Scruffy (1980 film)

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Written bySheldon Stark
Directed byCharles A. Nichols
Voices ofNancy McKeon
Hans Conried
June Foray
Alan Young
Michael Bell
Music byDean Elliott
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producersJoe Ruby
Ken Spears
ProducerJerry Eisenberg
Running time70 minutes
Production companyRuby-Spears Productions
Original networkABC
Original releaseOctober 4 (1980-10-04) –
October 18, 1980 (1980-10-18)

Scruffy is a 1980 animated film produced by Ruby-Spears Productions and based on the 1978 British children's book Scruffy: The Tuesday Dog by Jack Stoneley.[1] It originally aired in three parts on ABC Weekend Special series on October 4, 11 and 18, 1980 and was also the first animated television special to be shown in three parts on consecutive Saturday mornings.[2]


Scruffy is a puppy with beautiful eyes, a loving heart and an eager intelligence, born in a deserted house she shares with her mother, Duchess. When a lightning strike ignites a wildfire that burns down their home, the dogs are briefly adopted by their kindly rescuers who cannot bear to send them to the animal shelter and a possible untimely death. Soon, however, Duchess insists that she and Scruffy set off to find her original owners. But tragedy strikes when Duchess is shot by a hunter who mistakes them for wild dogs threatening his sheep, leaving Scruffy on her own in the countryside, until she finds a city nearby.

The orphaned Scruffy, frightened, freezing and alone in the big city until she finds an affectionate new master, a ragged but regal Shakespearean street performer named Joe Tibbles. Scruffy successfully howls her way into his act and cleverly learns every trick the old man can teach. Unfortunately, their happiness is only fleeting – Mr. Tibbles has a heart attack and collapses. As he is being taken away to a hospital in an ambulance, Scruffy chases after it; accidentally tumbling into a swirling river in the process.

Butch, a big tough dog rescues the drowning Scruffy and takes her to join his motley family of strays; mistreated by humans, these dogs have set up a canine commune in an abandoned station wagon. Their names are Randy, Collie, Sam and Solo. The next day, Scruffy and Butch are betrayed by a thief named Catlin and his dog Caesar, caught by dog catchers and thrown in the pound to face their doom. The dogs bark loudly for attention except for Randy who gives a mournful howl. When spotted by humans again, all dogs including Randy this time, bark for a family. Luckily, Scruffy and Butch are saved just in time to live happily ever after with their new adopted family, and Scruffy grows up to have puppies of her own with Butch.


Home video release[edit]

Scruffy was first released on VHS by Worldvision Home Video in the early 1980s and later re-released on VHS in association with Kids Klassics Home Video in 1989. To date, it has not been released on DVD by current rightsholder Warner Home Video.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 55–56. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  2. ^ Woolery, George W. (1989). Animated TV Specials: The Complete Directory to the First Twenty-Five Years, 1962-1987. Scarecrow Press. pp. 355–356. ISBN 0-8108-2198-2. Retrieved 27 March 2020.

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