REVIEW: ‘SCOOB!’ was a great idea that flopped on its face

Animated reboot was the worst Scooby-Doo movie I’ve ever seen


Shaggy Rogers (Will Forte) and Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) share nachos at a movie theater during the latest addition to the Scooby-Doo franchise, SCOOB! (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)

Jordan Parker

Scooby-Doo was my absolute favorite show as a kid and is now my comfort show when I need a laugh or two, but I can confidently say that the release of SCOOB! put a stain on the franchise.

I know that’s not very subtle, but director Tony Cervone dropped the ball on this one.

For years we’ve seen many different adaptations of the “Scooby-Doo” franchise such as the “Scooby-Doo” direct-to-video specials and “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!”

What do these have in common? They are the oldest and newest adaptations within the franchise and both are different in the style but keep the same nostalgia throughout. I knew I was going to get a classic teenage detective story that involves chasing down fictional monsters with a fun feel mixed in. I could always count on Shaggy and Scooby making fools of themselves and choosing to stuff their faces full of food instead of helping solve the mystery.

Most importantly, it was always relatable. The group of teenage friends going on adventures and searching for mystery, we could all relate to that at some point of our lives. I feel like we lost some of that in this film.

There was a laundry list of things wrong with this film, but let’s just start with the casting. There is no excuse for replacing prized voices such as Matthew Lillard (Shaggy), Frank Welker (Fred), Grey DeLisle (Daphne) and Kate Micucci (Velma).

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Of course, it’s important to note that Welker did stay on to voice Scooby-Doo, which he has done since 2002.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Zac Efron and Gina Rodriguez, but their voices weren’t convincing enough to play Fred and Velma. As for Will Forte (Shaggy) and Amanda Seyfried (Daphne), it was just a display of what poor voice casting sounds like.

I’m going to say it again — look back at all the adaptations within the “Scooby” franchise. The one thing that is constant are the voices. I could always count on those voices to bring the show or movie to life. I felt like I was missing some of that here.

Well, enough of my complaints. This story takes us to Venice Beach, California, where we meet the always hungry Shaggy and mischievous pup Scooby. The two instantly become best friends after sharing a sandwich and go on to run into Fred , Velma and Daphne while trick-or-treating on Halloween. From there, Mystery Incorporated is in business.

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The villain our gang is chasing this time? Dick Dastardly, who you may remember as an older Hanna-Barbera character from Wacky Races in 1968 and 1969 was paired with his now sidekick, Muttley, in “Dastardly and Muttley in their Flying Machines.”

Dastardly is one of the more famous villains from Hanna-Barbera, but he lacks the qualities of a Scooby-Doo villain — meaning he isn’t a ghoul or goblin in disguise trying to scare people off in order to protect some random treasure.

I felt like Mystery Inc. was a teenage version of The Avengers and Dastardly was seeking world domination. Anyway, Dastardly kidnaps Scooby-Doo as he searches for the gate to the underworld in order to save his pal Muttley and steal the gold that lies beyond. The gang ends up teaming up with Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg) and his sidekick Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) to try to save the day. Did they do it? That’s for you to find out.

No matter how much I disliked it, this movie wasn’t without its bright spots. The theme song at the 12-minute mark made me feel like I was watching “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!” Not to mention the detail in the cinematography; it brought a modern feel to Scooby-Doo that we hadn’t seen before with slick new computer animation. Lastly, I like how we see the incorporation of social media in the movie when Blue Falcon was posting pictures on his social media page. That small addition gives some of the younger fans something they could relate to.

At the end of the day, did it put a smile on my face? Yes. But it wasn’t the Scooby-Doo I was accustomed to. When “SCOOB!” was first in its early stages of production, I anticipated greatness. The movie that I watched did not live up to that standard.

It hurts because this was like watching my childhood crumble on screen. All of you Scooby fans out there, this shouldn’t dissuade you from watching the movie, but it should serve as a warning not to expect much.

Scooby-Doo, you deserved better.