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Movie Review: Doogal

Review for 'Doogal'
Running Time: 76 min
MPAA rating: G
Release Date: 2006-02-24
Tags: There are no tags.
By "Chicago Tribune"

By Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune Arts Critic
1 star
Eighty-five minutes you'll never get back, "Doogal" concerns a good wizard, a bad wizard and a group of animal pals: a dog, a snail, a cow and a rabbit. Sounds harmless. Well, if you're sadistic by nature and your kids have been naughty, take them to it. I dare you. They'll be plagued for weeks by dreams from which they wake up not screaming but simply irritable and bored out of their gourd and vexed by the question: Can animated features get any more creatively inanimate?
No matter how many people don't go, "Doogal" looks like a fiscal sure thing for the Weinstein Co. For one thing, the Weinstein Co. didn't have to make it. It simply had to rewrite and redub a British/French co-production released last year under the title "The Magic Roundabout."
Some history: In 1964, French animator Serge Danot created "Le Manege Enchante" for television, featuring a sweets-eating dog named Pollux. A year later in England, Eric Thompson (father of Emma) fashioned a cult success with a dubbed and revised series, "The Magic Roundabout." Last year brought the soulless computer-animated British/French co-production of the same name. A French cast voiced the characters for the French release. The English-language voice cast included Bill Nighy and Jim Broadbent.
Now we have the American edition, featuring the voices of Jon Stewart as the bad wizard, Whoopi Goldberg as the cow and William H. Macy as the snail. Script doctor Butch Hartman ("The Fairly OddParents") riffs, witlessly, on such R-rated items as "Dawn of the Dead" and "Pulp Fiction." The polite word for all this is "repurposing," a euphemism for "hauling someone else's garbage."
Directed by Jean Duval, Frank Passingham and Dave Borthwick; screenplay by Butch Hartman, Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards and Tony Leech, based on the TV series "The Magic Roundabout"; chief effects artist Marc Chevry; music by Mark Thomas. A Weinstein Co. release; opened Friday, Feb. 24. Running time: 1:25. MPAA rating: G
Train - Chevy Chase
Narrator - Judi Dench
Dylan - Jimmy Fallon
Ermintrude - Whoopi Goldberg
Brian - William H. Macy
Zebedee - Ian McKellen
Zeebad - Jon Stewart
Doogal - Daniel Tay

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May 25, 2007 - Chicago Tribune
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