The Magic Roundabout
was an English dub for a French stop-motion show, Le Manège Enchanté
. When it was translated into English by Eric Thompson (father of actress Emma Thompson), rather than voice act the characters, he chose to narrate the whole thing himself. He willfully ignored the translations of the original scripts and dubbed it 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), was later released in the US, with all but two of the original British voices redubbed, as Doogal
[sic]- which now occupies a spot on IMDB's bottom 100.
This Show Features Examples of:
- An Ice Person: Zeebad, from the 2005 movie
- Catchphrase - "'Time for bed,' said Zebedee."
- Cats Are Mean
- Deadpan Snarker - Dougal (his English voice is based on Tony Hancock)
- Erudite Stoner - Dylan, although obviously he was never actually said to be stoned. He was just tired a lot. Really.
- The 2005 movie got a lot more blatant, including Brian chiding him that "This is no time to experiment with exotic substances!"
- Funny Animal - Mainly Dougal but there are several others.
- Gag Dub in the English version, launching it to popularity, and
- Redubbing in the American version, plummeting it back into obscurity.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar
- Grumpy Bear - Dougal
- Keep Circulating the Tapes: The last release of the UK version was a "best of" on VHS in 1993.
- Long Runner: In France it started showing in 1964. As of 2012 it's still going.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: As mentioned above, Dougal's voice was based on Tony Hancock. And Dylan's voice is, well...
- The Movie, two in fact
- Or three, if you count "Doogal" as a separate movie.
- National Stereotypes: In Le Manège Enchanté Dougal had a heavy English accent and Dylan has a Spanish accent. In the original French show Dylan simply has mañana attitude.
- Never Trust a Trailer: The American redub was presented to be much better than it actually turned out to be.
- To be fair, that's sort of what trailers are supposed to do isn't it?
- Shout Out - Dougal is named after Charles de Gaulle, the famous French military leader and politician - or at least that's what the French creators thought when they saw the English version - and Dylan, the stoner/folk musician rabbit, after Bob Dylan.
- Talking Animal