Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw

Go To
Featuring all your favorite, completely redesigned, characters!

The 1988 Big Damn Movie of the Pound Puppies (1980s) cartoon. Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw was a retooling of the concept and seemed to take place in a different universe to the original show.

The main story took place in the 1950's, told by an adult Whopper as a story for his niece and nephew in the present (or at least the present back when the film was made). In Whopper's tale, the Pound Puppies and their human friends are organizing an adoption bazaar, only taking time out to admire the Bone of Scone: a mysterious bone that bestows puppy power and lets dogs and humans communicate.

However, a mysterious man named McNasty turns up to adopt some puppies a day early and also seems to have some plans of his own for the strange artifact...

The film was a Box Office Bomb and forgotten immediately after itís released. Most people who have seen it arenít fond of it, with having a cheesy and stupid plot, poor voice acting, lame musical numbers, and animation that looks more suited for television than theaters are among the criticisms this movie frequently faces. Because of the commercial failure and lukewarm reviews, this was the last media related to the franchise until 2010

The Legend of Big Paw contains examples of the following tropes:

  • The '50s: One of the stories takes place there.
  • Alternate Continuity: The absence of Holly, Katrina Stoneheart, and other characters from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon as well as the changes in art style make it clear that this movie is a separate continuity.
  • Anachronism Stew: The film's base story is said to take place in the 1950's, but Big Paw's musical number "I'm a Puppy, Too" is a take-off of the song "Duke of Earl", which wasn't released until 1962.
  • Animal Talk: In a weird variation of this, The Bone of Scone grants humans and dogs (and cats) the ability to understand each other in the form of Puppy Power, but all other animals remain unable to communicate with either humans or dogs. This creates a weird moment where Colette is talking to the two children helping at the Pound and suddenly switches over to dog-like barking the moment the Bone of Scone is broken.
  • Animated Musical: This is an animated film with a lot of musical numbers.
  • Art Evolution: Thoroughly inverted, as the animation is of noticeably lower quality than the original cartoon, featuring a wealth of animation errors and bland backdrops, making for what some may find to be a visually unappealing movie.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: Lumpy and Bones use this method to kidnap Collette, Whopper, and Beamer.
  • Big Damn Movie: The movie has more drama than the Hanna-Barbera series because of Colette being separated from her children for most of the film, the Bone of Scone being temporarily broken, and McNasty's scheme of conquering the world with dogs transformed into vicious brutes.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: All the animals in the pound sans Cooler, Colette's children, and the two Pound Purries end up going through the Mean Machine and turning into vicious attack dogs under McNasty's control.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Since all the dogs in the movie are "puppies" regardless of age, Colette's newborn puppies are instead called "puplings".
    • Also, the kittens at the pound are referred to as "Pound Purries."
    Nostalgia Critic: What, was Pound Pussies too controversial?
  • Canis Major: Big Paw is a gigantic dog.
  • Captain Ersatz: Lumpy and Bones are incredibly blatant copies of Horace and Jasper from 101 Dalmatians.
  • Captain Obvious: Cooler all throughout the movie.
    Cooler: That's it! Saying "I love you" changes them back to normal!
  • Card-Carrying Villain: McNasty's personality matches his Obviously Evil look.
  • Cassandra Truth: Whopper follows McNasty after he adopts four puppies from the pound and hears him outline his entire Evil Plan about how he's going to steal the Bone of Scone from the museum and use it to take over the world. When he heads back to the pound and tries to tell Cooler, Cooler instantly dismisses it as another one of Whopper's tall tales.
  • A Cat in a Gang of Dogs: Hairball and Charlemagne are two cats who are allies to the Pound Puppies.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Reflex's reflexive reaction to the ringing of a bell later comes in handy in reversing the effects of McNasty's Mean Machine.
    • A smaller one, but McNasty's cat allergy later provides Cooler with a means to escape.
  • Clean, Pretty Childbirth: Colette gives birth to her puppies in the dress she wears throughout the movie and, after a nurse puppy dabs at her brow, she has the strength to take part in a musical number.
  • Covers Always Lie: The movie poster has almost nothing to do with the movie's actual content.
  • Crying Wolf: Like in the Hanna-Barbera series, Whopper has a habit of telling tall tales. This is pretty much why Cooler doesn't believe Whopper when he tries to warn him about McNasty's plan and also why the other pups don't believe Whopper when he later tells them he saw Big Paw.
  • Dance Party Ending: The last song has everyone dance.
  • Disappeared Dad: The father of Colette's puppies is never seen nor mentioned.
  • Dogs Love Fire Hydrants: Whopper's nephew stops to whizz behind a hydrant at one point in the film's beginning.
  • Dull Surprise: Whopper's niece and nephew don't sound very astonished when he tells them his story about puppy power.
  • Elvis Impersonator: For some reason, Marvin McNasty turns into an Elvis impersonator near the end of his Villain Song.
  • Evil Brit: McNasty is a villain with a British accent, voiced by George Rose no less.
  • Evil Plan: Marvin McNasty's scheme is to somehow use the Bone of Scone to become king and conquer the world.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Marvin McNasty is the main villain and he has enormous sharp teeth.
  • Fantastic Racism: Cooler looks down on cats. He discourages the two Pound Purries that live in the Pound from coming with the Puppies on their rescue mission by saying "tracking is a dog's job".
  • Fat and Skinny: Lumpy and Bones are fat and skinny, respectively.
  • Framing Device: The main story, which takes place in The '50s, is told in the present by grown-up Whopper.
  • Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better: Most of the main characters mostly walk and stand on two legs, but will get down on all fours to do things like bark and growl at the bad guys, in contrast to McNasty's guard dogs, who stay on all fours most of the time.
  • Furry Confusion: This movie features both half-dressed cartoon animals that can talk and gesture like humans and more realistically proportioned animals that don't speak. Age isn't an issue either, since Colette's puppies are able to talk. Both types live in the same pound and can be adopted by humans, with Reflex even worrying about his reactions to a bell making him unadoptable. Hrm...
  • Generation Xerox: The two living members of the McNasty clan we see have the exact same character design, pointy teeth, and voice. And, judging by the portraits in the McNasty manor, this applies to everyone in that bloodline regardless of gender.
  • Gentle Giant: Big Paw's tremendous size is matched only by his friendly nature.
  • Good Feels Good: Bones states that it feels great to be good after he, McNasty, and Lumpy are made good by the Mean Machine.
  • HeelĖFace Brainwashing: This is what happens to McNasty and his two goons when they're stuck into the Mean Machine, as it makes good people bad and bad people good.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: McNasty, after using his Mean Machine to brainwash animals to do his evil bidding, ends up getting brainwashed himself.
  • Jukebox Musical: Kind of. The actual music came from famous fifties songs, but the lyrics were written for the film.
  • Large Ham: McNasty is very hammy and chews the scenery with every line.
  • MacGuffin: The Bone of Scone is the object the film's plot hinges on.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The best way one can tell that McNasty is up to no good is the fact that he's the only human character with razor sharp teeth.
  • The Movie: The first (and presently only) full-length film for the Pound Puppies franchise.
  • Mundane Solution: During the course of the movie, The Bone of Scone is broken in half and all of humanity loses the ability to speak with cats and dogs. McNasty later repairs the ancient, magical artifact of legend and restores Puppy Power by... sticking the two halves together with craft glue.
  • Name McAdjective: The villain, Marvin McNasty.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Cooler lands the group into trouble not once, not twice, but three times by constantly rushing into places. Nose Marie criticizes him after each screw-up, too.
  • Non-Indicative Name: McNasty's ancestor Sir McNasty is given the title Black Knight in spite of not wearing black armor.
  • Non-Serial Movie: While the film shares some characters with Pound Puppies (1980s), it is plainly a separate continuity from the Hanna-Barbera series.
  • Now Do It Again, Backwards: The Mean Machine was designed to make nice, innocent puppies evil. Putting someone evil into The Mean Machine, on the other hand, makes them good. Guess what happens to the bad guys.
  • Obviously Evil: His name is McNasty and he looks like the lovechild of Renfield and the Penguin? Nah, nothing suspicious about him!
    • Surprisingly, he keeps his name and features after The Mean Machine reverses him into a good guy and he becomes a scary-looking sharp-toothed man who happens to love puppies.
  • Off-Model: Aside from changes made to the character designs, there is a particularly noticeable animation error in which Cooler's nose disappears from his face. The creators confirmed that the film's animation was done in only six months and with little preparation. This could help explain the rather sub-par quality.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Cooler disguises himself as a cat by wearing a helmet with a face painted on it and a brush on his tail.
  • Plot Allergy: McNasty is allergic to cats, which comes in handy when Cooler disguises himself as a cat so he can be brought out of McNasty's house along with the Pound Purries.
  • Pounds Are Animal Prisons: Averted for the most part, where the pound is a very humane animal shelter that runs pet adoptions and brings up the responsibilities about caring for a pet. It very quickly falls into this trope when McNasty takes it over and brainwashes the animals inside.
  • Power of Love: The victims of The Mean Machine can be literally cured just by hearing the phrase "I love you."
  • Scooby-Dooby Doors: Used during the museum chase sequence, with the addition of a trap door to really make the improbable directions everyone goes absurd.
  • Sissy Villain: McNasty, particularly when he swings his hips at one point during his Villain Song.
  • Take Over the World: McNasty's Evil Plan is to take over the world, after taking over the pound and then the country.
  • Three-Month-Old Newborn: Colette's puplings are born the day McNasty tries to steal The Bone of Scone but their eyes are fully open and they have enough strength, even after they haven't been nursed by Colette all day, to walk through a tunnel that links the pound to the museum.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: The final musical number features some people with pets who look like them.
  • Villain Song: "The King of Everything", where McNasty sings of his scheme to use the Bone of Scone to be king and to turn Colette and Whopper into vicious guard dogs.
  • Villainous Legacy: Marvin McNasty comes from a long family bloodline that has been after the Bone of Scone for centuries. McNasty even refers to it as "the McNasty destiny".
  • The Voiceless: McNasty's mutated guard dogs never say anything beyond providing faint musical accompaniment for the "King of Everything" villain song.