ToonBarn Interviews Alanna Ubach from Pound Puppies
We have Alanna Ubach‘s interview coming up below, but first, we need to tell you about The Hub TV Network giving every dog their chance for a moment in the spotlight during the network’s annual “Dog Days of Summer” programming event, August 20-25, featuring a week of canine-themed movies and culminating in a marathon of the popular animated series “Pound Puppies” (Saturday, August 25, 9-11 a.m. ET), produced by Hasbro Studios.
To kick off the tail-wagging celebration, the network launched “The Hub’s Pup-ularity Contest” August 1, in a search for America’s happiest dog. The winner will be chosen from among nationwide consumer-submitted photos on Hubworld.com.
Starting August 1, and continuing through August 8, at Hubworld.com, dog owners across America were able to submit a photo of their smiling pooch for a chance to win “The Hub’s Pup-ularity Contest.” Starting August 11, and ending August 19, visitors to www.hubworld.com/dogdays could vote on the dog they decided was the happiest pup in the pack. The winning dog will be unveiled in an on-air announcement during The Hub’s special “Pound Puppies” marathon (Saturday, August 25, 9-11 a.m. ET) by “Dog Days of Summer” spokes-pup Cookie, a popular character from “Pound Puppies” (voiced by Yvette Nicole Brown, “Community”).
In keeping with the Pound Puppies’ motto “A pup for every person and a person for every pup,” the grand prize includes a donation in the winner’s name to the Petfinder Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports thousands of animal welfare organizations dedicated to finding loving homes for pets in shelters and rescues. The winning dog also receives a puppy-pampering trip to Hollywood, CA, with his or her owner and three of their human friends as well as a $2,500 cash prize and a doggie spa gift certificate.
During the “Dog Days of Summer” programming event, leading up to the exciting announcement, The Hub will present a week of family-favorite, dog-themed prime time movies, including:
· Monday, August 20, 8 p.m. ET: Hotel for Dogs (The Hub TV Network premiere, encore Saturday, August 25, 9 p.m. ET)
· Tuesday, August 21, 8 p.m. ET: Air Bud 3: World Pup
· Wednesday, August 22, 8 p.m. ET: Scooby-Doo (The Hub TV Network premiere)
· Thursday, August 23, 8 p.m. ET: Air Bud 4: Seventh Inning Fetch
· Friday, August 24, 8 p.m. ET: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (The Hub TV Network premiere, encore Saturday, August 25, 7 p.m. ET
The pup-ular half-hour animated series “Pound Puppies” (Saturdays at 9 a.m. ET) follows a rag-tag team of shelter dogs dedicated to finding loving homes for lonely puppies. The “Pound Puppies” marathon (Saturday, August 25, 9-11 a.m. ET) will feature favorite episodes of the top-rated series currently in its second season, and will conclude with an all-new episode, “The Accidental Pup Star,” in which the Pound Puppies must discredit a viral video of Rebound singing and dancing before McLeish can make her into a Hollywood super star and reveal the Puppies’ biggest secret.
The top-rated Hub Original Series stars the vocal talents of Eric McCormack, Alanna Ubach, Michael Rapaport, John DiMaggio and Yvette Nicole Brown. Betty White also stars in the recurring role of the indomitable Agatha McLeish.
Viewers will also have an opportunity to extend their engagement with “Pound Puppies” by playing the all-new “Pound Puppies Tunnel Time” game at Hubworld.com. In the game, fans of the series collect toys, points and “chow” while avoiding obstacles as they dig the tunnels that will ultimately bring a pup together with a loving family.
Alanna Ubach, an accomplished actress in live-action and animated feature films, live-action and animated TV series, and on the stage, appears in the The Hub’s popular children’s series, Pound Puppies. Alanna provides the voice of Strudel, a genius Dachshund with a German accent who creates many of the inventions used by the Pound Puppies. She is usually assisted by squirrels due to her lack of opposable thumbs and is the most intelligent dog in the group. She also provides the voices for Kugel, Mr. Nut-Nut, squirrels, and additional voices. Since her show, Pound Puppies, is having a 2-hour marathon to culminate the “Dog Days of Summer” on The Hub, ToonBarn had a rare chance to talk to her about one of her passions… dogs.
ToonBarn: Hi, nice to meet you Alanna.
Alanna: Hi, nice to meet you, Marc.
ToonBarn: Can you describe the Petfinder Foundation, the recipient of the donation from the Pup-ularity contest, and your affiliation with Petfinder?
Alanna: That’s a great question. I know Petfinder very well. In fact, I found 3 dogs on Petfinder. They’re the most popular, popular, popular website (www.Petfinder.com) for finding dogs in need. What’s so wonderful about that is they’re so incredibly specific and you’re informed about everything, as far as the dog’s concerned; the previous owners and their whereabouts. This makes it incredibly easy to find the dog of your dreams, or the pet of your dreams, actually. You can find Vietnamese Pigs on Petfinder, if you want. It’s amazing!
ToonBarn: And they are also trying to prevent the euthanization of animals, correct?
Alanna: Yes, they are, and they are doing quite well. They have been very successful so far.
ToonBarn: Do you still have a Bulldog named “Ready”?
Alanna: I do! In fact, I share him with a co-owner. It’s very funny, he just recently moved out of town. Ready is now living with his firemen parents, actually. It was funny, I had to move out of my house for a little while, into an apartment that did not allow pets. So, Ready was living with a friend’s neighbor for a little while, and she fell madly in love with him. She had just lost a pet, and at that moment in her life, it was perfect timing. It was fate. His quality of life was so wonderful when I went to go visit him. He has a pet pig for a neighbor. He has the opportunity to eat lunch with her boyfriend who is a fireman, every single day. So, he has a wonderful life. They were just moving because they got married, and I thought, ‘you know what, Ready has a wonderful life with them’ and so, hopefully, he’ll be able to write every once in a while, my little bulldog.
ToonBarn: Who do you have with you full-time, now?
Alanna: Lucy is a long-haired dachshund, who I basically rescued from a girlfriend of mine, who lived in a place that no longer allowed pets. She just turned 11 on August 3rd, and we had a birthday party for her. She had her first doggie ice cream cone, which is very exciting. I had it at Maxwell Dog Company over on Ventura, this hosh-posh place for Yuppie Dogs. We had a great time with her. She is a love. She loves her raw turkey chops that I give her every single morning and night. She takes two walks with me, one in the morning and one at night. She is just the love of my life.
ToonBarn: Does she look anything like Strudel (Alanna’s character on Pound Puppies)?
Alanna: She looks just like Strudel. i think it’s so darn funny that I adopted Lucy while I was recording Pound Puppies. It was hilarious! Very funny. My boyfriend and I also have a 3-legger named Stewart that I rescued in Ohio, just recently. Stewart is a year and a half old, and he may be part shepard, a shepard mix, and he is just the love of our lives. He has 3 legs. We’re very proud of our Stewie.
ToonBarn: Do you have a favorite canine breed?
Alanna: My favorite, favorite breed has always been English Bulldogs, because they just remind me of little, mini Dom Deluises. I just want to put a little cigar in each one’s mouth. I love them because they are just adorable looking. Growing up, I was very naive to information like breeding in-breds can be very unhealthy. The first bulldog I had, named Otis, I had adopted from a pet store and I had no idea that apparently it’s a no-no to buy a pet from a pet store. But I did. I didn’t know what I was doing. He was my first pet and I absolutely adored him. A year and a half later, he passed on.
ToonBarn: Oh, I’m sorry.
Alanna: Yeah, he had brain cancer. One thing’s for sure. I can tell you everything about the subculture of pet cancer and treating pet cancer. It’s unbelievable, the work they are doing, especially in California at Berkeley, what they’re doing to keep pets alive. Years ago, to just recently, they’ve been finding that it’s very common (cancer) in dogs and cats. Technology-wise, they’re really working hard to keep these dogs alive, to help the quality of life and such. So, he was about to go into chemo. It’s amazing what doctors and vets are doing these days to help these animals. Suddenly, they become sick, and you don’t know where it comes from, maybe they were born that way or maybe it’s from the water, who knows? But I learned very quickly because, obviously, I wanted to keep him alive. Putting him down wasn’t even something I could imagine. My first real pet. So, I did everything I could. I put him on an anti-cancer diet. Everything. It’s amazing, he lived for another 2 years. He did. We kept him alive. He was just a whippersnapper. I have his ashes in my library.
ToonBarn: Do you have a favorite dog movie of all time?
Alanna: My favorite favorite dog movie of all time, oh my gosh, has to be Lady and the Tramp. That ages me, but for obvious reasons, I love it. Yeah, the Dalmations movies and Lady and the Tramp. The Disney movies always grabbed me when I was growing up, and yes, I did have a Pound Puppy Toy.
ToonBarn: Did you? That would be about 1986, right?
Alanna: Yeah, as well as the first cabbage patch kid. Yeah, because they came with adoption papers (pound puppies toys). And with the water, they would actually pee. It’s funny. They were training kids how to have pets. nothing like this toy to rehearse with until the real thing came around. It was a clever little toy.
ToonBarn: You’ve done a lot of work in live-action and animated shows. When did you learn you had the “chops” to make a bunch of different voices for voice acting?
Alanna: It’s funny you ask. My manager represented Catherine Hicks, who had a voice-over agent at the time. I was about 24-25. Catherine Hicks did quite well with the voice-over work. So, I would be able to get little gigs here and there, you know, as guest stars and such (in live-action work), but they weren’t paying the bills. My manager said, “Alanna, you know, you sometimes sound, over the phone, like a little boy.” I cracked up, and said, “you think?” She said, “Alanna, you could make a career out of playing little boys, little kid parts. They need someone like you, because you’re older. They could work you longer hours, and it’s just easy as cake.” So, I decided to start going out on auditions for the voices, and I went with Catherine Hicks’ agent at the time, and a year later, I started booking all these little boy roles. It really cracked me up. I always loved doing accents and such, so it really, really helped. It’s like muscles. The more you work it, the easier it gets.
ToonBarn: So, do you exercise your voice alot?
Alanna: Absolutely! It’s one of the most rewarding, most fun mediums of the business.
ToonBarn: Would you be able to do a few of the voices you do for Pound Puppies, like Strudel, Mr. Nut-Nut, and the squirrels?
Alanna: Sure, sure, absolutely. I have dialog in front of me, so I’ll see what I can do here.
ToonBarn: Wow, that is amazing!
Alanna: It’s amazing what Red Bull and sugar-free gum can do. Ha-ha! Not really, though.
ToonBarn: Now, Strudel is the tech-savvy, scientific type, who makes gadgets that the Pound Puppies use at Shelter 17. Are you anything like Strudel?
Alanna: I assume if Strudel was a woman my age, she would probably… you know, I have my subscription to the New Yorker (magazine), and I do read my Sunday Times (newspaper). I like to circle words I don’t understand, and so I’ll have the words and their meanings up on my fridge. I’m a geek. Oh, yes. I do have geek qualities. Major ones.
ToonBarn: One last thing, don’t you want to punch Michael Rapaport’s Squirt character in the nose sometimes, when he’s being so sarcastic?
Alanna: Ha-ha! Maybe my character, Strudel, would, but let me tell you something, if you saw the height on that guy, you wouldn’t touch him with a ten-foot pole, if you had a problem with him. He’s huge. For me, if I had to jump up to try to punch him in the nose, it’d be like a flea trying to take on a polar bear.
ToonBarn: Do you guys record together or separately?
Alanna: We record seperately, as a matter of fact. I haven’t seen him (Michael Rapaport) in ages. He’s such a busy guy. Yeah, but he’s huge! Have you met him in person? He’s gigantic. He’s had sandwiches my size for lunch.
ToonBarn: Well, thank you for spending time with ToonBarn, Alanna. Good luck to you and your dogs, and we look forward to hearing more of your amazing voice work on The Hub, especially in the 2-hour marathon of Pound Puppies episodes coming up at the end of the week-long “Dog Days of Summer” occurring this week on The Hub.
Alanna: Thank you! I am so excited! Take care! Bye Bye!
Be sure to tune in to The Hub for The Pound Puppies Marathon on Saturday, August 25 starting at 9am ET/6am PT where they’ll reveal the winning pup!