Doogal is not, as you might surmise, some bizarre Scottish delicacy, but an animated movie designed with very young children in mind. And very young children should be very angry about that. Where is it written that 4-year-olds don’t deserve a good story, decent characters, and a modicum of coherence?
To wit, Doogal’s ”rich” mythology: The title character, a mischievous, candy-craving canine (voiced by Daniel Tay), lives in a sun-dappled village populated by a grab bag of amalgamated kiddie-corn types — jive-talking cow (Whoopi Goldberg), nerdy snail (William H. Macy), genial burnout bunny (Jimmy Fallon) — and ruled by a benevolent magician (Ian McKellen) with a metal spring for legs and sunshine in his mustache. (Not a misprint.) Doogal’s antics inadvertently release the magician’s evil opposite, an equally spring-loaded sorcerer with ice in his ‘stache (Jon Stewart, who on a recent Daily Show couldn’t even describe Doogal without lapsing into a fit of self-loathing laughter). He wants to freeze the world and our sunshiny pals must stop him! Judi Dench narrates the ensuing ”heartwarming” fart-athon with gravitas befitting a Bible story.
Weaning toddlers on this kind of lazy garbage — where retired pop-culture references are passed off as ”in-jokes” for parents, where flatulence gags verge on the compulsive, where the CG lips don’t even match the freaking words — can only produce a generation more addled than the last, if that’s possible.