Amazing Stories and Family Dog

Amazing Stories (1985-1987)
Family Dog (1993)
Type: Spin Off

   Amazing Stories was Steven Spielberg's attempt at a fantasy anthology series like The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. Named for a famous fantasy magazine, each week viewers were presented with a new wild story. I remember one episode about a hair piece possessed by an evil spirit. No kidding - hell toupee. Get it? Hell to pay?

    Yeah, well, with stuff like that I think you see why the show wasn't a runaway hit. Good anthology shows had stories with an edge of some type. At this point in his career, Spielberg was largely about family friendly entertainment so most of the stories if they had any edges were soft edges. Even the scary ones tried not to be too scary for the most part!

   They did do one animated episode of the series called Family Dog which presented the story of a family dog from the dog's point of view. The other driving force on the episode was film director Tim Burton. He and Spielberg used the episode as a pilot for a new animated series. With The Simpsons a huge hit, animated prime time shows were all the rage and a cartoon with such huge names behind it seemed a sure thing.

   It didn't turn out that way though. The series had production problems. Ads came out promoting the show but it didn't premiere and it didn't premiere... Way after all the hype and interest had dissipated the show finally hit the air and then much more quickly than it premiered it hit the crapper. After a short run it was canceled.

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