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File:Dogtanian 7962.jpg

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.


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