Charlie Dog (Looney Tunes)

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"Look! It’s the Towers! They’re Falling!"

Charlie Dog is a character from the Looney Tunes franchise who made his debut on "Little Orphan Airedale" in 1947 which also starred Porky Pig, he is voiced by Mel Blanc.

He is a mixed-breed dog defined by one desire: to find himself a master, despite that not everyone wants a dog.

Bad Qualities

Note: Most of these pointers mainly apply to his first three appearances with Porky Pig in the late-1940s.

  1. His goal is to manipulate people (particularly Porky) into adopting him since he thinks that everyone should have a dog, even if they don’t want a dog, and refuses to take no for an answer.
    • Consequently, this results to Porky being treated as a huge Butt-Monkey who constantly gets tortured for no reason thanks to him.
  2. Despite wanting to find himself a master, he shows no respect towards his potential masters, going so far as to treat his potential owners as his own servants by using them for their homes and food, all while pretending to show them love and affection, when none of them is genuine. Heck, in his first appearance in Little Orphan Airedale, he sees potential owners as nothing more than suckers to get himself adopted by mocking their faces and mannerisms, and doesn't even hide this fact in the slightest.
  3. He is way too talkative, much to the point that he won’t shut up every minute he's onscreen.
  4. He tries way too hard to act cute and adorable just so he can get adopted.
  5. He keeps driving Porky into insanity due to his obnoxious behavior and antics towards him, especially the ending of The Awful Orphan.
    • He dumps Porky in the middle of the desert which makes him lose his sanity, act like a dog, and get sent to the pound on Often an Orphan.
  6. He lies to those who don’t want him by acting dramatic just so he can earn sympathy.
    • Speaking of being dramatic, in one scene from Often an Orphan, he over-exaggerates on his bad experiences he had in the city which mostly involves falling towers. This joke from him notably hasn't aged well to some people following the September 11 attacks incident in 2001.
    • In The Awful Orphan, he tried to commit suicide by attempting to jump off Porky's apartment window, hence guilt-tripping Porky in the process. But much to Porky's anger, it turned out that Charlie didn't die because he landed on a tower of mattresses he had placed outside that same window!
    • He is incredibly immature as he cries very childishly just to get Porky to sympathize with him in Little Orphan Airedale, The Awful Orphan and Often an Orphan.
    • In Little Orphan Airedale, it is heavily implied that he pretended to be pregnant; when Porky forces him out of the house by his belly while he clings to the door, Charlie begs not to be roughly handled "the way he is", whispers into his ear and makes a girlish wink in front of the camera. Porky, believing that Charlie is a female dog whom is pregnant with puppies, puts him into bed and feeds him with some milk and broth. As Charlie's name gets revealed, since "Charlie" is most commonly a male name, short for Charles, and male dogs do not get pregnant, Porky realizes that he has been fooled and gets enraged, and throws Charlie out of his apartment by slamming the bed through the wall.
  7. He doesn’t seem to take criticism and refuses to accept the fact that not everyone wants a dog.
    • At the ending of Little Orphan Airedale, when Porky kicks him out from the car and claims that he doesn't want a dog, Charlie dismisses that Porky was only joking, laughs at it, and proceeds to chase after Porky's car around the city as he leaves him like a stalker. Charlie, what part of Porky's "I d-d-d-don't want a dog" line do you not understand?
    • Relatively speaking, he shows absolutely NO remorse for what he does, nor does he ever realize on what he's doing is wrong, hence making him come off more like an antagonist rather than a protagonist as intended, which makes him incredibly hard to be rooted for.
  8. Along with Shep, he's one of the few dogs in the Looney Tunes franchise to be portrayed negatively.

Good Qualities

  1. He is one of the very first Looney Tunes characters created by Chuck Jones which were strictly intended to be funny rather than cute, alongside Henery Hawk, Hubie and Bertie and The Three Bears despite that Chuck Jones missed the spot for the most part.
  2. After Chuck Jones retired him, he has redeemed himself in Dog Tales and in the Looney Tunes Cartoons episode Adopt Me!.
    • Chuck Jones thankfully stopped having Porky pitted against him after Often an Orphan.
    • Speaking of which, he improved slightly after his tenure with Porky Pig ended, as he became much less obnoxious, dramatic and whiny and a lot funnier in his final two cartoons (Dog Gone South and A Hound for Trouble) compared to his first few pairings with Porky Pig, and even gets punished for his awful actions in the end of his final two cartoons.
  3. He can be hilarious at times.
  4. He does receive comeuppance on The Awful Orphan, Dog Gone South, and A Hound for Trouble.
  5. The sad eyes he makes are adorable.
  6. He isn't as bad as Shep and the dog from Chow Hound.
  7. To be fair, the reason why Charlie acted this way in each of his appearances is mainly due to his tragic backstory as revealed in Often an Orphan, where he is revealed to have abandonment issues: At the start of this cartoon, he was abandoned in the middle of the desert by his previous owner who deceives him with a pet-master picnic with Charlie falling for the "C'mon, let's have a picnic" routine, and it has been implied that Charlie has been suffering this same problem with his previous masters who abandoned him for many times. The same can be said at the beginnings of both Dog Gone South and A Hound for Trouble where he gets abandoned in random places after getting kicked out of a train and ship respectively. But still this doesn't excuse his negative behavior though.

Video

Trivia

  • Charlie Dog's voice is a Brooklyn accent similar to that of Bugs Bunny, albeit slightly deeper.
  • Charlie Dog 's original creation by Chuck Jones is loosely based on the one-off dog character Rover from the black-and-white Porky Pig cartoon "Porky's Pooch" (1941) directed by Bob Clampett six years prior. In fact, Charlie's debut cartoon "Little Orphan Airedale" (1947) is a color remake of "Porky's Pooch" (1941), with Rover replaced by Charlie.
  • In three Chuck Jones cartoons in the early-1950s, there appears to be another character similar in appearance to Charlie Dog called Frisky Puppy, who is paired alongside Claude Cat in "Two's a Crowd" (1950), "Terrier Stricken" (1952), and "No Barking" (1954). Though Frisky Puppy looks a lot like Charlie Dog, they are not the same character and have drastically different personalities; unlike Charlie Dog, Frisky Puppy doesn't talk, and is often depicted as an playful, innocent puppy whose barking often unintentionally drives Claude Cat crazy.
  • After Chuck Jones retired the Charlie Dog character in 1951 after "A Hound for Trouble", a similar-looking dog character to Charlie would appear in the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Lumber-Jack Rabbit" (1953) (the only Looney Tunes cartoon in the "classic" era produced in 3-D) as Paul Bunyan's dog Smidgen. Five years later, Robert McKimson would use Charlie Dog one last time for a brief cameo in the Looney Tunes one-shot cartoon "Dog Tales" (1958), via reused animation from "Often an Orphan" (1949).
  • Though Charlie Dog does not appear in the Porky Pig cartoon "Dog Collared" (1950) by Robert McKimson, the unnamed dog from that cartoon behaves very similar to that of Charlie, such as his obnoxious obsession to get Porky to adopt him as his pet, right down to his over-dramatic antics just to earn Porky's sympathy.

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