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Teacher's Pet (also known as Disney's Teacher's Pet) is an American Disney animated television series about an 11-year-old boy and his dog who wants to be a boy. Created by Gary Baseman, Bill Steinkellner and Cheri Steinkellner and directed by Timothy Björklund, the first season was broadcast on Disney's One Saturday Morning on ABC, the second season was broadcast on Toon Disney, and the third season was broadcast on The Disney Channel. The show ran from 2000 to 2002. The show was influenced by Gary Baseman's dog, Hubcaps. He would wonder what the dog would do while he was gone. He made this show in honor of him, with Spot portraying Hubcaps. The show ran for two seasons with a total of 39 episodes. Teacher's Pet is the longest running. This is also one of the three One Saturday Morning shows to become a Toon Disney original series along with Lloyd in Space, The Weekenders and Teamo Supremo. The show is remembered for its unique style of character design.
Leonard Helperman is a nerdy 11-year-old boy and his mother is his teacher, which he is ashamed of. All the kids are mean to him. Meanwhile, his dog, Spot, is tired of just staying at home and wants to do things, so he dresses up as a boy named Scott Leadready II and instantly becomes the coolest. When Leonard finds out the truth, he orders Spot to stop doing this silly charade but Spot says he wants to go to school until they graduate and Leonard relucantly agrees as long as no one finds out.
A KaBlam! short, Stewy the Dog Boy was planned to become a spin-off (Which was about a dog wanting to go to school, so he disguises himself as a human), but when Nickelodeon found out about the show, the spin-off was cancelled. Funny enough, Gary Baseman, the creator, did a short for KaBlam!, The Louie and Louie Show during its first season. Later, Baseman made a show called "Teacher's Pet" which was inspired by his own dog, Hubcaps. The man would wonder what the dog would do while he was gone. Gary Baseman had the original idea for a dog who dresses up like a boy and goes to school because Gary sort of resides in this alternate universe where things like that could happen. And I think he imagines that his dog, when he would go to work, would put on his clothes and go to school. We pitched the original idea to Disney and had a whole bunch of ideas we were looking to develop. Then the co-creators brought them home to their little tech-marketing group, which are their three little children. The creators began working on the TV series. They set (the story) in the fourth grade because they knew what a time in one's life of total embarrassment and total mortification it was. So nothing could be worse for a kid who doesn't want to stand out and be noticed than to have his dog show up in his clothes and be around his new classmates and how the students were too ignorant to know he's a dog.
As soon as the pilot was done. They all thought that when the TV show really took off, wouldn't it be great to have a film ready to hit the theaters right as the show was peaking? So, they endorsed it to begin a bigger story, a story with more scope than the regular school stories that we did on television. We began developing the story and the show went on the air, but while it was really well received critically, it never found an audience. It didn't really find an audience, but by that time it was too late because we had already written the movie. They were able to continue making the feature step-by-step. People really liked it at Disney and wanted something separate from the series. That's how this little thing that probably should have never actually been born made it through the whole gestational period.
The show premiered on ABC as part of Disney's One Saturday Morning. Midway through its run, though, the rest of the show's episodes aired as part of the @Toon and Magical World of Toons blocks on Toon Disney.
- Shaun Fleming as Leonard Helperman
- Nathan Lane (Kevin Schon in later episodes) as Spot Helperman/Scott Leadready II
- Debra Jo Rupp as Mary Helperman
- Wallace Shawn as Crosby Strickler
- Jerry Stiller as Pretty Boy
- David Ogden Stiers as Mr. Jolly
- Rob Paulsen as Ian Wazselewski
- Mae Whitman as Leslie Dunkling
- Pamela Adlon as Tyler, Trevor and Taylor
- Cree Summer as Chelsey and Kelsey
- Lauren Tom as Younghee Mandlebom
- Tress MacNeille as Tallulah/Ruth
- Patrick Warburton as Officer DoggyTime
- Bernadette Peters as Fifi
- Don Lake as Mr. Naven
- John Mahoney as Tim Tim Tim
- Tim Curry as Spooky
- Ray Wise as Mr. Jolly's Father
- Kelsey Grammer as Dr. Ivan Krank
- Megan Mullally as Adele
- Paul Reubens as Dennis
- Jay Thomas as Barry Anger
- Estelle Harris as Mrs. Boogin
The first episode aired on ABC's "One Saturday Morning" on Saturday, September 9, 2000, and remained on ABC until 2002. In January 2002, the show also began airing in Toon Disney, and they used that channel to air new episodes every Friday. While still airing on ABC, it was eventually removed from ABC on September 7, 2002 due to a new Saturday morning block called "ABC Kids." As of 2006, it vanished from Toon Disney as well and is nowhere to be found. In Australia, it aired on Disney Channel from 2002 to 2005 where it was pushed back to the mornings and late night spots on Disney Channel. The show's spot was then replaced in 2006 by 101 Dalmatians and finally Recess which currently is the only One Saturday Morning cartoon now airing on Disney Australia. Recess airs on Family Channel in Canada.
- Won Emmy: Best Daytime Animated Series 2000 and 2001
- Won Emmy: Daytime Emmy Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program:Nathan Lane 2001
- British Emmy (BAFTA): Best International Children's Programming.
- Baseman also won Outstanding Individual Achievement Emmy for Production Design on this animated series.
In 2004, Walt Disney Pictures produced a full-length animated feature film of the show in theaters as the series finale. It was named "Teacher's Pet: The Movie". Unlike the show, Leonard is the co-star and Spot/Scott is the star. Spot is sick of pretending to be a boy and wants to be the real thing. When summer arrives, Spot finds out that a mad scientist can make his wish come true, and he, Leonard, Mr Jolly, and Pretty Boy, are off on a cross-country trek. Spot becomes a man, but he realizes it's not what he thought after all. So he and Leonard must right this wrong. Find out in Leonard and Spot's greatest adventure ever. Nathan Lane returns as Spot and Shaun Fleming returns as Leonard. While, Debra Jo Rupp, Jerry Stiller, and David Ogden Stiers reprise their roles as Mary, Pretty Boy, and Jolly.