The Magic Roundabout (also known as "Doogal") is a 2005 film featuring the characters of The Magic Roundabout produced and animated by Action Synthese and distributed by Pathe in the UK and The Weinstein Company in the US.
The film begins as the wizard Zebedee, is chased by the evil Zeebad. He woke up only to have a bad dream. The film then starts when Dougal sneaks around the carousel. 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. Zeebad emerges from the top and flies away, followed shortly after by Soldier Sam 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 Zebedee 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 stop Zeebad's freedom from freezing the world again is by collecting three magic diamonds (one of which is supposed to be hidden on the roundabout, while the other two are hidden at separate locations far beyond the village); placing all three diamonds in their respective slots on the roundabout will reimprison Zeebad and undo his magic, but if Zeebad retrieves them first then their power will allow him to freeze the Sun itself. Zebedee sends Dougal, Brian the cynical snail, Ermintrude the opera-singing cow, Dylan the hippie rabbit, and Train who can be summoned by a magic remote to accomplish this mission. Meanwhile, when Zeebad crash lands after escaping the roundabout, he animates Sam the Soldier, to be his henchman and enlists him to find the enchanted diamonds first. 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), but Zeebad captures both the diamonds from these respective locations; leaving the gang's only hope of stopping Zeebad freezing the world in ice to be getting back to the roundabout and to the final diamond before Zeebad does. The gang are forced along the way to leave Train behind when his wheel is brokern, leaving them to return to the village on their own through the snowy barren wasteland the world is now freezing into. Zeebad, after having abandoned Sam the Soldier to die wounded in the snow, beats the gang to the now-frozen village, but is unable to find the third diamond anywhere. Sam then arrives on a moose, having realized he's been following the wrong commander in Zeebad and that his true duty is to protect the roundabout against Zeebad, and tries to make a stand and charge against Zeebad but is quickly defeated. Having learned Sam was in fact on the roundabout, Zeebad discovers that the third diamond is and always was hidden inside Sam, and removes it from Sam (ending the latter's life force in the process).
Just as Dougal and the gang finally make it back to the village, Zeebad, with all three diamonds now in his possession, uses the diamonds to complete his powers' freezing effect on the world by freezing the Sun. However, Ermintrude, Brian, Dylan, and finally Dougal refuse to give up, and intervene to stop Zeebad; getting past Zeebad's attacks to the diamonds, and getting each of them one-by-one into their places on the roundabout until only the third diamond is left. Though Zeebad beats the gang to the diamond and seemingly secures his victory, the timely arrival of a healed Train knocks the diamond away and gives Dougal the chance to place it in the roundabout's final slot. With all three diamonds placed on the roundabout, Zeebad is reimprisoned, and the world is thawed and turned back to normal; restoring Zebedee to his friends, and freeing the people.
Of those trapped in the roundabout, Florence is comatose, but is revived by a desperate Dougal. The moose (whose colour had been changed from brown to blue by Zeebad and helped Dougal's friends find Dougal 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, because Sam is still missing. At this point, Sam is restored and then reverted to his inanimate form, 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-credit scenes follow: one reveals Zeebad back in his prison, which, to his chagrin, is a molten lava cave. In another, Zebedee delivers his famous catchphrase to the audience, "Time for bed", before disappearing. The End.
- Narrator - Judi Dench
- Doogal/Dougal - Daniel Tay (US) / Robbie Williams (UK)
- Florence - Kylie Minogue
- Zebedee - Ian McKellen
- Zeebad - Jon Stewart (US) / Tom Baker (UK)
- Brian - William H. Macy (US) / Jim Broadbent (UK)
- Train - Chevy Chase (US) / Lee Evans (UK)
- Ermintrude - Whoopi Goldberg (US) / Joanna Lumley (UK)
- Dylan - Jimmy Fallon (US) / Bill Nighy (UK)
- Sam - Bill Hader (US) / Ray Winstone (UK)
- Moose - Kevin Smith
- Mr. Rusty and Mr. Grimsdale - Cory Edwards and John Krasinski (US) / Jimmy Hibbert (UK)
- Directed by Dave Borthwick, Jean Duval, Frank Passingham.
- Produced by Claude Gorsky, Andy Leighton, Pascal Rodon
- Screenplay by Paul B. Davies.
- Story by Raolf Sanoussi, Stephane Sanoussi
- Based on The Magic Roundabout by Serge Danot.
Critical Reception Edit
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a score of 60%
American Version Edit
According to William H. Macy, Harvey Weinstein saw the film and decided to make an american dub of the film, the dub was distributed by The Weinstein Company and was released a year after the original dub did, due to audiences not being familiar with the show, the film was redubbed with more well known american actors such as Chevy Chase, Jimmy Fallon, Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Stewert, and Kevin Smith, only 2 actors remained: Ian McKellen and Kylie Minogue (in which the latter redubbed her lines with an american accent), the film was rewritten by Butch Hartman, the creator of The Fairly Oddparents, with the addition of dozens of pop culture references (Including The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Thomas The Tank Engine, etc), and several jokes and also had the Moose speak english, which none were used in the original
Some scenes were moved around or cut, such as the dream scene at the beginning where it is shortened to have it end after Zebedee falls towards the camera, and it shows Zeebad use his ice power before it happens, he also has an extra line when he makes fists with his hands ("So long, Zebedee!"), and the song Mr. Blue Eyes is moved to the very end, all of the scenes showing the exterior of the Ice Castle were removed and only some shots featured it, the first post credits scene is removed and replaced with footage of the actors during the development of the film, and the flashback with Florence was featured
This version of the film was painstakingly panned by critics, on Rotten Tomatoes it has a score of 8% based on 49 reviews with the conscious stating "Overloaded with pop culture references, but lacking in compelling characters and plot, Doogal is too simpleminded even for the kiddies.", due to the poor reception, Action Synthese just went onto the 2007 reboot of The Magic Roundabout and in 2013 the company filed for bankruptcy