In-Depth

Does Disney’s Doug Deserve the Hate That It Gets?

disney's doug cartoon buzz

Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company

Doug originally premiered and aired on Nickelodeon as one of the network’s original Nicktoons, becoming the show that we all hold close to the Nostalgic section of our hearts. After ending in 1994 and leaving the Nick universe, Doug was rebooted and acquired by Disney two years later, becoming Disney’s Doug. The new and “improved” version of the series premiered on ABC as Brand Spanking New! Doug and the series picked up where it left off in 1994. Doug is 12 years old (eventually turns 13 by the end of series) and he and the rest of his classmates start middle school. Along with becoming Disney’s property, Doug had also received some major changes to the show. First off, Doug is no longer voiced by Billy West, but is instead voiced by Tom McHugh. A significant amount of other characters have also been revamped with new clothing and… lifestyles? Roger Klotz, the bully known to live in a trailer park, is now rich. Still a bully nonetheless. Connie, a character who originally had a plus-sized figure, is noticeably thinner. Oh, and how can I forget? Doug’s parents had another child. All of these changes had actually made Doug go nuts in the first episode, but he eventually accepts the fact that change is normal. He can thank big sister Judy for that, who also has a slightly different appearance in the Disney episodes.

The first two seasons of Disney’s Doug made the overall series THE highest-rated cartoon to ever hit the ABC network at the time. Not to mention it was a popular show on ABC’s Saturday morning lineup. Though it may have received killer ratings and some positive reviews on a number of websites, Disney’s Doug has a bad reputation with 90s nostalgia enthusiasts. In fact, a few major media sites stated that the revival series “ruined” the entire Doug franchise as a whole. Billy West, the original voice of Doug Funnie, also admitted that he wasn’t too fond of the new series and couldn’t watch it. It’s kind of like if Nickelodeon’s Doug looked into the future and saw Disney’s Doug happening, and suddenly became infuriated.

disney's doug

Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company

So does this series really deserve all of the negativity that it receives? I guess I’ll be the judge of that today. I think that Nickelodeon’s Doug fans should check out the first episode of the Disney series. Everything was changing in Bluffington and Doug wasn’t having it. Sounds kind of familiar right? When a show is revived or rebooted, and there are obvious changes, it can cause discomfort and even outrage to the viewers. The problem really stems from people wanting things to just stay the same. I have to admit, the first time that I even learned there was a Disney’s Doug, I instantly wanted to hate the series after seeing this infamous side-by-side of the character changes and such. I even wondered if Doug needed more seasons at all. Well, after analyzing a few episodes and putting all of my negative thoughts about change aside, I realized that the series isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

Doug Funnie may not be the exact same character as he was when the Nickelodeon series ended, and that’s okay. Can you honestly say that you were the exact same person you were a few years ago? Sometimes things have to change in order for things to keep going, and I think Disney’s Doug is a perfect example of that. I like the fact that we got to see Doug and the rest of the Bluffington characters grow a little more. What I COULD NOT stand for was the fact that The Beets, the best fictional rock band who’s better than most non-fictional bands, BROKE. UP. Killer Tofu was a true hit. That is probably the only part of Disney’s Doug that disappointed me the most. Other than that, I rest my case when I say that there’s no other real reason to form an angry mob over this series.

Fun Fact: Disney’s Doug was considered “lost” for awhile and was even listed on the Lost Media wiki page. It was finally found on April 23, 2017 and all of the episodes have resurfaced since then.

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