Scoob! Review: Seriously, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?

Scooby-Doo was one of my favourite cartoons growing up. I had religiously watched all the episodes on TV when that was still a thing, and then when I grew a bit older, I watched the movies and I enjoyed each and every one of them. Scooby-Doo was never really a horror show. It was a show that showed that it’s people who are the real bad guys in the world, and what seems scary now might just be something harmless once you remove the mask.

Now, with that being said, I must say that I am kind of disappointed with Scoob! – the new movie based on Scooby-Doo and his friends. I was very excited when news broke about the new movie and more so when it got a digital release in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. However, dreams hardly ever become a reality.

Scooby and Shaggy

Scoob

The movie starts off with a sweet note and this is probably my most favourite part of Scoob!. Shaggy and Scooby meet purely coincidentally and the backstory about how these two, and then eventually Fred, Velma and Daphne meet is absolutely heart-warming. Well, all of the 10 minutes that it lasted. We do get to get a glimpse of how the Mystery Inc. started and it was nice to hear, “And I would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids and that stupid dog!” Sigh. I miss those days.

I have no qualms about this part of Scoob!. It really is sweet and will give you a nostalgia trip – you know, of simpler times.

Growing up sucks

Scooby-Doo

We then move on to when the gang has grown up. The Mystery Inc. has formed and we see the famous van of the team. The gang then splits up due to issues and Scooby and Shaggy join Blue Falcon and his team. Then there’s this very jumbled and frantic plot-line about Scooby being an descendant of Alexander the Great’s dog and the villain, Dick Dastardly, using him to cause a global “dogpocalypse” by unleashing the Great Cerberus on the world.

But why though?

Scoob

Okay, as I said previously, I loved the Scooby-Doo shows. The 1969 Hanna-Barbera Productions Saturday-morning show was the best thing on TV at that time and I have really fond memories. However, since I have such a soft spot for the show, Scoob! irritated me. The movie is boring and without anything new and honestly, I had to take breaks in between to not feel frustrated. There’s no originality, which is quite sad.

Scoob! also has supernatural elements along with the tried-and-tested “man under a mask” theme, which I don’t hate. I also liked the voice actors. Frank Welker as Scooby-Doo is really fun and so is the rest of the cast. Also, let me just mention here that Zac Efron is Fred and that’s some great casting right there.

Now the problems…

Scoob

So, Scoob! doesn’t want to have anything to do with Scooby-Doo. Throughout the movie, I felt that it was trying to sell us a movie featuring ’90s nostalgia with as many modern elements as possible. It really seemed like a ploy to lure in kids of this generation with the MCU-inspired superhero Blue Falcon and enough elements from the old cartoon to draw in the OG crowd. And it seems to have worked! I saw a lot of user reviews who genuinely liked the movie. And that’s great, but really, with a cartoon like Scooby-Doo, why would that even be necessary?

Also, Blue Falcon is not funny. He’s an annoying man-child who is scared of not fitting into his father’s shoes. And I get that, but come on.

Backstory? Nah.

Shaggy and Sooby

Scoob! decides from the get-go that the audience has seen the original movies and shows. And that’s true – we have. But my god, it doesn’t give one shit about its characters. There’s no delving into the character’s history or backstory. We get the team as kids for 5 minutes and that’s it. They push us into the adventure which, honestly, is just sad. Now, that probably would’ve worked as well, had the adventure been “adventurous”, which it’s not.

The whole movie just seems to a lost opportunity.

Lastly

Scoob! is a one-time watch for all those people who grew up watching the movie – there are some easter eggs and some nostalgia (“Jinkies!”). The kids might have fun – but, well, that’s about it. But if you really want to enjoy Scooby-Doo, I’d suggest you go watch the original TV show. I know that’s what I am gonna do now.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Direction
Story
Voice

SUMMARY

Scoob! is an awkward mess of '90s nostalgia and Avengers-like superheroes. In the end, it fails to be either. A ruff ride indeed.
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Archi Sengupta
Horror Movies + Cats > People

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