There are two huge reasons that Doogal will fare poorly in the United States. One, it is a remake of old British show The Magic Roundabout. Two, it is horrible. For some strange reason, every time people talk about the death of traditional hand-drawn animation in favor of computer animation, they fail to mention movies like Doogal, Hoodwinked, and Valiant. Then, movies like Curious George, while by no means a classic, are nice small movies that show that traditional animation is still viable. Doogal is also like the atrocious Pokemon movies as well as Hayao Miyazaki's films like Spirited Away in that they are dubbed versions of foreign films. Japanese films have an excuse - they are in another language. Doogal doesn't. The original had an all-star British cast, of which, only Ian McKellan and Kylie Minogue remain. Instead of Bill Nighy, Ray Winstone, Jim Broadbent, and Joanna Lumley, American audiences get Jimmy Fallon, Whoopi Goldberg, and Chevy Chase. Not a great trade. Basically, STOP DUBBING MOVIES.

Doogal is supposed to be a cute shaggy dog that belongs to Florence (voiced by Minogue, Moulin Rouge, Sample People). He likes sweet candy and also has a habit of getting into trouble. Big problem - Doogal is extremely annoying. He says dumb things and keeps getting his friends into trouble by doing dumb things. Doogal is the main reason that most of the things in Doogal happen. His friends include Ermintrude the cow, Brian the snail, and Dylan, a slacker rabbit. They are off on a quest to find three magic crystals in order to save Florence and her friends. They need to find the crystals before the evil wizard Zeebad does. This means a lot of dull adventures to various places in Doogal's world.

The computer animation is blah. It looks decent, but still has the shimmering look that sub par CGI sometimes has. Everything has a glossy fake look to it. The story is worse. Directors Dave Borthwick, Jean Duval, and Frank Passingham, along with screenwriters Paul Bassett, Tad Safran, and Raolf and Stephane Sanoussi craft a pretty dull story. Yes, this is a children's movie, so there is a moral, but it is a pretty mundane one at that (friendship = good). Then again, something may have been lost in the 'translation' (yes, Englsh to English). But by far the largest mistake on the American filmmaker's part was to try to 'hip' up the script by inserting all sorts of stupid pop culture references. It works in a movie like Shrek, with its "wink, wink, nudge, nudge" outlook, and to a lesser degree in something like Hoodwinked. For Doogal it is a complete disaster. The target audience of small children will have no idea what the jokes mean. Adults will, but will wonder what the jokes have to do with the plot, and why none of the jokes are funny. Moreover, after a few years, many of the references will be obsolete. But that's okay, since nobody will remember Doogal within a few months anyways.

Haro Rates It: Really Bad.
1 hour, 25 minutes, Rated G.

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