Disney's Doug was an American animated television sitcom and a sequel series to the Nickelodeon series, Doug. Doug's 1st Movie, also distributed by Disney, was based on the series.
The show takes place a few months after Nickelodeon's series finale, "Doug Graduates/Doug's Bad Trip", where Doug and his friends graduate from Bluffington Elementary School as sixth graders, and begin their first year at middle school, as seventh graders. Like the original show, it deals with the everyday life of socially awkward yet warmhearted Doug Funnie, his humorous best friend Skeeter Valentine, his smart, athletic, and sweet crush and best friend, Patti Mayonnaise, his friends Beebe Bluff, Chalky Studebaker, and the Sleech Brothers, and tries to stay out of the way of local bully Roger Klotz, as well as his rival for Patti's affections, Guy Graham. The show could be considered season five, six and seven of the original series.
The show premiered on ABC as part of their Saturday morning lineup in the Fall of 1996, along with Mighty Ducks and Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles, a few months after Disney bought the rights to the network. In September of 1997, it joined the One Saturday Morning block along with newcomers Recess and Pepper Ann. The show also ran in syndication on what was left of The Disney Afternoon in 1997 for reruns. The show ended in 1999 with sixty-five episodes, which is the episode limit for most of Disney's TV shows. The show was re-run on ABC until 2001, on Disney Channel from 2001 to 2005, on UPN as part of Disney's One Too from 1999 to 2002, and Toon Disney from 2001 to 2005. The original series continued to be re-run on Nickelodeon until 2003, where it was re-ran on Nicktoons from 2002 to 2005, and is currently being re-run on TeenNick as part of the block, The Splat.
In January 1999, the stage show, Doug Live! opened up in Disney MGM Studios, and was performed five times daily. Around the time, Doug and Patti appeared as meet `n greet characters in the park. Doug Live! closed in May 2001, along with Doug being removed from One Saturday Morning's lineup. Doug and Patti were retired at the park, however they do make very rare occasional appearances. The show was replaced by The American Idol Experience in 2008.
Doug's 1st Movie was released in cinemas in March 1999, however it was originally planned for a direct-to-video release until Disney decided to release it theatrically with the success of their competitor, Nickelodeon's movie, The Rugrats Movie. Despite getting harsh reviews from critics, the movie was still a huge success for Disney in the box office. This was supposed to be the first in a series of direct to video Doug films, but because of harsh reviews, the whole thing was scrapped. It was released on video only in September 1999 (despite the fact that Disney had entered the DVD market at the time). Even though there is a DVD release, it contains no bonus features and a cut version of the credits.
While the Nickelodeon series got a fair amount of merchandise, Disney's Doug was a merchandising bonanza, and had the most merchandise out of the entire One Saturday Morning block, with Recess in second and Pepper Ann. Products ranged from trading cards, toys, lunchboxes, clothes, and more. It spawned a few book series as well: the regular Disney's Doug series, which were chapter book adaptations of various episodes, Doug Chronicles, which were unique-to-chapter book stories, and Doug Mysteries, which were also unique to the book, with mystery plots not seen in the television series. Picture books were also released for younger fans. Comics appeared in Disney Adventures from 1996 to 2002. Toys of the series were given out at Jack-In-The-Box restaurants in 1996, and then later at McDonald's in 1999 to promote the movie's VHS release.
While merchandise came to a halt in 2000, t-shirts of the series have been appearing in Hot Topic stores since late 2009, though they are based on the Nickelodeon series.
Changes from the Original
There were many changes from the original, which has prompted fans of the original series to declare this version as the moment when the show "jumped the shark". Such changes include how most characters have gotten new outfits and some have gotten new voice actors.
- Roger, while still being a bully, has gone from living in a trailer park to being a rich kid and rival to Beebe Bluff and speaks in a more nasally, yet less cackling voice. Additionally, his hair is combed down and the sleeves to his jacked have been removed, turning it into a cutoff vest.
- Skeeter had a growth spurt in his arms. He also now has a somewhat different attire: Though still wearing the same pants and sneakers, Skeeter now wears a long sleeved shirt with a yellow zero and a purple open vest.
- Connie lost significant weight and is taller.
- The Honker Burger, having been sold and turned into Chez Honque, has been replaced as a favorite hangout for Doug and his friends and the other kids of Bluffington by an ice cream parlor opened by Mr. Swirly.
- The Beets, the favorite band of Doug and his friends, have broke up.
- Doug has turned 12 years old, and turned 13 years old by the end of the series. His voice is now much less nasally, his eight hairs are now nine, he seems to have slimmed down, his white shirt is now long sleeved, and his tennis shoes are greyish-blue instead of red.
- Both Doug and Roger get new voice actors, due to Billy West, their previous voice actor, not being affordable to cast due to his career as a voice actor skyrocketing that he became expensive to cast as an actor. Roger's new voice actor was Chris Phillips, who was already doing Boomer Bledsoe for the new series (who was also voiced by West in the earlier series). Doug's new voice actor was Thomas McHugh, who was already doing Lincoln (a more minor character). While fans thought Roger's new voice was okay and close to his first one, many fans disliked Doug's new voice, believing that he did not sound like he did in the Nickelodeon series.
- There is a different theme song (due to Nickelodeon having the original one under their copyright).
- The background music has changed. The Nickelodeon series had more acapella background music, Disney switched it to more synthesized/orchestrated music. Some pieces of Nickelodeon's background music remain, though.
- The kid characters are now attending Beebe Bluff Middle School, having graduated from Bluffington Elementary School at the end of the Nickelodeon series.
- The episodes consist of one 30 minute (plus commercials) story, while the Nickelodeon series had episodes consisting of two 12 minute stories (with the exception of the first episode and the Halloween and Christmas specials).
- Judy's hair is somewhat longer, her purple sweater dress is changed to a purple button down shirt over a white T-shirt with black pants, and she now wears flats instead of boots.
- While Doug was in practically every scene in the Nick series, he doesn't get as much screen time and other characters are featured in sub stories of their own, due to new format.
- Patti got a haircut. Also, her orange skin was darkened, her skirt is changed with pants of the same color, and her tennis shoes are switched to pink loafers.
- Al and Moo Sleech (two of Doug's close friends and former classmates) have skipped every middle school grade and are currently in high school. They still appear frequently, but are no longer featured in school-based episodes.
- Skunky Beaumont, a character often mentioned but never appearing in the Nick series, becomes a major character in the show.
- Fentruck Stimmel, a seldom-seen minor character from the Nickelodeon series, gains more prominence in the Disney series.
- The animation is smoother, despite the show still using hand-painted cels.
- A new character, Guy Graham, replaces Roger as Doug's main nemesis, but unlike the relationship between Doug and Roger, who consider each other somewhat as friends, Doug actually hates Guy, while Guy actually likes Doug and is oblivious of his dislike for him.
- Main article: Doug's 1st Movie