Road Rovers

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Road Rovers
Road Rovers.png
Created byTom Ruegger
Jeff Gordon
Written byTom Ruegger
Mark Seidenberg
Directed byHerb Moore
StarringJess Harnell
Tress MacNeille
Jeff Bennett
Kevin Michael Richardson
Frank Welker
Joseph Campanella
Jim Cummings
Theme music composerRichard Stone
ComposersGordon Goodwin
Don Harper
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Production
Executive producerTom Ruegger
ProducerBob Doucette
AnimatorGroup TAC
Running time30 minutes (with commercials)
Production companyWarner Bros. Television Animation
DistributorWarner Bros. Domestic Pay-TV, Cable & Network Features Distribution
Release
Original networkKids' WB
Nine Network (Australia)
Original releaseSeptember 7, 1996 (1996-09-07) –
February 22, 1997 (1997-02-22)

Road Rovers is an American animated television series produced by Warner Bros. Animation that premiered on Kids' WB on September 7, 1996, and ended after one season on February 22, 1997.[1] It was later shown on Cartoon Network from February 7, 1998 until 2000.

The show follows the adventures of the Road Rovers, a team of five super-powered crime-fighting anthropomorphic dogs, known as "cano-sapiens". The characters all live with world leaders, including the President of the United States, the British Prime Minister, the Chancellor of Germany and the Swiss President, with one dog living in the Kremlin.[2]

Plot[edit]

In the town of Socorro, New Mexico, Professor Shepherd was forced to relinquish an experimental transdogmafier technology to General Parvo in exchange for his lost dog, but instead Parvo gives him a bomb that destroys his laboratory. One year later, as normal dogs begin to mutate into monsters, Shephard, who miraculously survived the attack, takes measures to stop Parvo who is behind this.

Shepherd selects five different dogs and in his new, secret underground lab, he uses his new transdogmifier on the five, turning them into "Cano-sapiens". These dogs are the pets of world leaders and when called to action they are a team of crime fighters known as the "Road Rovers".

Characters[edit]

  • Hunter (born June 28, 1974): A Golden Retriever mix breed from the United States and the leader of the team. Hunter is optimistic, funny, devoted, friendly, level-headed, and an effective leader. Hunter's power is super speed; this allows him to run faster than the speed of sound. He lives with President Bill Clinton in the White House. He is voiced by Jess Harnell.
  • Colleen (born May 19, 1973): A no-nonsense Rough Collie from the United Kingdom, and the only female member of the Road Rovers. She is the coordinator of the team, always checking to see if everything is going well without any problems or issues. Colleen is also very athletic, being a skilled martial artist. She currently resides with the prime minister of the United Kingdom, John Major and his wife. She is voiced by Tress MacNeille.
  • Blitz (born June 24, 1970): A Doberman from Germany. Unlike Hunter, Blitz is often selfish, immature, spiteful, faint-hearted, and has an ill temper. He has razor-sharp claws and strong jaws, which allow him to bite and cut through almost any substance. Blitz was formerly a guard dog for thieves, but now lives with the chancellor of Germany, Helmut Kohl. He is voiced by Jeff Bennett.
  • Exile (born December 16, 1972): A Siberian Husky from Siberia. His full name is Exilo Michalovitch Sanhusky. Exile speaks English with a thick Russian accent, sometimes mixing up words in the process (ex: "Aprilday" instead of "Mayday", "Jingle balls" instead of "Jingle bells"). He is friendly and easygoing, but often clashes with Blitz. Exile is super strong and also has heat, ice, and night vision. He used to work with other huskies as a sled dog, but now lives with the president of Russia Boris Yeltsin. He is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson.
  • Shag (born November 13, 1969): A cowardly Old English Sheepdog from Switzerland. Shag only transformed halfway into a Cano-sapien. He walks like a human, but speaks in a half-dog, half-human dialect. In addition to this, he does not wear a uniform, instead remaining in his natural state. Like Exile, Shag is super strong, and also his hair can store a lot of things like weapons and random items. He lived in a valley with a flock of sheep, but now lives with Arnold Koller, the president of the Swiss Confederation. He is voiced by Frank Welker.
  • Muzzle (born March 23, 1989): A shy but kind, sweet, lovable and curious Rottweiler. Muzzle was once "Scout", Professor Shepherd's dog that was kidnapped. He was never transformed into a Cano-sapien, but instead became aggressive due to Parvo's failed experiment on him. Due to this aggression, he is often restrained on a cart while wearing a straitjacket and mask. He is voiced by
  • Persia (Sheena Easton): An Afghan Hound and commander of the Space Rovers.
  • Professor Hubert (David Doyle): A Bloodhound scientist.
  • Professor William F. Shepherd "The Master" (Joseph Campanella): The geneticist behind the transdogmafier and the Road Rovers. He's the master of the Road Rovers, and the one who selected each of them. Without him, the world would have been ruled by the cano-mutants led by Parvo.
  • General Parvo (Jim Cummings): The Road Rovers' main antagonist who is out to destroy Professor Shepherd and conquer the world. He has a permanent cough. It was revealed later in the series that General Parvo was at one time a Cat before being transformed into a "Feline Sapien", which resemble humans a great deal more than Shepherd's Cano-sapiens. He shares a very similar appearance to wrestler Hulk Hogan. The name Parvo derives from a canine disease which often kills puppies.
  • The Groomer (Sheena Easton): The Groomer is the mostly loyal assistant to General Parvo. She's generally armed with a portable hair clipper, though she uses other equipment if it's appropriate.
  • Cano-mutants: Dogs turned into humanoid monsters and led by Parvo.

Episodes[edit]

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
113September 7, 1996 (1996-09-07)February 22, 1997 (1997-02-22)Kids' WB

Season 1 (1996-1997)[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
1"Let's Hit the Road"Herb MooreTom Ruegger & Mark SeidenbergSeptember 7, 1996 (1996-09-07)
The Road Rovers meet for the first time.
2"Storm from the Pacific"Jon McClenahanEarl Kress & Tom RueggerSeptember 14, 1996 (1996-09-14)
Disgraced Captain Zachary Storm seeks revenge on the United States for his court-martial.
3"A Hair of the Dog That Bit You"Scott JeraldsJohn Ludin & Mark SeidenbergSeptember 21, 1996 (1996-09-21)
Packs of werewolves take over London, and Exile seems to have gotten bitten (or scratched), which puts him under watch. Ultimately, it turns out Colleen was the one who turned into a werewolf, they seek help from the wise Confusus (Confuse Us) who gives them a riddle to cure a werewolf's bite.
4"Where Rovers Dare"Herb MooreBrian Chin & Tom RueggerOctober 12, 1996 (1996-10-12)
The nations of Eisneria and Katzenstok (named after the CEOs of Disney and DreamWorks) are preparing to go to war over an ancient scepter. This episode featured a reference to Disney at the end of the episode, complete with the silhouette of the head of Mickey Mouse.
5"Let Sleeping Dogs Lie"Blair PetersNick DuboisOctober 26, 1996 (1996-10-26)
The Road Rovers must protect ancient artifacts from unknown ninjas (belonging to Parvo).
6"The Dog Who Knew Too Much"Jon McClenahanEarl Kress & Tom RueggerNovember 2, 1996 (1996-11-02)
One dog has the answers to a rash of human and canine kidnappings, and becomes a temporary Road Rover so he can testify. However, Sport, the name of the dog, had somewhat of a big mouth and tried talking himself out of certain situations. This episode's title is a play on the title "The Man Who Knew Too Much".
7"Hunter's Heroes"Scott JeraldsJohn Ludin & Mark SeidenbergNovember 9, 1996 (1996-11-09)
Parvo and his cano-mutants are at it again. This time, it's a high-tech, heavily armed concentration camp to keep thousands of dogs in captivity. This is for shipping armies of cano-mutants out to the major cities of the world so Parvo can take over militarily. The episode's title is likely a play on the old TV show Hogan's Heroes, which centered on American POWs held somewhere in Nazi Germany.
8"Dawn of the Groomer"Herb MooreMark SeidenbergNovember 16, 1996 (1996-11-16)
The Groomer gets delusions of grandeur involved taking over the world with cats, otherwise known as Felo-Mutants.
9"Still a Few Bugs in the System"Brad NeaveNick DuboisNovember 23, 1996 (1996-11-23)
A biologist named Dr. Eugene Atwater does some research on the survival of bugs over the years of their survival. However, General Parvo turns his research subjects into life-size giants using an attachment from his Cano-Mutator. The bugs now plan on making a nuclear winter, since they know that only they will survive it.
10"Reigning Cats and Dogs"Herb MooreTom Ruegger & Mark SeidenbergFebruary 1, 1997 (1997-02-01)
General Parvo builds a successful time machine so then he could stop Prof. Shepherd from creating the Road Rovers. An accident reverts him back to his original form of an alley cat, but the Rovers still have to follow him back to ensure their creation. As with "Hunter's Heroes" and "The Dog Who Knew Too Much", this episode's title featured a play on words, this time a reference to the old phrase 'raining cats and dogs'.
11"Gold and Retrievers"Jon McClenahanJeff Kwitny & Tom RueggerFebruary 8, 1997 (1997-02-08)
Gold begins to flood the world's markets at an alarming rate. The source is traced to South America, where a blind boy named Luca leads them to an ancient golden pyramid. The episode's title is a partial pun on Hunter's breed of dog, the Golden Retriever.
12"Take Me to Your Leader"Brian Chin & Scott JeraldsNick Dubois & Mark SeidenbergFebruary 15, 1997 (1997-02-15)
Zachary Storm is back again, and hires alien-like recruits to start a nuclear war - off screen cameo from The Brain (from Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain).
13"A Day in the Life"Scott JeraldsTom RueggerFebruary 22, 1997 (1997-02-22)
An ordinary day for the Rovers. "Ms. Flameel" (from Animaniacs) is mentioned in this episode. Song: Russian Names Song

Home media releases[edit]

A multi-region DVD of the entire series was announced on February 4, 2015 by Warner Archive and was released on February 10, 2015. All episodes were also available for viewing on Crunchyroll's VRV streaming service and they can be purchased digitally on Amazon Prime, Google Play Movies and TV, Apple TV, and YouTube.

In popular culture[edit]

Hunter made a cameo appearance as a background statue in The Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries fourth season premiere episode, "The Stilted Perch / A Game of Cat and Monster!".

The Road Rovers made a cameo appearance in the Teen Titans Go! sixth season episode, "Huggbees".

Cancellation[edit]

According to the writers, the show was canceled in part due to an undisclosed lawsuit over the rights to the series.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 507–508. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  2. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 669–670. ISBN 978-1476665993.

External links[edit]