Scoob! is, quite simply, one of the worst cash-grabs in animation history.
Scoob! Is the latest attempt of Warner Bros. to rebirth one of their oldest materials, a cartoon that has fifty years of history behind it, with the simple idea of five friends traveling around solving mysteries and the clear message that in life there are no monsters, only humans in disguise.
Now in 2020 director Tony Cervone, who has previously directed animated Scooby-Doo movies, brings us the latest attempt to bring him back to life, this time as a millennial. We have a brand new voice cast, with the exception of Frank Welker who returns to voice Scooby-Doo, but the strange part about the recast of the voice actors comes from the fact that Zac Efron, Amanda Seyfried, Gina Rodriguez, and Will Forte could have been excellent choices for a live-action version of the characters, but lack the skills that Frank Welker (Fred), Grey Griffin (Daphne), Matthew Lillard (Shaggy) and Kate Micucci (Velma) most recently bought to the characters.
Scoob! follows the early steps of a lonely non-stoner Shaggy meeting a puppy he ends up naming Scooby-Doo, before meeting Fred, Daphne, and Velma, and solving their first mystery. We then get the montage of the gang solving mysteries all over the world, until they realizing they need financial backing — yes, this is part of the story. That story then sees the gang needing to decide whether to stay together and struggle or split up and solve mysteries themselves, only to find Shaggy and Scooby involved in a massive superhero-like mission, where they team up with Blue Falcon, Dee Dee Skyes, and Dynomutt, as they look to stop the evil Dick Dastardly from his evil plan, which isn’t actually even evil.
Scoob! does maintain the heart of friendship being key to getting through life; Shaggy and Scooby go on a full rollercoaster of emotions, with Shaggy spending most of the film trying to find his own place in the gang. We saw this in the first live-action movie, as we saw different career paths the gang took, only this time we just skip over the basics. When it comes to the mysteries we were looking to experience, well, we skip over those too, instead dealing with the creation of a shared universe with the characters including Dick Dastardly, Blue Falcon, and even an appearance from Captain Caveman. By making Dick Dastardly the villain the story feels even lazier, because we don’t get time to establish a true new villain, we just get the old school punching-bag. If you were a fan of the original series or even the last 20-odd years of adventures of Scooby-Doo, you will be left flat, empty, and disappointed with the fact our favorite character has lost all the edge that made him once stand out.
Overall Scoob! is one of the weakest versions of the cartoon character. It seems to focus more on trying to cash in on a superhero story, rather than letting us just have a good old mystery to solve, which was the bread and butter of the series, to begin with. This is one that will be completed outdated within a year.
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