Underdog is best known as the star of an animated cartoon which aired in the 1960s and continued airing in syndication for several decades. The cartoon, which was produced under the sponsorship of General Mills cereal, was one of many cartoons developed by General Mills in order to promote their breakfast cereal and other food products. Although the show was created for advertising, it proved to be popular among families and has even inspired a live-action film. If you’re a fan of the old Underdog cartoons or are just a lover of dogs in film and television, here is everything you need to know about Underdog.
Underdog almost always talked in rhyme
In the original cartoon, Underdo almost always spoke in rhyme when he was in his superhero “Underdog” disguise. This was to emphasize his nature as an almost comic-book like superhero in contrast to his normal, everyday life as Shoeshine Boy.
There were 62 total episodes created for the original run of the Underdog TV show. The original episodes were 30 minutes, but most of the episodes were actually blocked with at least two other cartoons, including Klondike Kat, Go Go Gophers, and Tennessee Tuxedo. Some of the 30 minute episodes were dedicated entirely to Underdog, however.
Underdog wasn’t just a TV show
Underdog proved to be fairy popular despite its origin in a marketing ploy. The cartoon inspired four different comics–a 10 issue series from Charlton Comics, a 23 issue series from Gold Key comics, a 3 issue series from Spotlight Comics, and a 5 issue series from Harvey Comics. A Little Golden Book also featured Underdog and was titled Underdog and the Disappearing Ice Cream.
The live-action film debuted at #3 in the box office
In 2007, a live-action version adaptation of the Underdog cartoon was produced and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film’s cast included Jason Lee as the voice of Underdog/Shoeshine, Amy Adams as the voice of Sweet Polly Purebred, and Peter Dinklage as Dr. Simon Barsinister.
The film reached #3 in the box office on its opening weekend, with a total intake of about 11.5 million dollars. However, the film quickly fell in the box office rankings and ended up only making a total of 42.9 million in the box office, making it a box office failure.