Towards the end of the series run, a made-for-TV film was released, titled CatDog: The Great Parent Mystery. Reruns are played on Nicktoons. The series is produced by Nickelodeon Animation Studio and Peter Hannan Productions and is currently being released on DVD.
The series depicts them as being as different as cats and dogs - Dog loves rock n' roll, Cat does not. Dog loves to chase garbage trucks, Cat does not. However, they are best friends.
The series, created by Peter Hannan, was developed as the next Nicktoons production and produced from Nickelodeon animation studio in Burbank, California. Hannan served as executive producer. This was part of Nickelodeon's $350 million investment in original animation over the next five years after the series' inception.
Albie Hecht, Nickelodeon's senior vice president of worldwide productions, said that the creators planned for the series to "really play off of kids' sympathies" by portraying the characters as experiencing "the worst of both worlds".
Hannan said he was inspired by CatDog by watching neighborhood cats and dogs occasionally fight each other, and thought that it would be great to make conjoined twins Cat and Dog to see how both of the animals would fare against other things. The idea of them being conjoined twins came from Hannan watching several news stories on TV about conjoined twins living a normal life conjoined together. Both aspects he claimed, initially developed the idea of CatDog.
The series revolves around Cat and Dog, who share the same body, and although they are best friends and brothers, they have very different personalities, similar to The Odd Couple mixed with elements of Laurel and Hardy and Abbott and Costello. Cat is very cultured while Dog is very fun-loving and enjoys chasing garbage trucks, chasing cars, and exploring many things in which Cat does not want to take part. Dog enjoys eating at fast food restaurants (such as Taco Depot),whereas cat does not. The series takes place in Nearburg, a town dominated by anthropomorphic animals and the occasional human or humanoid.
The series was followed by the television film "The Great Parent Mystery," which premiered in 2000.
CatDog is known as "Gatoskylo" in Greece and "Kattehund" in Norway.
Cat (voiced by Jim Cummings) is the smarter and more cunning of the two. He's an American Bobtail. He often devises plans to trick Dog into getting what he wants, such as making Dog smarter in an attempt to have more in common with him, or having him win a dog sledding contest by training him in a very hard and militaristic manner, and usually, as a result of his greediness and selfishness, these schemes all blow up in his face. He is the "underdog" of the two. With his brains and constant ridiculing from the rest of the characters, he is the more defensive and short tempered of the two. Despite his quirks and spats with Dog, he loves his brother with his whole heart. He cares so deeply that he ends up helping Dog in the end once his guilty conscience gets to him. Cat has a "crush" on Shriek. In one episode, Cat admits his love for Shriek and kisses her after Shriek kisses Dog and tells him she loves him (only to wind up getting pounded by the aggressive poodle). Cat desires fame and fortune and tends to go to excessive lengths in order to gain them. He is intelligent and enjoys reading, gardening, and listening to classical music. Cat is somewhat uptight and believes strongly in being polite and neat. He is a stickler for cleanliness and, like most cats, is aquaphobic. He is also obsessed with jet skis, once stating that he would sell his soul for one. Cat is 26 years old. Despite his sophisticated personality, Cat also has a dark side. Whenever he snaps, Cat becomes a ruthless, psychopathic maniac who even the Greasers are scared of once they see what he is capable of doing (especially his stress-induced, superhuman strength, evident when he destroy the Greasers' monster truck with a single punch). Cat's catchphrase is "TERRIFIC," said in a negative tone. He usually says this when something bad happens.
Dog (voiced by Tom Kenny) is the more happy-go-lucky and more naïve of the two. He is also the source of clumsiness. He is an American Foxhound. He is extremely ambitious when Cat or any other character convinces him to take on a task, diving right into it with full force and energy. Dog is the typical loyal dog and is easily convinced. He will believe everything he is told. His attention span is very short and he is easily distracted by balls, garbage trucks, bones, food, and his overactive imagination. Because of his more simple nature, Dog usually is the one who gets the pair into trouble. Not paying attention to Cat's warnings, his actions almost always end up with some severe consequences. Despite this, in many of the episodes, it is shown that Dog is usually the one that is more popular and athletic of the two, such as the episode when Cat and Dog both went back to school to complete Cat's last day of High School. Like Cat, Dog adores his brother and looks up to him no matter how many times Cat steers him into danger. Dog is the typical animal. He is often distracted with chasing shadows and chasing after tennis balls, and loves eating garbage. Much to Cat's dismay, he leaves a mess everywhere he goes. According to the series finale, Dog remembers what their parents were like (ex.: "Mom's four eyes; Dad's slimy green skin.") He is also 26. Dog's catchphrase is "Hi ho diggety," and he usually says this when he is excited about something.
Winslow T. Oddfellow (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui) lives in CatDog's house in the hole in the wall. Despite his rat-like appearance and behavior, he is actually a (very humanoid) mouse. Winslow speaks with a typical Brooklyn accent. Winslow is always full of wisecracks about anything and everything. He's very sneaky and underhanded with CatDog, especially with Cat. Winslow and Cat do not get along at all, because he's always getting Cat in trouble. However, it was eventually revealed that Winslow may be afraid of Cat, because of Cat trying to eat him once. Dog, however, does not mind Winslow and is friendly with him. Deep down, he has a very big heart and loves CatDog and at some point act as CatDog's conscience and guidance of living in society, but acts out against them because he is jealous of how close they are. When he laughs, he goes "Heh Heh". His catchphrase is "Whatta you, nuts?"
The Greaser Dogs
The Greaser Dogs are a street gang consisting of three tough dogs named Cliff, Shriek, and Lube. They serve as the main antagonists of the series, next to Rancid Rabbit. They act no differently than school playground bullies, picking on anyone either weaker or different than them. They pick on CatDog (mostly Cat), and their only reason seems to be "CatDog's a freak!" Their usual nickname for them is "Catbutt," because Dog has Cat for a butt. Dog sometimes gets along with them because he's a canine, as well. They initiated him in the gang in "Full Moon Fever", after he had proven his worth as a "real" dog. The Greaser Dogs also have a fear of ticks, which usually renders them helpless in almost any situation. The name Greasers is a slight reference to the novel The Outsiders.
Cliff (voiced by Tom Kenny) The leader of the Greasers. Cliff is short for Clifford and his middle name is Maurice. He wears a black leather jacket with a picture of a dead cat on it. He is very short tempered and speaks similarly to Winslow with a Brooklyn accent only not as high. In "Squirrel Dog," he got a taste of his own medicine when Eddie was accidentally glued to his jacket, which turned them into "SquirrelDog". Once this happened, Shriek and Lube kicked him out of the Greasers because now he was a "two-headed freak". Cliff learned the pain of being an outcast and what CatDog go through. However, once he was free of Eddie, he returned to his old bullying ways and rejoined the Greasers. In another episode, when he is trapped under a massive weight for several days, he made a solemn vow to never bully anyone (especially CatDog) again should he escape this fate, though it did not last very long. Later episodes reveal softer sides of Cliff, such as his love for ballet and cashmere. One episode says that he was not an only child; the proof is a niece.
Shriek (voiced by Maria Bamford) The only girl in the Greasers. She is a tiny white Poodle, with a high pitched, squeaky voice with a slight raspy quality to it. Though she's as tough and loyal as the other two, she's very emotional romantically and harbors a secret crush on Dog—though he's oblivious to notice. Shriek will not hit Dog, she'll only hit Cat. She came from a rich family, but she did not like the posh life, and so she left home and became a Greaser. Shriek is the only Greaser with a visible tail.
Lube (voiced by Carlos Alazraqui) A Hound dog, and the slowest and sweetest one of the group. He'll forget what he's saying and slur his speech. He's the most loyal of the three Greasers. Despite his dull wit, like his parents, Lube has lots of musical talent and can sing very well. It is important to note a character design modification that occurred after the first episode; in "Dog Gone," Lube appeared with black dot eyes and long brown hair that extended down to his nose. In subsequent episodes, his appearance was changed and remained that way until the end of the series. In one episode he rolls up his right trouser and takes off a wooden leg. He also works part-time as a mechanic. His parents, a cat mother and a dog father, appeared in the series finale and said that Lube got separated from them a long time ago. Also in the series finale, Lube is shown to have had a sister, who tries to marry Cat. When the Greaser Dogs usually agree on something lube usually says "Yeah, what they said!"
Rancid Rabbit (voiced by Billy West) is the stereotypical authority figure and one of the series' secondary antagonists. He had his job titles like police officer, life guard, prison guard, firefighter, boss of various businesses, principal, president, mayor, Egyptian Pharaoh, doctor, TV host, contest judge, store and Taco Depot manager, etc.; in one episode, he appears as a principal at a school and, at the end, as a police officer. When Cat asks him about this, he never receives an answer. Rancid hates CatDog and will go out of his way to punish them or force them to work for him, abusing his power to the fullest degree. Rancid takes advantage of CatDog as much as he can by deceiving them into buying his products or pushing them to do his bidding in a job. He does whatever it takes to take their money or benefit himself in any way. He constantly says "Leaping Lumbago" and "What, What, What." Rancid owns a mall called the Mall of Malls (a parody of the Mall Of America), and has a spoiled niece named Rancy. Rancid also has a cousin named Rotten, who lives in Farburg.
In 1998, the show was nominated for an Annie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement for Writing in an Animated Television Production, for "Dog Gone". The recipients would have been Derek Drymon, Robert Porter, and Peter Hannan.
At the Kids' Choice Awards, USA, the show was nominated for a Blimp Award for Favorite Cartoon in 1999 and 2000.
CatDog was reviewed at commonsensemedia. It was advised for children aged 7 and up, and was given a score of 2/5 stars. It was described as "iffy", one of the reasons cited as being due to "some bad role models". The review continues; "Parents need to know that kids will probably laugh their heads off at the silliness of a creature with a cat at one end of its body and a dog at the other. But parents may find they're not in on the joke. While there's no harm done here, the amount of cartoon mayhem and absurdity leaves little reason for parents to have kids tune in regularly...The series makes some attempts at injecting a moral here or there, but they fall flat. The focus is on looniness, silliness, and out-of-control antics, with very little in the way of redeeming qualities. This can be just the ticket for some kids, although the bizarreness of the concept is enough to leave most parents shaking their heads." Copyright: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CatDog