Doogal (produced by The Weinstein Company) is the official American English dub of The Magic Roundabout (released in France as Pollux - Le manège enchanté), a 2005 French-British computer-animated adventure fantasy film based on the TV series of the same name. Doogal was released in the US (where audiences are unfamiliar with the series) on February 24th, 2006. While the original movie and the TV show it came from had generally positive critical feedback, Doogal is considered to be one of the WORST animated movies ever made. This is a rare case where a dub of a movie and the original are judged on different spectrums.
This is the story of Doogal, an adorable candy-loving mutt who goes on a mission to save the world. Doogal must prevent the evil sorcerer Zeebad from freezing the earth forever with the power of the three mysterious legendary diamonds. Joining Doogal on his big quest are pals Dylan, a guitar-playing rabbit, Ermintrude, an opera-singing cow, and Brian, a bashful snail. Hopping on a magic train, they travel over ice-capped mountains, navigate fiery pits of lava, and sail across vast oceans on the perilous journey of a lifetime. Along the way, they learn that the most powerful weapon of all is their friendship - which even Zeebad's magic cannot destroy!
Why It Sucks
Note: This will only focus on Doogal - the US version.
- Overuse of pointless narration of things viewers can clearly see for themselves.
- Poor humor, consisting mostly of constant pop culture references and fart jokes which weren't in the original English version.
- The majority of original UK voices have been dubbed over by celebrities more familiar to the US public, solely for target nationality. Only 2 members of the original British cast, Ian McKellen and Kylie Minogue, return to reprise their roles.
- In most other version of the film, some characters like Train and the Moose never speak. But in this movie, they were given voices solely to give Kevin Smith and Chevy Chase cameo appearances (also in the UK version, the moose did not talk but Train could talk (voiced by Lee Evans) where it was passable).
- The animation is ugly, lazy, and sickening.
- The lip syncing is very poor.
- Many scenes and bits were cut and moved around in this version for continuity. For example, a post-credit scene that reveals Zeebad in his prison was cut from the US version and was replaced with live footage of the US actors in the process of making the film. A sequence that featured the song "Mr. Blue Sky" by Electric Light Orchestra was moved to the very end of the film, as a credits song. Every shot that involved Zeebad's ice fortress was also cut from this movie. Glimpses of the fortress can be seen in the background in a few shots, but it's never shown in full view.
- Poor connection to the source material, even for an adaptation.
- It contains loads of awful pop culture references.
- The multiple pop cultural references and flatulence jokes that were not in the French and British versions of the movie are entirely on the part of US Writer Butch Hartman, the creator of Nickelodeon's animated shows The Fairly OddParents, Danny Phantom, T.U.F.F. Puppy and Bunsen Is a Beast.
- In fact, Hartman doesn't actually have the fault for the final cut of the US version. He was originally rewriting the film to be more faithful so American audiences can relate to the original show. However, The Weinstein Company decided to rewrite the script again by having Cory Edwards, making it unfunny as we all know. Hartman apologized for this in an interview and he said that the movie has only 3% of what he wrote originally.
- The British version of the movie was already in English, so there was no reason to re-dub the movie for American audiences.
- It is revealed at the end of the movie that the ice enclosing the carousel could've been cracked through conventional means, since Emintrude cracks the ice with her singing.
- Nice soundtrack.
- The UK version is considered to be far superior. It also has Tom Baker (better known as the Fourth Doctor from Doctor Who) as the voice of Zeebad instead of Jon Stewart.
- Decent Voice acting except for Daniel Tay as Doogal which is miscast.
- Butch Hartman did apologize for rewriting the script
Unlike the original TV show and well-received French-British CGI film, the American version of the movie was largely panned by critics, audiences and fans of the original show alike for being an unneeded dub of another movie whose script was already in English, its very weak pop culture references (when there weren't any in the French and British versions of the movie), and most importantly, its very poor lip syncing. Rotten Tomatoes gave the American dub an 8% rotten score based on 49 reviews with its critic's consensus stating "Overloaded with pop culture references, but lacking in compelling characters and plot, Doogal is too simple-minded even for the kids". The same site also ranked the American dub 82nd in their "Worst of the Worst (2000-2009)" list for the top 100 worst reviewed movies of the 2000's. IMDb gave the American dub a 2.8 out of 10 rating in contrast to the original's 5.3 out of 10 rating.
Also unlike the French-British CGI film, which was a success at the box office worldwide, the American version miserably failed at the box office, holding a record (for the time) of having the worst opening week for a computer animated movie ever, only gaining $3,605,899 on its opening week and $7,417,319 overall domestically out of its budget of $20 million. The record was later surpassed by 2008's Delgo at $511,920 on its opening week and $694,782 worldwide against a budget of $40 million.