Monday, 29 August 2011

Dougal and the Blue Cat

Wow what an experience! In one instance an direct reconnection with childhood and at the very same time deep immersion in an experience that is timeless because of its quality. Eric Thompson's voiceover is pure genius and excels in its pure Englishness and in doing so is at the same time completely anti-French! Wonderful.

If you are of a certain generation - my generation - you will remember the anticipation that accompanied the five minute programme that preceeded the early evening news that signalled the transition from children's to adult TV. For me this was the highlight of daily viewing and allowed instant transcendence into another world - a world that seemed totally reasonable and wholly believable. You were instantly able to map the characters onto friends and family - they became archetypes for whole crowds of people. And then there was always the smoldering sexuality of Florence!

Dougal and the Blue Cat, or in the original Pollux et le chat bleu, is a wonderful 79 minute feature-length film that tells one story that is at one and the same time equally accessible for adults and children - pure genius. A story that plumbs the depths of the attraction of megalomania and the feeling of the need to dominate - with the added seduction of Fanella Fielding as the 'blue voice'.

There are the resonances with the Christian story and the self-sacrifice of Dougal - and also possibly Brian. There is also the reinforcement of the notion of community and the recognition that we need to be saved - sometimes from ourselves! Little has changed.

This is excellent - buy the DVD and watch it - even if it is 41 years old! I must confess that I still own the 12" vinyl version of this movie's soundtrack - I wonder what it's worth?

I'll give the film 8/10.

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