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Movie Review

Based on the top-rated ABC animated television series Doug, Doug's 1st Movie expands on story lines highlighted in the Saturday morning cartoon. Doug helps his best friend, Skeeter Valentine, search for the monster in Lucky Duck Lake. Seeing the monster, they run home scared, not daring to return until the next day to get their bikes. Instead of bicycles, the boys find tire tracks mixed with huge footprints leading to Skeeter's home. That's when the pair discovers the "monster" is a friendly, kind-hearted creature who's trying to escape Bluffco Industries' pollution. When Bluffco president, Bill Bluff, finds out about the monster he tries to cover up the pollution by getting rid of the monster. Doug, a quirky 12-year-old, tries to make his relationship with Patti Mayonnaise more romantic by planning and going to the Valentine's Day dance with her. However, slick upperclassman Guy Graham gets in the way of his plan. As these two subplots intermingle, Doug is confronted with a dilemma: If he saves the monster, he will lose Patti.

Positive Elements: Children relate to Doug because he's a normal, nice kid. And his character lives up to his reputation in his big-screen debut. Doug and Skeeter are loyal friends. Skeeter asks to call his parents from Doug's house when it's getting late. Doug's imaginary superhero alter ego, Quail Man, says, "Violence is only for those who have run out of good ideas." Patti says, "The truth is more important than the dance." And Bluffington Mayor Tippi Dink sums up the theme of the movie when she tells Skeeter and Doug, "You have to do the right thing no matter what people think. Eventually, the truth will come out." The truth does come out and characters who have done wrong have to pay the consequences of their actions.

Spiritual Content: A passing reference from one of Roger Klotz's cronies that Roger (a kid always picking on Doug and Skeeter) must "keep his chi flowing."

Sexual Content: None. Romance, however, is a theme. The seventh-grade Valentine's dance is "all anyone is thinking about." Doug says he shared the happiest moments of his life with Patti. In one of Doug's dreams, he calls Patti his true love and she climbs over a table to kiss him (he wakes up before the kiss). Guy gets ready to kiss Patti in another one of Doug's dreams.

Violent Content: Opening sequences in the film may scare very young viewers, but more because of the music used than the visual depictions of the monster. Later, Doug has a scary dream in which Bill Bluff is trying to "get him." Bill Bluff's men trap the monster with nets and later they shoot a robot with ray guns.

Crude of Profane Language: Roger says words like "loser" and "doofus." A few times, characters start the phrase, "What the . . ." but never finish it.

Drug and Alcohol Content: None.

Other Negative Content: The police force in Bluffington gets jabbed as officers eat doughnuts and drive around in a car with the license plate "DONUT1."

Summary: Fans of the animated series are bound to enjoy Doug's 1st Movie. And parents don't have a lot of objectionable content to worry about. The "good" and "bad" characters are clearly defined and justice prevails in the end. Plus, parents can use the movie to talk about doing the right thing, even when it's not the popular thing. Doug and Skeeter aren't the most popular kids in school, but they follow their convictions and are true to each other. Good lessons. But Doug and Patti's romance may throw up red flags for some families who feel their children aren't ready for the guy/girl thing.

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Crude or Profane Language

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Profanity/Violence

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Credits

Rating

G

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Thomas McHugh as the voice of Doug Funnie and Lincoln; Fred Newman as Skeeter Valentine, Mr. Dink, Porkchop and Ned; Constance Shulman as Patti Mayonnaise; Chris Phillips as Roger Klotz, Boomer and Larry; Guy Hadley as Guy Graham; Doug Preis as Bill Bluff, Phil Funnie, the secret agent and other characters

Director

Maurice Joyce ( )

Distributor

Walt Disney

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On Video

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Reviewer

Jesse Florea

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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