Western Animation / The Magic Roundabout

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The Magic Roundabout is an English dub for a French stop-motion show, Le Manège Enchanté. When it was translated into English by Eric Thompson (father of actresses Emma and Sophie), rather than voice act the characters, he chose to narrate the whole thing himself. Because the BBC wasn't provided with any of the scripts and didn't feel like spending extra money acquiring and translating them, Thompson willfully ignored the original writing and dubbed the show based purely on the animation, including many gags that appealed to parents. It subsequently became a Cult Classic in the United Kingdom and was adapted into two feature films. Many viewers of the French show, unaware of the redub, were baffled by the show's English popularity.

In the 1980s, after Thompson's death, Channel 4 acquired some episodes that had not been translated and hired Nigel Planer to adapt them in a pastiche of Thompson's style.

Dougal and the Blue Cat (1972), the first movie, was itself a cult classic. It contained a satirical parody of racism (Blue is beautiful! Blue is best! I'm blue! I'm beautiful! I'm best!) as well as the first (and only?) songs to appear in a Magic Roundabout setting. The other film, a CGI version titled simply The Magic Roundabout (2005), had a much more epic plot and was later released in the US (with all but two of the original British voices re-dubbed) as Doogal [sic]. Despite its promise, the American release failed to capture the spirit of the original series and fell into obscurity.


This English localisation provides examples of:


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