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Toonhound presents...






British Movie Toons

      Buxton The Blue Cat

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   Dougal and
  the Blue Cat
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producers: Goodtimes Enterprises
                     & Danot Films
    animation: stop-motion animation

       run time: 85 mins


    "Blue 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 cacophony restored...
      The Masks of The Room Of Dreams

     "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
     Submarine 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.

        * Gasp! * - Florence & Ermitrude in chains!  

     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 death.

     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 Roundabout"s often-discussed
     "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
     its premiere...

     Meanwhile, a 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?... Vote Conservative!...
      Keep off the grass!... What! - What? - What!..."

     Some Blue facts
» The film introduces us to Florence at her home for the first time. She lives
         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
         Derbyshire, geddit?).

» Surprisingly, 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...
» When 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 titles are:

         Door colour     Room                           Title gained
       Blue               Flower-Making Room   Sir Buxton
       Cobalt Blue     Room where the          Baron Buxton
                           Clothes of the World

                           are Dyed Blue
       Saxony Blue    Room of Dreams           Lord Buxton
       Indigo Blue      Room of the World       Marquis Buxton
       Baby Blue       Room of T
hunder          Duke Buxton
                           and Lightning

       Prussian Blue   Guard Room where        Prince Buxton
                           Soldiers are Made

       Royal Blue       Court Room                 King Buxton I


     See also

     The Magic Roundabout (series)
     The Magic Roundabout (movie)


     english version
     written and directed by Eric Thompson

     narrated by:
     not credited:
L Danot, L Auclin
Serge Danot
J Josselin
V M Cahier
V P Carreau, V P Liblang
Joss Basselli
Eric Thompson
Eric Thompson
Fenella Fielding (voice of Madam Blue) 


      On the web

       Crystal Tipps World
       Crystal Tipps World pays due deference to the film, at least. Elsewhere
       there are countless sites reviewing the film on video, with precious little
       extra info...

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© Serge Danot/Goodtimes Enterprises / F2006