Scooby Doo has had a lot of iterations over the years, from the original 1960s series to the live action early 2000s films, not to mention the slew of made for TV movies. I was hopeful when I saw this new animated film was set to come out, hoping it would be fun and maybe even start a new franchise of fun Scooby Doo films. Well after seeing this film, I can say with confidence that it is in fact a good bit of fun and I hope Warner Brothers will give us a sequel.
The film begins when the Mystery Inc gang are kids and gives us about a 5 or 6 minute sequence in which they meet and solve their first mystery. There’s some amusing lines and references in the opening and I did like the recreation of the original 60’s theme. After this, things flash forward to when they’re older and trying to get Mystery Inc up and running as a viable business. This is when the main plot kicks in.
A big thing that works in this film’s favor is the cast and the main characters’ chemistry as a group. There’s a charm there. Honestly, if there wasn’t good chemistry between the members of the gang, then you might as well scrap this whole thing. They are the heart of the film, after all. I loved Zac Efron as Fred, I knew that was going to be a good match, Efron does well when he plays the somewhat dim witted pretty boy. The character of Fred is not only well voiced but also has a good amount of amusing material. Velma is also well put together here and is very well voiced Gina Rodriguez. Daphne looks good and has a few moments but I will say that she was the weakest link amongst the gang here, it’s not necessarily Seyfried’s fault, she just doesn’t have as much good material as the others.
The character of Shaggy is very well realized as a kid and even though I thought he was pretty well voiced by Will Forte, I couldn’t help but miss Matthew Lillard. Lillard was just such an amazing Shaggy in the live action films of the 2000s. Fred and Velma are for sure the strongest here. As for Scoob himself, I thought they did a pretty good job, especially when he’s a puppy… very cute. One thing I didn’t think I’d ever see in a Scooby Doo film was a superhero, but we have one here… Blue Falcon voiced by Mark Wahlberg. I must say that while I was skeptical when he was first introduced, Wahlberg brings a very fun likability to the character, great casting choice! I’d love to see him in a possible sequel.
The plot is for sure not a traditional Scooby Doo type plot, and while I do think it’s a tad overstuffed, there is a lot of fun to be had. It’s better to have good characters with a plot that’s a little much than poor characters with a simpler plot. As the film goes along, it’s best moments are when the gang is working together to figure things out. This may seem random but another piece of the plot that turns out to be really cute and fun has to do with a little robot that befriends the gang. I thought that was a nice detail. There are some action sequences of course and while they weren’t the greatest they weren’t bad either, just kind of so-so.
One piece of the plot I didn’t like. The one thing that made it seem overstuffed was the Tracy Morgan character and that whole sequence. Towards the end there’s an extended action sequence that takes place in a random seemingly other worldly place and when you have a plot that’s already bordering on having too much going on, that pushed it a little over the line to me. I did like the animation. I thought the visuals worked pretty well and the colors were very vibrant. There’s for sure more good here than bad and while the plot is a tad overstuffed and Daphne could’ve been better realized, overall this is a pretty fun animated film.
Scoob! does have a couple flaws, but is an overall success thanks to good casting and effective chemistry between characters.