The Magic Roundabout (film)

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The Magic Roundabout
Magic Roundabout-one-sheet.jpg
UK theatrical release poster
Directed by
  • Dave Borthwick
  • Jean Duval
  • Frank Passingham
Produced by
  • Claude Gorsky
  • Laurent Rodon
  • Pascal Rodon
Written by
StarringRobbie Williams
Kylie Minogue
Jim Broadbent
Tom Baker
Bill Nighy
Joanna Lumley
Lee Evans
Ray Winstone
Ian McKellen
(UK release)
Studio
Distributed byPathé Pictures (UK)
Release dates11 February 2005 (UK)
Running time82 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
France
LanguageEnglish
French
Budget$20 million
Box office$26,691,243[1]
 
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The Magic Roundabout
Magic Roundabout-one-sheet.jpg
UK theatrical release poster
Directed by
  • Dave Borthwick
  • Jean Duval
  • Frank Passingham
Produced by
  • Claude Gorsky
  • Laurent Rodon
  • Pascal Rodon
Written by
StarringRobbie Williams
Kylie Minogue
Jim Broadbent
Tom Baker
Bill Nighy
Joanna Lumley
Lee Evans
Ray Winstone
Ian McKellen
(UK release)
Studio
Distributed byPathé Pictures (UK)
Release dates11 February 2005 (UK)
Running time82 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
France
LanguageEnglish
French
Budget$20 million
Box office$26,691,243[1]

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 Pathé 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 was received positively in the United Kingdom[2][3] and France,[4] but the American edit released by The Weinstein Company received negative reviews.

Plot[edit]

The film begins with a shaggy dog named Dougal trying to get sweets from a trolley. He goes so far as to place a tack in the road to pop its tyre, thinking to be rewarded for watching the cart. After convincing the driver to leave, Dougal is trying to decide which sweet he will request, when he accidentally starts the cart up again and causes it to collide with the titular magic roundabout at the centre 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 call upon the resident wizard, Zebedee, another 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 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 Zeebad's 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 colour had been changed from brown to blue by Zeebad in the earlier scenes of the film, is restored to his true colour 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 realises the true value of his friends and the good qualities of selflessness, courage, and humility.

Two post-credits scenes follow: one reveals that Zeebad's prison is a molten lava cave. In another, Zebedee delivers his famous catchphrase to the audience, "Time for bed", before disappearing.

Voice cast[edit]

Original UK Version
US Version(2006)

Release[edit]

Theatrical[edit]

The film was released by Pathé Pictures on 11 February 2005 in the United Kingdom and France. In France the film was released under the title Pollux, le manège enchanté (English translation: Sprung! The Magic Roundabout).

North American release

US theatrical poster for the North American release of the film

According to William H. Macy, Harvey Weinstein saw the film and decided to do an American re-edit. On 24 February 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 Chevy Chase, Jimmy Fallon, Whoopi Goldberg, William H. Macy, Kevin Smith, Bill Hader, and Jon Stewart. Only two original voices remained – those of Kylie Minogue and Ian McKellen (Although Kylie Minogue's original recordings were not present in the American version for she had re-dubbed her own voice in an American accent with some of her lines changed). The US version also features narration by Judi Dench, 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). A few scenes and bits (that were present in the original) were cut and moved around in this release for continuity, for example a post-credit scene that reveals Zeebad in his prison was heavily cut from the American version and was replaced with live footage of the American actors in the process of making the film, a sequence that featured the song Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra was moved to the very end of the film, thus serving it as the ending to the movie (in the original release the scene was a dream sequence), every shot that involved Zeebad's ice fortress was also cut from the American release, glimps of the fortress can be seen in the background in a few shots, but is not shown in full view. the American release also included an additional song entitled Simply Wonderful by Andrea Remanda and Goldust.

Promotion[edit]

In 2005 before the film's release a few short trailers of the film were aired on Nick Toons UK.

In 2006 for the North American release, toys of the film's Characters were sold in Happy Meals at McDonald's. A trailer of the film was aired during The 2006 Super Bowl.

Home media[edit]

The Magic Roundabout was released on DVD 18 July 2005, the film was later re-released on a two-disc special edition DVD, the special features include a behind the scenes look at the film and its production history.

In 2011 The Magic Roundabout was released on Blu-ray; the release contains both the French and British versions and is region-free.

The American version of the film(Doogal) was released on DVD 16 May 2006. Plans for a Blu-ray release of the American version have not been announced.

Reception[edit]

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 five reviews (three "fresh" and two "rotten").[5] The public also supported the film, and while some[who?] were disappointed on how the film relied on nostalgia.

The American version of 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." [6] Other negative reviews included, a score of 23 out of 100 ("generally unfavorable") on Metacritic, an F rating from Entertainment Weekly.

Box Office[edit]

The film earned a total gross of £5.8 million at the UK box office.

The American version of the film grossed a total of $7,417,319 in the United States,[1] which is considered low by CGI animated film standards. It has become the second-lowest grossing CGI film, thus carrying on the record of lowest box office CGI animated film (a record formerly held by the 2005 film Valiant) until the record was later beaten in 2008 by Delgo.

Accolades[edit]

The American version of the film received the Film Advisory Board's Award of Excellence in 2006, as it is shown on the DVD cover.

Soundtrack[edit]

The Magic Roundabout/Doogal
Film score by Mark Thomas
Released7 March 2006
Recorded2005
GenreFilm soundtrack and Score
Length50:13
LabelMilan Records

Track listing[edit]

No.TitlePerformer(s)Length
1."Main Titles"  Instrumental1:48
2."The Magic Roundabout"  Kylie Minogue3:50
3."Meet Doogal"  Instrumental0:43
4."Magic"  Pilot3:06
5."You Really Got Me"  Bill Nighy and Catherine Bott/Jimmy Fallon and Whoopi Goldberg2:20
6."Doogal the Mechanic"  Instrumental1:03
7."Zeebad Escapes"  Instrumental1:09
8."Sam Marches"  Instrumental0:39
9."The Magic Roundabout"  Andrea Remanda and Goldust3:38
10."Meet Zeebad"  Instrumental1:09
11."Setting Up Camp"  Instrumental2:25
12."Spinning"  Andrea Remanda and Goldust2:22
13."Duel of the Springs 2"  Instrumental1:41
14."Simply Wonderful"  Andrea Remanda and Goldust2:31
15."The What-a-Snails Waltz"  Instrumental0:32
16."Zeebad Threatens"  Instrumental1:33
17."Train's Back"  Instrumental3:41
18."Lost in the Cold"  Instrumental1:58
19."See the City"  Instrumental0:34
20."The Frozen City"  Instrumental0:16
21."Frozen Florence"  Instrumental0:59
22."The End of Zeebad"  Instrumental1:31
23."Florence Awakes"  Instrumental1:41
24."Sugar, Sugar"  The Archies2:49
25."I Love to Boogie"  T.Rex2:17
26."Lean Mean Fighting Machine"  Andrea Remanda and Goldust2:15
27."Believe Yourself"  Andrea Remanda and Goldust2:33
28."Bust This Joint"  Andrea Remanda and Goldust2:06
Total length:
50:13

Possible sequel[edit]

A sequel, entitled The Magic Roundabout 2 : Dougal, the beginning, was currently in development, but the project was cancelled in 2013 due to bankruptcy at Action Synthese, but there are possibilities that there still planning to put it into production.

Other media[edit]

In 2007, Action Synthese released a 3D animated TV series based on The Magic Roundabout that was aimed at preschool children, the show aired on Nick Jr. UK. the show has been broadcast since 2008 all over Europe. There have been very few DVD releases of this series.

A video game adaptation of the 3D animated TV series was released in 2008, the game is available for Wii, PC and Nintendo DS.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]