Go Hugo Go (1993)

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Go Hugo Go is the infamous English dub by Miramax based on the Danish cartoon film Jungledyret Hugo. It received generally negative reviews from critics.

Original Plot (Danish version)

Hugo, the titular jungle animal, lives a fun and carefree life in the jungle with his monkey friends Zig and Zag. One day, film starlet Izabella Scorpio and her husband, producer Conrad Cupmann, travel to the jungle in search of a rare pet to star in her upcoming film project. Cupmann hires native wildlife expert Chief Iztintatel to help find a suitable animal. They manage to trap Hugo, but he escapes Cupmann's yacht and following a brief chase Izabella presumes him lost over a waterfall. Finding himself in unfamiliar surroundings, Hugo wanders aimlessly until he stumbles upon a banana plantation and falls asleep in one of the trees. The next day, he is accidentally collected as part of the harvest and brought aboard a container ship also used by Cupmann and Izabella for their return trip. Hugo is helped out of the cargo hold by a pair of rats, and as he explores the deck finds his way to the galley where he meets the ship's cook Dellekaj. They engage in an impromptu song that gains Izabella's attention; she offers to buy Hugo from the chef, but Dellekaj states that Hugo is "not for sale" and bars her from the galley.

Upon arrival in Copenhagen, Dellekaj takes Hugo to the zoo, promising to visit him the next day. Frightened by the media attention and the confines of his cage, he panics, provoking the ire of a nearby lion who, having been born in captivity, rebukes him for acting out. Hugo meets Rita, a young fox that likes to explore the city at night while her mother hunts for food. Hugo gives her his rations and quickly develops a crush, but Rita flees when Cupmann and an aide break into the zoo and attempt to kidnap Hugo. Hugo escapes the cage and flees the zoo; he spies Rita across the street and tries to follow her, but is disoriented by traffic and escapes onto a townhouse rooftop where he spends the night.

The next morning, Hugo spies an open produce stall and hurries across the street to gorge himself. A poodlesitting in a convertible parked outside the store chastises him for "stealing", and asks what animal he is while boasting about her pedigree. When her owner returns from the store, Hugo instinctively dives into the back seat and hides in the shopping bag, to Sabina's indifference. Hugo is brought inside the Sandhurst household and hides atop Sabina's trophy shelf. Thinking dogs can't climb, she decides Hugo is a cat and orders him out; he responds by taunting her and then pushing her trophies off the shelf, escaping the room in the ensuing confusion. He finds his way to a play room filled with toys and is encountered by the family's children, who dress him up in doll clothes and put him to bed in their playhouse. Hugo pretends to sleep and the children leave, after which he makes his way out of the room and wanders into the living room where the family is watching a news report on Hugo's escape from the zoo. Recognizing Hugo, the children take their parents to the play room, while Hugo flees up the chimney and back into the city.

By now night has fallen, and Hugo wanders dejectedly through the empty streets. He re-encounters Rita in a back alley and helps her raid a dumpster for food, but is put off by rotten leftovers. Rita calls him "picky" but says she knows a restaurant that gives its leftovers to stray cats, although warns him that the cats will attack them on sight. They travel through the city on a skateboard and arrive at the restaurant's back lot where a pack of cats is already waiting. Hugo approaches confidently but inadvertently antagonizes them, and Rita helps him escape before the cats can kill him. Once they're safe, Rita angrily rebukes him for being reckless and selfish, but agrees to take him back to her den. They proceed on foot, arriving at daybreak, where Rita's mother scolds her for running off and neglecting her siblings. She reluctantly agrees to let Hugo stay for the day but insists he leave at nightfall. 

Hugo and Rita spend the day daydreaming. She asks about life in the jungle and concludes it must be "awesome"; Hugo invites her to come back with him, but as she can't climb trees she fears for her safety. Rita suggests instead that they find a home for Hugo in the city so that they can play together at night. Meanwhile, Cupmann hires a group of bounty hunters with tracker dogs to find Hugo before the police do, using the doll's dress from the Sandhursts as a scent marker. As evening falls, Rita proposes she and Hugo sneak off to find the banana ship themselves, but her mother is wise to her plan and interrupts before they can leave, offering to take Hugo to the harbour while Rita watches her siblings. As they enter the industrial area they are spotted by one of the bounty hunters and Izabella orders the group to concentrate on the area. Fearing for her own safety, Rita's mother abandons Hugo after giving him vague directions to the harbour.

Continuing on foot, Hugo wanders onto a construction site where he re-encounters Rita, having defied her mother and followed them. They are ambushed by the alley cats from earlier; Hugo and Rita try to ward them off by pretending to be rabid, but the cats call their bluff and are only frightened off by the arrival of one of the bounty hunters. They escape into the sewer system and navigate their way to the harbour front. Izabella, meanwhile, has tracked Hugo's progress and realizes he is heading for the ship, and prepares an ambush at the docks. Hugo and Rita share a teary farewell that is cut short by a bounty hunter; she pushes him out of the path of the net and he sprints for the ship, the tracker's dog hot on his heels. Izabella and Cupmann attempt to cut him off but nearly collide with the mercenary, and Hugo leaps into the water before climbing the anchor chain onto the ship. The bounty hunter thinks him lost, and when Izabella orders Cupmann into the water to search, he loses his patience, announcing he's "through" with the scheme and her, and storms off in his car. Izabella promptly suffers a nervous breakdown.

As dawn breaks, the ship begins to leave port. Rita hails Hugo from a loading crane, inviting him to return next year when she will be old enough to live on her own. Watching melancholically as Copenhagen fades into the distance, he is met by Dellekaj who, determining Hugo didn't like the city, offers to take him back to the jungle, and upon arriving in South America, Dellekaj hires a taxi coincidentally driven by Chief Iztintatel. Hugo rejoins Zig and Zag, and they engage in a reprise of the opening montage, joined by Dellekaj.

Plot (Miramax's English dub)

Go Hugo Go has mostly the same plot as the original but some scenes are cut as Miramax wanted the movie to be more family friendly.

The films from the series have some content which might be considered unsuitable for United States viewers, considering the films are mainly directed towards children. Because of this, Miramax made several edits and cuts when dubbing the films to English.

In the first film, when Hugo is sleeping on a ship, a calendar above him displays a picture of a naked woman. The image was blurred in the Miramax dub. A scene where Hugo is shocked three times by telephone wires and climbs up a brick wall to find, through a window, a man changing channels on a television was cut from the dub. Another scene where Rita spits at the floor where Hugo is standing as a sign of displeasure was also cut. The dub also toned down the original's language and removed some of Izabella's racial remarks about an Indian character, and the scene near the end of the film when Izabella becomes insane with her obsession was cut.

In the second film, most edits were limited to dialogue alterations, but two scenes where Conrad is seen grabbing the buttocks of Sensuella/Barbie Turner were cut. Also, apparently for time, a scene where Hugo and Rita are on a train after escaping from Conrad's henchmen and guard dogs was shortened; in the original Hugo hugs Rita before the screen goes to black due to a scene change, but in the English dub the screen goes to black before Hugo hugs Rita.

Also, the music for both films was heavily redone in the English dub, mainly replacing dramatic instrumental or jazz-based music from the original films with more upbeat, simple and friendly melodies.

Why it Sucks

NOTE: Most of these points only apply to the English-language version produced by Miramax and Cinar

  1. Some scenes that didn't even have to be cut were cut. This makes the movie much shorter and even confusing.
  2. The plot is so cliché.
  3. It gets annoying when they constantly shove Hugo and Rita being romantic in your face.
  4. Unnecessary, irritating vocalisations every time a character opens their mouth. There’s SO much high-pitched chuckling from Hugo and whining from Rita.
  5. Rita and Hugo's voices sound a little too old for both of the characters (depending on your view). They are definitely younger so obviously they’re supposed to sound younger. It’s like they didn't take much time casting the characters or couldn’t find child actors. If Hugo and Rita were both voiced by girls then it may had actually been good because at least they can pull off high voices correctly without sounding like adults.
  6. Some of the characters' voices sound annoying.
  7. The jungle animals care about Hugo for some reason and look up to him, even though he is immature, selfish, impulsive and disrespectful.
  8. Rita sings about Hugo being "brighter than the sun" when the moon appears on the screen instead. This was only done so "sun" would rhyme with "one" and "fun".
  9. Most of the translations are quite inaccurate and completely different at times. Extra lines are also inserted into the movie. The movie barely stayed true to its source material through the dialogue. Some of the lines were rewritten for the English dub.
  10. The instrumentals were changed in order to keep the movie 'kid-friendly', but they didn’t need to be changed at all. Changing the soundtrack made it worse. The actors could've easily just sang about what they were seeing on-screen which would’ve been much easier and less time consuming instead of changing the songs' lyrics a lot.
  11. Hugo talks about his 'poisonous pee', and lies to the animals as well. The dubbing of that scene sounds terrible in the English dub.
  12. The lip sync barely fits at all. (However this can kind of be forgiven because the original is in Danish)
  13. Terrible attempts at humour and boring dialogue.
  14. There are barely any breaks (even for one second!) during the movie at all. There’s constant movement, endless noise and stereotypical characters.
  15. Hugo's voice sounds much lower than it should be. Hugo's English voice actor, Bronson Pinchot, is not very good at creating a likable and endearing young teenage character, and instead makes Hugo sound like a fully-grown man trying to sound like a baby who coos way too much. Every other moment he’s either Oooh-ing or Aaah-ing or wailing in fear. This will get on your last nerve FAST.
  16. Rita and Hugo sound WAY too happy during the Skateboard Song, and make so many vocalisations. It can get annoying.
  17. Rita constantly disobeys her mother, enjoys being kidnapped, barely spends time with her family, whines all the time and makes a woeful character role model.
  18. The English Dub (Made around 1998 but not released till 2005) not only suffers from alot of the changes above, but its also been Pan&Scanned from the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio of the Danish original.
  19. The Skateboard song in the English dub is so different compared to the international versions and not as charming as the original Danish version.
  20. The lyrics in the songs in the English version are pretty bad and generic. They are also boring, especially in the Skateboard song. They tried to be hip with the kids.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The character designs are adorable.
  2. There is great animation.
  3. The original Danish version is superior and the voice acting in it is way better. The soundtrack in the Danish version is especially better compared to the English soundtrack.
  4. Notably, Rita's English voice actress Holly Gauthier-Frankel sounds pretty decent at times. 
  5. Some people may find the English version of the final song of the movie quite good.  
  6. Some very young children might find it good because of the colors, animals and simplistic plot.  
  7. The sequel is a tiny bit better.
  8. If you want to see the superior Danish version, you can find the 2008 Danish DVD set containing all 3 films as a import on Amazon.com (Too bad you need a Region 2 DVD player, PAL Compatable TV, and the DVD's don't have English Subtitles).
  9. The English version is kid-friendly and the picture of the naked woman is removed.