Spunky was a small boy and Tadpole was his oddly named teddy bear. The pair traveled along having adventures that were typical of early cartoons. Luckily for Spunky, Tadpole was able to talk and help out whenever things got a little rough.
Like many early cartoons, the animation on Spunky and Tadpole was fairly basic. Characters mainly stood perfectly still and spoke their lines to one another, rarely moving. Simple animation aside, the main attraction of the cartoon was the early talents of the now-legendary Don Messick, who provided the voice of Tadpole as well as most villains and secondary characters. While Spunky and Tadpole received a major amount of promotion from its syndicator Guild Films, it did poorly in the ratings against the popular Huckleberry Hound and other kid-friendly competition. The serialized shorts continued to air on local programs into the 1960's, but Spunky and Tadpole never reached the same level of fame and success as their Hanna-Barbera competitors.