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Western Animation / Potsworth & Company

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Known as Midnight Patrol: Adventures in the Dream Zone in the U.S., Potsworth & Company (1990) was an animated show about four kids and a dog, who ventured together to the Dream Zone. It was produced by Hanna-Barbera and Sleepy Kids PLC.

Main cast:

  • Potsworth: Carter's pet dog, and the main character of the series. In the Dream Zone he's a talking, sarcastic dog.
  • Carter: an African-American boy who is a skilled artist. In the Dream Zone he has a magic brush that can bring things to life.
  • Keiko: a Japanese-American skater girl. In the Dream Zone, she can hover using her skateboard.
  • Rosie: a short-tempered, annoying brat. Sometimes she helps in dangerous situations.
  • Nick: Rosie's young brother, who always carries a dinosaur doll. In the Dream Zone he can fly like a superhero, and his dinosaur is alive.

There are also the Dream Zone inhabitants, whose king is the Grand Dozer, who must not be fully awakened or the world will end. The Big Bad is the Nightmare Prince, who plans to disturb the Grand Dozer and to have nightmares take over the world of dreams. Quite often, the Midnight Patrol's foiling of the Nightmare Prince's plans would involved getting a key MacGuffin by going to the Cave of the Greystone Giant, who essentially keeps track of all the items used in dreams and stores them in the Cave when not in use. While on the side of good, the Greystone Giant is a grumpy character who likes his solitude and the Patrol often have to talk him around to helping them.

Had a Comic-Book Adaptation in the The Beezer and The Topper, and when that folded, The Dandy.

Compare Captain Zed and the Zee Zone.

Adventures in the Trope Zone:

  • Alliterative Name: Greystone Giant and Bubba Bonebreaker
  • Animal Jingoism: One episode featured Potsworth being made King of the Dogs, which was a poisoned chalice as he was then required to lead them in battle against a giant cat.
  • Art Initiates Life: Carter has the ability to paint anything he wants to life using his paintbrush, which is magic as long as Carter is in the Dream Zone, so he can only do it while he's asleep.
  • Ash Face: Keiko in "The Nightmirror". When she pursues her evil twin on her volant skateboard and attempts to lasso her, the evil doppelgänger gets the tailpipe of her own flying skateboard to backfire on the real, good Keiko before speeding away. This burns the good Keiko entirely, messes up her hair, causes her to cough from the exhaust, and she drops from the sky, landing next to Rosie, who's been tied up by her own malevolent double.
  • Bad Boss: In "When Bubba Rules", when Count Bubba Bonebreaker temporarily replaces the Nightmare Prince as the villain, the former humiliates the latter by making him work as a janitor.
  • Batman Gambit: How the Midnight Patrol finally gets rid of their evil duplicates in "The Nightmirror" episode. The only way to get rid of them is to trick the duplicates into looking into the same mirror that gave them birth; the heroes accomplish this by relying on the duplicates' own nastiness. They trick the Carter and Rosie duplicates into looking into the mirror by asking them to get rope for "captured" good kids, and they trick the Nick and Keiko duplicates into looking into the mirror by tricking the arrogant Nick duplicate into proving his strength by lifting up a bigger boulder. The Potsworth duplicate is then dispatched by asking him to play fetch with a bone.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In "The Wishing Whale", the titular whale grants the wishes of Potsworth and company (except Keiko, who didn't appear in the Dream Zone raft with the others for reasons that are never explained). The wishes are just what the heroes wanted at first, but then go awry:
    • Potsworth ends up in a world where dogs are the masters and humans are the pets, and he even lives in a house of his very own. However, a human pet he adopts ends up causing trouble for him when he invites other humans over, and they end up causing chaos just as a pack of dogs would for a real life human.
    • Carter ends up in a world where he's painting live on stage, and everyone is cheering on his talent and vision. Unfortunately, when Potsworth accidentally messes up Carter's painting, the crowd still cheers him on, so Carter realizes to his horror that the crowd will just give him nothing but compliments regardless of what he paints, making the crowd's adulation meaningless.
    • Rosie ends up in a world where a huge shopping mall has thousands of stores, with all of their items on sale, and everything Rosie could ever want. However, after Rosie has bought what she wanted, the robot salesman keeps chasing her to offer her more products, even after Rosie's done shopping.
    • Nick ends up in a world where he's jumbo-sized, which allows him to scare off a mugger, so he doesn't have to be the littlest kid around anymore. Unfortunately, he's also so huge that he scares the ordinary citizens along with the mugger, so none of them will sell him food when he's hungry and eventually they bring in tanks to shoot at him.
  • Better the Devil You Know: The heroes learned the trope when the Nightmare Prince's mother sent someone to replace him.
  • Big Bad: The Nightmare Prince wants the Dream Zone to be filled with nightmares instead of good dreams, so his attempts to either do this directly or by disrupting the Grand Dozer's sleep make him the main villain of the series.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Rosie is very fussy, and tends to complain the most often if she gets dirty. She also has an unpleasant tendency to insult people, which gets her into trouble in "Rosie's Fuss Attack" when she magically changes into her own insults.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Potsworth talks to the viewers at times.
    • Keiko did this towards the end of "The Wishing Well".
    • The Nightmare Prince has done this as well.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Carter and Keiko are African-American and Asian-American, respectively.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: The Greystone Giant (well, more Dreamland Logistics, but approximately this trope).
  • Christmas Episode: "Santa-Napped".
  • Crushing Handshake: In "When Bubba Rules", that's how the Nightmare Prince learned Bubba deserved being called "Bonebreaker".
  • Da Chief: The Chief.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The humor of Potsworth's character revolves around the fact that while he's your usual cartoon talking dog sidekick, he speaks in a very stuffy, educated voice, and tends to snark about the antics of the characters around him.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: When the Greystone Giant went on a vacation and left the Midnight Patrol in charge of the cave, he set three rules to be followed: 1) Don't let anyone in; 2) Don't lose the key; and 3) Don't let anyone in.
  • Dream Land: The Dream Zone, which true to it's name, exists in the main characters' dreams.
  • Enemy Mine: The Nightmare Prince and the Midnight Patrol once teamed up to recapture the Bed Bugs.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: The Nightmare Prince has a large phone in his lair, so that his unseen mom can yell at him every time his schemes go wrong.
    • It's not just because he loves her. She has the authority to demote him to janitor post and appoint another Big Bad to take over the helm.
  • Evil Twin: Thanks to the Night Mirror, each Midnight Patrol member gained one and the Nightmare Prince became one to a good duplicate.
  • Eviler than Thou: The new villain the Nightmare Prince's mother hired to replace him. The new villain's minions were this to the Nightmare Prince's minions.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The theme song, which is slightly different between the UK and US versions, describes Potsworth and the Midnight Patrol's duty to protect the Dream Zone, as well as their struggle against the Nightmare Prince.
  • First-Name Ultimatum: Rosie often does this to her brother Nicholas (AKA: Nick), especially in one episode where she is in such a bad mood, that she does it several times.note 
  • Fisher King: The Grand Dozer, who needs to be (mostly) asleep for the Dream Zone to be stable. When he has insomnia, the land starts to fall apart.
  • Flight: Nick. Not a Flying Brick yet.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum: The kids keep forgetting that they can just conjure up whatever they want in the Dream Zone just by thinking.
  • Genki Girl: Keiko has a very energetic and enthusiastic voice, she usually travels with her magical flying skateboard instead of just walking (at least while in the Dream Zone which gives her skateboard that power), and she's usually the leader of the group. However, this is downplayed as Keiko is also portrayed as usually level-headed, so she's genki, but not bouncing off the walls with energy.
  • Gilligan Cut: In the episode "When Bubba Rules", the Nightmare Prince's Mother sent Count Bubba Bonebreaker to replace him. When asked about what he'd be, the Nightmare Prince was told he'd be a janitor. He then said he wouldn't be one even in a billion years. Cut to the next scene, where he's already doing janitor duties.
  • Hammerspace: The Nightmare Prince's sleeves, often subject to Rummage Fail when he's trying to find a useful item.
  • Heavy Sleeper: The Grand Dozer is an obligatory one. That doesn't prevent him to give advice to the Midnight Patrol.
  • She Who Must Not Be Seen: The Nightmare Prince's mother.
  • Hover Board: Keiko's skateboard becomes one in the Dream Zone.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: The Grand Dozer's minister Sebastian. More or less required given that the Grand Dozer needs to be asleep in order to keep the Dream Zone safe (in one episode when he has insomnia, the land starts to fall apart) so Sebastian has to do all the work.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The Greystone Giant is grouchy, sarcastic and prone to shouting, but he's unquestionably a good guy, and loves his job despite everything.
    • Rosie can be a brat at times, but she's always willing to help out her friends and brother if need be.
  • Lesser of Two Evils: The Nightmare Prince to Count Bubba Bonebreaker.
  • Living Toy: Murphy, but only in the Dream Zone.
  • Magic Skirt: Keiko. The opening features her doing a backflip on her skateboard, and falling straight to bed.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: The Nightmare Prince's minions.
  • Noodle Incident: In "The Wishing Whale", for some reason Keiko doesn't appear with the others in the Dream Zone, so she doesn't participate in their "wishing" adventure (Nick even wonders at one point if sharks got her). It's never explained why Keiko was separated from them since she was sleeping at the same time they were, so Keiko is just left confused at the end when they're willing to do chores in the real world.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In "Save the Cave" the Nightmare Prince uses one to trick the Midnight Patrol into letting him into a cave they're guarding and he locks them out. The Midnight Patrol try their own paper thin disguises to trick him into letting them back in, but none of them fool him.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Unexpectedly, the female patrol officer in "The Nightmirror" turns out to be this. The heroes were locked up because evil duplicates were causing trouble, but once the evil duplicates create another incident while the heroes are already in jail, the patrol officer springs the heroes out right away so they can take on the real villains.
    • The Grand Dozer and Sebastian are usually this trope in general.
  • Redshirt Army: The Snooze Patrol, the Dream Zone's conventional law enforcement, who are sometimes shown as somewhat resentful of the Midnight Patrol.
  • Running Gag: Whenever someone claims the Grand Dozer to be on a certain mood, be it good or bad, the Grand Dozer would be shown asleep and that claimant would state something like "Well, he would be if he was awake".
  • Shout-Out: The Nightmare Prince's mother phoning him is similar to the General calling Dick Dastardly in Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. Well, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera were Executive Producers for both cartoons.
  • Sissy Villain: The Nightmare Prince has an effeminate voice, and he cowers in fear of his mother, who bosses him around by calling him on the phone to yell at him.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: Nick becomes a superhero with the ability to fly, but only while sleeping and thus in the Dream Zone. Thus, whenever he's in the Dream Zone, his pajamas have a cape added to them to match his flight ability.
  • Talking Animal: When Potsworth is sleeping, and thus is in the Dream Zone, he magically gains the ability to talk.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Keiko flies around on a magical skateboard, leads the group, has an enthusiastic voice, and dresses in boyish clothing, while Rosie has no magical abilities and has to help the group mostly as a supporter, has a more valley-girl-esque voice, and dresses in a feminine blouse and skirt and wears a ribbon in her ponytail.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: When the Nightmare Prince's mother demoted him and hired another villain to replace him was so hard (read "impossible") to defeat in direct confrontation the heroes decided to sabotage the nightmare generator as part of a plan to trick the Nightmare Prince's mother into firing him and reinstating her son as the Big Bad.
  • The Voice: The Nightmare Prince's mother is always heard only, but never appears on screen.
    • In a flashback sequence of "The Wishing Well", Keiko's mom is only heard talking off-screen.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: When Count Bubba replaced the Nightmare Prince, he brought three henchmen. When the Nightmare Prince returned and fired Bubba's henchmen, only two henchmen were around and no explanation was given to justify the third one's absence.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Keiko in "The Nightmirror", after getting burned by the exhaust pipe of her evil double's skateboard.