Muskehounds are always ready.
One for all and all for one,
One for all and all for one,
It's a pretty story.
Sharing everything with fun,
That's the way to be."
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. 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".
- 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...
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Damsel in Distress: At one point Rochefort kidnaps Juliette. Dogtanian's rescue attempt fails and she then escapes on her own.
- 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.
- Darker and Edgier: The last episode has moments of this. Notably when Widdimir brings Dogtanian the poison wine and Dogtanian attempts to persuade Widdimir to drink it as well. When Widdimir refuses, Dogtanian orders his servant Planchet to restrain Widdimir so Dogtanian can force-feed him the poison.
- It wouldn't be so bad if it was over quickly, but compared to his usual behavior Widdimir actually holds out for an impressive length of time before breaking, to the point where Dogtanian orders Planchet to force Widdimir's mouth open. Even then, Widdimir doesn't make it easy for either of them.
- Plus, there really is no reason at all for Dogtanian to do this in the first place. Thanks to Count Rochefort, he already knows that the wine is poisoned. Forcing Widdimir to break and confess what Dogtanian already knows is sliding toward For the Evulz territory.
- And let's not forget the aftermath of that incident, which leads to Widdimir seriously considering 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.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Count Rochefort, especially in the final episode. Although a loyal servant of Richelieu, when Richelieu enthusiastically agrees to Widdimir'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.
- Right-Hand Cat: Richelieu has a raven, presumably because a non-anthropomorphic cat would be too confusing.
- Sexy Cat Person: Femme Fatale Milady is one of the few cats in the cartoon.
- Small, Annoying Creature: Pip the mouse (whose surname is Squeak).
- Spared by the Adaptation: Milady de Winter; her character was executed by beheading in the original Dumas novel. Here, she survives and even returns in the sequel.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Cardinal Richelieu serves the King, just like Monsieur de Treville.
- World's Strongest Man: Athos again.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child: This is where Richelieu draws the line, even if they're Dogtanian's kids.