|“||It saddens me to snuff out the life of such a worthy opponent, but I'll get over it.||„|
|~ Baron von Rottweiler|
|“||Nein, Leon! Bad doggy!||„|
|~ Baron von Rottweiler|
Baron von Rottweiler is one of the main villains in Jim Henson's Dog City. He appears solely in the animated segments. He was voiced in all of his appearances by Dan Hennessey, who bizarrely went uncredited for the series' entire run. Despite his name, von Rottweiler is not in fact a rottweiler but rather a doberman. He is an enormous canine in a dark suit with black gloves which he never removes (not even to bathe) and a monocle. He speaks in a thick Germanic accent and, from his home, Castle Frankenfido in Transylvania, he constantly plots the destruction of Dog City and a variety of other increasingly outlandish plots.
In the first season, despite claiming to be heroic Ace Hart's archenemy, he was used as a joke villain; each episode would begin with Eliot Shag finishing a story wherein von Rottweiler was the villain and is defeated, usually thanks to his henchman Leon Berger's stupidity, only to have the story segue into the main plot where gangster Bugsy Vile and his gang are the main villains. As the show went on, however, von Rottweiler started asserting himself more and more (wanting an episode "all to mein self"), until by season two he often appeared more than Bugsy did.
In his earliest appearances, he would endanger innocent bystanders (helpfully labelled as such) with his bombs or with dynamite. What would typically occur would be that he would throw the explosive and Leon, having been taught to fetch, would grab it in his mouth and return it to von Rottweiler, cartoonishly blowing them both up. Later variations involved Ace taking advantage of this by throwing or kicking the explosive, knowing that Leon would be unable to control himself. These defeats would frequently be punctuated by von Rottweiler crying "Nein, Leon! Bad doggy!" and lamenting that he has such a stupid henchman.
In "Meat the Butcher," von Rottweiler was apparently down on his luck after so many defeats that he and Leon found themselves working as enforcers for Bugsy despite von Rottweiler's title and presumed nobility. He and Leon tried to extort money from a baker for Bugsy, but were thwarted by Ace Hart and Rosie O'Gravy.
In "Rocketship K-9," von Rottweiler had built a base on the moon, from which he attempted to destroy the "Arf" (what the dogs refer to the Earth as), but Leon fetched the doomsday missile back, blowing most of the moon up.
In "Future Schlock," he invented a time machine and went back in time to when Pilgrims purchased the land rights to where Dog City would eventually be built. Originally, the Pilgrims had obtained the land from wolves by paying them in dog food, but von Rottweiler offered the wolves squeak toys instead, and consequently the deed for Dog City was in his family name. In the present day, he turned it into Rottersburg, where every day was Oktoberfest. He lamented, however, that finally ruling the city left him feeling unfulfilled, but was cheered up when informed of the capture of Ace Hart.
He tried to send Ace and his friend Eddie back in time to the ice age, but Leon accidentally sent them into the future, which turned out to be one where Ace was a nerdy ice cream vendor and Eddie ruled the world as a despotic tyrant. Von Rottweiler himself, in this future, had been reduced to a groundskeeper in the city park. After escaping from the evil future version of Eddie, Ace and Eddie escaped in the time machine back to when von Rottweiler bought the land rights from the wolves. A robotic fire hydrant had followed them, and this was offered to the wolves in lieu of the squeak toys, returning the timeline to normal, except that now there were robot hydrants everywhere.