How Disney botched Doug

Originally published at: How Disney botched Doug | Boing Boing

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i used to watch doug with my small children on nick. a cheerful, quirky show that had lots of great characters and good jokes. i guess my kids moved on to rocket power and rocko’s modern life by the time disney took over doug, and judging by this video, i’m glad the nicktoons versions were the only ones i remember.



Jumbo Pictures made me an offer to write for a post-Doug series back in the day. They sent me the contract, I sent them back some questions about it, and I never heard back. Sad.


Nick-era Doug was one of the few cartoons, along with Arthur, that my friends and family members were happy to let their kids watch. That Disney would blow all that goodwill once they acquired it speaks to the company’s highly uneven quality of management.


hey arnold was another favorite. full disclosure – i still watch it sometimes, late nights.


Doug is one of my favorites, and I don’t think Billy West leaving was the main factor for its decline, but rather Billy West leaving coincided with the change in production that Disney implemented, and those factors resulted in a lesser quality show.

Had Disney done nothing other than increase the budget for animation they could have kept reaping those sweet, sweet ad dollars. But no, they had to change things just for the sake of changing them and messed up a classic.


I’ve been watching the new Disney Star Wars shows. Not sure why, I know better, etc., but I feel the same sinking… neutered-ness. Somehow those shows are violent - like shockingly, disturbingly violent - and yet feel totally lifeless and anemic at the same time. Not sure how they accomplish that, but I assume it has something to do with money.


Because unless you actually stop, they won’t either!


Like many of the Nick Toons, and even a few of the Nick live action shows, there was a simple charm to Doug where all the pieces seemed to come together just right to be more than the sum of its parts and create real magic. I think it’s the sorta thing that’s hard to get right twice, especially when done by a different studio.

I’m not usually on the “Disney ruins things!” train (which is certainly true, often enough) but I remember even as a kid that adding the “Brand-Spanking-New” in the rebranding seemed wrong-headed from minute one.


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