Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.
Originally one of the better episodes of "Amazing Stories" (with an entirely different voice cast), this belated spinoff - the episode first aired in 1986, the series bowed in 1993 - suffered from numerous production problems... and it unfortunately showed in the finished product.
Failing entirely to live up to the presence of Steven Spielberg and Tim Burton as executive producers, it was strained all the way and never more than mildly funny at best - the Binfords were even more nondescript than they needed to be (I expected them to play second fiddle to the title character, but even the housekeeper from "Tom & Jerry" had more personality than them), and Dennis Klein's scripts always credited Paul Dini and Sherri Stoner with "additional material," leaving creepy indications that without the help of those two genuinely talented writers the episodes would have been even worse. Even the usually great Danny Elfman wasn't up to snuff with his uninspired theme music (mind you, look at what he had to work with). As for the animation... it was by Nelvana. Enough said.
CBS pulled it after five episodes, but the UK cable channel Bravo showed all 10 episodes. What a joy. In the final analysis, "Family Dog" is only notable for being the only TV series to my knowledge to have been bankrolled by the TV divisions of two major studios (Universal Television and Warner Bros. Television). Which isn't much of an achievement, given the results.
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