Western Animation: Doug's 1st Movie

Doug's 1st Movie (Originally The First Doug Movie Ever and Doug: The Movie) is a 1999 animated film based off the animated series, Doug (released during its third and final season of its Disney era, and its seventh and final season altogether), produced by DisneyToon Studios and Jumbo Pictures. It was the third movie based off a Disney television series to be released theatrically, and the first movie based off a One Saturday Morning show.

After searching various times in the series, Doug and Skeeter finally find the Lucky Duck Lake monster, who turns out to be nicer than they thought. They name him Herman Melville, and he becomes their friend. After showing him to Mrs. Dink, she tells them to keep Herman a secret, as well as the fact that Bill Bluff has been polluting the lake he came from. However, after Guy Graham, Doug's rival, finds a picture of Herman left behind by Doug when he was seeing Patti and Guy decorate for the Valentine's Day Dance at Funkytown, he quickly phones Mr. Bluff and tells him about the monster. Now, Mr. Bluff's army are searching for the monster, while Doug is trying to keep him a secret- all while trying to win Patti's affections from Guy.

The movie, originally intended for a Direct-to-Video release, was released in theaters to replicate the success of Nickelodeon's The Rugrats Movie. Unfortunately for Disney, they decided to release the movie as-is, with no editing to spruce it up for the theater. Critics bashed the movie for being too much like an extended version of an episode, as well as for the direct-to-video look. And while the film did make over its budget in the office (as the movie had a small, direct-to-video budget), it still didn't make a lot of moneynote . However, it sold quite well on video.

Notably, it was the very last American animated theatrical film to be animated with traditional cel animation as opposed to digital 2D animation or CGI.

This film provides examples of:

  • Absentee Actor: Neither Sally nor Skunky appear at all in the film.
  • Animation Bump: Slightly. The movie's animation uses more detailed, fluid animation, and also uses shadows.
  • Award Bait Song: "Someone Like Me"
  • Big Damn Movie
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: In the beginning of the movie, Roger and his buddies steal Doug's clothes, hang them high up in a tree, and abandon him in the forest in nothing but his tighty whities. Doug is forced to use a broken branch to retrieve his clothes.
  • Contagious Cassandra Truth: Doug and Skeeter tell the Mayor about the swamp creature they found, but she can't publicly declare its existence without backlash. They try, but an attempt to capture the beast by a Corrupt Corporate Executive impedes this.
  • Demoted to Extra: Chalky has one line in the film, and then appears very briefly in the Weekly Beebe office with no lines in a flashback.
    • Judy only appears once in the entire film; at Doug's house when they're cleaning up muddy footprints left by Herman.
  • Digital Destruction: The Disney Movie Club DVD of the film uses the Toon Disney edit of the film, making it one of the few instances where the tape has better quality than the DVD.
  • Direct-to-Video: What the movie was originally going to be.
  • Green Aesop: While not quite as in-your-face as other examples, this is a major plot point. Mr. Bluff's pollution of Lucky Duck Lake results in the creation of a monster, which he then wants to kill to cover up his tracks. In the end, the monster escapes, Mr. Bluff's actions are exposed and he then volunteers to clean up his mess.
  • Hypothetical Fight Debate: Two cops debate who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman.
  • Idiot Ball: Doug and the Mayor toss this to each other in the film, from Doug talking about exposing Mr. Bluff's plot in front of Guy who happens to be good friends with Mr. Bluff and thinking that Herman is dead despite knowing that said death is in next week's paper, to the Mayor, despite being, y'know, the Mayor and knowing that Mr. Bluff is polluting the lake and had hired goons to capture Herman, doesn't do anything about it. Though with the latter, you can justify it with the good ol' Screw the Rules, I Have Money! trope.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Slightly. How was Mr. Bluff not arrested at the end? Yes, he did get comeuppance but he broke so many U.S. laws it's ridiculous. He polluted a lake he didn't even own, he bribes the police, he bribes the media. He bribes everyone! That's just the beginning.
    • He now has to devote his time and effort to clean up the messes he made, and probably a lot of other messes as well. It's either that or Mrs. Dink could probably have him hauled off to jail after he just plainly threatened to destroy the lives of two innocent young men in front of a lot of witnesses. It just makes more sense that someone with his power and money could get a lot more done in terms of cleaning up pollution then if he was behind bars. Not to mention, added to the fact of his verbal threats to Doug and Skeeter, that he was just emasculated by his own daughter in front of said witnesses, so at this point it's pretty obvious how petty and spineless he really is, so he's got a ton of work to do to clean up his image.
  • Leitmotif: An instrumental of the Doug Live song "Someone Like Me" plays during Doug and Patti's moments.
  • The Movie
  • Myth Arc: Prior to the film, Doug and Skeeter were occasionally searching for the monster. The movie ends the arc.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Doug and Skeeter dress Herman up as a human female and somehow it fools everyone. Patti even becomes jealous of the new "cute girl" Doug has been hanging around.
  • Production Throwback: Music cues from another Disney / Jumbo Pictures show, 101 Dalmatians: The Series play in a few scenes. When Doug and Skeeter are walking out of the photo shop at the mall, the background music theme from "Mall Pups" plays, and when Mr. Bluff's army are searching for Herman, Lt. Pug's Leitmotif plays.
  • Shrink Ray: When Roger learns that Doug and Skeeter have became friends with the swamp monster, he hires several science kids to build him a 50-foot Killer Robot to defend himself. They build a 6-foot tall robot instead, then whip out a ray gun to shrink Roger down to the appropriate size.
  • Title 1
  • Vanilla Edition: Not only does the DVD have horrible quality, but it lacks any bonus features- including the behind-the-scenes featurette at the end of the tape.

Alternative Title(s):

Dougs First Movie, Dougs1st Movie