THE BIG PICTURE: Roundabout Has Lost the Old Magic and Charm; the Magic Roundabout (Cert U) Stars Voices of Robbie Williams, Tom Baker, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Kylie Minogue, Ian McKellan, Ray Winstone and Others; Directors Jean Duval, Frank Passingham and Dave Borthwick. 81 Mins. Rating

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), February 11, 2005 | Go to article overview

THE BIG PICTURE: Roundabout Has Lost the Old Magic and Charm; the Magic Roundabout (Cert U) Stars Voices of Robbie Williams, Tom Baker, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Kylie Minogue, Ian McKellan, Ray Winstone and Others; Directors Jean Duval, Frank Passingham and Dave Borthwick. 81 Mins. Rating


Byline: Philip Key

IF YOU have fond memories of The Magic Roundabout, then it is best to avoid this film version. It bears little similarity to the television series.

That animated children's show from the 1960s was a gentle and charming French original with a delightful laid-back commentary by the late Eric (father of Emma) Thompson.

The film has brought in star names to voice the characters, turned them into computerised figures and given it a raucous soundtrack. The well-remembered theme tune does not even make an appearance.

The pop song It's Magic is brought in to open proceedings and various other pop numbers - Mr Blue Sky by the Electric Light Orchestra among them - blasts the story along.

Instead of ambling around Mr Rusty's garden the main characters are sent on a Raiders of the Last Ark meets James Bond-style adventure.

Shaggy dog Dougal, in an attempt to get at some sweets, manages to unleash a nasty version of the spring-loaded Zebedee, this one named Zeebad with a plan to freeze the world.

He needs to get three special diamonds to complete his plan and it's a case of who gets to them first, the evil Zeebad or the chums from The Magic Roundabout.

It's all action-packed as the cow Ermintrude, rabbit Dylan, the snail Brian, the talking train and Dougal join forces to get to the diamonds, facing all sorts of dangers, many concocted by Zeebad.

The computerised versions look pretty like the originals and the star names provide some suitable voices, Nighy pretty perfect as the spaced out Dylan and Robbie Williams surprisingly good as Dougal. …

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THE BIG PICTURE: Roundabout Has Lost the Old Magic and Charm; the Magic Roundabout (Cert U) Stars Voices of Robbie Williams, Tom Baker, Jim Broadbent, Bill Nighy, Kylie Minogue, Ian McKellan, Ray Winstone and Others; Directors Jean Duval, Frank Passingham and Dave Borthwick. 81 Mins. Rating
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