Doogal, an animated flick about a dog and his pals, is based on a British TV series. However, because Americans apparently don't like accents, it's been redubbed for release here, with vocal talent including Jon Stewart, William H. Macy, Kevin Smith, and Whoopi Goldberg. Based on the new, behind-the-scenes clip that's up at AOL, the movie shares both the erratic charm and modern hipness that virtually all animated films seem to strive for these days, combining Dr. Phil and Ice Age 2 references with a story about selflessness and friendship. While the clip, which runs about five minutes, leaves one hopeful that the movie might not overdo the trendiness quotient (unlike, say, Shrek 2), five minutes can hide a multitude of sins. Adding to the charm factor is the rather diverting plot point of a solemn snail (Macy) who is "head over heels" in love with an oblivious, over-confident cow (Goldberg) - of course, this element of the movie will send chills straight to the heart of Americans who find it a little too close to those dreaded human-animal hybrids.

In addition to footage from the movie, the clip includes interviews with the cast, an executive producer, and one of the film's writers. What's odd, however, is that the writer is one Cory Edwards, better known as the writer/director of Hoodwinked, who has of late not exactly endeared himself to the animation community with his reactions to criticism of his film. Edwards' presence here is strange because he's not credited as a writer on Doogal - he's listed only as providing "additional voices." I wonder if he was brought on to change the cultural references from British to American, or if he's always been involved in an uncredited way - either way, though, it's awfully strange to suddenly foreground him as the writer in the movie's first American promotional footage. Though it's impossible to know how the movie will do in theaters, I'm guessing that Edwards has learned his lesson and will be keeping his mouth shut, no matter how harsh the criticism.

Doogal is released in the US at the end of this month.