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Doug is an American animated sitcom created by Jim Jinkins and co-produced by his studio, Jumbo Pictures, and the French studio Ellipse Programmé. Doug centers on its title character, Douglas "Doug" Funnie (Billy West, later Tom McHugh), who takes the role of the common man who has a goal in life and a certain amount of bad luck. Many episodes center around his attempts to woo fellow classmate Patti Mayonnaise.

Doug originally aired on Nickelodeon in the United States. It, along with Rugrats and The Ren & Stimpy Show, comprised the original three Nicktoons, premiering simultaneously on August 11, 1991. After the series originally ended in 1994, production moved to Disney and the series aired on ABC as part of the Disney's One Saturday Morning programming block. The Disney version aired from 1996 to 1999 and spawned a feature film. On July 25, 2011, Jinkins' orginal version became syndicated on TeenNick as part of its The '90s Are All That block. It and Clarissa Explains It All were replaced by Hey Arnold! and Rocko's Modern Life in their timeslot beginning on September 6, 2011.[2]

Plot

The series takes place in the fictional town of Bluffington - Doug Funnie and his family have moved from Bloatsburg - and deals with the exploits of the title character, grade-schooler and diarist ("It's not a diary, it's a journal.").[3]

Nickelodeon's Doug (1991–1994)

Doug premiered on Nickelodeon on August 11, 1991 where it continued until December 16, 1994, and was aired in reruns until 2003, being the first Nicktoon. Doug premiered in reruns on The N on April 2002, where it continued until February 12, 2003, and was in reruns again until September 2006. As of 2009, Nickelodeon's Doug airs reruns on MTV Tr3́s affiliates bb KBEH and KMOH-TV (as an E/I program) in the US and on Nicktoonsters in the UK.

In the first episode, Douglas Yancey Funnie and his family (Phil, Theda and sister Judy) arrive in a new town called Bluffington after moving away from their former residence in Bloatsburg. There, he meets Skeeter, Patti, Roger and Beebe, and his new life in a new town begins.

John Kricfalusi, the creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show, stated on a DVD commentary for his show that among the three original Nicktoons (Rugrats being the other one), Nickelodeon was banking on Doug to be its major hit.[4] This, however, was not the case; Rugrats would go on to be the biggest hit of the three original Nicktoons, going on to have the longest run of any Nicktoon to date and still airing on the channel as of 2011, where as Doug (in its Nickelodeon incarnation) had the shortest run of the three.

During the course of the show's run, it won two Kids' Choice Awards (one in 1992 and one in 1995).

Reruns of Nickelodeon's Doug began airing on TeenNick on July 25, 2011 as part of a newly-created block airing Nickelodeon's programming from the 1990s called The '90s Are All That. On August 24, 2011, TeenNick announced it will be replacing the show with Rocko's Modern Life on September 5.[5]

Disney's Doug (1996–1999)

In 1996, the series was picked up by The Walt Disney Company after Jinkins sold off his animation studio Jumbo Pictures to the aforementioned corporation, and the rights to the mentioned show with it. Disney ordered new episodes of Doug to be produced (renamed Brand Spanking New! Doug, and then later Disney's Doug) which was in production from 1996–1999.[6]

Several differences between the Nickelodeon and Disney shows exist. The musical style switched from a cappella to an orchestrated style (meaning that a new theme song was made), though cues from the a cappella style were taken. Doug was also voiced by McHugh now and Roger by Phillips (who was already the voice of Boomer), due to West refusing to return because of payment conflicts with Disney. Many changes were addressed in Doug's Last Birthday, the first episode of the Disney series.

  • The episode takes place a year after the Nickelodeon series, making everyone a year older. As such, Doug is now twelve years old instead of eleven, though he was eleven throughout most of the episode.
    • Patti, whose skin tone was now darkened and was starting to wear earrings, decides to change her wardrobe, and also gets a new hairdo. She is also being schooled at home during mornings.
      • Judy's hair is no longer shaved on the sides.
        • Skeeter gets a new shirt that is identical to his older one, except with a zero instead of a thunderbolt and a slightly brighter color. He also gets new shorts that look similar to his old ones and is normally shown with a purple vest.
          • Connie had lost a considerable amount of weight.
            • The Beets (A loose parody of the Beatles) had broken up.
              • Honker Burger (A parody of the real-life In-N-Out Burger) had gone bankrupt, leaving Mr. Swirly (A likely loose parody of Friendly's) becoming the new hangout for most of the characters.
                • Beebe gets her bangs cut.
                  • Roger's mother suddenly becomes rich, and she and Roger had moved out of their trailer and into a mansion. As such, they get new wardrobes and hairstyles.
                    • Doug is the last character in the episode to get changes, growing an extra hair (Now having nine instead of eight) and getting a new shirt and pair of shorts, both of which are identical to his older ones but longer. Skeeter also mentions that he sounds different, a direct reference to McHugh now voicing Doug instead of West, though McHugh was still perfecting his voice for Doug during the episode.

The next episode, Doug's New School, introduced Beebe Bluff Middle School, with Emily Kristal (Voiced by Fran Brill) becoming Doug's new teacher, Bone transferring to the school with the same job that he had at Bluffington Elementary, and former mayor Bob White (in the Nickeloden episode Doug Runs, Tippi Dink defeated him in election, becoming mayor for the rest of the series.) becoming the principal. A later Christmas episode called Doug's Secret Christmas introduced a baby sister named Cleopartra "Dirtbike" Finnie (Voiced by Fred Newman). In addition to these changes, Skunky Beaumont also became a prominent character in the Disney series, having been mentioned but never seen or heard in the Nickelodeon series.

On March 15, 1999, Disney premiered a new musical stage show, "Doug Live!" at Disney's Hollywood Studios (at the time known as Disney-MGM Studios) at the Walt Disney World Resort.[7] The show ran until May 12, 2001. Additionally, a theatrical feature-length film, Doug's 1st Movie was released on March 26, 1999, before production on the television show ceased. During this time, meet-and-greet costumed versions of Doug and Patti were seen in Disney World. The characters have been retired, but sometimes make appearances (usually if another character cannot make it to their meet-and-greet). Following the stage show, a video game version for Game Boy Color was released in 2000, titled Doug's Big Game.

During the course of the show, Doug was nominated for at least two Daytime Emmy Awards.[8][9]

Disney aired Doug as part of ABC's Saturday Morning lineup in 1996 (following Disney's purchasing of the network), and the show became part of Disney's One Saturday Morning block in 1997. It proved to be a very popular show, spanning a number of different types of merchandise, and was for a time the most popular show on the block, with the title quickly taken by Recess.

In the Disney version, every episode was a full-length episode of about 22 minutes, split into three segments. In the Nick version, most episodes were composed of two 11-minute segments. The only exceptions are the pilot, Christmas, and Halloween episodes, which were full-length episodes split into two segments.

Creation

Doug was created by former Nickelodeon artist Jim Jinkins in September 1990, and produced through Jinkins' production company, Jumbo Pictures, Inc. Originating with an unpublished book, Doug's Got a New Pair of Shoes, by artist and series creator Jim Jinkins and writer Joe Aaron, the 1991 animated series Doug emerged on the Nickelodeon TV. The creator of the show, Jim Jinkins, named the main character Doug after his godson, Doug Eckhardt, currently an art history major at the University of Pennsylvania. The idea for "Quailman", an imaginary superhero whom Doug often pretends to be in the cartoon, was inspired by a similar superhero invented by Jinkins when he was younger.

Characters

                    • Douglas Yancey "Doug" Funnie (Voiced by Billy West in the Nickelodeon series and by Tom McHugh in the Disney series): The title character. Doug is a shy, extremely insecure, somewhat clumsy, 11 (12½ in the Disney version) year old boy with a big heart, a wild imagination, a talent for writing, and a love for music. Doug is an avid banjo player, and can often be found writing songs underneath trees about his secret affection for Patti Mayonnaise. At some point in every episode, Doug is seen writing (and dictating via voice-over) his thoughts in his personal journal, with "Dear Journal, It's me. Doug." In some episodes, his naïveté is expressed. Doug also imagines himself as several alter egos: a superhero named Quailman (parody of Superman), secret agent Smash Adams (parody of James Bond), explorer Race Canyon (parody of Indiana Jones), crime-stopper The Chameleon, cowboy Durango Doug (parody of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood cowboys), outlaw Jack Bandit (parody of Zorro), and Wafflestomper (seemingly a parody of Steven Seagal). He is left-handed.
                    • Roger M. Klotz (Voiced by Billy West in the Nickelodeon series and by Chris Phillips in the Disney series): Doug's green-skinned rival, and first-known bully of the series, he once lived in a trailer park with his divorced mother but Disney had Roger's family become suddenly wealthy, and living in a mansion. Roger's goal is to make Doug's life miserable, especially around Patti Mayonnaise. Doug uses Roger as a villain in most of his Quailman comics, including "Klotzilla" and "Dr. Klotzenstein". Roger has a crush on Doug's sister Judy, and owns a cat named Stinky that rivals Porkchop. Roger plays lead electric guitar for his band and is also an accomplished ballet dancer, much to Doug's surprise. In the Disney episodes, while still technically a bully, he is also portrayed as being closer to Doug than in the Nickelodeon episodes, sometimes acting more as a friend. It is also shown that while Doug is a fairly creative artist, his drawing skill and painting ability pales in comparison to Roger's who was able to draw a highly detailed picture of a sunset, without looking at the paper and using only blue paint. His voice is reminiscent of Dave Mustaine, lead singer of the thrash metal group Megadeth.[citation needed]
                    • Patricia "Patti" Mayonnaise (Voiced by Constance Shulman): A brown-skinned blonde athlete, with a southern accent who Doug has a crush on. Her physical talents include: basketball, baseball, ballet, bowling, weightlifting, and the fictional Beetball. She notes that for all her talents she is unable to cook. She seems to like Doug to a certain degree throughout the series, but it is unclear whether she fully reciprocates his feelings (though in one episode she does reveal that, of all the friends she has, she considers Doug the one she likes spending time with most). Her father, Chad, uses a wheelchair to get around, and her mother is deceased, as we learn in one episode after Doug causes her old house to cave in by throwing rocks at it. In some episodes of Disney's Doug, she has a super heroic persona named "Supersport".
                    • Porkchop (Voiced by Fred Newman): Doug's semi-anthropomorphic dog who, while not able to talk, helps Doug in certain situations. He lives in an igloo in the Funnie family's backyard and a teepee in the Disney series. Porkchop makes typical dog sounds. His personality is similar to that of Snoopy.
                    • Mosquito "Skeeter" Valentine (Voiced by Fred Newman): Doug's lanky, electric-blue-skinned best friend. He is famous in both versions of the series for the "honk honk" sound he frequently makes. Skeeter comes from a family who has lived in Bluffington for quite some time. He has a mischievous ten year old brother, Dale, who gives Doug a hard time when Doug babysits him in one episode. Skeeter initially helps Doug order food from the popular Bluffington restaurant "Honker Burger" (which is later demolished in the Disney version) in the series premiere (resulting in their friendship), and later helps Doug learn how to dance. He has a superhero alter-ego, whom he calls "The Silver Skeeter", based on The Silver Surfer from Marvel, and is the equal of Quailman, Doug's superhero alter-ego. It is revealed that Skeeter is highly intelligent (much to Doug's discomfort), later gaining the respect of geeky twin brothers Al and Moo. In the Disney version, the three become obsessed with catching the Lucky Duck Lake monster.
                    • Judith "Judy" Anastasia Funnie (Voiced by Becca Lish): Doug's tan-skinned older sister, and the oddball of the family, she is obsessed with the works of William Shakespeare, and is a wanna-be actress and artist who attends a special art school (Moody School) for gifted individuals. She is a rather intelligent person, but at times is embarrassed by the banality of her family. She and Doug have normal bouts of sibling rivalry, but usually team together when faced with a problem. Her usual attire consists of her signature red hair, purple beret, an over-sized purple sweater with no sleeves, black shirt and pants, purple boots and on occasion sandals, and black sunglasses. She is a stereotypical beatnik.
                    • Buddy "Bud" Dink (Voiced by Fred Newman): A slightly eccentric, purple-skinned, retired neighbor of Doug Funnie's. Doug frequently goes to Mr. Dink for advice (somewhat used as a reference to when Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor goes to Wilson for advice on the live-action sitcom Home Improvement), particularly in the Nickelodeon episodes, but the advice Dink gives usually ends up making the situation worse for instance, in an episode where Doug fears he is going through premature male pattern baldness, Mr. Dink "assures" Doug that his own full head of hair was a toupée and that he had been bald since age 13. He is often seen with various outrageous gadgets, claiming them to be "very expensive," which is one of his signature phrases. Mr. Dink's wife also appears frequently in the series as a sarcastic but otherwise friendly counterpart to her husband's goofiness; Mrs. Dink eventually becomes mayor of Bluffington in the Disney version, defeating stereotypical politician Bob White.
                    • Lamar Bone (Voiced by Doug Preis): Assistant/vice-principal Lamar Bone is the stereotypical "mean principal" of Bluffington Elementary School during the Nick-era episodes, then transferred over to Beebe Bluff Middle School for the same job in the Disney-era episodes. Mr. Bone is generally uptight and serious about his job. In his personal life, he enjoys yodeling and clog dancing which have earned him many accolades and trophies -- some of which he kept at Bluffington Elementary. He, like Roger, also has a number of villain alter-egos in Doug's Quailman comics, such as "The Rulemeister" or "Robo-Bone". Mr. Bone's speech mirrors that of Don Knotts character "Barney Fife" from The Andy Griffith Show.

Episodes

Main article: List of Doug episodesNickelodeon's Doug (52 episodes; 4 seasons) usually featured two 11-minute stories with a commercial break in between with rare half hour episodes. Disney's Doug (65 episodes; 3 seasons) had a single story spanning the length of each episode. Disney also produced a feature film called Doug's 1st Movie.

DVD and digital releases

In 2008, Nickelodeon partnered with Amazon.com to allow new and old programming to be made available on DVD through CreateSpace. As part of the deal, Amazon.com is responsible for producing the discs (on one time burnable media) on-demand as well as cover and disc art.[10] Seasons 3 and 4 of Nickelodeon's Doug were released on DVD on December 8, 2009, and December 22, 2009, respectively. Disney's Doug is not yet available on Disney DVD, which may be due to the poor selling of Disney's `80s and `90s cartoons on DVD.

Season 4 was supposed to be released as a complete season, like its previous editions, but Nickelodeon was unable to locate two episodes from the final Nickelodeon season of the show, and opted to rename the DVD release "Doug: The Best of Season 4". The two missing episodes of Season 4 are available at iTunes Store .[11]

Nickelodeon episodes are available from video on demand services such as iTunes Store (all seasons) and Zune Marketplace (all seasons).

Nick DVD name Release date Discs Episodes
Season 1 (1991) August 29, 2008 3 13
Season 2 (1992) August 29, 2008 3 13
Season 3 (1993) December 8, 2009 3 13
The Best of Season 4 (1993–94) December 22, 2009 3 12

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