calamity! - Daft Dougal has accidentally freed Zebadee's nemesis from
the confines of the Magic Roundabout.
Now Florence is a captive, Dougal's
been sent to Coventry, and unless Brian,
Dylan and Ermintrude can recover
three magic diamonds, Zeebad will plunge
the world into a perpetual ice age...
the Magic Garden here, but not as we used to know it. The red, white
and blue of the
original has been dipped in naturalistic hues, and Dougal
ripples along on airbrushed waves. It's
all been programmed by Dave
Borthwick's bolexbrothers, in an Anglo-French
alliance based in Bristol
and Marseilles. Pre-production commenced
in June 2001, but the project
wasn't properly ramped up until October
2002, when Pathe Pictures
fanfared the feature for the world's press.
The reimagining is completed by a star-studded voice
Eric Thompson's original narration and
characterisation. At the 2003
Animated Encounters event, in Bristol,
the producers revealed that rocker
Ozzy Osbourne was once considered for the lead
role. In the end we got
pop-rocker Robbie Williams as Dougal,
playing opposite pop-princess
Kylie Minogue, as Florence. Kylie also
provides sings the catchy title song.
A second notable voice change was that
of Zeebad. Richard O'Brien was the
first star touted for this villainous
role, but Tom Baker is the voice on the
Magic Roundabout" opened 10th February 2005 across the UK.
In the UK, "The Magic Roundabout"
is something of a teatime institution.
In America, however, the series' pedigree
is unknown. Thus, in the twelve
months between the British and American
releases for the film, a whole
garden's worth of changes have been undertaken.
Initially, the movie was to have been retitled
"Sprung: The Magic Roundabout".
But instead, the American distributors
- the Weinstein Co. - have taken their
title from that of our droll star. Only spelt
different. It's now called "Doogal".
And there are voice changes a-plenty.
Chase, Jimmy Fallon, Whoopi
Goldberg, William H Macy, Kevin Smith and
Jon Stewart have taken over the
mike ahead of our lesser known Brits.
Ian McKellen is still there, though.
But Judi Dench has skipped in too, from
somewhere, and the distributors
tells us that the film is from the creators
of "The Fairly Odd Parents".
How fitting that a French series, which
was re-cut and shaped by
should now be recut and reshaped by those
pesky Americans. Why, the
Roundabout's turned full circle - what?
opens in the USA on 24th February 2006.
Here in the UK, there were licensing
tie-ins a-plenty when the film launched.
Most notably from Vivid Imagination (plush
toys, talking toys and beanies),
Blueprint (stationery) and Thornton's (scrummy
chocolates!). Plus there was
the almost inevitable Kellog's promotion,
with free pen-toppers being made
available in special packs of "Rice
Krispies" and others....
Hound: April 2005 The
Hound: May 2003
Time for a Birthday cake... A
magic villain revealed...
Hound: December 2004 The
Hound: October 2002
Zebadee in your cereal... A
magic film is announced...
Hound: August 2004
Gandalf on the roundabout...
Magic Roundabout (series)
and the Blue Cat
The Magic Roundabout on DVD
Magic Roundabout - Special Edition
2 / Pathe / July 2005
Pathé Pictures/Magic Rights Limited/M Danot
Based on the characters created by Serge
Passingham, Dave Borthwick, Jean Duval
Leighton, Laurent Rodon, Pascal Rodon
Bassett, Tad Safran,
Stephane Sanoussi & Raolf Sanoussi
Roundabout theme sung by Kylie Minogue
Robbie Williams (Dougal)
Ian McKellen (Zebadee)
Jim Broadbent (Brian)
Winstone (Soldier Sam)