is beautiful... Blue is best...
I'm blue... I'm beautiful... I'm best!"
A feature-length Magic
Roundabout adventure featuring Dougal, Florence,
Zebedee, Dylan and the rest of the tv familiars
alongside a new 'wicked' star,
Buxton the evil Blue Cat. Here's the plot:
All is not well in the Magic Garden. Buxton the
Blue Cat has arrived with evil
intentions. Coerced into action by the mysterious
voice of Madam Blue, Buxton
enters the ruins of the old treacle factory and
crowns himself King Buxton,
whereupon he unleashes a swathe of - well - blueness
upon the land. Blue flowers,
blue prickly cacti, blue lettuces and more. Wicked
Buxton takes the Magic
Roundabout gang into custody in the caves below
the factory. He even steals
Zebedee's precious magic moustache! The world
appears doomed, but for the
indomitable Dougal, who colours his golden coat
blue and enters the factory to
confront the marauding moggy. After much mauve
madness which takes
Dougal and Buxton to the moon and back, evil
is defeated, blueness banished
from the Magic Garden and a cool and colourful
"Dougal and the Blue Cat" was written
and directed by Eric Thompson, adapting
the work of Serge Danot's animation team in the
same way that he'd adapted the
original tv series and transformed it into something
uniquely different. And boy
is this different, an absorbing dip into
a surreal world with extraordinary animation
design, subtext buried in nonsense, and
hummable songs to boot. Like Yellow
before it, thie film takes you on a colourful, almost unfathomable trip.
The plot meanders and experiments with dramatic
contrasts of tone and style.
Witness those jarring and actually, quite frightening,
scenes in the seven rooms
of the treacle factory, or the intrusion of Buxton's
blue soldiers as they sing and
goosestep away to take over the Magic Garden.
And just what is implied by
Buxton's "calling", and who exactly
- or what - is Madam Blue?
Does it all mean something more profound? - Maybe.
Possibly. Probably not,
even. It's still a fascinating trip.
Interesting to note how Dougal's movie and "Yellow
Submarine" share similar
blue protagonists too (The Blue Meanies, Madam
Blue and the Blue Soldiers).
In animated circles, at least, as we entered
the 70s the enemy was blueness
in all its forms. Indeed there are numerous witty
references here to the state
of Britain's railways, the monarchy and dominating
all, the political metaphor
for blueness that was Conservatism and all that
it stood for at the time...
"Dougal and the Blue Cat" was
actually introduced in to the court case brought
against the Scala Cinema, a rep cinema in London,
by Stanley Kubrick's estate
in 1995. Scala owners were punished for using
the Dougal movie listing as
a cover for secret screenings of "A Clockwork
Orange" - banned from cinemas
in this country by Kubrick himself, until his
By the way, Eric Thompson's actress wife Phyllida
Law, appeared on Channel
Four's "Top 100 Kids Shows" programme
back in August 2001 where she
rubbished all claims concerning "The Magic
"druggy" references. Could it all just
be another Urban Myth, like those supposed
sexual references in Captain
Pugwash? I guess we'll never know for sure,
but there has to be some deeper meaning
to the scene in the film where that
hippy hare Dylan gets all befuddled by the
magic mushrooms that have sprung
up around him.
"Dougal and the Blue Cat" is an
extraordinary film, fantastically removed
from its tv predecessor and still a fascinating
work thirty years on from
brand new CGI Magic Roundabout film has now been
co-produced by bolexbrothers for Pathe films.
This one is blue too, but
there's no cat. Instead we have Zeebad,
an evil blue version of Zebadee
who seeks to turn the whole world icey blue...
Dougal's first words
"What! - What? - What!... Man
the lifeboats!... Ban the bomb!...
The dam's burst!...Is me nightie on fire?...
Keep off the grass!... What! - What? -
The film introduces us to Florence at her home for the first time.
in a village with Basil,
Paul and Rosalie and Mr McRusty's there with the
Magic Roundabout too...
Listen out for "Carry-on" film star Fenella Fielding, not credited
as the voice
of the mysterious Madam
Blue. Also, when voicing Buxton, Eric Thompson
uses a silky-smooth Derbyshire
accent for the sneaky feline (Buxton in
the show's so-familiar theme tune is missing from the film.
Instead we have some
"groovy" new themes and songs, with lyrics by Eric...
he first enters the old treacle factory, Buxton must pass through
7 blue doors to 7 blue
rooms and gain 7 blue titles in the process.
The doors, rooms and
Door colour Room Title
Flower-Making Room Sir Buxton
Blue Room where the
of the World
Blue Room of Dreams Lord
of the World Marquis Buxton
Room of Thunder
Blue Guard Room where Prince
King Buxton I
Magic Roundabout (series)
Magic Roundabout (movie)
written and directed by Eric Thompson