Foofur and friends.


Original Medium: Comic books
Published in: Belgium
First Appeared: 1986
Creator: Phil Mendez
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The pampered pet who inherits his wealthy master's estate is very seldom seen in real life, but it's been a staple of fiction for many years. A good representative of the genre …

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… in Saturday morning television is Foofur, a Hanna-Barbera production that debuted on NBC, on September 13, 1986. Foof's creation is generally credited to Freddy Monnickendam, who is also said to have created Snorks, Hanna-Barbera's attempt to duplicate the success of its own Smurfs, but Monnickendam's actual role was to get them placed in Belgian comic books before they debuted on American TV.

The show's actual creation can mostly be attributed to designer Phil Mendez, also known for Kissyfur, Ferngully, Trollkins and much more. Its star was a big, blue dog, who occupied his late master's mansion without human supervision. He did have lots of canine friends, whom he sprang from the local pound, living with him. Fencer's voice was done by Eugene Williams (also heard in Captain Planet), Rocki's by Christina Lange (Sister in The Berenstain Bears), Louis's by Dick Gautier (several voices in The Transformers), Annabell's by Susan Tolsky (Binkie Muddlefoot in Darkwing Duck), Hazel's by Pat Carroll (Ursula in Disney's The Little Mermaid), Dolly's by Susan Blu (Stormer in Jem), Harvey's by Michael Bell (several voices in Rugrats) and Burt's by William Callaway (Aquaman in later versions of The Super Friends). Foofur himself was voiced by Frank Welker (who has done many voices in DuckTales, Scooby-Doo, The Jetsons, Animaniacs and elsewhere).

The menagerie had an arch-enemy in the person of Mrs. Escrow (executor of the will that put Foofur in charge of the mansion), who, assisted by a chihuahua named Pepe, was constantly trying to sell the place. Escrow's voice was done by Susan Silo (Mama in Fievel's American Tails, Sue in Pac-Man, and several voices in The Tick) and Pepe's by Don Messick (who also voiced pets in Josie & the Pussycats, Jonny Quest and elsewhere).

The show ran two seasons on NBC before going into reruns. They're still seen occasionally, but not in very prominent time slots. Marvel Comics did a comic book adaptation that ran six issues, dated August, 1987 through June, 1988. There were the usual toys, games, coloring books etc., but that's all pretty much faded from view by now.


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Text ©2003-10 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Hanna-Barbera.