alibi online
Free Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals



 
 V.15 No.8 | February 23 - March 1, 2006 

Film Review

Doogal

Imported cartoon provides nostalgia for no one

Can you identify the creature that carjacked you from this lineup?
Can you identify the creature that carjacked you from this lineup?

Doogal

Directed by Dave Borthwick, Jean Duval, Frank Passingham

Cast: the voices of Kenan Thompson, Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Stewart

Chances are, if you spent your childhood in mid-'60s Paris, your favorite TV show was the stop-motion animation series “Le Manège Enchanté.” If you spent your childhood in late-'60s, early-'70s London, chances are even greater that your favorite TV show was the English language version of the same show, “The Magic Roundabout.” If, however, your childhood fulfilled none of those requirements, odds are pretty good you've never even heard of the show and don't actually have any idea what a “roundabout” is. (It's a merry-go-round.)

Of course, petty cultural and temporal differences haven't stopped The Weinstein Company from dragging the film over to America and shoving it into a thousand or so movie theaters in hopes of luring lazy parents who, it seems, will drop their kids off at the mall for pretty much any G-rated matinée--so long as it leaves them with 90 minutes or so to squander on the sale rack at The Limited and margaritas at T.G.I.Friday's.

On American shores, the film has been retitled Doogal (after the main character), and the vast majority of the English-language voice cast (Robbie Williams, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Sir Ian McKellen, Tom Baker and Kylie Minogue) has been replaced (with Kenan Thompson, Whoopi Goldberg, William H. Macy, Jimmy Fallon and Jon Stewart). That's great for folks who hate Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent's voice but love former “SNL” star Jimmy Fallon's. Nonetheless, in any language, this haphazard assembly of cheap animation and mild action just isn't up to snuff.

The original kiddie series was a charmingly low-tech stop-motion animation effort that could be classified somewhere between “Sesame Street” and “Davey and Goliath.” The new movie abandons the original style for some simplistic, personality-free computer animation that looks frighteningly like the “Veggie Tales” videos.

The story sticks with the original characters, concentrating on loyal, sweet-loving shaggy dog Doogal (Kenan Thompson), who lives in a colorful, animal-filled hamlet that could easily be mistaken for cut scenes from “Animal Crossing” on the Nintendo GameCube. The film's loose plot centers around an evil magician named Zeebad (Jon Stewart), who wants to freeze the world. Doogal and his animal pals must head out on a quest to rescue Doogal's owner, find some magic crystals, fight some skeleton ninjas and ... do some other stuff. Frankly, it's a little hard to tell what's going on, as the film lacks any real sense of exposition. We end up, instead, with a bunch of random, Shrek-style spoofs of Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and assorted other fantasy films that may or may not be familiar to toddlers.

If, by some chance, you did grow up on the original series and are hoping to revel in a bit of preschool nostalgia, it should be noted that this glossy, dumbed-down update manages to lose most of the original's trippy humor. (Like “H.R. Pufnstuf” and so many other kiddie shows of the era, “The Magic Roundabout” was often noted—consciously or unconsciously—for its druggy subtext.) Nowadays, about the only druggy side-effect this drab shaggy dog story has is that of a giant CGI Sominex. Stick with the margaritas at T.G.I.Friday's instead.


Today's Events

The Good Shepherd (2006) at KiMo Theatre

Film stars Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie and Robert De Niro. Part of the De Niro Done Right film series.

Friday

Christmas with the Dead at Guild Cinema

Saturday

Rio Rancho Media Meetup at Knight Blue Design Studio

More Recommented Events ››
Join our mailing list for exclusive info, the week's events and free stuff!

 

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • alibi.com
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Rocksquawk Discussions
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Del.icio.us Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.
FOOD FOR THE BIRDS
FOOD FOR THE BIRDS11.26.2014