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.
Originally conceived as a Direct-to-Video release, Disney decided to release it theatrically to capitalize on the success of The Rugrats Movie. Because this decision was so last-minute, the film was only barely changed visually to appeal to a theatrical presentation. Critics bashed the movie for, appropriately enough, looking like a hackneyed DTV movie and feeling like just like an extended version of an episode. And while it did recoup its small budget, it still didn't make a lot of moneynote . It ended up selling much better on video. Go figure.
This was also the last traditionally-animated American film to use painted cels before digital ink and paint became industry standard.
This film provides examples of:
- Absentee Actor: Sally, Skunky, and Dirtbike do not appear in this movie. Roger's cat Stinky is also strangely absent.
- 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: While Doug faces some real life problems in the show, the movie has him meet a real monster and go up against a corporation.
- Call-Back: In the first episode of the cartoon, Doug was hunting a Neematoad, a lockness like monster. Then in the movie a real one appears.
- Chekhov's Gun: Early on, Guy mentions that he has to print something a week in advance to make it out on time in the school paper. Later on, Doug sees an announcement saying that the monster at the dance was dead and falls for it... before realising what Guy said early on.
- 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.
- Porkchop plays much less of a prominent role in the movie compared to the series.
- 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.
- Exact Words: Roger Klotz has the twins build Robo-Crusher to deal with the monster of Lake Bluffington that's been revealed that was supposed to be giant (using a diagram that shows himself as the scale of the size). They then build Robo-Crusher, only for it to be shown to be extremely smaller than intended (It was about Roger's height at best). When Roger points out that it's supposed to be much larger, the Twins agree... and then shrink Roger down to the size indicated on the graph, with Roger then commenting that this wasn't funny and demanding to be changed back.
- Flanderization: The movie is pretty exaggerated in comparison with the cartoon series. Doug's universe is almost a copy of the real universe but in the movie there is a Stock Ness Monster and a robot with a Shrink Ray. There is even a dancing party with swat levels of security.
- 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. (Unless he wants to face the financial consequences, which could drive him bankrupt from lawsuits by the Feds.)
- 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 (Which he figures out to his credit), 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: 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. (Though Mayor Dink does warn him of facing trouble from the Feds if he does not clean up his pollution quickly.)
- Leitmotif: An instrumental of the Doug Live! song "Someone Like Me" plays during Doug and Patti's moments.
- The Movie: And the only 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: Yup, it was the first movie, so it got this.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Guy, compared to the series. He wasn't exactly one of Doug's friends, but he never seemed to deliberately do anything to spite Doug. In the movie? Even before the plot about the monster takes centre stage, he's throwing Doug off of the organising council he signed up for just because Patti was on it.
- Tsundere: Patti becomes one in the movie (Type B). She gets jealous when sees Doug with a new girl (who is a monster in disguise) and has a heated discussion with Doug.
- The Unfair Sex: A small example with Patty; she's happy to spend all her time with Guy but the minute Doug spends more time with another "girl" (actually Herman in a bad disguise) than her, she's furious with him. That being said, she never implied she had feelings for Guy, but at the same time, Doug never implied he had feelings for "Hermananoniney" either.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: The movie ends without resolving the romance between Doug and Patti. They ended together or not? It's very likely we never know.
- Vanilla Edition: Not only does the DVD have horrible quality, frequent fade edits and shortened end credits (due to it being a television master), but it lacks any bonus features - including the behind-the-scenes featurette at the end of the tape.