Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Doug's 1st Movie (1999)





















This was one of those Nickelodeon cartoons that ran during the early 90's which I used to watch religiously. Along with 'Rugrats' and 'Hey Arnold!' the toons of that time were really decent and quite fresh in terms of originality and artistic style. 'Doug' being the most simplistic to look at compared to the others, yet I still can't recall how or why I actually got into this.

The movie has the same age old issue, can it work when stretched out to a films length?. Quite plainly I would say yes, this will not appeal to adults in the slightest unless like me you like the toon. Its purely 100% for kids and not meant to be anything more, hence its extremely errr...childish, simple and unoriginal.

I thought everything here worked really well to be honest, all the characters seem to be voiced by the regular people, give or take. Everything visually is recognisable from the daytime cartoon, its been spruced up of course but it still looks like 'Doug' and there hasn't been any CGI tomfoolery. That fact I like, the fact they kept it pure like the original material and didn't use CGI, that's good (at least I don't think they used CGI).

The only thing I didn't really like here was the plot believe it or not. Now I know this will sound stupid but the plot was unrealistic, let me explain. I'm reasonably sure that in all the 'Doug' cartoons the plot has always been relatable, in other words about problems kids face in school, at home, growing up, daily life we all can understand etc...It has never ventured into the realms of complete fantasy, I don't think. So this movie to have the plot based around a dinosaur lake monster running amok is kinda crappy frankly, just seems totally lame and as if they couldn't think of anything else. 'Ah lets just stick a monster in their and they make friends with it blah blah blah', a cartoon version of 'Splash' or 'Free Willy'.

If you know this franchise then you'll know what to expect, good morals, good natured harmless silliness and plenty of sickly kiddie romance. Although it doesn't seem as witty with 'Doug's' regular daydream interventions which he had in the daily cartoon. There does seem to be a clear difference between the early Nickelodeon 'Doug' and this Disney 'Doug', early 'Doug' did seem cheaper with those corny tacky homemade sound effects and sketchy animation, but that was its charm. I never saw the later Disney 'Doug' episodes but I've heard bad things.

This big screen adventure does lack that charm but it still manages to do what it set out to do. The film is enjoyable and still looks nice but admittedly isn't as rich or pretty as other animations. You really have gotta be a fan to enjoy this, otherwise I can fully understand if you think it looks terrible. I think time has passed for this franchise and film now, the moment has gone and it doesn't really stand the test of time, plus no Billy West! its still OK though.

5/10