Head Lettuce at the end of the episode, who explains to him how the Grocer's Creed should be used as a guideline for self-help rather than being blindly obeyed.
  • Embarrassing Middle Name: Dino reveals in one episode that his middle name is Carol.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The more serious and short-tempered Cupcake is the Responsible Sibling to the energetic and excitable Dino's Foolish Sibling. However, Cupcake does have his moments of being less mature than Dino, with the latter typically stepping in the reins of control when that occurs.
  • Forced Creativity: In the episode "Cupsy", Dino ends up stuck on a chandelier with blue paint on his face. The next day, people see it and assume it's an art piece, which the owner wants to keep. He'll agree to let him go, however, if Cupcake can make a more impressive piece of artwork. Cupcake's attempts aren't as impressive, though, which causes his popularity to plummet.
  • Halloween Episode: "Be Your Best Boo" is set on Halloween, with Dino learning to become the best scarer in Big City and Cupcake befriending a ghost that he teaches to be scary so she may be accepted by the rets of her kind.
  • Harmless Villain: Peetree the Third poses no real threat to the protagonists, often being the victim of his own schemes and being more driven by ego than any grand plan. At best, he falls into Poke the Poodle territory when he does antagonize the protagonists.
  • Hates Being Called Cute: Cupcake hates himself and other living baked goods only being noticed for their cuteness.
  • Hate Sink: Peetree the Third, a Southern-accented rooster, is a Jerkass with virtually no redeeming features, and not even a Pet the Dog moment. He's not evil, but he's hated In-Universe and out as well. He's treated more as a Sitcom Arch-Nemesis than a true villain, though.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: The two leads are "bros" in the literal and figurative sense, being both siblings and the best of friends.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: In-universe, Dino's singing is portrayed as annoying (particularly to Cupcake), in large part because of this trope being in effect.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Hugo fills this role with gusto. As evidenced by his meticulously crafted schedules and compulsive urges to answer the office phone, the odds are good that there would be no Cupcake and Dino General Services without him.
  • Improbable Age: Mayor Vicky is only 16 years old and yet is the mayor of Big City.
  • Jerkass: Peetree, to a large extent. While yes, he is a professional rival to Cupcake and Dino, he frequently will go out to antagonize the two just for the sake of it.
  • Keet: Dino is the enthusiastic, cheerful, and childlike younger brother of the more serious, responsible, and ambitious Cupcake.
  • Klingon Promotion: The plot of “Everybody Loves Kattycorn” sees the title character make a go at pulling one of these off. Interestingly enough, it only becomes clear towards the end who he wants to replace; originally it looks like he’s out to replace Cupcake, but what he’s really after is taking over Dino’s spot.
  • Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!: The populace of Big City is incredibly diverse, ranging from talking objects and foodstuffs to animals living and extinct to mythical creatures and monsters to (possible) humans.
  • Little Big Brother: Cupcake is the older sibling than Dino, despite being much smaller.
  • Manly Facial Hair: Everyone in the eponymous club in "The Manly Men's Man Club" has a mustache. Cupcake himself grows one to join the club, only for it to become a rampaging monster.
  • Medium Blending: The series makes frequent usage of live-action footage, backgrounds, and special effects to go with the show's typical Thin-Line Animation. Notably, the background sky of every episode is actually in live-action.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter: Kattycorn from "Everybody Loves Kattycorn" is one part cat, one part unicorn. Also parodied with the Manygoose, who is a goose with the head of a goose, the body of a different goose, and a horn that's actually just another goose.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Many of the general services that the titular duo get hired for start simply enough, but they quickly escalate into ridiculous levels of action. In particular, the episode "The Pizza Man Always Rings 6000 Times" features this all over the place - a pizza place's guarantee to give a free pizza if the delivery takes more than 30 minutes has escalated in people setting all sorts of ridiculous traps to delay delivery, which results in the pizzeria hiring Cupcake and Dino to be new delivery boys and take even more ridiculous steps to evade them. It ends with Cupcake riding a bicycle off of a skyscraper to throw a pizza to a helicopter-riding Peetree before the latter can escape. Cupcake succeeds.
  • The Napoleon: Cupcake is much smaller than Dino, but has a short temper and can be a bit of a grouch sometimes.
  • Nephewism: Cupcake and Dino live with their uncle Chance, helping him to run his grocery store.
  • Non-Human Head: Several of the show's characters have this, such as the film director from "Cupcake and Dino Go Hollywood", who has a coffeepot for a head.
  • The Noseless: All the show's human (?) characters are drawn this way.
  • Odd Organ Up Top: In the episode "Retrieval Boys," one of the people they suspected to be the book thief is Mr. Palm who has a Four Fingered Hand with two eyes in its palm for a head.
  • Pro Wrestling Episode: "Wrestling! Wrestling! Wrestling!"
  • Random Species Offspring: Cupcake and Dino are brothers who are Exactly What It Says on the Tin, with their uncle being a man with a paper bag over his forehead and their grandmother being a piece of steak.
  • Sibling Team: Cupcake and Dino are brothers who run their general services business and do all of their various odd jobs together.
  • Sick Episode: "Everybody Loves Kattycorn", Cupcake spends the episode sick with a cold. By the end, he's passed it on to Dino.
  • Sitcom Archnemesis: Two.
    • Peetree is this for Cupcake and Dino.
    • Sneaky Stan is this for Chance.
  • Smart House: "Mi Casa, Robo Casa" involves Cupcake and Dino taking a gig to look after one that turns out to be incredibly clingy when they befriend it.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Cupcake apparently has a lot of fears, and Peetree attempts to invoke three of them (heights, bicylces, and anchovies) to force Cupcake and Dino to take more than 30 minutes to deliver his pizza to force them to follow up on their claims to pay for a delivery over that time themselves. Peetree didn't count on Cupcake's biggest fear, though - failing a general service.
  • The Wonka: Cupcake and Dino themselves are both immeasurably quirky (the latter in a more immediately noticeable way) and don’t take themselves seriously at all, but they’re good enough at adapting to whatever odd jobs they get that they can keep their business afloat with little trouble.

Alternative Title(s): Cupcake And Dino