Run time: 84 mins
The popular 1980s animated TV, a staple of after-school viewing, has been given a CGI update, with gallant, sword-wielding hero Dogtanian, now rendered in plasticky, squidgy 3D.
In this cartoon universe, dogs ride horses and walk on their hind legs; cats, such as Milady de Winter, wear corsets and are, of course, evil. The young beagle named Dogtanian journeys from 17th-century Béarn to Paris in the hope of becoming one of Louis XIII’s guard dogs – a “muskehound” – and clearing his disgraced father’s name. At the same time, Dogtanian falls in love with the Queen’s faithful handmaiden Juliette and learns of a plot against the King, cooked up by the scheming Cardinal Richelieu. A race against time ensues, as the Muskahounds attempt to foil the Cardinal’s dastardly plot.
Almost four decades on, Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds remains an inherently bizarre proposition: a loose, child-friendly retelling of Alexandre Dumas’s swashbuckling tale,, but here the unique, hand-drawn art style has been replaced with a charmless, digital make-over; which isn’t a surprise as every other revival is doing the same. It’s harmless fun nonetheless. (Jack Whiting)