The Magic Roundabout (film)

The Magic Roundabout (film)
The Magic Roundabout
(Doogal in North America)

UK Theatrical Poster
Directed by Dave Borthwick
Jean Duval
Frank Passingham
Produced by Claude Gorsky
Laurent Rodon
Pascal Rodon
Written by Paul Bassett
Raolf Sanoussi
Stephane Sanoussi
Narrated by Judi Dench
Starring Kylie Minogue
Joanna Lumley
Robbie Williams
Jim Broadbent
Bill Nighy
Ian McKellen
Tom Baker
Ray Winstone
Lee Evans
Studio Action Synthese
Distributed by The Weinstein Company (North America)
Pathé (Europe)
20th Century Fox (UK DVD)
Alliance Films (Canada)
Universal Studios Home Entertainment (Canadian DVD)
Release date(s) 11 February 2005 (2005-02-11)
Running time 85 minutes
Country France
United Kingdom
United States
Language English
Budget $20,000,000
Box office $26,691,243

The Magic Roundabout, (released in France as Pollux, le manège enchanté and in North America as Doogal), is a 2005 British computer-animated film based on the television series of the same name. The film was produced by Action Synthese and released by Pathé on February 11, 2005 in the United Kingdom and France, and The Weinstein Company on February 24, 2006 in North America. The plot concerns a dog named Dougal (Doogal in North America) who has to save his best friend, Florence, as well as the whole world, from being frozen by an evil spring named ZeeBad. The film was received positively in the United Kingdom, but the American edit was largely panned in the United States.



The film begins with a shaggy, candy-loving dog named Dougal trying to get sweets from a candy cart. He goes so far as to place a tack in the road to pop its tire, thinking to be rewarded for watching the cart. After convincing the driver to leave, Dougal is trying to decide which candy he will request when he accidentally starts the cart up again and causes it to collide with the titular magic roundabout at the center of the village. A blue jack-in-the-box-like creature emerges from the top and flies away, snatching a decorative Foot Guard figurine from the roundabout before leaving. 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 are horrified by this development, therefore call upon the resident wizard, Zebedee, also a jack-in-the-box-like creature, 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 return Zeebad to his prison is to place three magic diamonds in the roundabout, or watch the world slowly freeze over again. Zebedee sends Dougal, Brian the cynical snail, Ermintrude the opera-singing cow, Dylan the hippie rabbit, and the magic Train to accomplish this mission. Zeebad animates the Foot Guard figurine, Sergeant Sam, and enlists him to find the enchanted diamonds first, for with them Zeebad can freeze the sun itself. 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.

Mourning their dispatcher as dead, Dougal and his friends embark to recover the diamonds. This task takes them to a lava-bordered volcano, 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), and a final showdown with Zeebad, where it is revealed that Sergeant Sam had contained the third diamond in his chest. Zeebad obtains all three diamonds during the course of the film, and attempts to freeze the Sun. Ermintrude, Brian, Dylan, and finally Dougal intervene to stop him; when they have done so, Zeebad is imprisoned in the carousel again and Zebedee is restored to his friends. The ice surrounding the carousel melts, freeing the people trapped therein; of them, Florence is comatose and must be revived by a desperate Dougal. A moose, whose color had been changed from brown to blue by Zeebad in the earlier scenes of the film, is restored to his true color by Zebedee. Dougal, who vowed to give up sugar when it seemed all was lost, forgets his former pledge completely, but now realizes the true value of his friends and the good qualities of selflessness, courage, and humility.



  • Dougal/Doogal: sugar-loving Skye Terrier.
  • Dylan: guitar-playing hippie and very skilled martial artist rabbit
  • Brian: bashful snail in love with Ermintrude
  • Ermintrude: opera-singing cow
  • The Moose: cautious interloper encountered up north, who periodically breaks wind in U.S. version. Turned blue by Zeebad; later helps Brian and Ermintrude find Dougal. Restored to natural color by Zebedee. He only speaks in the US dub.


  • Florence: girl/orphan who, when in danger, has faith in Dougal.
  • Basil and Coral: Florence's friends
  • Mr. Rusty the repairman: appears similar to the Mad Hatter of Alice in Wonderland.

Magical toy-beings

  • Zebedee: a good magician, uses warmth and love magic. Is essentially a jack-in-the-box, like Zeebad.
  • Zeebad Carpenter: evil ice sorcerer, uses cold magic. Like Zebedee, channels magic through his moustache.
  • Soldier Sam: Zeebad's slave, who holds one of the magic diamonds.
  • The Train: Not to be confused with Thomas the Tank Engine (although the latter is mentioned); always comes in the nick of time, though is slow, according to Ermintrude.


Character United Kingdom United States
Dougal (Doogal) Robbie Williams Daniel Tay
Dylan Bill Nighy Jimmy Fallon
Zeebad Tom Baker Jon Stewart
Ermintrude Joanna Lumley Whoopi Goldberg
Brian Jim Broadbent William H. Macy
Train Lee Evans Chevy Chase
Narrator Judi Dench Judi Dench
Florence Kylie Minogue Kylie Minogue
Zebedee Ian McKellen Ian McKellen
Moose Michael Angelis Kevin Smith
Soldier Sam Ray Winstone Bill Hader
Coral Daniella Loftus Heidi Brook Myers


Promotional poster for the North American release of the film

British reception

The Magic Roundabout was the first computer-animated film to be made in the United Kingdom and it gained generally favourable reviews from critics in Britain, for retaining its charm from the original television series and its superb animation.[citation needed] While some critics questioned the update for today's children and its subtle drug references[citation needed], the reviews were mostly positive. The public also supported the film, and while some were disappointed on the nostalgia factor, their praise earned this film a total gross of £5.8 million at the box office.

American reception

In 2006, the film was released in the US as "Doogal". In the North American version of the film, where audiences are unfamiliar with the series, the majority of original British voices have been replaced by celebrities more familiar to the American public, such as Jon Stewart and Chevy Chase. Only two original voices remained - those of Kylie Minogue and Ian McKellen. The US version also featured narration by Judi Dench and a new storyline made to accommodate multiple pop culture references (mostly references to Lord of the Rings) and flatulence jokes (neither of which were present in the original release). This version received negative reviews. Rotten Tomatoes ranked the film 83rd in the 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s, with a rating of 6%,[1] and an F rating from Entertainment Weekly magazine.[citation needed] It was also a commercial failure, only earning a total of $7.2 million in the United States, which is considered exceptionally low by CGI animated film standards (the average domestic gross for a computer animated film is $134,571,721[citation needed]), thus making Doogal the lowest grossing CGI feature in history. After being advertised for a short time, its distribution ceased, but is widely carried in United States retail outlets such as Safeway as a children's DVD in retail stores and rental shops. The original French/British version of the film is available in the US under the title Sprung! The Magic Roundabout and occasionally airs on American TV networks.


  1. Main Titles - Mark Thomas
  2. The Magic Roundabout - Kylie Minogue – VOCAL
  3. Meet Doogal - James Venable
  4. Magic – Pilot - VOCAL
  5. You Really Got Me - Bill Nighy & Catherine Bott - VOCAL
  6. Doogal the Mechanic - James Venable
  7. Zeebad Escapes - Mark Thomas
  8. Sam Marches - John M. Davis
  9. The Magic Roundabout - Andrea Remanda and Goldust – VOCAL
  10. Meet Zeebad - James Venable
  11. Setting Up Camp - Mark Thomas
  12. Spinning - Andrea Remanda and Goldust - VOCAL
  13. Duel Of The Springs 2 - Mark Thomas
  14. Simply Wonderful - Andrea Remanda and Goldust - VOCAL
  15. The What-a-Snails Waltz - Mark Thomas
  16. Zeebad Threatens - James Venable
  17. Train's Back - Mark Thomas
  18. Lost In The Cold - Mark Thomas
  19. See The City - Mark Thomas
  20. The Frozen City - Mark Thomas
  21. Frozen Florence - John M. Davis
  22. The End Of Zeebad - Mark Thomas
  23. Florence Awakes - Mark Thomas
  24. Sugar, Sugar - The Archies - VOCAL
  25. I Love To Boogie - T.Rex - VOCAL
  26. Lean Mean Machine - Andrea Remanda and Goldust - VOCAL
  27. Believe Yourself - Andrea Remanda and Goldust - VOCAL (Used during the scene with Dylan fighting the skeleton guards in the UK version)
  28. Bust This Joint - Andrea Remanda and Goldust - VOCAL

See also

  • List of animated feature films


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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