The Magic Roundabout (film)
|The Magic Roundabout|
British cinema poster
|Narrated by||Judi Dench (US release)|
|Running time||82 minutes|
The Magic Roundabout (released in France as Pollux, le manège enchanté and in North America as Doogal) is a 2005 British-French computer-animated adventure fantasy film based on the television series of the same name. The film was produced by Canal+ and the UK Film Council, animation done by Action Synthese and released by Pathé Pictures on 11 February 2005 in the United Kingdom and France, and The Weinstein Company on 24 February 2006 in North America. The plot concerns a dog named Dougal (Doogal in North America) who has to save his best friend, Florence, as well as the whole world, from being frozen by an evil spring named Zeebad.
The film begins with a shaggy, candy-loving dog named Dougal trying to get sweets from a candy cart. He goes so far as to place a tack in the road to pop its tire, thinking to be rewarded for watching the cart. After convincing the driver to leave, Dougal is trying to decide which candy he will request when he accidentally starts the cart up again and causes it to collide with the titular magic roundabout at the center of the village. A blue jack-in-the-box-like creature emerges from the top and flies away, followed shortly after by a Foot Guard figurine that is thrown off the roundabout. The roundabout freezes over, trapping repairman Mr. Rusty, Dougal's young owner Florence, and two other children named Basil and Coral within an icy cell.
The villagers "who are all animals" are horrified by this development, and therefore call upon the resident wizard, Zebedee, also a jack-in-the-box-like creature, for help. He explains that the roundabout acted as a mystical prison for the evil ice wizard Zeebad. With it broken Zeebad is free to work his magic on the world again (it is implied he started the first ice age). The only way to return Zeebad to his prison is to place three magic diamonds in the roundabout, or watch the world slowly freeze over again. Zebedee sends Dougal, Brian the cynical snail, Ermintrude the opera-singing cow, Dylan the hippie rabbit, to accomplish this mission along with a magic train who can be summoned by a magic remote. when Zeebad crash lands, he animates the Foot Guard figurine, Sergeant Sam, to be his henchman and enlists him to find the enchanted diamonds first, for with them Zeebad can freeze the sun itself. Meanwhile, Zebedee's fellowship makes camp in the icy mountains near Zeebad's old lair. Dougal wanders off during the night and is captured by Zeebad. Ermintrude breaks him out of his prison; after a short chase, Zebedee shows up to battle his evil counterpart. Zeebad gains the upper hand and overpowers Zebedee, freezing him and collapsing the cliff on which he stands, where he is presumed to be dead.
Mourning for their dispatcher, Dougal and his friends embark to recover the diamonds. This task takes them to a lava-bordered volcano and an ancient temple filled with booby-traps and evil skeleton guards (at which point Dylan reveals an exceptional knowledge of several types of martial arts). before the final showdown with Zeebad, Sergeant Sam makes a stand to Zeebad by charging him on a moose "who was present before" for being bossed and made to bad things. this plan fails and sam is wounded, Zeebad discovers that Sam contained the third diamond in his chest, which causes Zeebaas life spell on him to wear off. Zeebad obtains all three diamonds during the course of the film, and attempts to freeze the Sun. Ermintrude, Brian, Dylan, and finally Dougal intervene to stop him; when they have done so, Zeebad is imprisoned in the carousel again and Zebedee is restored to his friends. The ice surrounding the carousel melts, freeing the people trapped therein; of them, Florence is comatose and is revived by a desperate Dougal. The moose, whose color had been changed from brown to blue by Zeebad in the earlier scenes of the film, is restored to his true color by Zebedee. as everyone goes for a ride on the roundabout, they discover it still doesn't work, this is because sam is still missing. At this point, sam is restored, and placed back on the roundabout which functions once again. Dougal, who vowed to give up sugar when it seemed all was lost, forgets his former pledge completely, but now realizes the true value of his friends and the good qualities of selflessness, courage, and humility.
Two post-credits scenes follow: one reveals that Zeebad prison is a molten lava cave. In another, Zebedee delivers his famous catchphrase to the audience, "Time for bed", before disappearing.
- Judi Dench (US version only) as Narrator
- Robbie Williams as Dougal/Doogal, a sugar-loving Pekingese
- Daniel Tay (US version) as Doogal
- Bill Nighy as Dylan, a guitar-playing hippie rabbit, who is also skilled at martial arts.
- Jimmy Fallon (US version) as Dylan
- Tom Baker as Zeebad, a blue jack-in-the-box and the evil ice sorcerer who uses "cold" magic.
- Jon Stewart (US version) as Zeebad
- Joanna Lumley as Erminitrude, an opera-singing cow.
- Whoopi Goldberg (US version) as Ermintrude
- Jim Broadbent as Brian, a bashful, cynical snail.
- William H. Macy (US version) as Brian
- Lee Evans as Train; always comes in the nick of time, though is slow, according to Ermintrude. He can speak, but none of the other characters can hear him.
- Chevy Chase (US version) as Train
- Kylie Minogue as Florence, a girl who, when in danger, has faith in Dougal, even if it was him who put her in danger.
- Ian McKellen as Zebedee, a red jack-in-the-box and the good magician who uses warmth and "love" magic.
- Kevin Smith as Moose, a cautious interloper encountered up north, who periodically breaks wind in the US version; he is turned blue by Zeebad; later helps Brian and Ermintrude find Dougal and much later finds Sam who uses him as a steed. Restored to natural colour by Zebedee. He only speaks in the US dub.
- Ray Winstone as Soldier Sam, Zeebad's reluctant slave, who holds one of the magic diamonds. He follows Zeebad's orders, but is a good guy at heart and eventually turns against him.
- Bill Hader (US version) as Soldier Sam
- Ediz Mahmut as Basil, one of Florence's friends.
- Eric Robinson (US version) as Basil
- Daniella Loftus as Coral, one of Florence's friends.
- Heidi Brook Myers (US version) as Coral
North American release
In 2006, the film was released in the US as Doogal and was produced by the Weinstein Company. In the North American release, where audiences are unfamiliar with the series, the majority of original British voices have been dubbed over by celebrities more familiar to the American public, such as Jon Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, Bill Hader, and Chevy Chase. Only two original voices remained – those of Kylie Minogue and Ian McKellen. The US version also featured narration by Judi Dench, so audiences can get caught up with characters and events in the film, and Butch Hartman also rewrote the storyline to accommodate multiple pop culture references (mostly from the Lord of the Rings) and flatulence jokes (neither of which were present in the original release).
The film received near-universally negative reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 8% approval rating, based on 49 reviews (4 "fresh" and 45 "rotten") with the website's summary of the film being, "Overloaded with pop culture references, but lacking in compelling characters and plot, Doogal is too simpleminded even for the kiddies."  Other negative reviews included, a score of 23 out of 100 ("generally unfavorable") on Metacritic, an F rating from Entertainment Weekly magazine, placed #5 on Ebert & Roeper's Worst of 2006, and it was place among IMDb's 100 Bottom for a short time and was concerted by many to be one of the worst animated films of all time. The film grossed a total of $7,417,319 in the United States, the lowest-grossing CGI animated film of the time, (which was originally held by Valiant in 2005) the record was later surpassed by Delgo in 2008.
A sequel entitled The Magic Roundabout 2: Dougal, The Beginning was in development. until 2013, when its cancellation was later announced.
- "Main Titles" – (Mark Thomas)
- "The Magic Roundabout" – Kylie Minogue
- "Meet Doogal" (James Venable)
- "Magic" – Pilot
- "You Really Got Me" – Bill Nighy and Catherine Bott
- "Doogal the Mechanic" (James Venable)
- "Zeebad Escapes" (Mark Thomas)
- "Sam Marches" (John M. Davis)
- "The Magic Roundabout" – Andrea Remanda and Goldust
- "Meet Zeebad" (James Venable)
- "Setting Up Camp" (Mark Thomas)
- "Spinning" – Andrea Remanda and Goldust
- "Duel of the Springs 2" (Mark Thomas)
- "Simply Wonderful" – Andrea Remanda and Goldust
- "The What-a-Snails Waltz" (Mark Thomas)
- "Zeebad Threatens" (James Venable)
- "Train's Back" (Mark Thomas)
- "Lost in the Cold" (Mark Thomas)
- "See the City" (Mark Thomas)
- "The Frozen City" (Mark Thomas)
- "Frozen Florence" (John M. Davis)
- "The End of Zeebad" (Mark Thomas)
- "Florence Awakes" (Mark Thomas)
- "Sugar, Sugar" – The Archies
- "I Love to Boogie" – T.Rex
- "Lean Mean Fighting Machine" – Andrea Remanda and Goldust
- "Believe Yourself" – Andrea Remanda and Goldust
- "Bust This Joint" – Andrea Remanda and Goldust