Doug

Common Sense Media says

Low-key '90s cartoon has good lessons for grade-schoolers.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Some good social lessons to be learned.

Positive messages

The show illustrates positive coping techniques for issues like dealing with bullies, handling embarrassing situations, and treating others with respect.

Positive role models

Viewers see Doug tackle social, academic, and personal troubles in a responsible way that always teaches a lesson kids can relate to their own lives. There's some bullying within Doug's social circle, but it's limited to teasing and name-calling, and Doug's mature response to the incidents offers teaching moments about coping with troublesome peers.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff

Middle-school crushes are sweeter than they are sexy, yielding some flirting, floating hearts circling heads, and dreamy sequences about the object of affection, and in rare cases, a quick peck on the cheek.

Language

Nothing salty, but the class bully often calls his peers "losers," "idiots," "morons," and the like.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this '90s cartoon has great messages for grade-schoolers about managing relationships, staying true to your ideals, and overcoming life's daily challenges. The protagonist is an average kid with relatable troubles, and he relies on his family, his friends, and his vivid imagination to help him chart his path. The show's simple style gives it a dated feel that might not appeal to kids at first glance, but if they give it a chance, they'll find that the colorful characters more than make up for the visual blandness. Watch out for some bullying by means of teasing and name-calling ("loser" and "moron," for starters), which probably rules it out for young kids who like to repeat everything they hear on TV.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

DOUG is a '90s cartoon that centers on the misadventures of an average 11-year-old boy named Doug Funnie (Billy West, later Tom McHugh), who lives in a nondescript burg called Bluffington with his parents and older sister, Judy (Becca Lish). Doug relates the ups and downs of his life through the narration of his journal and his imaginative escapades as a variety of heroic characters. Whether it's trouble with the class bully, Roger (West again), or a new development in his relationship with his crush, Patti (Constance Shulman), Doug always has a lot to say about his experiences.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Doug was one of Nickelodeon's first original cartoons, airing on Nick for three years in the early '90s before moving to Disney and enduring some character, plot, and title changes. The show's simple animation style makes it easy to overlook -- especially amid the bolder, flashier versions that vie for kids' attention these days -- but the stories are rich with teaching moments that center on issues grade-schoolers will understand, like having a crush on a classmate, being teased at school, and coping with uncomfortable social situations.

Kids will like the show's quirky characters, from Doug's loyal, green-skinned best friend, Skeeter (Fred Newman), to his dramatic big sister, for whom the whole world's a stage. It's a sure bet that they'll find something in Doug's life that reflects their own, so there is some value in their seeing how he identifies problems and seeks out solutions based on his personal moral code, not to mention how he turns to journaling as a constructive outlet for his emotions.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about bullying. In what ways is Roger a bully to Doug? Have you had experiences with someone like that? What other forms can bullying take besides schoolyard teasing? How can you cope with it if you ever face it?

  • Kids: What outlets do you have for when you're frustrated or overwhelmed? What hobbies help you cope with the pressures of everyday life? How does journaling help Doug cope? To whom do you turn when you need to talk? 

  • Kids: Do you like this show's animation style? How does it differ from that of other shows you watch? Do you think this series shows its age? If so, how? Are the stories still relatable, though? What do you think is the intention of the show? 

TV details

Cast:Billy West, Constance Shulman, Fred Newman
Network:Nickelodeon
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Book characters, Friendship
TV rating:TV-G
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Doug was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byMillyMolly September 5, 2011
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Funny funny

I used to love this so much :)

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Kid, 12 years old Written byapoloto October 2, 2011
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Fairly good.

I think it's pretty good. Thought it's not as fast paced as most cartoons today, if kids give it a chance they will probably be entertained. I would have to say, though, that some times it can get pretty weird, but nothing compared to OTHER shows...*coughcoughfanboyandchumchumcoughcough* Ther also are some pretty good messages throughout, and sometimes it even is pretty funny!

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Kid, 12 years old Written bySam M. October 3, 2011
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Doug's Review Is No Funnie Business

Not a very good Nick show, but one of the loudest and proudest classics. It used to be my favorite show for at least a week's worth of time, then all the bad came in and my original thoughts of it fizzled away. Kids may not be concerned for its common silly surnames (Funnie, Mayonnaise, Klotz), but it's also taking time to reference shows and such at will. Maybe this should be accepted while still being a little half-baked.

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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