This is an issue that has been eating away at the nostalgic hearts of Doug lovers around the world for over a decade; and now, it’s time we release those feelings of disappointment and frustration. In 1996, Disney took Doug and changed things in a way that ruined the pure excellence Nickelodeon had previously created. It wasn’t just the fact that the new Doug had stupid, long sleeves and full length pants instead of khaki shorts. There were 10 specific differences that irked millions of us and they are listed below, in no particular order:
1.) Disney’s Doug had a new, whistling theme song that paled in comparison to the original.
2.) Disney’s Doug had 9 strands of hair, instead of 8. (OK, I’m nitpicking and it was for trademark purposes, but still.)
3.) Disney’s Doug added a new younger sister to the Funnie family. Her name was Cleopatra and she served no real purpose.
4.) Patti got a new haircut and a tan. The short hairdo gave her a prepubescent boyish charm that made Doug go more Gaga than Lady over Ms. Mayonnaise.
5.) Roger Klotz became rich in Disney’s Doug after living broke and in a trailer park for 3 seasons on Nickelodeon. Why would we want to see the character that we hated for all those episodes suddenly be rollin’ in the dough?
6.) The lightning bolt on Skeeter’s shirt became a zero and they changed his look up enough to make us notice and be aggravated.
7.) Every episode of Disney’s Doug was full length 22 minutes while Nickelodeons Doug was split into two 11 minute segments.
8.) The Honker Burger where Doug & company hung out on Nickelodeon closed down.
9.) Connie Benge lost like 50 pounds and was skinny on Disney’s Doug.
10.) Last but certainly not least and probably MOST bothersome of all, Disney’s Doug decided to BREAK UP THE GREATEST FICTION BAND OF ALL TIME, THE BEETS. Like we discussed in realization #69, The Beets created some brilliant songs that were better than a lot of un-animated, real life artists that exist today. This change by Disney is unacceptable and unforgivable.
In the interest of originality, it’s probably best that networks try creating their own, unique cartoon series’. However, if they insist on buying the rights to a classic, please don’t make unnecessary changes. How would they like it if Nickelodeon bought the rights to Ducktales, made Uncle Scrooge poor, changed Louie McDuck’s shirt to purple and created a new theme song that isn’t nearly as catchy or awesome as the classic, “Ducktales – a woo hoo!”? To answer my own question, they wouldn’t like it. In fact, they would hate it! So, there is a lesson to be learned in Patti’s short hair, Doug’s baby sister and the hefty bank account of Roger Klotz; be original, even if you can afford you buy your way out of it.