“Gross amounts of hair oil, twelve-year-old scotch…”
“Is the bad guy my Dad?”
I never classified myself as a lover of the original Scooby Doo television series. Even when I was a child, the whole idea of the show felt… childish. It was goofy and uninteresting. But no matter my initial opinions, I opened my mind up to Scoob!, the new animated movie that briefly tells an origin story of the Mystery Gang, but then concentrates solely on the friendship between Shaggy and Scooby. But as I watched Scoob!, opening my mind to whatever story would be thrown at me, I came to the conclusion that not even a children’s film should be as bad as this.
Scoob!, begins with an origin story, describing how the Mystery Gang’s Daphne, Fred, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby get to know one another in what I can only describe as the ultimate “meet cute” between characters. The end; roll the credits. Not really, but it should have. The Mystery Gang, which we know and love, are hardly together throughout the hour and a half film. This is by far the downfall of Scoob! Shaggy and Scooby’s split from the gang begins when they’re told that they don’t exactly fit in with the gang, which prevents Simon Cowell (really?) from investing in the Mystery Gang brand. Cowell tells the gang that no one can count on friendship. Shaggy and Scooby, disheartened by this news, proceed to leave the group – only to be catapulted in one of the gang’s biggest supernatural cases. Enter: Blue Falcon and his ship of heroic companions as they enlist the help of Shaggy and Scooby to fight off Dick Dastardly, the villain who believes that Scooby is the last surviving member of Alexander the Great’s dog, Perita. Dick wants Scooby to open the gates to the underworld to save his own dog from from the hellish lands, and in turn could release the three-headed dog, Cerberus.
Before I progress further with my distain for this film, I’ll give Scoob! this: it’s cute. It’s a cute feature film whose animation is done exceptionally well. However, the story is atrocious. Not only does the story have extremely dull moments that put you to sleep, it fails to provide anything new to the “legacy” of the Mystery Gang. In fact, it does the opposite. Scoob! proves that a narrative focusing solely on Shaggy and Scooby, will not work. Yes, Shaggy and Scooby are probably the most popular, one could argue, but it’s the dynamic of all the friends that makes their adventures so entertaining.
Like, zoinks, this is a bad movie — even for children’s film standards. There’s not much of a narrative, the voice acting is not the best, and it often gets a little weird when it comes to the sporadic bits of adult humor. Maybe, and it’s a big maybe, those fans of the television series may enjoy this a little more than myself, but I doubt it. In an effort to appeal to a new group of Scooby fans, the writers have left everything that makes this a loveable classic. My best advice that I can give you is, unless you’re incredibly desperate for entertainment, do not rent this film for $19.99. Wait a few months, and if you’re one of those houses that loves animated movies, rent it for $4.99, but even that’s pushing it.
Directed by: Tony Cervone
Starring: Will Forte, Mark Wahlberg, Jason Isaacs, Gina Rodriguez, Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried, Ken Jeong, and Tracy Morgan