Doug is an American animated sitcom that was created by Jim Jinkins and produced by Jumbo Pictures for the Nickelodeon network, as the first of their successful line of Nicktoons. Later on, the series was then produced for Disney for airing on ABC's One Saturday Morning block.
The series takes place in the fictitious town of Bluffington (where Doug Funnie and his family have moved from Bloatsburg) and deals with the life of the title character, grade-schooler and diarist Doug Funnie.
Nickelodeon's Doug (1991-1994)
Doug premiered on Nickelodeon on August 11, 1991, where it continued until December 16, 1994, and in reruns until 2002, being the first Nicktoon. As of 2009, Nickelodeon's Doug airs reruns on MTV Tr3́s affiliates KBEH and KMOH-TV (as a E/I program) in the USA and on Nicktoonsters in the UK.
In the pilot 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 that among the three original Nicktoons (Rugrats being the other one), that Nickelodeon was banking on Doug to be its major hit. Although Doug would be popular during its Nick run, the longevity and popularity of Rugrats (which was still airing new episodes five years after the Disney version of Doug ended) as well as the cultural impact of Ren & Stimpy (which, along with The Simpsons and Beavis and Butt-head, helped spur the popularity of adult animation seen today), it can be argued that Doug lost the standards set by the three original Nicktoons in the long-run.
Disney's Doug (1996-1999)
In 1996. 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.
Several differences between the original and Disney versions exist. The Disney episodes featured a new theme song and added a younger sister, named Cleopatra Dirtbike Funnie, into the Funnie family. Perhaps to account the time, Doug's age was changed to 12½ years old. Several other minor character changes were added, including a new haircut and a darkened skin tone for Patti Mayonnaise, and Connie Benge changed from a fat to a thin character. Less noticeable than Patti's new hairdo was the change in Doug's haircut, due to trademark considerations. The original Doug has eight hair; Disney's Doug has nine. Other changes including Roger Klotz becoming rich, having lived poorly in a trailer park previously, the closing of the Honker Burger (a parody of the real-life In-N-Out Burger, though this would, however, be replaced by Swirly's), Mrs. Dink becoming the mayor, and the Beets (a loose parody of The Beatles) breaking up. Skeeter's clothing changed, too - the lightning bolt on his shirt became a zero, and the colors of his clothes changed. Plus the often mentioned but never seen Skunky Beaumont becomes a prominent character.
On March 15, 1999, Disney premiered a new musical show stage, "Doug Live!" at Disney's Hollywood Studios (at the time known as Disney-MGM Studios) at the Walt Disney World Resort. 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 the course of the show, Doug was nominated for at least two Daytime Emmy Awards.
In the Disney version, every episode was a full-length episode of about 22 minutes, split into 3 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.
Billy West, the original voice actor of Doug from the Nickelodeon version, has stated that he did not like the Disney version, and that he "couldn't watch" the show.
Created by former Nickelodeon artist Jim Jinkins in September 1990, and produced through Jinkin's production company, Jumbo Pictures, Inc. Originating with an unpublished book Doug 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 which the main character Doug often pretends to be in the cartoon, was inspired by a similiar superhero invented by the creator of the show, Jim Jinkins, when he was younger.
Main article: List of characters in Doug
Doug also had several fictitious and alter-egos in the series (ex: Quailman and Jack Bandit). They were characters of his imagination, placed in exxaggerated and outlandish imaginary versions of situations the real Doug was currently dealing with.
Main article: List of Doug episodes
Nickelodeon's Doug (52 episodes; 4 seasons) featured two 11-minute stories with a commercial break in between. 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.
The original version aired on Nickelodeon from 1991-1994 and re-runs from 1994 - 2003. Re-runs of the original version also aired on Noggin from 1999-2002, on Nicktoons Network from 2002-2005 and on MTV Tr3́s affiliates KBEH and KMOH-TV (as an E/I program) from September 2007-present. These seasons were produced between 1991 and 1994. In 1996 Disney produced new episodes. The Disney version aired Saturday mornings on ABC from 1996-1997. In September 1997, ABC started a new Saturday morning cartoon block called Disney's One Saturday Morning. Doug aired on this from 1997-1999, and re-runs from 1999-2001. Re-runs of the Disney version of the show also aired on The Disney Afternoon from 1998-1999, on UPN's Disney One Too block from 1999-2000, Disney Channel from 2001-2002 and Toon Disney from 2001 - 2004. On December 8, 2008, Nicktoons Network broadcast the Christmas special as part of a holiday themed day for the network, along with the Christmas episodes for Rugrats and Ren & Stimpy.
In popular culture
The melody for the "Doug" theme song was incorporated into the Suburban Legends song "Da Bomb", and is used by the band Muke in their song "Dreamsickle".
The alternative rock group Black Tie Bombers wrote a song entitled "Meet Me At The Honker Burger (Bangin' on a Trash Can)", which is a reference to both the Honker Burger restaurant from the show and the song "Banging On A Trash Can" that was performed by Doug in a dream sequence. American rapper, Asher Roth, named Doug Funnie as his favourite cartoon character and a "cool guy" on BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge.
The punk rock group Sexy Heroes wrote a song titled "Bluffington Diaries", with the content of the song chroniclingevents in the show. Many events, people, and places have been referred to.
DVD and digital releases
|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||13|
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. 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.
Season 4 was suppose 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."
Nickelodeon episodes are available from video on demand services such as iTunes Store (Seasons 1, 2, and 3) and Zune Marketplace (Season 1 only).
Doug at the Big Cartoon DataBase
Doug at the Internet Movie Database
Doug at TV.com
Disney's Doug at the Internet Movie Database