Continuing in the bad tradition of stretching animated television shows
into full-length movies, DOUG'S 1ST MOVIE is the latest incarnation.
With the vast number of mediocre kids' television series still left to
be "adapted" for the big screen, the mind boggles at what our kids will
probably be offered at the theaters in the next few years. Although
there are marvelous films like A BUG'S LIFE and THE PRINCE OF EGYPT,
most of what the studios send to the theaters these days is the
cinematic equivalent of elevator music -- terminally bland but with just
enough familiar parts to keep you from falling asleep.
In DOUG'S 1ST MOVIE the "action" at Doug's school surrounds the planning
for the big Valentine's dance. The wimpy Doug, voiced by Thomas McHugh,
has signed up to help coordinate the dance until the BMOC, Guy, takes it
Although Doug's real life has its limitations, he has a vivid dream
life. "He imagines himself as a superhero big enough to wear his
underwear over his pants," explains the deep-throated narrator with a
documentarian's seriousness. What that quote means, I have no idea, but
we do see him dressed as such.
The dance turns out to be merely a subplot. The main story concerns a
friendly monster, affectionately named Herman Melville, that Doug's
friend Skeeter discovers. Herman, looking a like stuffed, powder blue
version of Barney, is a creature more likely to hug you to death than
scare you. Among Herman's bad habits is drinking out of toilets.
There are a few, a very few, bits of nice humor in the story. One
inventor shows them his virtual reality system, which he says is just
like the real world only more expensive. Another has the superhero
version of Doug make a big monster regurgitate by showing him a "mushy
teen" television series. (Showing him this movie might provoke a
The colorful animation has little detail in the drawings, making it look
like something that was quick and easy to slap together, but the
credits, which run almost as long as the movie itself, suggest
With a thin story as flat as the animation, one can only hope that
DOUG'S 1ST MOVIE will be his last.
DOUG'S 1ST MOVIE runs 1:15. It is rated G and has nothing objectionable
for any age.
My son Jeffrey, almost 10, said he gave the movie *** because he likes
the television series. He liked the way the movie made him wonder what
was going to happen next. His buddy Nickolas, almost 10, said he hadn't
seen the show and didn't care much for the movie or Doug. He gave it **.
Copyright © 1999 Steve Rhodes