Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Movie Review
    — Doogal

Doogal is, um, a computer-animated kids movie about a dog and a singing cow and slacker rocker rabbit and a snail who take on a quest from a good wizard spring to stop a bad wizard spring from freezing the world solid, and who do a lousy job of it but eventually win anyway (for not much reason other than because the good guys always have to win).

If that sounds both stupid and not especially enjoyable — probably including for the kids it is aimed at — you’re right.  As bad as Barnyard was, this is the computer-animated film that will make you swear off of watching anything in that mode that comes down the Netflix queue.  (Then again, I haven't dared to watch Hoodwinked yet.)
  • Unattractive character designs.
  • A melange of characters apparently based on the toys left ignored in some kid’s toy chest, given how poorly they mesh as a group/team.
  • The classic quest concept of recover the magic objects, and in the process lead the bad guy to each of them so he can get them instead, never mind that he would have apparently never found them otherwise.
  • Loads of pop culture references and anachronisms (a laser grid in an ancient Aztec temple?), the sort which break you out of the thin story over and over again rather than enhancing it.
  • Subplots which go nowhere (like the snail’s unrequited love for the cow).
  • Atrocious matching of the voice work to the character mouths.  (Apparently all the characters but the cow and good wizard spring were redone for the American release, and they either did a lot of ad lib or the script work was really shoddy in terms of retaining the timing.)
The only reason I would recommend this is to put something in front of a 4-year old that he or she hasn’t already seen twelve times.  If the kid has seen something else only ten or eleven times before, put that on again instead of this.

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