Genre: Childrens/CGI Animated
Running time: Approx. 85 minutes
Director: Frank Passingham
Studio: The Weinstein Company
Starring: Kenan Thompson, Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, William H. Macy, and Whoopi Goldberg
Guide Review of Doogal
Doogal (voiced by Danial Tay) lives in a quaint little town where people and loveable talking animals reside. The beloved pet of a little girl named Florence (voiced by Kylie Minogue), Doogal the dog is playful and cute. He can sometimes be selfish though, especially if there are sweets involved. On one particular occasion, Doogal’s self-serving antics result in an inadvertent disaster.
Unbeknownst to the townspeople, an infamous evil magician of whom many legends are told is trapped in the town carousel. When Doogal accidentally crashes into the carousel on a runaway candy cart, the maniacal magician is set free. A spring of evil, this Zeebad (voiced by Jon Stewart) sets out immediately to freeze the whole world. Most unfortunately, Doogal’s beloved Florence is trapped in the now frozen carousel.
The people call on the good magician Zebedee (voiced by Ian McKellen) to help. Zebedee charges Doogal and his friends - Ermentrude the cow (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg), Brian the snail (voiced by William H. Macy), and Dylan the rabbit (voiced by Jimmy Fallon) – with making things right again. The friends and their magic train embark on a mission to find three magic diamonds which will prevent Zeebad from freezing the world.
With adorable animation and cute characters, Doogal starts out promising. Unfortunately, this is the point where the story starts to dive. It’s not that the storyline is bad, but for some unknown reason the writers felt it necessary to throw in gratuitous references to every popular movie under the sun as well as an out of place reference to CSI. I mean, why would a bunny from a fanciful town that knows no violence allude to a gruesome modern-day crime-related TV show? Not only were the references profuse, but they were so far from subtle as to be completely and ridiculously stupid.
The “moral” of the story was also lacking. As the friends attempt to save their happy home, not to mention Doogal’s best friend, Doogal continues to show his true self-preserving, candy-loving colors. Throughout the movie I kept waiting for the moment of truth, when Doogal would realize that freeing his friend was more important than candy, or even his own life. There is a moment where he states something to this effect, but his actions aren’t convincing. In the final “battle” between good and evil, we finally see Doogal make an effort – a pathetic effort that barely involves an expenditure of energy much less an act of true heroism.
Note to Parents About Doogal
Doogal had great potential, and the failure to realize it was truly disappointing. In addition, the movie contained a few elements that may cause concern or at least annoyance for parents.
A couple of scenes in the movie, such as a scary skeleton chasing after the heroes, may frighten young children. The characters lament over the death of one good guy (although in the end we find out he didn’t die), and Zeebad remarks to a soldier something to the effect of, “I told you to kill him and you couldn’t even do that right!”
The movie contains some mild crude humor. The worst of which, like this hasn’t been done before, is a moose that is seen throughout the movie and is constantly farting.
Talk About Doogal with Your Family
- In the beginning of the movie, Doogal sabotages a candy cart in order to get candy for himself. This action is more than just mischievous, it is stealing and vandalism.
- Children may have questions about death and dying. (One of the characters is thought to have died, but he turns out to be fine in the end.)