Oh, Disney Junior. How is it that I am an almost 40 year old woman and I still laughed my butt off while watching a sneak peek of Puppy Dog Pals? Because it was hilarious and adorable, that’s how! The intro says, “Meet two pups who know what’s up” and that’s the perfect tagline! The show is about two cute pugs named Bingo and Rolly, but there is also a cute cat named Hissy and their owner.
Puppy Dog Pals debuts tomorrow, April 14 at 10:30 a.m. EST with two back-to-back episodes on the Disney Channel. It will also be on the Disney Junior app and Disney Junior YouTube page. Oh, and guess what? If you’re thinking this show meant for children won’t be entertaining to adults, think again, because comedian Harland Williams is a writer for the show! It’s one of those kid’s shows that parents can enjoy too!
During the Cars 3 press event in San Francisco two weeks ago, I was able to screen the first episode of Puppy Dog Pals, which included two 11 minute shorts, and participate in an interview with Executive Producer Sean Coyle and Disney Junior Creative Executive Diane Ikemiyashiro.
Now, as a dog-lover, I was interested (as were the other bloggers in the interview) in the whole issue of specific dog breeds being promoted in the show. Clearly you can see that Bingo and Rolly are pugs, but we noticed that they were never really referred to by their breed, which I found interesting.
Sean Coyle said, “We make a point in our world to never refer to any of the dogs by breed. The only time we ever mention pug would be in the title of an episode. Like “Hawaii Pug-0” for example. So all the animals in this world, our main characters, they never refer to each other as a specific animal or as a specific breed, or as a specific anything. Everybody’s a friend or family.”
Now, it’s an unconventional “family” presented in Puppy Dog Pals. I really like that, and we asked our special guests for a little input behind the family dynamic.
Diane Ikemiyashiro, Disney Junior creative executive, told us:
“At the core of this show, it’s all about the family unit. The two pug puppies they’re brothers, and they love each other. They are very rambunctious, they really, really support each other, and they have different personalities. They have friends all throughout the neighborhood and all around the world. So it’s about family bonds, being friends, making friends and being a good brother.”
When asking about the target audience for Puppy Dog Pals, Sean Coyle said:
“We’re aiming for two to five, as sort of the sweet spot. I’m a parent of two little kids, and I’m very picky with what they watch because it has to be something that I don’t mind spending time with either. And so that was really a focus for myself and a lot of the crew members too. The writers, the directors, the designers just want to create something that kids would love but also something that people 2 to 80 could also enjoy spending 25 minutes with.”
Diane Ikemiyashiro told us that they actually have a team of educational consultants in their Disney Junior department, along with an educational resource group who watch every episode because while it’s not necessarily try to teach life lessons, they want to inspire kids with wholesome stories. The first episode features Bingo and Rolly going to Hawaii to gather sand for their “dad,” because they overhear him wishing he had some Hawaiian sand beneath his toes. While it’s not a life lesson, in my opinion, it does provide a positive message about making people happy and doing nice things for the people you care about, in a very unassuming way. I love that!
Make sure to tune in! Puppy Dog Pals debuts tomorrow, April 14 at 10:30 a.m. EST with two back-to-back episodes on the Disney Channel. It will also be on the Disney Junior app and Disney Junior YouTube page.