Director: Tony Cervone
Cast: Will Forte, Mark Wahlberg, Jason Isaacs (VOICES)
Release Date: July 21, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 5/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
“SCOOB!” reveals the never-before-told story of Scooby’s origins. It shows how one of history’s most famous friendships began when an adorable, homeless puppy met a lonesome young boy named Shaggy, and how the two of them joined forces with aspiring young detectives Fred, Velma and Daphne to become the celebrated Mystery Inc. Now, with hundreds of cases solved and adventures shared, Scooby and the gang face the biggest and most challenging mystery of their careers: a plot that will unleash the legendary ghost dog Cerberus upon the world. As they race to stop this “dogpocalypse,” they discover that Scooby has a secret legacy and an epic destiny greater than anyone imagined.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Scoob!’ invites viewers to experience a new take on Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang. Beginning with the origins of how Shaggy and Scooby first crossed paths as well as how the group itself got together and built an unbreakable bond as mystery-solvers following a frightful Halloween night, the film then accompanies Shaggy and Scooby after a group meeting reveals that they apparently aren’t as needed as they might have believed. Heading out for a relaxing night of bowling and stuffing their faces, the best buds soon find themselves beamed aboard the ship of their hero the Blue Falcon only to discover that their help is needed to stop the fiendish Dick Dastardly whose devious agenda seems to directly involve Scooby. Now they’ll have to put aside their fears and try to help save the world while the remainder of the Mystery Inc. crew attempts to figure out where they went and assist however they can.
‘Scoob!’ is quite the mixed bag of a film, offering gorgeous animation and a long overdue look at the origins of our lovable mystery solvers as well as integrating numerous fan-favorite Hanna-Barbera characters into the tale for something unique. Unfortunately it also finds itself struggling to balance all of the content or find the right people to portray these unforgettable animated characters and after a steady and actually quite heartwarming start seems to lose its focus on the Mystery Inc. gang more than it should, instead opting for simply tossing out every reference and random character they can think of and letting the tale get sloppy and distorted as a result. These odd choices also tend to cause these popular characters to often behave in an unfamiliar manner that can be far too contradictory to their roots to simply ignore for longtime fans. The younger audiences on the other hand who are just getting interested in the world of Scooby and the gang are liable to have more fun with this one and not be troubled by its issues (or lack of Scooby-ness if you will).
Perhaps the biggest aspect of this new animated feature directed by Tony Cervone (Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo, Scooby-Doo! And Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery) which was initially intended for a wide theatrical release that separates it from the ongoing animated movies and series these characters have frequented in recent years is the voice cast which abandons the standard set of voices we’re all familiar with (aside from Frank Welker who returns, yet only as Scooby in this film) for an entirely new set of actors and unfortunately many of them don’t work all that well and become somewhat of a distraction while watching. Featuring the voices of Will Forte, Gina Rodriguez, Zac Efron and Amanda Seyfried as the voices of Shaggy, Velma, Fred and Daphne respectively, along with Mark Wahlberg, Jason Isaacs, Kiersey Clemons, Ken Jeong, Tracy Morgan and more, some of which definitely work far better than others, yet the ones that don’t can be almost painful in how much they contradict with the portrayals of these popular characters that have been gracing television screens for over half a century.
Overall, ‘Scoob!’ has plenty of fun moments, humorous tidbits and action-packed excitement around each turn, but it also becomes overwhelmed by the amount of activity it attempts to balance which often causes it to lose track of the film’s onset which starts quite promising before going off the rails in many ways, while many of the new voice cast selections don’t do it any favors either. ‘Scoob!’ is far from perfect and definitely has its share of hiccups throughout but it also has its share of rewarding elements and offers up enough goofy fun to make it worth a mere ninety minutes of your time. Scooby fans who haven’t yet had a chance to check out the new movie will probably want to at least rent a copy and give it a shot in order to make up their own mind, although I would encourage trying to go in without overwhelming expectations if possible.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Scoob!’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks magnificent as a whole and dazzles with a bright, smooth and richly detailed presentation from start to finish that captures the vivid animated colors splendidly and never suffers from any faults or troubles along the way. It holds up impressively even during the various darkly lit, fast moving and heavily populated moments, never causing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition presentation that only surpasses expectations every step of the way.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio Soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack is equally magnificent and provides a clean, smooth and wildly active audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all five available channels in order to send a plethora of music, vehicles, characters and a great deal more constantly whipping throughout the various speakers and never allowing any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a fantastic 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that perfectly complements the onscreen fun and adventure while also contributing its share of additional enjoyment to the viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Scoob!’ includes some fun extras for fans of all ages. Included on the release is a collection of ‘Deleted Scenes with introductions by Director Tony Cervone’ (running approximately 20 minutes in length altogether), along with some ‘Bloopers’ (running approximately 4 minutes) and a few other fun videos such as ‘How To Draw Scooby-Doo with Director Tony Cervone’ (approximately 10 minutes), plus ‘New Friends, Newer Villains’ (6 minutes) and ‘Puppies!’ (1 minute).