Watch My Chops

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Watch My Chops (UK)
Corneil & Bernie (US/AUS)
Also known as France: Corneil et Bernie
Brazil and Portugal: Corneil e Bernie
Created by Stephan Franck
Emmanuel Franck
Voices of Keith Wickham
Ben Small
Dian Perry
Dan Russell
Laurence Bouvard
Country of origin France
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 52 (26 in 1ª season/more 26 in 2ª season) (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Madstone Theater
Running time 10–13 mins
Release
Original network France 3
CBBC
Nicktoons (2004–2008)
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Original release 29 November 2003
Website

Watch My Chops is a French animated series about an intelligent talking dog, Corneil, and his "dog-sitter", Bernie Barges. The series was produced, written, and animated in France, and the English dubbing took place in London at The Sound Company studios. The series was produced by Millimages and aired in the United States on Nicktoons, in the UK on CBBC from 2004 to 2007 and France on France 3 of December 2003. It starred Keith Wickham, Ben Small, Dian Perry, Dan Russell and Laurence Bouvard and more recently Mark Laidman. In the UK, the show is called Watch My Chops, named after Corneil's catchphrase; in France, it is also known as Corneil et Bernie. In the United States and Australia, the show was titled Corneil & Bernie. A DVD of the first season has been released. In 2014, the show came back to television and new episodes are done in Flash animation and a new version of the intro has been made.

Basic premise[edit]

Corneil is an intelligent dog: not only can he read and write perfect English, but he is much smarter than most people. Since he's so smart, he knows that life doesn't get any better than being a pampered pet, and so he does anything he can to keep his owners from realizing his phenomenal skills. This plan begins to go awry when his owners hire the pinheaded Bernie Barges to "dog-sit", and Bernie learns about Corneil's secret. Though the two frequently bicker, they form an uneasy friendship, and Corneil finds himself using his brainy powers to bail Bernie out of various scrapes.

Most episodes are driven by Corneil's reluctance to let anyone know that he is intelligent and capable of human speech. The only person who does know is dogsitter Bernie, whose uncle minds the apartment of Corneil's wealthy owners. Bernie found out about Corneil's speaking abilities by accident, and unfortunately he is somewhat lacking in intelligence and mostly devoid of morals. All this puts Corneil in an uncomfortable position - as Bernie often takes it upon himself to 'be the voice' of Corneil, capitalising on Corneil's reluctance to communicate and ignoring Corneil's requests.

Characters[edit]

Main[edit]

Corneil: is intelligent, cultivated and loves the comfort of his apartment. He is able to talk, read, and write, which he attempts to keep a secret, not wanting to be treated strangely by humans. In the presence of his masters, he plays the faithful dog. It is only when he is alone or in the company of Bernie that he behaves like a human, answering the phone, cooking, solving problems of mathematics or attempting to questions of philosophy. He usually either helps Bernie with his problems or bails him out while other times pursuing his own goal with Bernie in tow. His mannerisms are reminiscent of Mr. Peabody from Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Bernie Barges: is Corneil's best friend and dog sitter. Bernie is imaginative, full of initiatives, but not particularly bright. While sometimes stubborn and selfish, he is also well-meaning and provides a good foil for Bernie. He who was confined to the boring role of dog-sitter found a true companion to achieve his twisted kicks. When Corneil proves reluctant, he can always threaten to reveal all the secret of his language. He usually tries to pursue his goal with Corneil either bailing or helping him while sometimes acting as the 'frontman' for Corneil's goals.

John and Beth: are Corneil's snobby rich owners. John is an auctioneer and Beth is chief editor of a newspaper. They are a couple; modern, dynamic and a little eccentric. They love Corneil as their own son and care deeply for him. They also have a good amount in trust in Bernie, being the preferred dog-sitter of Corneil. It seems natural for this dog they love so much and for which they have a lot of ambition. In addition, they have great confidence in Bernie whose friendship with Corneil that delights at the highest point.

Uncle Rico: is a high school drop out and former boxer. He was forced to retire following a KO that claimed 8 teeth. Today he is a caretaker and deals regularly with his nephew Bernie. The whereabouts of Bernie's mother and father are sadly unknown.

Supporting and minor[edit]

Romeo: is the captain of the football team. As his name suggests, Romeo is a great seducer who has a lot of success with girls. Bernie admires Romeo and dream to be like him. The reciprocal is of course not true, and Romeo does not take Bernie seriously, though can be friendly at times. Romeo hates Corneil whom he takes for a fool.

Martha: another classmate of Bernie's, is intellectual and often skeptical of Bernie's claims. Martha takes care of the school newspaper. That has many causes to defend, and its network of informants allows it to be effective. Her goal is to her that Bernie is his good shots by the dint of persuasion.

Principal Martin: is Bernie's mean school principal. She wants her school to be great and have a glorious future but those chances are usually ruined because of Bernie and she thinks he is quite the trouble maker and often gives Bernie detention. She is also known to punish people for things that are none of her business. Principal Martin tutored Uncle Rico so that he could finally get his high school diploma.

Mrs. Solo: is one of Bernie and Corneil's mean neighbors in the apartment. She dislikes them because "they are always getting in her way" and she once hit Corneil with her umbrella and Corneil made Bernie take her to court.

Karen: is one of Bernie's classmates. She is pretty and smart and she is often seen reading a book. Despite Karen's hate of Bernie seen in "Unlucky Break" and "Corneil in Love," a wallpaper from Millimages states that she will marry Bernie someday.

Julie: another of Bernie's classmates.

Episodes[edit]

DVD release[edit]

Mill Creek Entertainment released the complete series on DVD in Region 1 on 18 March 2008.[1] This release has been discontinued and is now out of print.

Production[edit]

This show was animated, produced, written and directed in Paris, and the English dialogue was recorded in London.

Cast note[edit]

Both Wickham and Small, voice artists for the title characters, would perform various voice roles in the HIT Entertainment CGI series of Thomas & Friends.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]