Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds

Go To
From left to right: Pip, Porthos, Dogtanian, Athos and Aramis.
"One for all and all for one,
Muskehounds are always ready.
One for all and all for one,
Helping everybody.
One for all and all for one,
It's a pretty story.
Sharing everything with fun,
That's the way to be."
—First verse of the opening theme
Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds is a 1981 cartoon based on the novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. The cartoon was created by Spanish animation studio BRB Internacional and co-produced in Japan by Nippon Animation, one of many successful collaborations between the two. The show aired first in Japan in 1981 on on the
TBS network, then debuted on Television Espanola in Spain a year later, and has since aired in various other countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Canada (in French), Mexico, Spanish-speaking South America, Portugal, and Brazil.

This was a remarkably faithful 26-part adaptation (with some inevitable bowdlerisation; for instance, Dogtanian's love interest Juliette, is M. Bonacieux's niece rather than his wife), with one major difference: the principal characters are all anthropomorphic dogs, as is most of the supporting cast, with the occasional cat, pig, bear or rabbit.

Young Dogtanian is a child of poor but honest parents, living in a small village in Gascony, scrapping with his puppy pals and dreaming of becoming a Musketeer (the title notwithstanding, they're called "Musketeers" throughout - at least in the English dub). When a messenger arrives from his father's old friend Monsieur de Treville, head of the Musketeers, asking that Dogtanian be sent to Paris to train under him, our hero sets off armed with a sword, a decrepit old horse and an ointment that can heal any wound.


On his journey he falls foul of a mysterious cavalier, the Man with the Black Moustache, and ends up walking to Paris with no money and a broken sword. He arrives at last and falls in with the trio of friends known as the Three Musketeers: The Leader Porthos, portly Athos and romantic Aramis (the book roles of Athos and Porthos are swapped).

Dogtanian's spirit and swordsmanship soon make him an indispensible part of the team, and he settles down to a life of duelling with the Cardinal's Guards, wooing the lovely Juliette and foiling villainous plots against nice-but-weak King Louis and his wife Anne of Austria. His ultimate aim is to prove himself and be accepted into the ranks of the Musketeers.

Anyone who grew up in the UK and Spain in the 1980s will almost certainly remember this show, as it seemed to be on permanent loop along with The Mysterious Cities of Gold and Around the World with Willy Fog. It's not as well known in the United States, although the English dub was made in California (and features none other than Cam Clarke as the voice of Dogtanian). A sequel series was made in 1990 that continued with a new story based on The Vicomte de Bragelonne, although changing "the man in the iron mask" for "the man in the golden muzzle".


Not to be confused with Kunihiko Yuyama's non-canine take on the story, The Three Musketeers (1987).


  • Absurdly Sharp Blade / Artistic License – Physics / Implausible Fencing Powers: In the intro Dogtanian tosses an apple into the air with the point of his sword and cuts through it eight times while it inexplicably hovers in the air unaffected by gravity and catches it on the point of his sword seemingly intact. He then blows on it and it becomes a shower of over fifty wafer thin slices that float down to the floor. So somehow Dogtanian is able to use a rapier (a type of sword that doesn't even have an edge!) to slice through an apple, while it hovers in the air for no legitmate reason, using a number of cuts insufficient to make that many slices, to a degree of accuracy that permits each slice to be light and thin enough to float down in the air rather than falling to the ground normally, in such a way that the apple retains it's overall structure until he blows on it. Right...
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Most of the foreign theme songs (including English, French, Portuguese, Hebrew, and Russian) were adapted from the Spanish theme. The English version in fact retains the Spanish "D'Artacan, D'Artacan" children's choir chant from the original. By contrast, the Japanese theme songs (both opening and closing) are completely different; in fact, the Japanese version has a completely different musical score.
  • Animal Stereotypes: The Three Musketeers' strong loyalty is highlighted by them being dogs. Meanwhile, Milady, a villainous cat, showcases classic feline cunning.
  • Animesque: It was co-produced in Japan after all. It definitely shows in the characters facial expressions.
    • The first series does in fact count as anime, as it aired in Japan first before making it to the West. Nevertheless, it's BRB, not Nippon Animation, that owns the worldwide rights to the show, and as the second series was animated in Taiwan without Japanese involvement, the franchise as a whole is generally considered to be primarily of Spanish origin.
  • Anthropomorphic Animal Adaptation: Dogtanian is, of course, a dog, as are the Musketeers. Most of the other characters are also dogs, though some are other animals like pigs.
  • Art Evolution: The 1990 sequel series switched from Japanese studio Nippon Animation to Taiwanese studio Wang Film Productions. As such, Wang's animation is much noticeably different than Nippon's in color and design.
  • The Big Guy: Athos is World's Strongest Man so of course he's the muscle on The Team.
  • Cats Are Mean: Milady, a feline, is notably more devious than the other baddies.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: The entire series is this for Dogtanian. When we first encounter him, he's little more than a child and still play fights with wooden swords. In the final episode, he becomes a fully fledged musketeer.
  • Compilation Movie: A 90-minute one, called One for All and All for One, was produced, condensing the episodes as well as providing a new script and dub.
  • Defiant Captive: Juliette has her moments, like the one when she gives Rochefort's squire a sound thrashing while tied up in a sack.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • Dogtanian is "D'Artacán" in the original Spanish. It's a pun in the original name "D'Artagnan", and the word "can" ("dog").
    • Also, the musketeers were called "mosqueperros", a pun using "mosqueteros" ("musketeer" in Spanish) and "perros" ("dogs").
    • The three musketeers had punny names in Spanish too: Antos, Pontos and Amis. The puns come from the original character names and dog breed names.
    • Pip the mouse, an original character, was originally called Pom in Spanish and Japanese.
    • Dogtanian keeps his original name of D'Artagnan in the Japanese and French versions.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The last episode, when Widimer brings Dogtanian the poisoned wine and Dogtanian attempts to persuade Widimer to drink it as well. When Widimer refuses, Dogtanian orders his servant Planchet to restrain Widimer so Dogtanian can force-feed him. It wouldn't be so bad if it was over quickly, but compared to his usual behavior Widimer actually holds out for an impressive length of time before breaking, to the point where Dogtanian orders Planchet to force Widimer's mouth open. Even then, Widimer doesn't make it easy for either of them. There's also really no reason for Dogtanian to do this in the first place. Thanks to Count Rochefort, he already knows that the wine is poisoned. Forcing Widimer to break and confess what Dogtanian already knows is sliding toward For the Evulz territory.
    • The aftermath of this is fairly dark as well, as Widimer seriously considers suicide, to the point where he actually uncorks the bottle of poison wine and brings it up to his mouth to drink. Granted he gets over this reasonably quickly, but that's still some pretty dark stuff for a kid's cartoon.
    • By American standards, the entire series could count, despite the fact that the English dub is of American origin. The series' startling level of violence (guns as well as swordfights), not to mention minor character deaths, an attempted murder, and alcohol consumption (mentioned even in the English theme song), set it apart from typical U.S. children's programming of the era, perhaps contributing to its obscurity in English-speaking North America (an alternate Latino Spanish dub aired in Mexico and South America).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Count Rochefort, especially in the final episode. Although a loyal servant of Richelieu, when Richelieu enthusiastically agrees to Widimer's suggestion that they poison Dogtanian, Rochefort is so disgusted by what he perceives to be a cowardly, underhanded trick that he not only walks out on them but goes straight to Dogtanian's house to warn him.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Averted: "they drink their beer and swear they're faithful to their King". Also, Athos is shown visibly drunk on at least one occasion.
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: Everyone except The Muskehounds, who don't wear pants.
  • Kid Hero: Dogtanian is the only Muskehound cadet who gets to hang out with the fully-fledged Musketeers.
  • Loophole Abuse: The Commander of Cardinal Richelieu's men wanted Dogtanian arrested for dueling with his men, saying that he drew his sword against the law. However, he was unable to actually draw his sword due to it being stuck inside a scabbard, resulting him dueling while it was still inside. He was forced to leave him alone after the Musketeers pointed that out.
  • Master Swordsman: All the heroes, especially Dogtanian and Aramis.
  • Noble Demon/Worthy Opponent: Count Rochefort turns out to be a man of honour.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Widimer is best known for the number of times he has failed as the least competent minion of Cardinal Richelieu. However, in his debut episode, he pulls off a successful Frame-Up plan by having one of his guards to commit robberies while being disguised as Porthos. The plan falls apart only because Aramis finds and catches the impostor. Before the impostor can be made to talk, however, Widimer kills him by just shooting him. He also takes aim at Porthos, and while Dogtanian pushes him out of the way, the Musketeer's shoulder is injured for the two following episodes. In the eight episode, Widimer attempts to shoot in the back Porthos who's busy fighting his men, and since he can't hear Dogtanian's warning over the sounds of battle, Dogtanian must take direct action to save Porthos. He's also the one who proposes Cardinal Richelieu that they poison Dogtanian in the last episode. There must be a reason how Widimer has managed to become the captain of Cardinal Richelieu's guard in the first place.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: