Father of the Pride

NBC (ended 2004)


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Father of the Pride

Show Summary

From DreamWorks animation comes the first primetime CGI-animated series with a feature film quality look to it. Each episode costs $1.6 million and 9 months to make. This CGI-animated series is about a family of white lions who work as performers in the Las Vegas act of illusionists Siegfried & Roy. The show stars Larry, a hard-working white lion in the revue with his wife Kate, a white lioness. Sarmoti, another white lion who is Kate's father - and Larry's father-in-law - clashes with Larry on every subject imaginable. Rounding out the group is Snack, a mischievous gopher and Larry's best friend. It should be noted that the name Sarmoti is actually the acronym S.A.R.M.O.T.I., which stands for Siegfried and Roy: Masters of the Impossible. The show was in jeopardy when in October 2003, Roy Horn was mauled by one of his tigers during a stage show that left Horn in critical condition. Executives at NBC and DreamWorks didn't know whether or not to go on with the show, but as Roy showed signs of improvement, both Siegfried and Roy urged the show to move forward in production. When the show debuted in late August 2004, it got off to a good start with strong ratings. The ratings continued to show good promise for the show through early September 2004, until the ratings started to rapidly decline. The show faced more trouble when it was pulled from November 2004 sweeps, undoubtedly signaling the end was near. In early December 2004, Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation CEO and show creator, announced that the show was cancelled. A few of the remaining episodes were burned off in late December 2004. The whole series, which consists of one season of episodes and extra features, is now available on DVD for the public to buy. Theme Song "Viva Las Vegas" performed by John Goodman NBC Broadcast History August 2004 - December 2004 --- Tuesday 9:00 pm (Simulcast in HDTV) First Telecast: August 31, 2004 Last Telecast: December 28, 2004 Episodes: 13 Episodes (2 Unaired)moreless

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    • I don't understand one thing about this show.

      How is it a rip-off of South Park? I've heard some critics saying that this show is a clone of South Park. It looks great to me, but I haven't seen it.
    • A wonderful animated series that is fun for the entire family. Sadly overlooked and misunderstood by both viewers and the media.

      Father of the Pride had everything going for it. The series came from the same people who brought us the smash hit film franchise Shrek. It had the same levels of CGI wizardry and the unique sense of humour that Shrek was so successful at. Network NBC embarked on a relentless pre-season campaign to create awareness, and its launch was heralded by the network the future of television animation.

      So what went wrong. Perhaps it was the mixed response from the industry press. Many critics merely saw Father of the Pride as a tired attempt to cash in on the success of Shrek. A perhaps flawed view as the series itself was much different from the green ogre. Could it have been the decision to air the first episode in August, well in advance of the traditional start to the new fall season, when viewers might not be expecting to be watching television in the last days of summer.

      Maybe it was an error to start the series by airing the episodes out of order. Indeed, the first episode aired was the fifth in production order. The episode What's Black and White and Depressed All Over? is not a bad episode, but not exactly the strongest to start with. Obviously the pilot episode will be geared best to introduce viewers to the characters and the universe they inhabit. Or maybe it was the incident that almost killed Roy Horn a few months before the series went to air.

      All are interesting possibilities, but they still don't seem to explain why Father of the Pride failed to catch on with viewers. Perhaps it is just one of those series like so many others, that despite their high quality and talent involved, they simply fail.

      Which is an absolute shame as Father of the Pride is a brilliant series. It may not be as cutting edge as some sitcoms, but it blends a mixture of adult and family humour. While not exactly reaching the levels of South Park, it can be surprisingly mature with it content. But it does so in the knowledge that younger viewers will not have a clue what they are talking about, which leaves the adults free to chuckle.

      One of the real strengths of the series is the mix between the daily life of Siegfried and Roy, and their animals living in the Secret Garden sanctuary. It is quite amusing that Siegfried and Roy lead a very bizarre and unusual lifestyle. The types of adventures they go on are in stark contrast the normality of the animals. Larry and his family experience the same problems as most other sitcom families do.

      Personally I find the shenanigans that Siegfried and Roy to be hysterical. From Siegfried's hostility to The Today Show's Matt Lauer, to their trip to a local 7-Eleven and on to their attempts to compete with the hottest new magical acts in Las Vegas. The enthusiasm that they exhibit towards even the most mundane things and the unique humour they hold, never fails to raise a smile on my face.

      Meanwhile, Larry and his family are well above your average sitcom family. They may be white lions, but they are nonetheless the same as every normal family. They experience the same problems and situations we've seen a thousand times in hundreds of other series. Father of the Pride actually manages to make them more real and relevant.

      But the real strength of the show is the wealth of voice talent that bring the characters to life. It is hard not to see John Goodman in Larry. Every nuance and gesture of Larry is easily recognisable to anyone who ever watched him on Roseanne. Larry is the atypical 'dad' who loves his family but sometimes finds it hard to be around them. Cheryl Hines seems to have become the poster mother type. He voice adds a calmness to Kate, but also a strange sexiness to her character. She can sometimes be stern, but other times gentle and reassuring.

      Orlando Jones is perfect as Snack the Gopher. The tiny rodent friend of Larry who is virtually the devil on Larry's shoulder. Perhaps doing more to get the lion into trouble than even Larry's own bad judgement. Carl Reiner is also well suited as the arrogant but also failing Sarmoti, the former head lion and father-in-law to Larry. His dismissive attitude to Larry is not different than most other sitcoms, but when push comes, he will help Larry if it means that his daughter and grandchildren can be happy.

      The chaos of Siegfried and Roy is brilliantly brought to life by the duo of Julian Holloway and David Herman. It is hard to think that they are not the real Siegfried and Roy. Although you can understand that both men are mere caricatures of their real selves.

      The series is also boosted by the vocal talents of numerous celebrity guest stars. Kelsey Grammer does a great turn in one episode, while Lisa Kudrow plays the depressed female giant panda Foo-Lin. Eddie Murphy's turn as Donkey feels about the only misfire in the entire series. It seems that his appearance more than any other thing was used to dismiss Father of the Pride as a cheap Shrek knockoff.

      Father of the Pride is an intensely witty series that is gorgeous to look at in all its CGI finery. If feels wonderfully original and unlike anything you ever seen on television. It deals with some of the most traditional staples of sitcoms like racism, drugs, rivalry and sex. But also goes to the absurd with questions over whether eating your neighbour is acceptable.

      Frankly Father of the Pride is one of the finest sitcoms to air in the past decade of television. Its demise is to be lamented as its loss is made more apparent with each viewing of an episode.

      What makes Father of the Pride stand out is the fact it is intensely funny, but also has a heart. And you will be hard pressed to find a show that can combine both so well.moreless
    • Two things killed Father of the Pride. The channel and the price. The humor and the production quality was, and still is, top notch.

      Father of the Pride was one of those shows that was simply destined to die. Not because of production quality. Dear lord I just about died on some of the jokes on the show (Not kidding. I was coughing I laughed so hard on the last scene of "The Siegfried And Roy Fantasy Experience Movie") and the animation, for the time, was first rate. No first off it was on NBC....The family station. It catered to the wrong crowd. Simply put America still doesn't get that animation does not automatically equal family friendly. This show is easily in the vein of Family Guy and South Park...if not worse, or better depending on your point of view. No If this had been on the cartoon network this would have been an entirely different ballgame.

      Second was price. At 1.6 million per episode and something like 9 months to develop an episode it simply was too much. Now in 2008 I'm willing to bet the price would be much more reasonable. But at the time.....the price killed the show.

      But again, the humor while very much adult in a wink wink nudge nudge way that any child would NEVER get, was blindingly hilarious. Quote "OK ladies. Its time to love our special flowers. Everyone, take out your hand mirrors" *Larry dives through the plate glass window in horror.* I spent 20 minutes laughing as I slid off the couch onto the floor.moreless
    • the show is ok but there our other adult animations i perfer

      This show is about a siegfried and roy and the life of there show lions. The show is ok but the sex jokes and stuff like that just wasnt funny. plus they had it be the replacement of fracier so that really didnt help it with promtions. The show at times was just plain lame and painful but it never was as bad as the atrocious lil bush or tom goes to the mayor on adult swim. Plus the john goodmans voice was probably the most annoying voiceover there has ever been on an animated show. but besides that it is a decent show.moreless
    • Nothing but a comercial

      Father of the Pride was a tired and unoriginal from day 1.

      Dreamworks not only produced the show they were the main sponsor. That's why it's the longest running animated show on NBC.

      With a budget of 1.6 million dollars per episode, one would expect a decent show. Instead we have the TV equivilant of Ishtar, unfunny and unwatchable. Add to this the constant commercials for Shrek II. 1 min and thirty seconds of each break went to Shrek comercials and "promos".

      Dreamworks should be ashamed. Did they have that little faith in Shrek II? This just goes to show that on TV money talks and quaility gets kicked out the door. Shame on NBC and shame on Dreamworks.moreless

    More Info About This Show


    Animation, Comedy


    Computer Animation