I absolutely hate it when a film gets butchered. There's nothing worse as a filmmaker to see your film that you worked so hard to get released and finally finished get horribly by Hollywood executives wanting to make money. It's almost like an unknown taking a paintbrush and horribly smearing a red paint stripe over a Monet or a Van Gogh. It ruins the artwork and it makes the time that the artist put into making it great feel worthless. Unfortunately, many movies over the years have been horribly treated by executives in Hollywood and one of the most unfortunate animated examples was the animated film called "The Magic Roundabout". Based on a French animated stop-motion series, it eventually became an animated movie and was released with a British dub in 2005 to mixed reviews. Eventually, the film was ported over to the US by The Weinstein Company in 2006 and was given a new script and cast, had about ten minutes trimmed off, and was given the name "Doogal". To put it lightly, the American version of this film is one of the worst animated films ever made. This is an absolutely atrocious film that reeks of executive interference and lends itself to being one of the most annoying, insulting, and unbearable animated movie experiences I've ever seen. It's just awful.
In a peaceful village, a very hairy dog named Doogal (Daniel Tay) lives a happy life with his owner Florence (Kylie Minogue), and his friends including a snail named Brian (William H. Macy), a cow named Emintrude (Whoopi Goldberg), and a rabbit named Dylan (Jimmy Fallon). One day though, Doogal's mischief over sweets gets better of him and he accidentally causes the evil ice wizard Zeebad (Jon Stewart) to escape from a magic carousel while trapping Florence and the other children in a frozen cell. With Zeebad on the loose, the good wizard Zebedee (Ian McKellen) tells the Doogal, Brian, Emintrude, and Dylan that they need to get three magic gems to get the carousel back to normal and stop Zeebad. From there, our four heroes set off on a dangerous journey to get the three gems before Zeebad and his henchman soldier Sam (Bill Hader) does so they can freeze the world.
As someone who knew very little about the original show and knew of this film's infamous reputation, I had no idea what to expect and left feeling incredibly angry. The original British version of this film isn't what I'd call a good animated movie as it does suffer a fair bit of problems, but I can say without hesitation that it's a masterpiece compared to this film. This film really is such an insult to audiences and has no respect for their intelligence and I blame it entirely on Harvey Weinstein. The man already had no respect for animators as he completely ruined Richard Williams' magnum opus "The Thief and the Cobbler" and subsequently does the same here taking a somewhat average animated film and turned it into an absolute disaster. As far as the story goes, it's completely simple and weak. The premise itself is incredibly basic and every scene moves forward way too quickly to soak in what's happening. The film is on constant fast forward and doesn't take the to take a break and let the audience soak in the environment and feel the quest the characters are on. Not to mention, the film really does treat its audience like idiots. The film has narration provided by Judi Dench and throughout the entire film, she basically just says things that the audience already knows like that the characters aren't prepared for what's going to happen next or that they were in serious danger. I was incredibly insulted by this narration as it has no respect for the audience and decides to spoonfeed them information as if they were babies. If you want your audience to love your movie, you don't talk down to them thinking they're stupid. As far as the animation goes, it's unimpressive overall. This is the one thing from the original version that hasn't changed and even then, it still looks pretty bad. The characters look and feel plastic and the environments look bland and hollow around them. Nothing sticks out or grabs the audience and it left me feeling rather unimpressed. It just felt so stale and boring. Then there are the characters of the movie and they're also another huge issue with the film. All of these characters are completely annoying and awful and the traits they have don't really come into play throughout the film. Doogal has this obsession over candy, but it doesn't get brought up a lot. Emintrude wants to be a huge singing star, but that also gets sidelined as does Dylan being this hipster rabbit. Meanwhile, you have Brian who has this crush on Emintrude and that's about it. I guess the filmmakers in England expected their audiences to know who these characters are and their personalities due to the TV show, but to an average American who never saw a single episode, I was left empty by our heroes. There's nothing memorable about our heroes who are so bland and boring you could cut them out and replace them with hollow shells and I feel nothing would change. As far as the villain goes, he's exceptionally lame. He doesn't do very much except taunt our heroes and doesn't do anything menacing towards them. For example, when our heroes are cornered in a volcano by him asking for the map, he just asks for it a few times and then they just give it to him without threatening them or doing any malice towards them. How are you supposed to like our heroes or villain if they do nothing of note or stand out? It makes no sense. Also, I've got to talk about the comedy in this film. This comedy really reeks of being created by executives as there are tons upon tons of pop culture references and fart jokes. It's so annoying and infuriating.
Honestly, "Doogal" is an absolutely awful animated movie. The story is too rushed and treats the audience as if they were stupid, the animation is unappealing, and the characters are hollow and dry. This is one of the worst animated films ever made and I'm not even exaggerating. If you're honestly curious about watching this film, I'd recommend the British dub instead. It's nowhere near as bad as this. This an absolute trainwreck of an animated film if ever I've seen one.