Doogal (2006)

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“Doogal” is basically representative of everything that’s wrong with CGI animation. Everyone is out to be as hip as possible and mimic the success of “Shrek,” that they lose touch with story, characterization, and plot elements the audience can enjoy. I always tend to give the animated films the benefit of the doubt and half the time I’m rewarded. “Doogal” was punishment. It has all the basic principles of a kid’s film but no idea how to get in touch with the heart animation should have. There’s the rabbit Jimmy Fallon singing “You Really Got Me,” and the leader of the land watching the landscape while “It’s Magic” blares in the background. By the time the eighteenth pop culture reference was spewed out in the first ten minutes, I was ready to pack it in.

A cute puppy named Doogal is trying to prove himself, while teamed with a bunch of interchangeable goofy characters. All of whom are looking for a diamond to keep the villain from doing something bad to the world. Or the land. I wasn’t quite clear. But, “Doogal” makes every such attempt to be utterly hip by—well—referencing pop culture from twenty years ago right down to two years ago. Nothing here is current. Every such pop culture nugget you can think of is featured: Su Su Sudio, “Star Trek,” The Kinks, “Pimp My Ride,” “Thriller,” and “Lord of the Rings,” wow, what sheer originality. Speaking of “Lord of the Rings” did I mention how awfully derivative this is of the aforementioned novel series? A young innocent figure teams up with a group of his allies to journey across the land to look for a mystical object being held by a supernatural force.

“Doogal” is the example of a film that tackles every fad two years too late just for the intent of bringing the audience to its level hoping to cash in on the cool factor vainly. Forget an engaging story and likable characters, just include a lot of tired pop culture references and audiences will be entertained. Meanwhile we’re subjected to a bland Bunny, a boring snail, a ghetto-fabulous cow, and a selfish repugnant sheep dog who is supposed to be our hero. The worst crime the film commits it creating a hero who is both unoriginal and rather unlikable in many ways. “Doogal” is a sheer waste of priceless talent, as Jon Stewart, William H. Macy, and the like are all put to shame in a stock CGI film that really should have been released straight to video in the first place. “Doogal” is awful and young audiences should be spared its obnoxious droning presence.