The Hub is proudly turning its programming over to the dogs this week. Its “Dog Days of Summer” stunt features a week of canine-themed movies (don’t miss Air Bud 4: Seventh Inning Fetch tonight at 8, and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed Friday at 8), culminating Saturday with a marathon of The Hub’s hit series Pound Puppies. The marathon will begin at 9am and feature several favorite episodes along with a new one, “The Accidental Pup Star.”
It’s all part of a larger campaign called The Hub’s Pup-ularity Contest, which encouraged viewers to send in photos of their smiling pooches for a chance to win $2,500 in cash, a trip to Hollywood, and a doggie spa certificate. There also will be a donation made in the winner’s name to the animal-rescue nonprofit Petfinder Foundation. Find out who the winner is Saturday during the Pound Puppies marathon.
Pound Puppies star (and animal lover) Alanna Ubach, who voices Strudel, Mr. Nut Nut and the squirrels, took some time to talk with me about her work on the series and why she’s so devoted to animal rescue.
Channel Guide Magazine: You came of age in the 1980s when the original Pound Puppies were popular. Were you a fan back then, and what’s it like to be a part of the franchise now?
Alanna Ubach: It was one of the favorite Christmas gifts as a child growing up. I’m honored to be playing character that I loved as a child. In fact, I owned a Pound Puppies toy as a child. I received it as a gift. I remember that it came with the adoption papers.
CGM: You voice at least three different characters on the show. Do you have a favorite, and with this show and all the other voice-over work you do, is it ever tough to keep the characters straight?
AU: My favorite part is playing three characters who are talking to each other at the same time. Playing Strudel, Mr. Nut Nut and the squirrels at the same time. It’s a challenge, but it really keeps you going. And I don’t’ find it difficult to keep the characters straight. That’s the fun part!
CGM: In voice acting, do they ask you to come up with a voice, or do they generally have a voice in mind that they want you to emulate?
AU: Most of the time, they come up with a breakdown description of the character. If you’re lucky enough, you will see the animated character. Then you have to use your imagination and creative input to create the voice. And hopefully they agree with the voice you create.
CGM: Does the cast ever record together? If so, it must be fun getting to play off actors like Eric McCormack and Betty White.
AU: Eric and Betty are amazing! It’s ironic that we can all be in our PJs and do the same work. We pick up things and learn from each other. I’ve seen the wonderful work ethic of John DiMaggio and Yvette Nicole Brown. I’ve never met a voice actor that I didn’t like. It’s just a wonderful business to be part of.
CGM: Talk about what being a part of the series, and this “Pup-ularity” contest means to you as an animal lover.
AU: When I was a child, I remember watching Lady and the Tramp and falling in love with dogs. I wanted a dog right away, but my parents thought a 6-year old would find it difficult potty training and walking a dog. What I really love about Pound Puppies is that shows how not only to take care of a dog, but really how to love a dog. And also stresses the importance of rescuing dogs. I have two rescue dogs myself. It’s really important to put that message in the conscience of kids.
CGM: What do you think the secret to a happy pup is?
AU: A lot of love and a lot of attention. Treat him or her as a member of the family.
CGM: Your whole career you’ve seemingly had your feet firmly planted in projects aimed at kids, and projects aimed at adults (Hung). Is it important for you to maintain that balance, or has it just worked out that way?
AU: It’s very important. It’s such a relief that you’re not working on something that isn’t palatable to my little cousins. Pound Puppies isn’t too adult or too boring for them. I can call my little cousin Alex to tune into The Hub and watch Pound Puppies. Playing an animated dog is hilarious to my family members. That is the fun part!