Dooly the Little Dinosaur
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Dooly is one of the most respected and commercially successful characters of South Korean animation. Dooly became the first cartoon character to be featured on a stamp. It was printed in 1995 in South Korea. Dooly also has a resident registration card, which means he is a citizen of South Korea.
Dooly (Korean: 둘리) was first created when its creator Soo-Jung Kim issued the manhwa (cartoon in Korean) under the comic book named Bo-Mool Sum (Treasure Island). It was first shown in the first week of April 1983, and ended about ten years later. There are two spin-offs of the manhwa, one of which is still being aired today.
The original animation and airing were done by South Korean broadcaster KBS. When it was first broadcast in 1987, there were only six episodes, with seven more added later during the second season. A video cassette was released in 1989, and re-broadcasting was first done in 1990.
The show was rebroadcast in 1993, 1996 and 1998, but due to the choice of inappropriate broadcasting dates (usually on Sunday), its recognizance and the viewer rating were critically low. In October 1998, however, KBS noticed the increased viewership, and the broadcasting time was changed to 5:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday (known as the 'Golden Viewing Time') starting May 12 through June 23, 2003. With more people watching the show, its ratings improved. A new version of the TV series, which began broadcasting in 2009, is currently shown Monday through Friday, at 4:00 PM on the Korean Animation channel Tooniverse, Korea's first all-anime/manhwa channel.
The cartoon was once reported to the officials as a bad example for children because of the use of Dooly's care-giver's name in a friendly fashion. Koreans usually speak to adults with respect and with the use of proper additions in speech done so specifically for adults by younger people. This was seen as hazardous for the basic thinking of the children who watch it.
- Dooly is a baby dinosaur that was kidnapped by aliens, who had experimented to give him magical powers. When he returned to Earth, he was trapped in an ice glacier causing him to faint during the Ice Age. About 100 million years later, one of the glaciers broke off and he came to Seoul. Standing 4 feet and 6 inches tall, Dooly is a Ceratosaurus with an oversized head, meant to draw attention toward the character's facial expression, which he rarely changes. He has a tail as long as his height, and he sometimes uses it to make himself look taller than other characters, usually Kildong Go. He displays many human-like characteristics, including a habit of sticking out his tongue. His underside is full-white, as are his hands and feet. He has three toes per foot, and has five fingers on each hand, unlike a real Ceratosaurus which has four. He also has shiny white teeth. He is like a typical kid who likes to eat and play all the time, but he can come across as being somewhat audacious, living the life of an orphan. Behind his thoughtful words, Dooly is just another baby dinosaur who misses his mother dinosaur. While in Seoul, he was found by a girl named Younghee (Korean: 영희), and because she mistook Dooly for a dog she took him home with her and her elder brother Chulsoo (철수), and made him live with her as a pet. However, her father Kildong (Korean: 고길동) hates Dooly and just beats Dooly up whenever he is annoying. Dooly has superpowers that he received from an extraterrestrial, but doesn't know why. He doesn't quite know how to use it deliberately but in times of danger, he somehow manages to use the power. He points his right finger and yells 'Hoihoi!' He is always biting his tongue and looking silly, but he is both mischievous and loyal. Once in a while, he'll resist, like when he turns Kildong into a dinosaur and sends him to the Amazon, but whenever he does, it always turns against him. Dooly's name, according to the cartoon, is a pun. His older sister - Dooly called her 'brother' because he confused that exact nominal - is named Hana, meaning One or First while Dool, or Dul mean Two in Korean and y or ei mean the same thing in Korean Traditional-Chinese, making him the Second. This is mentioned around the end of then 2nd set of episodes, or the 6th episode, but it is not certain if this is true in manhwa canon due to the anime and manhwa having many storyline differences. While Dooly is having adventures in Seoul and having fun, he meets three friends who Kildong hates too and beats up, all except Heedong (희동).
- Go Heedong (Korean: 고희동) came to live with Uncle Kildong after his parents went abroad to study. He misses his mom every day, but feels utterly entertained by Dooly the Brother. Thanks to the excessive amounts of time he spends with Dooly, he isn't afraid of anything. He is also really good at biting or scratching someone when they make him mad. He has broken Douner's Time Cosmos' Spaceship.
- Douner (Korean: 도우너) the Prince of Planet 'Kanttappia' makes an emergency landing on the planet Earth due to the malfunctioning of the 'Time Cosmos' Spaceship. His head may be really hard and his thoughts very simple, but the word "loyalty" was made for Douner. He can travel back and forth in time and space in the Time Cosmos Spaceship which looks like a violin.
- Ddochi (Korean: 또치), the Ostrich that successfully escaped from a Las Vegas circus troop, always insists that she used to be a noble mistress from Africa. She is a little bit selfish, and a little bit shy, but Ddochi is the most softhearted ostrich that anyone will ever come across. She also insists on calling herself a girl. Ddochi has many talents she learned from the circus.
- Michol (Korean: 마이콜, pronounced as "Maikol") is an aspiring singer who lives next to Kildong, and feeds on his passion for dreaming, though he may lack the necessary talent. He is quite lost most of the time, but does know how to take care of himself. Although he is South Korean, his appearance is noticeable different. His surname is Ma. According to his name, his role model is Michael Jackson. Dooly once joined a band with Douner and Michol.
When Dooly was first created as a TV animation, it received much criticism from South Korean Catholics, South Korean public citizens, and the government. Reasons cited included the fact that the animation was a bit violent, which was suppressed by the South Korean government, and the adult general public was angered due to its character's attitude of disrespect towards elders. However, this was when freedom of speech was not seriously taken into account. Generally speaking, the younger generation has fond memories of this series and find that the violence is actually a quite realistic portrayal of family dynamics in contemporary South Korea.
The character "Michol" has also received criticism in more recent years due to the character's appearance being likened to blackface.
List of episodes
Original series (1987–1988)
- "The Birth of Dooly" (Korean: 둘리의 탄생; original airdate: October 7, 1987)
- "Grand Park Disturbance" (Korean: 대공원 소동; original airdate: October 7, 1987)
- "My Friends" (Korean: 내 친구들; original airdate: October 7, 1987)
- "Hyeongah! Do Not Go" (Korean: 형아! 가지 마; original airdate: October 7, 1987)
- "Travel to the Past: Part 1" (Korean: 과거로의 여행 (상); original airdate: October 7, 1987)
- "Travel to the Past: Part 2" (Korean: 과거로의 여행 (하); original airdate: October 7, 1987)
- "Dooly's Anger" (Korean: 둘리의 분노; original airdate: May 5, 1988)
- "Michol's Debut" (Korean: 마이콜 등장; original airdate: May 5, 1988)
- "Ddochi's Escape" (Korean: 또치의 탈출; original airdate: May 5, 1988)
- "The Strange Lamp" (Korean: 이상한 램프; original airdate: May 5, 1988)
- "Dooly's Miniature" (Korean: 둘리 소인국; original airdate: May 5, 1988)
- "The Invaders from the Squid Planet: Part 1" (Korean: 꼴뚜기 별의 왕자님 (상); original airdate: May 5, 1988)
- "The Invaders from the Squid Planet: Part 2" (Korean: 꼴뚜기 별의 왕자님 (하); original airdate: May 5, 1988)
- Tourism, Korean Culture and Information Service Ministry of Culture, Sports and; Hyung-suk, Kim (2013-12-01). K-Animation: Befriending Children All Over the World. 길잡이미디어. ISBN 9788973755813. Archived from the original on 2017-04-12.
- (KOCIS), Korean Culture and Information Service. "Father of Dooly, comic artist Kim Soo-jung :: Korea.net : The official website of the Republic of Korea". Archived from the original on 2017-08-31. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
- "둘리도 금서가 될 뻔했다?…9월 첫 주 '금서읽기주간'".