However the SQUIRTLE (Squirrel + Turtle) reminds me of another classic 1980's cartoon.
The Wuzzles features a variety of short, rounded animal characters (each called a Wuzzle, which means to mix up). Each is a roughly even, and colorful, mix of two different animal species (as the theme song mentions, "livin' with a split personality"), and all the characters sport wings on their backs, although only Bumblelion and Butterbear are seemingly capable of flight.
Of course, The Wuzzles failed, I guess, at not having Michael Vick style animal fights with each other and mild terrifying mutant superpowers.
Disney's The Wuzzles is an animated television series created for Saturday morning television, and was first broadcast on September 14, 1985 on CBS. An idea of Michael Eisner for his new Disney television animation studio. The premise is that the main characters are hybrids of two different animals. The original thirteen episodes ran on CBS for their first run.
Pokémon is a media franchise published and owned by Japanese video game company Nintendo and created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1996.
Hmm... so Disney (the most litigious giant corporation aside from Microsoft) is not suing or purchasing Nintendo (saving them from their impending bankruptcy over the disasterous Wii U launch) for stealing their idea?!? Rather astonishing I think.