• “I have a bone to pick with you” (speaking to skeletons).
  • “Why do I always get the shaft?  Lucky I have tunnel vision” (spoken by the train, while traveling through a tunnel).
  • “After winter it’s time for spring!” (by one of the two spring characters)
  • “You, a guard!  You couldn’t guard underarm odor!”
  • “I was supposed to be your knight in furry armor” (spoken by Dougal, the dog).

Have you had enough yet?  Ah, but wait.  I still have the worst joke of the film.  Are you ready?  Here it comes – and I promise I am not making this up:  “One spring to rule them all.”  Aha!  Now we know why the villain was a spring.  So they could use this joke!

For the sake of more puns, we’re also subjected to a litany of pop culture references that include Blue Man Group, Phil Collins, Harry Potter, C.S.I. and the overused phrases of “Whassup?” and “Peace Out!”  I guess the screenwriters were trying to emulate the postmodern witticisms of “Shrek,” but suffice to say that they did not succeed.  The film doesn’t even have a decent message.  Well, there is something about the importance of friends, but woop-dee-do.  Even my three-year-old understands that.  And that cliché is still buried among the fart jokes, bad dialogue and brain-numbing plot.

If there is a decent line in the film, it comes from Jon Stewart, when he threatens the snail with garlic butter, or perhaps his comment, “No, Sam.  The evil laugh comes from the back of the throat, like this.”  But honestly, that’s it.  Even the acting, a stellar lineup of talent if ever there was one (except Tay, who offers a poor Doogal), can’t overcome this cinematic catastrophe, which is wrapped in animation that looks like claymation mixed with early '70s cartoon “technology.”  I mean, the dog doesn’t even walk, okay?  He hops.)

An Americanized version of “The Magic Roundabout," a popular television show during the '60s on European television stations, “Doogal” – like most remakes – should have just stayed in the old memory box.   For good animation with a strong message, instead check out VeggieTale’s “Lord of the Beans,”  a well-made, witty spoof of “Lord of the Rings.”

AUDIENCE:   8 and up

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:    None.
  • Language/Profanity:   None.  However, multiple characters rudely pass gas throughout film, without apology or rebuke.
  • Sexual Content/Nudity:  None.
  • Violence:   Mild peril and discussion about death, as in sorcerer’s instructions to guard: “Pain, misery and torment will be on your daily to-do list, and your only break is death.”