Magic Roundabout?

If they ever plan to make a movie from a book/cartoon/comic/video game that you love you need to think carefully before going to see it. If that, let’s say, cartoon was made 40 years ago and you have ever so fond memories from your childhood about it, you need to think very, very carefully. If the original was made in stop-frame animation by french people then dubbed into English with all-new, surrealist plots and dry, witty dialogue and the remake was going to use the latest computer-generated, 3D animation with a hollywood screenplay and american voice actors … well, you shouldn’t even risk finding out that the cynical, world-weary, middle aged, main character was to be played by one of those cheery, hopeful, annoying child actors that only grow in California. But Dylan wanted to see it so we got it on pay-per-view.

It wasn’t bad. Once I got used to the fact that Dougal had shed his nihilistic pessimism and become Doogal the ever-smiling puppy, I was able to enjoy the show even though Zebedee never once said “Boing!” and Jon Stewart made a very sorry villian.

It was a shame that Florence had only a cameo role – I spent the first 7 years of school being called Florence and Florence was Best Supporting Actress in the original, the perfect optimistic foil to Dougal’s misery – and disappointing that Dylan was a pale imitation of a hippy – being called “a bit of Dylan” was the worst insult that you could hurl at a fellow seven-year-old and was the reason that no boy children in England were named Dylan between 1970 and 1995. Was Nigel Planer not available?

Still, I enjoyed it heartily. The children laughed and laughed (I did too) and we appreciated the Monty Python references having just watched The Holy Grail. Chevy Chase as the train was great and Ian McLellan was the perfect Zebedee. But…

…by what logic did they think it OK to end a remake of The Magic Roundabout and not have Zebedee say “Time for bed” ??? It’s criminal too that they could find a way to squeeze in the original theme music.

TRIVIA

I told Dylan it was called ‘The Magic Roundabout’ in England and he asked why they kept calling it a ‘carousel’. I told him it was because ‘carousel’ is what americans call it. “No, it’s not”, he corrected me. “We call it a merry-go-round”. You learn something every day.

STOP PRESS

I just noticed from Wikipedia that the movie was made in England and then dubbed into American for over-here. Now I am very sad 🙁

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Ragged Clown

Based in San Jose, California

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