Ben Zelevansky, Alex Bloom, and Scott Harris have been churning out episodes of “Unleashed” since July 2006 with Lucky Birds Media, Zelevansky’s media production company. Originally conceived by Ben, he and Alex write the series and supply the voices while Scott handles the animation and Bluegrazer takes care of the music. Bloom is a copywriter, an improv director, and a fiction writer, while Zelevansky is a web designer, a writer with diverse interests, and a reluctant actor. Neither seems to have anticipated being the producers, writers, and voice actors for two dogs on a weekly online serial, where Swingers meets the Animal Planet.
Most episodes from the first and second seasons are done in three parts that are each about two minutes long and feature a talking dog named Dog as he maneuvers about the Hollywood dog parks as a struggling, out-of-work actor. Drawn in the style and written with the deadpan humor of Adult Swim and “Dr. Katz,” Dog, Polly, and Rex go about their lives in simple backgrounds and squiggly outlined foregrounds. Living in a man’s world is as hard for the animal actors as it is for everyone else. Whether it’s Polly’s offense over being called a bitch by her agent, or Dog hedging after being asked an inappropriate favor by his acting coach, the talking dogs deal with all the same awkward human situations as the characters in “Seinfeld” on an episode-to-episode basis.
The best part of Unleahsed is its random humor. At times, the show’s scripted humor can fall flat, but it’s the Adult Swim-like visual humor in the animation that makes it fun – like having Rex’s director Nige always wear a captain’s hat with a tooth-on-a-string hanging from his neck, or placing fellow “animal actors” in the office of Dog’s agent, like a penguin in a top hat or a bear in a purple suit.