Bomb Rating: 

It's rather telling that no person is credited on IMDB for directing this mind- numbing, idiotic, computer-generated animated fiasco, the tale of a dog and his friends on a search for three diamonds to save the dog's owner, Florence (Kylie Minogue). It's quite possible that the producers left the directing, and possibly the writing, to a computer and some piece of software. "Doogal" feels like it was meant to be an interactive Nintendo game, but it just didn't make the cut.

This is like the animated version of "Shark Boy and Lava Girl" in the sense that it seems like the filmmakers had their five-year-olds scribble down some ideas on a pad of paper, then cut the paper into little pieces and threw them in the air to form the script. I have read that this is one of those movies approved by whatever Christian family organization approves movies and finds them family-friendly. I'm thinking "Doogal" and its ilk is the kind of thing they show in order to create Stepford Wives. Seriously, society is in real trouble if "Doogal" is approved entertainment. Oh wait, come to think of it, society is in real trouble. I bet you could get more detainees to talk at Guantanamo by showing "Doogal" than by pulling out their fingernails.

From what I can pull from my withered brain, Doogal somehow releases a bad wizard named Zeebad (Jon Stewart), who's part spring coil, part toy head. Zeebad's power is that he can freeze things and he immediately traps Florence in the local merry-go-round. Doogal and his friends must find three diamonds to prevent Zeebad from taking over the world. Doogal's friends include Train (Chevy Chase), Dylan (Jimmy Fallon), Ermintrude the cow (Whoopi Goldberg), and Brian (William H. Macy). There's also a good wizard named Zebedee (Ian McKellen), who's responsible for trapping Zeebad.

The writing consists entirely of clich├ęs: "I hoped this day would never come", "I'm not going to rest until I've done everything in my power...", etc. Instead of actual humor, the film substitutes direct film references, like when one character says: "We're like a couple of Tomb Raiders." Can I just stop for a second and point out how completely unclever and unfunny that is? This is the kind of humor that makes a granola enema feel like a laugh a minute. I was even more appalled (and this must be blamed on whoever Americanized the film from its British origins) by the urbanisms that dot the thing. I counted ten, which was ten too many cringe-worthy quips - crap like "off the hook" and "bling bling." I guess the filmmakers wanted to make the few black kids who wander into the thing by accident feel like they were among their "peeps."

I'd prefer to eat doogal than see "Doogal."

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