Both of these episodes were really painful to watch for many reasons, but beyond that point, they are both superb episodes and stand out to me as some of the series' best.
"Shake Rattle & Woof"
This episode starts off with Roger recording the barks and clucks of the main pups to make some kind of remix song. I must say that the "Woof Rap" was a really cool thing to listen to, and I was adored by the jumps that Cadpig made each time she barked.
Cruella overhears the pups barking and decides to put a big show on Dearly Farm presented by her with the main pups as the stars. The pups seemed to love the idea, especially since Cruella let Roger be the director. Trusting Cruella is very unethical for the pups, since this was the same woman who tried to make coats out of them.
On the night of the big show, there turned out to be very terrible scenery set up in the barn, and Cruella has ended up getting the pups' names wrong. In addition, the pups were forced to wear these stupid costumes while they performed. What a load of rubbish!
Since Roger was the director, he wouldn't let that happen, but just then Cruella used her power to demote Roger to pooper scooper and make the new director herself. This put the whole Dearly family on the verge of quitting, but if they do for any reason (as stated in the contract Roger signed), Cruella gets the farm! She can do that, you know. Man, I hate fine print! I felt like I wanted to smack Cruella in the head right then!
Well, I must admit, the show did go successful, and I wouldn't have minded if they added in some Village People references. By looking at their costumes, I could tell that each one closely resembled the personalities of the main pups: Lucky as the star, Rolly as the tough guy, Cadpig as the sweet one, and Spot as the comic relief.
Overall, this was a mediocre episode.
"Cadpig Behind Bars"
While I don't tend to like Lt. Pug at all, this one is definately a superb episode of the series. In this episode, Lucky, Rolly and Cadpig all show solid developments in their characters, and I didn't miss Spot.
Still, this is another painful episode, since Cadpig gets seperated from the group for a majority of this episode. As I've said in a lot of my other reviews, I'm always feeling hurt when the main pups get seperated, and I prefer to see episodes where Lucky, Cadpig and Rolly all do stuff together.
Regardless of that fact, this is still one of the strongest episodes in the series, as it shows a fine example of what Cadpig's character is really like. Cadpig is the favorite of most fans of this show, and this episode happens to have her as the central focus character. The entire series had plenty of episodes with either Lucky, Rolly or Spot as the central focus character, but it really lacked episodes for Cadpig. While my personal favorite in the series is Lucky, Cadpig comes in at a close second. There are a lot of aspects I love about Cadpig that make her what I believe such a great character. She's tiny, she's got a lot of blue on her, she's quite strong for her size, and above all, she's just cute. I find both Lucky and Cadpig to be very interesting characters in the series.
The other characters in this episode were quite unique as well. I wouldn't have minded if some of the dogs in the pound became recurring characters. As for the dog catcher, I wouldn't have expected Don Knotts to make a vocal appearance in an episode to a series like this (even though he did appear numerous times in "Scooby Doo").
I thought it was hillarious all the things Cadpig did in the pound that drove the other dogs crazy. It shows a perfect example of her character, and it's classic Cadpig.
I don't know what else to say about this episode. They are both painful episodes, but also amongst the most excellent episodes and are a solid way to get initiated into the series. I would strongly reccomend this pair as one of your first viewed episodes.
"Sure, you do. It's in there somewhere. The sensitive, nuturing, patient part in all of us."
-Aww...I know I have a feminine side! :) "Cadipg Behind Bars"
I will say that I consider 'Shake, Rattle n' Woof/Cadpig Behind Bars as two superb episodes of the series and they are likely to be ranking in the Series' Finest. They both have great plots and humor, and will be episodes I will watch over and over again.
'Shake, Rattle n' Woof'--Cruella blackmails the Dearlys into putting on a Hee Haw type show; and it's up to the Main Pups to save the farm.
We start with Roger using the pups barks (and Spot's clucking) to make a mix tape. I will start by saying I liked the musical interlude reference to Jingle Cats; cartoon characters doing music videos is a lot of fun in my book; it reminds me of the 1990 Bart Simpson music videos 'Do the Bartman' and 'Deep Deep Trouble'.
Cruella's scheme this time-to take posession of Dearly Farm under contact-was a devious little plot that I wasn't sure how the Dearlys would get out of. However, they just let the cards fall where they would, and Cruella getting her comeuppance through Horace and Jasper 'just following her strict orders' was a funny bit. Other bits of humor, such as Cruella getting the pups names wrong (Ucky, Roy, a Pig and Spit) is humorous and in character; Roger's not the only one Cruella misnames.
I also liked the Main Pups' guises; Lucky as Elvis, Rolly in a Mexican garb, Cadpig as a biker chick and Spot in a cheesehat was funny to look at.
If there were anything I would point out as wrong, maybe Lucky, like the other for Main Pups, would like being on TV, him at first trusting Cruella would be out of character (she did originally plot to kill them all), but Spot corrects them in this case. I don't know if there would be a message--other than, 'Your friends will help you out in a jam'--but it's overall still a great episode and I would highly recommend it.
'Cadpig Behind Bars'--Lucky, Rolly and Pug go to help Cadpig when she is taken to the pound.
This is another solid ep in the series, it gives us a stronger idea of who Cadpig is and it is a truly humorous episode. Unlike Rolly and to a degree Spot, Cadpig works great as a central focus character and she is a lot of fun to watch, while I tend to prefer the other two to play support. Cadpig, on the other hand, works great as both. Like Lucky, she leaves something to your imagination, which I think is a great asset in Cadpig-centric episodes. While you can pretty accurately guess what Rolly and Spot were like prior to the series (Rolly was the Dearly family gourmand, and Spot was a chicken that felt she didn't quite fit in), it is fun thinking exactly what Lucky and Cadpig were like earlier.
Her attempts to liven up the pound despite her predicament were funny, and in character to boot. The other animals were used to feeling down and they didn't like the sudden shift in mood.
The only downside to this episode is Lt. Pug. As I will establish in greater detail in my review of 'Mall Pups', I tend to like the 'non Pug' episodes better than the 'Pug' episodes. He's a hinderance to both Lucky and Rolly here, I think they are much more competent without him.
Also...where exactly was Spot?
Both fantastic episodes of which I believe were made to establish that you should help friends in need, I whole-heartedly recommend 'Shake, Rattle n' Woof/Cadpig Behind Bars'.
'What you need to do is to put on a happy face! Smile, and the world smiles with you!'