The Magic Roundabout (film)
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|The Magic Roundabout|
British cinema poster
|Directed by||Dave Borthwick
|Produced by||Claude Gorsky
|Written by||Paul Bassett
The Weinstein Company (United States)
|Running time||85 minutes|
The Magic Roundabout, (released in France as Pollux, le manège enchanté and in North America as Doogal), is a 2005 British computer-animated film based on the television series of the same name. The film was produced by Pathé Pictures, animation done by Action Synthese and released by Pathé on February 11, 2005 in the United Kingdom and France, and The Weinstein Company on February 24, 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 was received positively in the United Kingdom and France, but the American edit done by The Weinstein Company received negative reviews in the United States.
A sequel entitled The Magic Roundabout 2: Dougal, The Beginning is currently in development.
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, snatching a decorative Foot Guard figurine from the roundabout before leaving. 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 are horrified by this development, 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, and the magic Train to accomplish this mission. Zeebad animates the Foot Guard figurine, Sergeant Sam, 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.
Mourning their dispatcher as dead, Dougal and his friends embark to recover the diamonds. This task takes them to a lava-bordered volcano, 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), and a final showdown with Zeebad, where it is revealed that Sergeant Sam had contained the third diamond in his chest. 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 must be revived by a desperate Dougal. A 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. 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. In one post-credits scene, it is revealed Zeebad's prison is a molten lava cave. In another, Zebedee delivers his catchphrase to the audience, "Time for bed".
- Dougal/Doogal: sugar-loving Skye Terrier.
- Dylan: guitar-playing hippie and very skilled martial artist rabbit
- Brian: bashful snail in love with Ermintrude
- Ermintrude: opera-singing cow
- The Moose: cautious interloper encountered up north, who periodically breaks wind in U.S. version. 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.
- Florence: girl/orphan who, when in danger, has faith in Dougal.
- Basil and Coral: Florence's friends
- Mr. Rusty the repairman: appears similar to the Mad Hatter of Alice in Wonderland.
Magical toy-beings 
- Zebedee: a good magician, uses warmth and love magic. Is essentially a jack-in-the-box, like Zeebad.
- Zeebad: evil ice sorcerer, uses cold magic. Like Zebedee, channels magic through his moustache.
- Soldier Sam: Zeebad's slave, who holds one of the magic diamonds.
- The Train: Not to be confused with Thomas the Tank Engine (although the latter is mentioned); always comes in the nick of time, though is slow, according to Ermintrude.
|Character||United Kingdom||United States|
|Dougal (Doogal)||Robbie Williams||Daniel Tay|
|Dylan||Bill Nighy||Jimmy Fallon|
|Zeebad||Tom Baker||Jon Stewart|
|Ermintrude||Joanna Lumley||Whoopi Goldberg|
|Brian||Jim Broadbent||William H. Macy|
|Train||Lee Evans||Chevy Chase|
|Soldier Sam||Ray Winstone||Bill Hader|
|Coral||Daniella Loftus||Heidi Brook Myers|
|Basil||Ediz Mahmut||Eric Robinson|
American edit 
In 2006, the film was released in the US as "Doogal" and was produced by The Weinstein Company. In the North American version of the film, 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 Goldburg, 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 with characters and events in the film, and also Butch Hartman wrote a new storyline made to accommodate multiple pop culture references (mostly references to Lord of the Rings) and flatulence jokes (neither of which were present in the original release).
The Magic Roundabout gained generally favourable reviews from critics in Britain, for retaining its charm from the original television series and its superb animation. While some critics questioned the update for today's children and its subtle drug references, the reviews were mostly positive. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 60% rating based on 5 reviews (3 "fresh and 2 "rotten") The public also supported the film, and while some were disappointed on the nostalgia factor, their praise earned this film a total gross of £5.8 million at the box office.
Doogal received overwhelmingly negative reviews with observers criticising the edits made to the film (mainly the unfunny jokes). On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 8% approval rating, based on 49 reviews (4 "fresh" and 45 "rotten") and also on the website said, "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. The film grossed a total of 7.2 million dollars in the United States, which is considered low by CGI animated film standards, (witch was originally held by Valiant in 2005) the record was later surpassed by Delgo in 2008.
- Magic by Pilot is used, its 3rd use in a movie soundtrack after Disney's Herbie Fully Loaded and Happy Gilmore.
- Mr. Blue Sky, by the Electric Light Orchestra from their album Out Of The Blue is a classic 70s tune that is key to the ending of the movie. Buyers should know it is not included on the US soundtrack.
- "Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies, number one single of 1969 is used only during the closing credits and album.
- Main Titles - Mark Thomas
- The Magic Roundabout - Kylie Minogue – VOCAL
- Meet Doogal - James Venable
- Magic – Pilot - VOCAL
- You Really Got Me - Bill Nighy & Catherine Bott - VOCAL
- Doogal the Mechanic - James Venable
- Zeebad Escapes - Mark Thomas
- Sam Marches - John M. Davis
- The Magic Roundabout - Andrea Remanda and Goldust – VOCAL (alternate recording of Kylie song)
- Meet Zeebad - James Venable
- Setting Up Camp - Mark Thomas
- Spinning - Andrea Remanda and Goldust - VOCAL
- Duel Of The Springs 2 - Mark Thomas
- Simply Wonderful - Andrea Remanda and Goldust - VOCAL
- 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 - VOCAL
- I Love To Boogie - T.Rex - VOCAL
- Lean Mean Fighting Machine - Andrea Remanda and Goldust - VOCAL (Chorus is briefly heard when Sam first appears)
- Believe Yourself - Andrea Remanda and Goldust - VOCAL (Used during the scene with Dylan fighting the skeleton guards in the UK version)
- Bust This Joint - Andrea Remanda and Goldust - VOCAL (unused)
Home media 
The film was released on Blu-ray in France in 2011, the release contains both the French and English (UK) versions and is region free.
See also 
- "Doogal (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 3 August 2009.