Doug is the very first Nicktoon, an animated sitcom created by Jim Jinkins and co-produced by his studio, Jumbo Pictures, and the French studio Ellipse Programmé in association with Canal+ and FR 3. The show centers on its title character, Douglas "Doug" Funnie (voiced by Billy West), who takes the role of the common child. The series lampoons several topics, including puppy love, bullying, and rumors.
After the series originally ended in 1994, production moved to Disney after they acquired Jumbo Pictures, and the series, now titled Disney’s Doug, continued for three more seasons on ABC as part of the Disney's One Saturday Morning programming block from 1996 to 1999, even spawning a feature film. However, the Disney series is not covered on this wiki.
The series takes place in the fictitious town of Bluffington and deals with the life and imagination of Doug, his dog Porkchop, and good friends Skeeter Valentine and Patti Mayonnaise. Doug has recently moved to Bluffington from Bloatsburg. Most episodes start with Doug writing in his journal about recent events in his life, with the main action of the episode being a flashback of the events as Doug narrates them. Doug faces all sorts of problems, such as catching a nematoad, doing a biography on 2 eccentric, brainiac twins, having his sister host the Founder's Day parade, and running for class treasurer. In addition, all the normal responsibilities a teen has at this stage in their life (relationships, school, earning money, etc.)
Doug's older sister, Judy, is a constant source of conflict. She is a dramatic actor who always wears a purple beret and sunglasses, even in the house. Doug is the supposed bane of her existence, as his childlike interests annoy her very much.
A recurring theme in the series is Doug's alternate comic book personality, Quailman. He has a belt worn around his head, and clean briefs over his pants, but is otherwise identical to Doug. Skeeter has an analogous character named the Silver Skeeter (a parody of Marvel Comics' Silver Surfer) who appears in the episode "Doug's Comic Collaboration".
Doug's imagination as he reacts to various situations in his life helps to provide premises for the stories. One episode dealing with a visit to his dentist, for example, contains homages to Goldfinger and Marathon Man.
Another theme in the series regarded Doug's feelings for Patti, with whom he had fallen in love upon first setting eyes on her. Some episodes focused on this, and involved either Doug attempting to get closer to Patti, or his frantic attempts to stop her discovering his feelings . The story ends on an optimistic hope for the two when Patti asks Doug out on a date.
Notable in the series' character design is the frequent use of unusual names and skin colors. Doug is of standard Caucasian tone, whereas his mother is purple, Skeeter is blue, Patti is tan with blonde hair, and Roger is green.
- → Main article: List of Doug characters
Creator Jim Jinkins based the series on his hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Jinkins first sketched the character of Doug while doodling without thought, not aiming to create a character based on himself. In the 1980s, he began working on an autobiographical character named "Brian", which he later changed to "Doug", as it was a very general, common name. He began to view the character as his "alter-ego," drawing him in variously cynical and silly scenarios in his sketchbook. In 1984, Jinkins' career took a turn for the worse, as well as his personal life: he had a rough breakup and suffered injuries in a biking accident. During this time, he gained a new outlook on life.
Desiring to "create a place where there was no overdue rent and no delinquent phone bills," Jinkins began doodling and formed the basis for Bluffington. The character's early designs were solidified alongside friend David Campbell at a small Mexican restaurant in New York. He later credited the character's odd coloring choices from being in a "margarita stupor." Campbell suggested he make Doug into a children's book, titled Doug Got a New Pair of Shoes, which was rejected by all of the city's publishing houses. Simon & Schuster was interested, but management changed before it purchased the pitch. The character made his animated debut in a 1988 Florida Grapefruit Growers commercial, and was also used for a 1989 promotional bumper for the USA Network.
Meanwhile, Nickelodeon, aiming to expand its content and find creative auteurs, began a search for animators to develop their first original animated series. This was very unusual for the time period, which often consisted of pre-licensed characters, such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Where's Waldo? Jinkins had actually worked at the network when it was named Pinwheel. Jinkins set up a meeting with executive Vanessa Coffey to show her the book prototype. Coffey ran out of the room ("which is, you know, disturbing," Jinkins would recall), but only to inform her boss that "This [Jinkins] guy is the real deal, and we're taking him to pilot." Employing voice artists and writers from New York, Jinkins created a pilot for Doug, titled "Doug Can't Dance". The long contract development took nearly a year to complete. Jinkins made sure that his contract allowed him to take the series to another network if Nickelodeon did not complete the show's order.
In another unusual move, Nickelodeon allowed their purchased pilots to be animated at independent studios. Jinkins founded Jumbo Pictures to produce Doug. He would later recall the oddity of the deal, remarking, "that was a moment in time where we were able to be an independent production company and deliver those shows." Coffey was the main executive in charge of the series' production, and Jinkins would later give her credit in bringing the show to air.
Writing and design
Jinkins characterized the series as not entirely autobiographical, but emotionally accurate to his childhood experiences. The show was designed and based off his experiences growing up in Virginia, designing it as such to give the viewers "a roller coaster of emotions." Each character was based on people from Jinkins' life, with some exaggerations. Prior to the show's premiere, Jinkins sent messages to each subject of inspiration, notifying them of their inclusion. Jinkins' religious upbringing also made its way into the series, albeit without direct reference. For example, if an episode is set on Sunday, Doug's family is dressed in their church clothes. Jinkins felt it was important to not insert overly religious themes into the series, but he viewed it essential that each episode contain a moral. The series was also inspired by Peanuts.
The show's design was labor-intensive, intended to convey a certain logic to the show's universe. In the show's pitch bible, which Jinkins described as "huge," contain floor plans for each main character's homes, as well as maps of each street. In addition, Jinkins and the series' developers paid particular attention to more hidden elements within the series, such as the founding fathers of Bluffington. In writing the series, the production schedule was built around spending several weeks writing the series' scripts. Jinkins asked each writer to place a central theme at the top of each script — what issue Doug is dealing with, and what he learns. Jinkins often told staff that he wanted the show to remain relevant "in 30 years," aiming for a timeless effect. While developing the series, Jinkins wanted to change its name from Doug to The Funnies, but the network encouraged him to stick with the original name. There was a "cross-pollination" among the network's writing staff. This involved story editors being assigned to the show, among them Mitchell Kriegman of Clarissa Explains It All and Will McRobb of The Adventures of Pete & Pete. "There was definitely camaraderie and a quirkiness about who they were hiring," Jinkins later said. "Sometimes it didn't work quite so well, but working with McRobb was awesome!"
In translating the show to animation, the characters' designs were solidified. "Jim Jinkins is an illustrator and not an animator, so his initial drawings were a little bit more of a wiggly line," said Yvette Kaplan. The designs were inspired by Jinkins' period working for R. O. Blechman at the Ink Tank, incorporating Blechman's nervous line quality.
Jinkins was also very involved in the show's music. One of the show'smost notable elements is its unique soundtrack, which consist of various mouth sounds by voice actor Fred Newman. "Fred showed me how you could take out a guitar and use a tuna can filled with water that you'd thump with your finger," said Jinkins. In the series' Doug's favorite rock group is the Beets, a play on the Beatles. The band's members also visually resemble Ringo Starr of the Beatles and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, and their penchant for endless reunion tours owes to the Who. Jinkins viewed the series' music as an accent to the storytelling.
Creating the music for the series was a deliberate attempt to deviate from the standard for animated cartoons, which traditionally followed the works of Carl Stalling. The most complicated piece of music created for the series was for the opening sequence, which was recorded preceding animation, rather than the typical method of composing it afterward. Newman's scat singing plays over transitions in the series. The show also incorporated homemade sound effects.
In the closing credits for the first season, two different pieces of music would play: the first piece would be taken from the second story in the episode, and during the last third, Porkchop would don headphones and listen to music from the first story, immediately drowning out the original background music and angering Doug. Subsequent seasons, however, use a single piece of music for their closing credits (despite using the same animation).
- → Main article: Doug episode list
|Season premiere||Season finale|
|1||13||August 11, 1991||December 8, 1991|
|2||13||September 13, 1992||December 6, 1992|
|3||13||March 21, 1993||July 11, 1993|
|4||13||September 23, 1993||January 2, 1994|
Home video releases
- → Main article: Doug videography
Sony Wonder released two Doug VHS tapes in August 1993, titled How Did I Get Into This Mess? and Patti, You're the Mayonnaise for Me. A third VHS, titled Cool in School, followed in July 1994. Each of these tapes included three regular episodes each, with two music videos interspersed between the segments. A single-episode VHS of the show's Christmas episode, "Doug's Christmas Story", was released in August 1994, and the episodes "Doug's Worst Nightmare" and "Doug's Halloween Adventure", also appeared on the Nickelodeon Mushfest and Nickelodeon Frightfest VHS tapes, respectively. After Nickelodeon's home video license moved to Paramount Home Media Distribution in 1996, only the Christmas Story VHS was re-released, but with another episode, "Doug's Fan Club", added in.
Over a decade later, Amazon.com began producing manufacture-on-demand DVD sets of various Nickelodeon shows, including Doug, in 2008. The first two seasons were released on August 29, 2008, with the third season following on December 8, 2009. However, the fourth season's DVD set was instead labeled as The Best of Season 4, as it was inexplicably missing two episodes, "Doug's Bum Rap" and "Doug's Babysitter". A six-disc Complete Series set, which reinstated the two missing Season 4 episodes, was released on June 26, 2014. Unfortunately, as of 2020, the Doug DVD sets have all been discontinued.
- Doug Wiki
- Nickstory Archives: Doug
- NickToons: G.L.O.B.E. Archives: Doug
- TeenNickstory Archives: Doug
- Nickstory Jr. Archives: Doug
- Disney Wiki: Disney's Doug (for information on Disney's continuation)
- Doug at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Doug at the Internet Movie Database
|This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at Doug. The list of authors can be seen in the . As with Nickipedia, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.|