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Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds is a 1981 cartoon based on the novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. The cartoon was created by Spanish animation studio BRB Internacional and co-produced in Japan by Nippon Animation.
This was a remarkably faithful 26-part adaptation (with some inevitable Bowdlerisation; for instance, Dogtanian's love interest Juliette, is M. Bonacieux's niece rather than his wife), with one major difference: the principal characters are all dogs, as is most of the supporting cast, with the occasional cat, pig, bear or rabbit.
Young Dogtanian is a child of poor but honest parents, living in a small village in Gascony, scrapping with his puppy pals and dreaming of becoming a Musketeer (the title notwithstanding, they're called "Musketeers" throughout). When a messenger arrives from his father's old friend Monsieur de Treville, head of the Musketeers, asking that Dogtanian be sent to Paris to train under him, our hero sets off armed with a sword, a decrepit old horse and an ointment that can heal any wound.
On his journey he falls foul of a mysterious cavalier, the Man with the Black Moustache, and ends up walking to Paris with no money and a broken sword. He arrives at last and falls in with the trio of friends known as the Three Musketeers: leader Porthos, portly Athos and romantic Aramis (the book roles of Athos and Porthos are swapped).
Dogtanian's spirit and swordsmanship soon make him an indispensible part of the team, and he settles down to a life of duelling with the Cardinal's Guards, wooing the lovely Juliette and foiling villainous plots against nice-but-weak King Louis and his wife Anne of Austria. His ultimate aim is to prove himself and be accepted into the ranks of the Musketeers.
Anyone who grew up in the UK and Spain in the 1980s will almost certainly remember this show, as it seemed to be on permanent loop along with The Mysterious Cities of Gold and Around the World with Willy Fog. A sequel series was made in 1990 that continued with a new story.
- Art Evolution - The 1990 sequel series switched from Japanese studio Nippon Animation to Taiwanese studio Wang Film Productions. As such, Wang's animation is much noticeably different than Nippon's in color and design.
- The Big Guy - Athos.
- The Casanova - Aramis.
- Cats Are Mean - Milady, a feline, is notably more devious than the other baddies.
- Chased by Angry Natives - Rather incongruously.
- Crash Into Hello
- The Dragon - Count Rochefort
- Dub Name Change
- Dogtanian is "D'Artacán" in the original Spanish.
- Also, the musketeers were called "mosqueperros", a pun using "mosqueteros" ("musketeer" in Spanish) and "perros" ("dogs").
- The three musketeers had punny names in Spanish too: Antos, Pontos and Amis. The puns come from the original character names and dog breed names.
- Frothy Mugs of Water - Averted: "they drink their beer and swear they're faithful to their King". Also, Athos is shown visibly drunk on at least one occasion.
- Funny Animal
- Fully-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Everyone except...
- Half Dressed Cartoon Animals: The Muskehounds don't wear pants.
- Kid Hero - Dogtanian is the only Muskehound cadet who gets to hang out with the fully-fledged Musketeers.
- Master Swordsman - All the heroes, especially Dogtanian and Aramis.
- Power Trio - The Three Musketeers, with Porthos as the Ego, Aramis as the Superego and Athos as the Id.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad - Richelieu's minions Widimer, Rochefort and Milady.
- Right-Hand-Cat - Richelieu has a raven, presumably because a non-anthropomorphic cat would be too confusing.
- Rookie Red Ranger - Dogtanian.
- Small Annoying Creature - Pip the mouse (whose surname is Squeak).
- Villain with Good Publicity - Cardinal Richelieu serves the King, just like Monsieur de Treville.
- Worthy Opponent - Count Rochefort, who turns out to be a man of honour.
- World's Strongest Man - Athos again.
- Wouldn't Hurt a Child - This is where Richelieu draws the line, even if they're Dogtanian's kids.