Scoob! (Movie Review) by Dylan L.

Scooby Dooby Doo, It’s a RebootScoob! Movie Poster

Scooby and the Mystery Inc. must solve their biggest mystery yet: a plot to unleash a powerful ghost dog worldwide, and Scooby is the only one that holds a legendary key to preventing a global dog-pocalypse.

In a reboot of the Scooby Doo film series, the origins of how Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Velma, Daphne all met to form the detective unit known as Mystery Inc. are uncovered. As the years have passed, they have solved hundreds of mysteries and shared many adventures along the way. While figuring out their next case to solve, Scooby and Shaggy are suddenly dragged into their biggest adventure yet: a plot by the mischievous Dick Dastardly to unleash powerful ghost dog Cerberus onto the world. While the rest of the gang search for the two, Scooby and Shaggy discover not only a secret prophecy that only Scooby beholds, but also how even the strongest of friendships face personal challenges.

Scoob! is a reboot of the Scooby Doo film series, but it is the first full-length animated feature film. Directed by Tony Cervone, the film’s voice cast features the likes of Will Forte, Zac Efron, Jason Issacs, Gina Rodriguez, and Amanda Seyfield. There is also even a surprise appearance from Simon Cowell, who appears as himself. Although the film’s opening sequence did a really well to explain the origins of how the Mystery Inc. all first met, the rest of the film packs in a multitude of storylines at once that it kind of buries the true story of the movie.

The film starts on the day where Scooby and Shaggy first met in Venice, California. Scooby and Shaggy are polar opposites of who they are in the present. Scooby was an unnamed stray puppy, and has gotten into trouble when he steals meat from a meat market. Shaggy, on the other hand, is isolated, as indicated by his music playlist that represents loneliness. As Scooby is hiding from the police behind a nearby sand castle, Shaggy, who is talking to himself, oversees Scooby and offers him half of his sandwich. Although hesitant at first, Scooby shares with Shaggy the meat he stole from the deli before they are confronted by the police. Shaggy prevents the police from taking Scooby away by giving him the name “Scooby Dooby Doo” to prove he is the owner. From there, their friendship blossoms, as Shaggy gives Scooby a collar with his initials, which is one of his trademarks, and they begin to outgrow their past selves.

On Halloween night, Shaggy and Scooby dress up as the former’s idol Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, a crime-fighting duo that saves the world, but have their candy stolen and thrown into a haunted house. This is where we get our first introduction of the rest of the Mystery Inc., as Fred, Daphne, and Velma rescue the two. The costumes that the trio wear set the tone for what would be a lot of pop culture references in the film. They all decide to go into the haunted house to retrieve Shaggy and Scooby’s stolen candy, but inside they are met by a ghost, or at least they think. They catch the “ghost” and unmask him to find that it’s actually a burglar possessing several stolen items. After the police arrest the criminal, the gang decide to solve more mysteries; thus, resulting in the formation of Mystery Inc.

In a typical Scooby Doo montage, it shows the gang solving several mysteries, along with other standout Scooby moments that even casual viewers will take notice of, such as the gang running back and forth away from the enemies, the unmasking of the criminals, etc.. In the present day ten years later, while the gang are figuring out what case to crack next, they are met by entrepreneur Simon Cowell himself. Cowell proposes an investment deal that would expand Mystery Inc. into a real business, but he doesn’t want Shaggy and Scooby involved because he sees them as the weakest links. Visibly upset, the two leave and hangout at a bowling alley, where they are attacked by a group of robots before being saved by Blue Falcon and his team.

The Blue Falcon team introduces themselves to Shaggy and Scooby. However, the Blue Falcon, contrary to what Shaggy idolized, is portrayed by the egotistical adult son of his retired father, and the son is more focused on social media management than helping his partners Dynomutt and new recruit Dee Dee Skyes. The Blue Falcon team informs Shaggy and Scooby that they are being hunted by the villain Dick Dastardly, who wants them and three skulls of Cerebus for his latest plan. After a brief chase between the Falcon team and Dastardly, the Blue Falcon team are able to escape.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Mystery Inc. are trying to look for Shaggy and Scooby at the bowling alley they hung out prior to their abduction. Fred, Daphne and Velma learn of their abduction and the owner gives them their first clue: one of Dick Dastardly’s robots left behind. While Velma analyzes the robot, Fred uses the coordinates provided to track down Dastardly’s last-known location. Little did they know, however, is that the robot is able to give away their location to Dastardly.

Conflict begins to arise in both the Blue Falcon team and the friendship of Shaggy and Scooby. The Blue Falcon’s egotistical and self-centered attitude often gets in the way between Dynomutt and recruit Dee Dee Skyes. Such was evidenced when Blue Falcon was baited by social media direct messages into determining that the second skull was in Romania, instead of the actual location Gobi Desert. Meanwhile, during the assault in Romania, Dick Dastardly brushes off Shaggy as unimportant before blasting him away before attempting to capture Scooby. While doing so, it is revealed that Scooby is the last descendant of Alexander the Great’s dog Peritas. In turn, Dastardly needs him to unlock the gates of the Underworld and rescue his own best friend Muttley. Scooby is rescued by Dynomutt, as the rest of the Blue Falcon team along with Shaggy escape once more to find the last skull in Messick Mountain.

Scooby and Shaggy’s friendship continues to strain even more when Shaggy gets jealous of Scooby’s newfound attention from the Blue Falcon team. Their friendship hits its breaking points when Scooby is forced to remove his signature dog collar for his new super suit and when he elects to go with the Blue Falcon team into Messick Mountain over staying with Shaggy, leaving Shaggy heartbroken. The latter scene in particular was an interesting one because throughout all the years seeing Scooby Doo, never before have viewers seen a conflicting scene like that one. Shaggy even laid out a great line, “Simon Cowell was right, you can’t count on friendship.”

Elsewhere, Fred, Daphne and Velma are stopped by a police officer, who Fred falls over. But Fred’s fascination for the officer is quickly stopped when it is revealed that Dick Dastardly has found them before proceeding to imprison them and the Mystery Machine on his airship. Although they manage to escape with the help of one of Dastardly’s robots, they are quickly caught by the dastardly villain, but not before disclosing to the Blue Falcon team where he is heading.

On Messick Mountain, the Blue Falcon team come across Captain Caveman, who is protecting the last skull and must be defeated in battle in order to retrieve it. While the Blue Falcon team battles Caveman, Shaggy is encountered by Fred, who is actually Dastardly in disguise. Having defeated Captain Caveman, Dick Dastardly reveals himself and retrieves both Scooby and the third skull and destroys the Falcon Fury ship as he leaves.

The Blue Falcon team and Mystery Inc. get into a verbal argument over who is to blame for Scooby getting captured, but Shaggy steps in to give them all a reality check. Shaggy takes the fall for Scooby being captured by Dastardly, mainly because of his jealousy towards Scooby’s new changes. In a motivational speech, Shaggy reminded viewers of the promise made earlier in the film: no matter what the situation, Shaggy will never leave Scooby behind, and he was going to rescue him from Cerberus regardless, uniting Mystery Inc and the Blue Falcon trio together.

Despite the team’s efforts, Dastardly still manages to open the Underworld using the skulls of Cerberus and Scooby, but although he rescues Muttley, he also unleashes the ghost of Cerebus, a three-headed monster dog. In the heat of battle, viewers learn multiple things, although it gets pretty crammed late in the film. Blue Falcon is so egocentric because of being handed the role that he is in by his retired father, but he is also insecure because of the shoes left by his father. In this battle sequence, he is finally motivated by Dynomutt that in order to have his “hero moment,” he must step out of his father’s shadow. He finally gains the confidence to do so and battles Cerberus’ ghost. Meanwhile, one of the robots that freed Daphne from imprisonment convinces the rest of Dastardly’s robotic allies to turn against both him and the ghost of Cerberus.

The most important takeaway, however, is the clue Fred took from Dastardly’s airship, which was a way to close the gates. Velma discovers through this clue that in order to close them, someone with a close connection to their dog must lock it from the other side. After knocking Cerberus back into the Underworld and closing the gates, Shaggy sacrifices himself to lock it, but in the process, it forever locks away Scooby’s ever-lasting friendship. While it was thought that the film would end on a surprisingly sad note, Velma and the gang realize that once locked in, there’s another way. Using Scooby as the key, he unlocks Shaggy from his temporary prison and Mystery Inc have a happy reunion. Before heading back home to Venice, Mystery Inc and the Blue Falcon team capture Muttley and a double-masked Dastardly. Yes, he was double-masked as Simon Cowell. The film ends with a celebration of their brand new Mystery Inc. headquarters, along with an upgraded Mystery Machine, before they are called to another case.

Scoob! did surprisingly good with its incorporation of new elements in the longstanding Scooby Doo series. Viewers would’ve come to expect a typical Scooby Doo episode, where they are handed the case, are chased by monsters, and unmask the monster, among other classic moments. But with a couple of themes, adult humor, and pop culture references, Scoob! was balanced by its old and new elements.

Casual moviegoers won’t recognize many of the lore Hanna-Barbera characters, such as Dick Dastardly, Blue Falcon, and Dynomutt. I myself didn’t recognize these characters and outside of Blue Falcon and Dick Dastardly, I wish there was a little more backstory on characters like Dee Dee Skyes, who I felt was a character that was just a recruit for the Falcon team. The story themes that I mentioned earlier are actually what made the movie good, especially the central theme surrounding Shaggy and Scooby’s conflict. Other themes, such as Dastardly’s quest to find Muttley and Blue Falcon’s “hero moment,” were present as well, but didn’t show until halfway or late in the film, making it feel crammed.

The voice cast for this film did a pretty good job in this reboot, but I was pretty caught off-guard when Simon Cowell was in the film. His presence, even if for a few minutes, did pretty well in setting the story theme of Shaggy and Scooby’s friendship. The computer animation in this film was really clean as well, as the characters looked bright and vibrant all around in a representation of how well Scooby Doo can translate in this kind of film.

Overall, whether you are a casual or hardcore fan of the Scooby Doo series, Scoob! presents a different approach on the series, with its multiple story elements, adult humor and the use of modern technology, along with the series’ signature trademarks. Whether it was a good representation of the Scooby Doo series is up to debate, but for families looking for a good movie to watch on movie night, this would be a good recommendation.

Other Details

Release Date: May 15, 2020

Voice Cast: Frank Welker, Will Forte, Mark Walhberg, Jason Isaacs, Gina Rodriguez, Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfield, Kiersey Ciemons, Ken Jeong, Tracey Morgan, Billy West, and Simon Cowell

Director: Tony Cervone

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

Genre: Animation, Mystery, Comedy

Rating: PG

Runtime: 1hr 33min

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Dylan Lazaga_profile picDylan Lazaga | Writing Contributor
B.A | Comm & Journalism | Cal State Univ – East Bay
Although he loves lasagna, don’t get it confused with Dylan Lazaga. Dylan is a recent graduate from CSU – East Bay, with a Communication BA in Multimedia Journalism; having also earned an AA and ADT in Communication Studies at Ohlone College. Dylan is mainly passionate about professional wrestling and video games but is also interested in cartoons and sports. All of these interests led him to his current career path of a multimedia journalist. Prior to graduating, Dylan wrote numerous articles for his college newspaper as a Staff Writer. He also currently works for nonprofit organization, Project Censored, as a Creative Director for their podcast, “Along the Line.” When not writing on an article or searching for news, you can often catch Dylan watching YouTube videos, or even creating some himself. Being a recent communications and journalism graduate, he hopes to share his thoughts on the world of professional wrestling and gaming to the internet and the world. Instagram: @dylanlasagna || View My Articles

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