Shabba-Doo is a fictional character whose name comes from the traditional Arabic celebration of the dog’s day. It originated in the 1920s cartoon series for a children’s television show on Disney Channel. The show spanned many seasons and featured a monkey named Shabba-Doo who worked with his three friends to solve and work together all the time. Shabba was portrayed by a monkey, while his three other monkey pals were named Ganban, Diwata, and Jawa. In recent years, the Shaba-Doos has made a huge come back in the toy market with the release of video games and DVDs and Shrek the Madagascar Movie.
The original version of Shabba-Doo is depicted as a three-legged monkey wearing an apron and had short brown hair. Today, the Shaba-Doos is portrayed as much more realistic, with three-legged versions sporting longer hair, brown face, white chest, and stomach. They are usually dressed in a blue apron, green pants, and white shirts. While some versions of the original are missing legs, most are completely intact. Most cartoon portrayals of the Shaba-Doos are male, while the ones in the Madagascar movies are female.
Like an animated cartoon series, Shabba-Doo has been around for over thirty-five years. The first cartoon series to feature the monkey was the Disney Channel’s cartoon classic Shrek. The first Shabbat-doos was a spin-off of Shrek, who was created to be an evil foil to Donkey. Later, other characters were added to the cast, including Shrek’s sidekick, Princess Fiona (Debra Patterson), and his faithful monkey, Bluto.
Since Shrek was such a hit, the Shabba-Doo has become a popular addition to other cartoons and video games. Disney has provided the template for many of the different looks and styles of Shabba-Doo, turning them into a staple of both the television and film franchise. There have been several spin-offs and sequels to the Shrek films, including Shrek 3: Fiona’s Quest, Shrek: The Princess and the Frog, and even a TV show called Kung Fu Panda. The Shrek movies are known for their beautiful animation, while the Kung Fu Panda franchise continues to draw children in.
In the Shrek films, Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) is a pit bull named Shrek who lives in the swamp outside the peaceful village of ogre country. He is always seen dressed in his blue apron, green jumpsuit, and red hat. Shrek works as a local tree-cutting contractor, but he often gets into trouble, like letting an elk steal his donkey, which leads to the evil Lord Farquaad kidnapping and locking him in a crystal cave. To get out of his sticky situation, Shrek uses his newly-acquired magic carpet to fly away, but he is trapped there for days until P. J. comes along and finds him.
After freeing Shrek and giving him the heart of gold (a trinket that magically attracts gold), P. J. gives him back his soul and title as Prince Humongous, King of Donkey Folk (K.I.F. ), but not before swearing to give him a better life and to teach him the true art of hip-hop dancing. The Shrek franchise became one of the most successful ones in history, selling more than three hundred million DVDs worldwide and inspiring countless parodies, songs, and films.
The Disney version did receive a decent amount of critical acclaim, but overall it failed to achieve the same level of critical acclaim as the Shrek movies. For one thing, the musical numbers were a bit underwhelming, especially with such pop stars as Michael Jackson and Madonna. For another, all of the major characters in the story are black. That doesn’t mean the movie itself was bad, but it just didn’t have the same ring of quality that you’d expect from a family-friendly shabby flick like Shabba-Doo. So what does Shabba-Doo have that the Disney version doesn’t?
Well, first of all, we have Michael Jackson. While he didn’t star in the movie, he did record a video for “Don’t Worry” and even appeared in a video for the song. Next, we have Madonna. Yes, she was in the first three Disney Shrek movies, but she was hardly a singing star, and the lead singer of La Familia wasn’t in either one of them. Still, she had a great voice, and her music is loved by many, including this generation of kids who grew up loving the Shrek movies.