Doug (Disney era, Seasons 5-7)
Doug is an American animated sitcom that was created by Jim Jinkins and produced by Jumbo Pictures for the Nickelodeon. The series premiered in 1991 on the cable network Nickelodeon, as the channel's first original animated content alongside Rugrats and The Ren and Stimpy Show. In 1996, Disney acquired the series, retooling it with several creative changes, thus renaming it Brand Spanking New! Doug (retitled Disney's Doug in 1998), and airing it for three years on ABC's One Saturday Morning which consisted of 65 episodes over three seasons that were broadcast from 1996 to 1999.
While the Nickelodeon era was well-received, the same can't be said for the Disney era, which was panned by fans and critics due to a massive decline in quality and pointless changes.
- The main problem is this era lacks the charm of the Nickelodeon seasons since Jim Jinkins was less involved in these seasons.
- As said before, there were a lot of unnecessary changes to the show, such as the replacement of Honker Burger (the gang's hangout in the original show) with a cheap French restaurant. Along with some unfortunate changes like:
- The Beets breaking up and have a whole running-gag about them coming back, just to keep arguing.
- A new Middle School was built, which leads to another running gag during the show about the school being unfinished, leading to many things missing or forgotten during the episodes.
- The pacing for this era is much slower than the Nickelodeon era, which doesn't help that the episodes are now 22 minutes instead of 11 minutes. It doesn't help with the fact that some episodes don't have a subplot, making the episodes more boring to watch.
- Speaking of the pacing, these seasons make a lot of use of Doug's imaginary moments, which often end up serving as filler, just so the episodes can reach the 22-minute mark as said before.
- While the voice acting is still good for most of the characters, however, some of them had to be changed, like the characters that were voiced by Billy West, like Doug, Roger, Boomer, Coach Spitz, and Mr. Valentine.
- While not bad, Tom McHugh's acting wasn't as good as Billy West's acting, although Jinkins worked hard to keep West on the series, Disney could not afford it. As his fame grew from voicing characters in Ren & Stimpy and other animated properties.
- Some of the characters got flanderized:
- Doug, while still being likable, became a bit of a wimp during these seasons, particularly in the episodes focused between him and Patti, like in the episode "Doug's Dream House". Also, he even becomes more of a Butt-Monkey than he was in the Nickelodeon seasons, in a similar way as the Rugrats gang and Ren and Stimpy also become a butt-monkey during they're last three seasons.
- Beebe Bluff was flanderized to become more of a spoiled rich girl during these seasons, and she started to become more mean towards the others (even her friends sometimes), making her a Mean Popular Girl-type character.
- Judy becomes more of a jerk during these seasons and sometimes tortures Doug (his brother) in some episodes, like "Doug's in Debt!". Like Beebe, she's also turned into a Mean Popular Girl.
- One of Doug's other alter egos: Smash Adams and Race Canyon are nowhere to be seen or have barely even been mentioned in these seasons. Along with other characters in the series like Stinky (Roger's cat).
- These seasons take themselves too seriously, creating multiple conflicts just for the episodes to get longer.
- Although is quite rare, these seasons do make some use of toilet/gross-out humor, which seems very out of place since the Nickelodeon seasons barely made use of this kind of humor.
- Season 7 was probably when the show jumped the shark when they started to make more episodes focused on Quailman instead of Doug, to the point that it seems the writers were running out of ideas and decided to make more episodes focused on Doug's imagination as Quailman so the show could hit the 65-episode mark.
- There are plenty of bad/mediocre episodes, like:
- Doug's Last Birthday (which started this era on a sour note and also started the downfall of the whole series)
- Doug: A Limited Corporation
- Doug's in Debt!
- Doug's Big Comeback
- Doug's Hot Dog
- Doug Gets a Roommate
- Doug: Oh, Baby (depending on your view)
- Doug's Disappearing Dog (depending on your view)
- Doug on the Road (depending on your view; which ended season 5 on a sour note)
- Doug's Secret of Success (not a good way to start season 6)
- Doug's Friend's Friend (arguably the worst episode of this era and probably the whole show)
- Doug's Thanksgiving (depending on your view)
- Doug's in the Middle
- Doug's Dream House
- Doug's Concert Crisis
- Judy's Big Admission
- Doug's Best Buddy (also count as the worst)
- Doug: Beebe Goes Broke (depending on your view)
- Doug Plays Cupid
- Doug: I, Rubbersuit
- Lamar Bone returns as the new vice-principal in the season 6 premiere "Doug's Secret of Sucess" and yet, he's still an unlikeable character. Heck, even the students didn't like it when they announced that he would be the new vice-principal.
- Doug's 1st Movie wasn't well-received and wasn't a good way to bring the series to the theaters, thanks to the cliche and poor writing.
- The new intro is good, along with the soundtrack.
- The animation is great, and is a nice step-up from the Nickelodeon era, as Walt Disney Television Animation, the studio that animated the era, gave it a more polished and clean look.
- Most of the characters, such as Porkchop, Doug's parents, Mr. Dink, Roger, Doug (despite his flanderization), and Patti are still likable characters.
- Roger himself becomes less mean against Doug and started to act more of a friend towards him, even if he's still a bully character.
- Some characters like Connie, Fentruck, and Skunky began to have more prominence during the seasons, after being left as background characters in the Nickelodeon seasons.
- Dirtbike, Al, and Moo Sleech are decent characters and were a-okay addition to the show.
- There are some heartwarming moments, like the one about Patti's mother in the episode "Patti's Dad Dilemma"
- The voice acting is still okay since the voice actors still reprise their roles (except the characters who were voiced by Billy West).
- There are some good episodes, like:
- Doug's Secret Christmas
- Doug Gets Booked
- Doug's Minor Catastrophe
- Doug's Mural Mania
- Doug's Chubby Buddy
- Doug's Dougapalooza (depending on your view)
- Doug Gets Right Back Out
- Doug and the Bluffington Five
- Patti's Dad Dilemma
- Doug Cuts School
- Doug's Adventures On-Line (depending on your view)
- Doug's Grand Band Plan (depending on your view)
- Doug's Marriage Madness (which ended both the show and this era on a high note)
- The Quailman-based episodes are still good depending on your view, even with the excessive use of them in Season 7.
- It still teaches some good morals, here and there. Like in the episode "Doug's Chubby Buddy", which talks about anorexia nervosa.
- Most of the new title cards are pretty creative, and they all have a different variation depending on the theme of the episode.
While the original Nickelodeon series received mostly positive reviews, the Disney series received a more mixed reception and became notable for negative reception from fans.
While Jim Jinkins said he is grateful to Disney for giving him the chance to tell more Doug stories and for that reason does not regret signing with Disney, he's also one of the few creators that agrees with the majority of the fan-base that the Nickelodeon version was better except for "The Dark Quail Saga". Constance Shulman (Patti's voice actor) and Billy West (Nickelodeon Doug/Roger's voice actor) prefer the Nickelodeon version too.
In its first season on ABC, Brand Spanking New Doug became the most popular program on ABC's Saturday morning lineup, attracting the highest ratings of any cartoon on the network. Its high-rated second season on the network contributed to its position as the number one network in Saturday morning ratings.
The Disney episodes were later rerun in broadcast syndication and on Disney's One Too block on UPN.
- Nowadays, Disney's purchase included the Doug trademark and all rights to future merchandising, but Nickelodeon retained the rights to the first four seasons.
- Both these seasons and the movie are available on Disney+.