Petlandia: utopia or P-U-topia?
Madame Wigglesworth the cat was tolerant of her humans, the Finkleblurts, until they brought home a puppy named Grub. Now they are much more interested in rubbing his belly than in worshipping her. The grumpy feline hatches a plan to get rid of the humans by exploiting Grub’s extreme stupidity. Telling him the family will withhold all belly rubs, she tricks Grub into ejecting the family from the house while they sleep. After the humans are gone, Madame Wigglesworth thinks she will again be queen, but a democratic vote among the pets, including love-struck Honeybaked Hamster and Clowny, the depressed clown fish, does not go her way. She enfranchises the rats who live in the basement for another vote. Honeybaked then invites the attic bats into the community…and so on, until the house is destroyed, and the Petlandians take refuge from the rain with the humans in the doghouse. The action takes place amid a mix of unfunny jokes, forced bad grammar and uber-dim characters, making this spin on the eternal conflict between cats and dogs a tedious one. Hannan is the creator of CatDog, Nickelodeon’s Ren & Stimpy knockoff, and his reliance on such aural devices as Honeybaked’s Brooklyn accent and Grub’s baby talk just do not work in print.
Nick Bruel’s books about Bad Kitty and Puppy are far better treatments of the theme than this tired outing. (Humor. 6-9)