I love Scooby Doo. It’s a cornerstone of my childhood. Every day, television stations played old episodes of it after school and I would run home every day to catch the adventures with Shaggy, Scooby and the gang.
Back then… I actually liked Scrappy. That’s how hard core I was.
Honestly, I still love it. I try to watch every movie that comes out and give the animated series a fair shake. Mystery Inc. was amazing. Be Cool… not so much.
I even liked the live action movies even though I understand why some people don’t. Say what you will about them, but Matthew Lillard was an amazing Shaggy.
So, I was excited about Scoob despite the terrible name. The designs of Shaggy and Scooby looked amazing in 3D even though the rest of the gang was off and, while I was very put off by Shaggy’s new celebrity voice that is not Matthew Lillard and, therefore, inferior, the idea of a Hanna Barbara Cinematic Universe was great. Blue Falcon and Dynomutt? Okay, cool… Captain Caveman too? Um… okay!? Dick Dastardly as the bad guy? Wait… I thought that the bad guy is supposed to be a mystery and only uncovered at the last moment.
Does… this movie know it’s supposed to be a Scooby Doo movie?
Oh, well. Let me give it a chance.
The first few minutes of this movie are pretty promising. We meet Shaggy as a young boy and Scooby as a young pup and how they first met and went on to meet Fred, Daphnie, and Velma. This is fun, full of emotion, and the humor works. It then turns into a remake of the opening credits of Scooby Doo, Where Are you? as the gang grows up together.
I love this! How can this go wrong!?
Wait… is that Simon Cowell? WHY is Simon Cowell in this movie!?
This is where the movie goes off the rails. Simon Cowell (yes, Simon Cowell playing himself in a joke as topical as it sounds) won’t finance Mystery Inc. with Scooby and Shaggy on the team because he sees them as useless. Shaggy and Scooby go bowling and then are attacked by cute transforming robots before they are beamed up to the Falcon Fury where Blue Falcon and Dynomutt rescue them.
Blue Falcon, by the way, is not THE Blue Falcon, but rather the son of the original Blue Falcon who has retired. Dynomutt is no longer stupid, but a smart and capable superhero who can’t stand the new Blue Falcon. I guess this means that the writers of Scoob! never watched this series either.
So, it turns out that Dick Dastardly is trying to find the three skulls of Cerberus and that Scooby is the key to opening the gates of Hell because he’s the direct decendent of Alexander the Great’s dog…
Oh, yes… The gates of hell.
Y’all, I won’t lie… this movie is Scooby-Doo-Doo. It’s all over the place. The characters are off, the situation is off, there’s no mystery, there’s no scary elements… the gang appear to be in the completely wrong environment and it’s jarring. There’s few dark and scary locations, traded instead for bright and futuristic set pieces. It’s just wrong.
The voices, as I’ve said, are just wrong. Will Forte is a terrible Shaggy. Zac Efron is so dull and uncharismatic as Fred that the voice could have been done by a synthesized computer voice and it wouldn’t have mattered. Likewise, Gina Rodriguez and Amanda Seyfried do nothing for Velma and Daphnie. Mark Walburg is decent as Blue Falcon even though the character was irritating.
I liked Ken Jeong as Dynomutt and I will say even though the character is dramatically different, I dug the new personality. I also enjoyed Jason Isaac as Dick Dastardly who was obviously having a lot of fun. Heck, at times he seemed like he was the only one having fun.
Please don’t get me started on Tracy Morgan as Captain Caveman.
Unnecessary celebrity cartoon voices are evil and must be stopped.
The movie is just… weird. It’s kind of neat to see these Hanna Barbara properties slam together even though the results are mixed at best. I enjoyed all of the references and homages – particularly, when we first meet Shaggy, he’s standing under a sign that says “Casey’s Creation” and the name drop of “Messick Mountain” later in the film.
The problem is, this didn’t feel like a Scooby Doo movie.
Imagine that you go see a Fast and Furious movie and they don’t race cars. Imagine you go watch a Star Wars movie and they never go into space. Imagine that you go see a Disney movie and no one sings.
Imagine you watch a Scooby Doo movie and there’s no mystery to solve and everyone knows who the bad guy is at the beginning. It’s simply not a Scooby Doo movie or, at least, it’s a Scooby Doo movie made by someone who doesn’t understand Scooby Doo.
It’s just not good. It’s not horrible, but it is stunningly forgettable. A slapshot, rushed, and scattershot story, bad voice acting, assembled by what feels like committee… another lame attempt to assemble a cinematic universe that feels more like Dark Universe and the DC Universe than Marvel.
I’ll applaud the animation and some of the action, but it just wasn’t a Scooby Doo movie… it missed the heart of what Scooby Doo is. It’s a miscalculation and tried to fix what wasn’t broken.
It’s underwhelming and dull which is amazing given that it’s Scooby Doo and Blue Falcon teaming up against Dick Dastardly. It’s not endearing, it’s not exciting, and it’s painfully predictable. Even the ending which tried to illicit an emotional response by showing one of the characters making the ultimate sacrifice was eye-rollingly bad… and predictable since the sacrifice is immediately reversed.
It’s just a lesson in the fact that just because some people think they can Scooby-Doo it, they should Scooby-Don’t.