Dog City
Also known asJim Henson's Dog City
Created byJim Henson (original made for TV film)
Developed by
Directed byJohn van Bruggen
Voices of
Country of origin
  • United States
  • Canada
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes31
Executive producers
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseSeptember 26, 1992 (1992-09-26) –
November 26, 1994 (1994-11-26)

Dog City is an animated television series that was produced by Nelvana Limited and Jim Henson Productions in association with Channel 4 and Global Television Network. The series ran for three seasons, airing on Fox Kids from September 26, 1992, to November 26, 1994; in Canada, the series aired on YTV until 2000. The series contained both animation made by Nelvana, and puppetry by Jim Henson Productions - similar to Little Muppet Monsters - and invoked a mixture of detective fiction with police comedy.[2]

The series starred Kevin Clash as Eliot Shag, a German Shepherd animator, and the voice talents of Ron White as Ace Hart, a cartoon German Shepherd private detective who Eliot animates. Each episode of Dog City focus on the exploits of Ace as he tackles various crimes around the titular Dog City, based on the stories Eliot devises from events that happen in real-life that inspire him, with the pair often interacting with each other during work to animate an episode of Ace's cartoon series.

Dog City was spawned following an hour-long live-action television film, titled Dog City: The Movie, which was created for an episode of The Jim Henson Hour in 1989, with the muppet cast created for the film incorporated into the series.

Television film

Dog City was originally an hour-long, broadcast on May 5, 1989, as an episode of The Jim Henson Hour, featuring the characters as puppets.[3] In Dog City: The Movie, Ace Yu inherits a bar-restaurant called the Dog House following the death of his Uncle Harry and is harassed for protection money by crime syndicate boss Bugsy Them (who was responsible for the death of Uncle Harry). As it turns out, Harry was actually Ace's father. Refusing to pay or fight him, Bugsy kidnaps Ace's love interest Colleen. There are car chases and shoot-em-ups and rubber duckies involved in the action. In the end, Ace defeats Bugsy and gets the girl.[4]


Dog City: The Movie (sans the framing sequences) was released to regions 1 and 2.

The Jim Henson Company's YouTube channel has clips from the film, in addition to the trailer and a behind the scenes clip from a mockumentary included in a playlist called "Dogs!".[5]


Dog City focuses on the lives of various anthromorphic dogs and cats that reside in two different worlds - a live-action world portrayed by puppets and an animated world. The stories themselves focus on animator Eliot Shag and his cartoon creation canine private investigator Ace Hart, both of whom are German Shepherd. Each episode focuses on Elliot creating new animated stories featuring Ace for a television program named after the character with Ace playing out the stories that Elliot devises from inspiration he has from real-life events in his apartment building within his cartoon series' setting of Dog City. Both Eliot and Ace maintain a friendly relationship as the latter knows he is a cartoon character and often breaks the fourth wall to speak with Elliot in regards to various issues he encounters during the animating of episodes, often when something he is doing or the story itself doesn't feel right to him.

During the live-action sequences, Eliot faces different problems relating to his work life and his personal life, including contending with his building's grouchy bulldog superintendent Bruno. As a recurring gag, many of the characters made for Elliot's cartoon series are based on the residents of the building that he knows of and interacts with - Bruno himself being the inspiration for the character of Bugsy Vile, a notorious crime boss whom Ace regularly has to deal with in many of the plots Eliot devises, alongside Artie, Eliot's young friend and animator assistant, being the idea behind Ace's own sidekick Eddie, a young newspaper boy.

During the first series, Eliot has feelings for his neighbour Coleen, the inspiration for Ace's own love interest Rosie, chief of police for Dog City. The later series replaced Eliot's love interest with Artie's mother Terri. In some episodes, Eliot also spends time animating additional side stories alongside the main stories that Ace stars in.


Animated characters

Live-action characters


Series overview

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
PilotMay 5, 1989 (1989-05-05)NBC
113September 26, 1992 (1992-09-26)January 30, 1993 (1993-01-30)Fox Kids
210September 18, 1993 (1993-09-18)November 20, 1993 (1993-11-20)
38September 17, 1994 (1994-09-17)November 24, 1994 (1994-11-24)

Season 1 (1992–93)

No. in
TitleWritten byOriginal air date
11"The Big Squeak"J.D. SmithSeptember 26, 1992 (1992-09-26)
Canine animator Eliot Shag learns from his boss that he must remake his latest episode for his Ace Hart cartoon series. Inspired by his young friend Artie's squeaky toy, Eliot devises a new story where Ace is forced to investigate a crime spree involving squeaky toys. He quickly discovers the culprit is crime boss Bugsy Vile, who recently kidnapped a millionaire and his safe, which can only be unlocked by the squeaky toy he owns.
22"Taming of the Screw"Peter SauderOctober 3, 1992 (1992-10-03)
Eliot is unhappy when his desk falls apart because one of the screws keeping popping out. The incident inspires him to create an episode where Ace is hired to track down escaped lunatric Screwy Louie. When Screwy's destructive rampage across the city attracts the attention of Bugsy's gang, who are eager to recruit him to commit crimes, Ace is forced to find out where he will strike next before innocent lives are placed in danger.
33"Meat the Butcher"J.D. SmithOctober 10, 1992 (1992-10-10)
Ace is surprised when Eliot begins animating a new episode with increased violence, after being instructed to by his boss. To make matters complicated, Eliot's boss also instructs him to have an episode where Bugsy hires an hitman named Meat the Butcher to get revenge on Ace for shutting down his rackets. Although Ace likes the new format, Eliot is concerned it might cause his character to get into serious trouble.
44"Disobedience School"Jim Lewis & Peter SauderOctober 17, 1992 (1992-10-17)
Ace finds his next adventure seeing him return to Doggone Obedience School to track down Eddie, after the story is inspired by Eliot's recent discussion with Artie over his first day of school. Going undercover, he finds out that Bugsy and his gang are corrupting the young pups attending the school. Ace and Eddie soon have to put a stop to this scheme when they learn Bugsy intends for the students to rob a bank.
55"The Dog Pound"Peter SauderOctober 31, 1992 (1992-10-31)
Eliot is worried about going to jail when Bruno calls the police on him for chewing up one of his slippers. When Ace boasts he could tackle being behind bars easily, Eliot decides to call his bluff by creating a story in which the private detective is framed for stealing a priceless slipper. Ace is forced to rely on Rosie for help, after being sent to the Dog Pound, but soon has to break out when she gets herself into trouble with the real thief.
66"Radio Dazed"Marty Isenberg & Robert N. SkirNovember 14, 1992 (1992-11-14)
Eliot is inspired by a local repairman's story about how they used to enjoy entertainment on the radio, whilst his TV is being fixed. This leads the animator to create a story in which Ace is hired by Dog City's radio station WFIDO to investigate a spate of suspicious accidents that threaten to takes the station off the airwaves. However, Ace is not happy when Eliot tries to make the case tougher than usual.
77"The Bloodhound"Mark Saraceni & Peter SauderNovember 21, 1992 (1992-11-21)
Eliot fears Colleen's new friend Bram might be a vampire when he meets them during a stormy night of animating. This inspires him to create a supernatural-themed episode where Ace is investigating a spate of attacks across Dog City that seem to be the work of a vampire. While Ace is not thrilled at what Eliot's story involves, he reluctantly plays out the story by determining to track down the culprit with help from Eddie and Rosie. After outlasting the Bloodhound until sunrise, Ace discovers that the Bloodhound is actually a disgruntled mail carrier who was getting tired of being bitten by the other dogs. Ace quoted "You knew the job was dangerous when you took it" as Rose reads the mail carrier his rights.
88"Adventures in Puppysitting"Marty Isenberg, Robert N. Skir, Michael Edens & Mark EdensNovember 28, 1992 (1992-11-28)

Eliot is asked to puppsit Colleen's baby nephew Pomeroy whilst she attends to business. This inspires the animator to create a story where Ace unknowingly puppysits master thief Puppy-faced Felson, who specializes in disguising himself as a baby and recently stole a diamond from a movie star for Bugsy. But Pomeroy proves a handful for Eliot and quickly gives Ace problems when he tries messing with his cartoon.

Note: The Muppet character of Pomeroy was recycled from one created for the Dog City segment in The Jim Henson Hour.
99"Ya Gotta Have Hart"J.D. SmithDecember 19, 1992 (1992-12-19)
Eliot is fired by his boss after refusing to change how Ace Hart is portrayed on TV. Bruno delights in this news, knowing he will be evicted if he can't pay the rent. Eliot swiftly tries to get Ace to star in different roles, ranging from commericials, to a French film and children's nursery rhymes. But each plan leads him to realize he can't bring himself to change how much he prefers Ace for who he is in his opinion.
1010"In Your Dreams"Jim LewisJanuary 9, 1993 (1993-01-09)
Eliot falls asleep at his animator's desk while producing a new cartoon for Ace as part of a killer deadline and dreams himself into the cartoon. He quickly delights in joining his creation in rescuing Rosie from Bugsy, but Ace is not happy with how things pan out, including Eliot being deemed a hero by Dog City when Rosie is found. Ace swiftly decides to take charge to finish the new episode when Eliot awakens, but realizes making a story himself is not as easy as it seems. After Eliot wakes up, his animated counterpart disappears causing the police to blame Ace and arrest him where the judge sentences him to prison. Just as he was about to be condemned to the electric doggy bed, Eliot comes up with a way to get Ace out of his fate by exposing the prison warden and the prison staff members as Bugsy Vile's gang as they are arrested as the real culprits of Eliot Shag, the prison warden, and the prison staff members' dognappings.
1111"Rocketship K-9"Robert N. Skir, Marty Isenberg & J.D. SmithJanuary 16, 1993 (1993-01-16)
Bruno mistakenly believes aliens are invading, unaware fans of the Moondoggy Show are arriving in the city for a convention. Amused by this, Eliot uses it as inspiration for a new cartoon where Ace finds himself getting stuck on a rocket heading for the moon, alongside Bugsy and a Russian-accented double agent cat named Bestov Breed from Catsylvania. However, all don't expect to run into by Baron von Rottweiler as he plots his latest scheme to take over the world.
1212"Cats 'n' Dogs"Kirk R. ThatcherJanuary 23, 1993 (1993-01-23)
Bruno is fired by the building's owner, Ms. Fluffé, for accusing cats for causing an infestation of fleas. The incident inspires Eliot with a new story in which Ace is asked by Rosie to bring down the leader of the East Side Cats - Clawed Badly. The private detective is forced to go undercover, and soon discovers Clawed, who is fighitng against Bugsy, intends to use a flea bomb to spread fleas to dogs across Dog City.
1313"Is It Arf?"Vincent GrittaniJanuary 30, 1993 (1993-01-30)
Ace is shocked when Eliot reveals that his next story has been inspired by Artie's love of world famous fictional detective Surelick Bones. The new story sees Ace working to track down an art thief who is at large within Dog City only to find Rosie has hired Bones to investigate the matter. But Eliot is eager to prove to Artie that Ace is the better detective by bringing in a surprise plot twist during the case.

Season 2 (1993)

No. in
TitleWritten byOriginal air date
141"Boss Bruiser"Marty Isenberg & Robert N. SkirSeptember 18, 1993 (1993-09-18)
Bruno is fired by Ms. Fluffé for causing damage to Eliot's apartment ceiling, leading to Bowser being appointed as the building's new superintendent. The situation inspires Eliot to animate an episode of Ace Hart in which Bugsy appoints Bruiser to lead his gang, much to Frisky's dislike - especially when he unintentionally causes Bruiser to pull off heists around Dog City that Ace is hired to investigate.
152"Springer Fever"Jim LewisSeptember 25, 1993 (1993-09-25)
After Colleen moves out of his apartment building, Eliot finds new inspiration for Rosie's personality in the form of Artie's mother Terri, whom he falls in love with after she moves into the building. Ace swiftly finds Eliot's new romantic interest a major problem with animating his latest story, which sees the detective working with Rosie to track down Bugsy, who has kidnapped the Mayor's secretary.
163"Much Ado About Mad Dog"Marty Isenberg & Robert N. SkirOctober 2, 1993 (1993-10-02)

Ace is not happy when Eliot animates a new story for him in which Mad Dog becomes loyal to him after the private detective saves his life. Rosie swiftly uses the situation to have Ace put a stop to Bugsy's latest criminal scheme. Meanwhile, Artie becomes greatly concerned he will ruin things for his mother, after ruining a hat belonging to a businessman that Terri is conducting a deal with.

Note: Colonel Claghound is a recycled version of Lyle the Dog that featured in The Muppet Show.
174"Of Mutts and Mayors"David FinleyOctober 9, 1993 (1993-10-09)
Bruno makes claims he has taken over from Ms. Fluffé as his apartment building's new owner, inspiring Eliot with a story in which Bugsy decides to become mayor of Dog City. After removing the current mayor and rigging the election, he quickly has Ace and Rosie fired and swiftly delights in his newfound powers. But Eliot assures Ace the situation will not last for long, as the newfound position causes unwanted issues for Bugsy.
185"Who Watches the Watchdog?"Marty Isenberg & Robert N. SkirOctober 16, 1993 (1993-10-16)

Eliot helps Artie to repair his Bite-Man figure, and uncovers his old Watch Hound novels that he enjoyed reading. The thought of superheros leads the animator to create a story where Ace investigates a bizarre string of crimes being commited by the Labrador Gang, culminating in the sudden arrival of a superhero called WatchDog. However, unknown to Ace, Bugsy seizes this opportunity to steal rare comics from a comic convention.

Note: The episode pays homage to and parodies the comics of Marvel Comics and Stan Lee.
196"The Great Dane Curse"Dale SchottOctober 23, 1993 (1993-10-23)
Ace finds himself hired by a wealthy heiress to help her out with a private matter, but discovers that her controlling father believes they are dating. Ace decides to uncover the truth behind what is happening, per Eliot's romance-themed story, only to learn that the heiress is dating Bugsy's nephew Bruiser. Meanwhile, Eliot is nervous about expressing his true feelings for Terri, until Artie decides to help him out.
207"Out of the Mouths of Pups"Rich Fogel & Mark SeidenbergOctober 30, 1993 (1993-10-30)
Eliot is drawing a blank for a new Ace Hart episode, until Artie reveals he has received fan mail for his cartoon series. Inspired by these, Eliot attempts to create a new story from suggestions given by his fans, but Ace is deeply worried when the story creates a variety of crazy scenes. The animator soon realizes his mistake, and soon begins to doubt if he can produce an original episode ever again.
218"Farewell, My Rosie"Jim LewisNovember 6, 1993 (1993-11-06)
Ace is disappointed when Rosie doesn't turn up to celebrate him solving his 1,000th case, let alone annoyed Eliot is distracted by a TV crew doing a piece on him. To aliveate his concerns, the animator creates a story in which Ace is hired to find where Rosie has gone to, in the process learning how little he knows about her past, while shocked to find she became involved with Bugsy and Rottweiler in her youth.
229"Old Dogs, New Tricks"Julia Jane LewaldNovember 13, 1993 (1993-11-13)

Eliot is delighted to reunite with his old animation teacher Scratch McCollie, who used to make a cartoon series with a character called Sam Spayed. The reunion inspires Eliot to make a cartoon where Ace teams up with Sam, whom the animator explains taught him all he needed to know to be a private detective. But both Eliot and Ace soon disagree with Scratch and Sam respectively on how to handle their latest story.

Note: Scratch McCollie is a refurbished version of the Wolfhound from The Muppet Show.
2310"Sick as a Dog"J.D. SmithNovember 20, 1993 (1993-11-20)
Eliot faces a deadline with his newest episode for the Ace Hart series, but struggles to do so after falling ill. Artie, Terri and Bruno soon decide to help when he becomes delirious with fever, adding their own ideas to a story concerning Ace attempting to stop Bugsy and his gang from stealing the antidote to a flea bug that can make dogs lose all their fur. But their ideas create some chaotic issues for Eliot to resolve when he recovers.

Season 3 (1994)

No. in
TitleWritten byOriginal air date
241"The New Litter"J.D. SmithSeptember 17, 1994 (1994-09-17)
Artie is eager to make his own cartoon, but struggles to come up with ideas. Eliot helps by providing him advice and guidance to steer him in the right direction, while working on two new cartoons alongside his Ace Hart series. For Ace, he and Eddie visit Jurrasic Bark, an island park that recently cloned dinosaurs back into existence with a secret chemical, in order to prevent Bugsy stealing the chemical.
252"Doggy See, Doggy Do"David FinleySeptember 24, 1994 (1994-09-24)
Eliot has kindergarten television on the mind with his latest story, which Ace quickly has concerns about. In the new story, Ace finds himself investigating thefts being commited by children's TV star Bernie, only to discover that Bugsy is posing as the real star, who he has kidnapped. Meanwhile, Artie faces being grounded by his mother after she learns he has gotten bad grades at school with multiplications, prompting Eliot to help him out.
263"Comedy of Horrors"Craig Shemin & J.D. SmithOctober 1, 1994 (1994-10-01)
In a pair of horror-themed cartoons, Eliot devises a story in which Ace and Eddie have to rescue Rosie from Rottweiler before she is married to a monster, while Artie has his character Mr Mookie fights a monster. Meanwhile, a mad dog who resembles Bowser turns up in Eliot's apartment building, leading the animator, Artie and Bruno being terriorized when he comes after them during a stormy night.
274"Howl the Conquering Hero"Cliff MacGillivrayOctober 8, 1994 (1994-10-08)
Artie is working on a report concerning who is hero is, leading Eliot and Terri to convince him that ordinary people should be considered rather than superheros. Meanwhile, Ace is given a story in which he has to stop Bugsy from winning Dog City's Hero of the Year Award, after the crime boss stages accidents so he can rescue those caught up in them, while Mr Mookie spends a recess working to cure the President.
285"Reduce, Re-Use, Retrieve"John LudinNovember 5, 1994 (1994-11-05)
Artie is eager to make a difference, and so begins a campaign to have the apartment residents learn to recycle things, and not create excess wastage. Eliot creates an environmentally-themed series of shorts, including a story in which Ace investigates the theft of trees outside Dog City. Aided by Eddie, the pair find that Rottweiler is behind the thefts, and using the trees as part of his latest world conquest plot.
296"Future Schlock"David FinleyNovember 12, 1994 (1994-11-12)
Ace is thrown into a time-travel story when Rottweiler changes the past to gain control over Dog City. To prevent this, he and Eddie go back to the founding of the city in the 1600s to prevent Rottweiler interfering with history in the first place. Meanwhile, Artie is nervous about moving on into Fifth Grade at school, until he comes to Eliot's aid when become nervous of using his new computer he recently bought.
307"No Pain, No Brain"Marty Isenberg & Robert N. SkirNovember 19, 1994 (1994-11-19)
Eliot tries to get in shape for the annual marathon, after learning Terri is entering with a new jogging partner. Inspired by health and fitness, he creates an episode where Ace is hired by Rosie to enter the Fidolymplics in order to thwart Bugsy, who seeks to win through cheating. Meanwhile, Artie creates a story where Mr Mookie competes against a tortoise in a race.
318"Dog Days of Summer Vacation"David Finley & J.D. SmithNovember 26, 1994 (1994-11-26)
Ace is surprised when Eliot creates a story about him going on a family vacation with Eddie, Rosie, and Dot. The animator reveals how he values family vacations at Summer, especially as Terri and Artie are planning to head out on one. But Eliot explains Ace's situation is just an undercover role, so he can travel the country to stop a crooked criminal called the Vandalizer ruining vacations for others.


Muppet performers


Additional voices

Home releases

Two VHS tapes with two episodes each were released by Sony Wonder. Much Ado About Mad Dog contains the episodes Much Ado About Mad Dog and Old Dogs, New Tricks. The Big Squeak contains the episodes The Big Squeak and Boss Bruiser. Another tape, Disobedience School was released in the UK through Channel 4 and contains the episodes Disobedience School, The Dog Pound, and Radio Daze.

Dog City: The Movie was released to UK exclusive region 2 DVD, and a Region 1 DVD was released on June 8, 2010, though the series has not had any DVD release. Most episodes of all three seasons are available from Amazon Video on Demand.


  1. ^ Stevens, Mary (February 5, 1993). "It's Not Easy Being A Henson". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  2. ^ Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 158. ISBN 978-1538103739.
  3. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 276–277. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  4. ^ "Jim Henson's Dog City: The Movie". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  5. ^ Dogs!
  6. ^ Erickson, Hal (1993). Television Cartoon Shows An Illustrated Encyclopedia 1949-1993. McFarland and Company Inc., Publishers. ISBN 0-7864-0029-3.