Review by Camden Ferrell
Scoob! is the newest animated movie featuring the beloved Mystery Inc. This movie comes from veteran animation director Tony Cervone. While this movie earns a few points for its attempt to set itself apart from previous incarnations of these characters, but it ultimately fails at being as funny and charming as one would hope.
In this newest adventure, our characters find themselves faced with their greatest threat yet. With the help of superheroes Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, the gang must stop Dick Dastardly from unleashing a “dogpocalypse” on the world. This story is a departure from the typically more contained adventures of Mystery Inc., but it still had the potential to explore our characters while amping up their stakes.
The overall execution of most of the scenes feels mostly uninspired. The timing feels out of place in a lot of its scenes, and the physical comedy doesn’t land with its intended impact. The scenes of action aren’t particularly enthralling either, and they don’t properly take advantage of its grandiose potential. It’s not bad in any way, but these scenes could have been carried out in a more engaging and lively manner. Luckily, this is somewhat made up with its occasionally astounding animation and color pallete.
The acting in this film is a heavily mixed bag. This movie unfortunately mostly opts for onscreen talent in place of traditional voice actors. Zac Efron gives a forgettable and pretty underwhelming performance as Fred. Amanda Seyfried and Gina Rodriguez are equally forgettable in their roles as Daphne and Velma respectively. Thankfully, Frank Welker returns to give a fairly decent performance as Scooby-Doo even if it pales in comparison to some of his other work. One of the more interesting performances comes from Will Forte who plays Shaggy. This is a hard character to nail, and it’s one of the most iconic characters in animation. While Forte is a talented voice actor and his performance is solid, it feels slightly out of place as Shaggy.
The movie does have some fun additions as well. It includes Blue Falcon and Dynomutt from their 1976 series, and they are played by Mark Wahlberg and Ken Jeong. Wahlberg gives a surprisingly great performance as Blue Falcon, and he’s a funny and charming addition to the cast. Unlike the rest of the actors, Wahlberg has great comedic timing and vocal inflection that makes the role more memorable than the others.
There are a lot of creative departures, but the movie seems to always make attempts at capturing the charm and spirit of the series. These attempts are rather unsuccessful, and it deviates to levels that make the characters feel significantly distant from the ones with which we grew up. Despite being able to speak in full sentences since the 2010 series, Scooby-Doo’s dialogue in this movie feels misplaced and gimmicky.
The film is also overfilled with pop culture references from Tinder to a brief rendition of “Shallow” from A Star is Born. It feels like the writers lazily throwing adult viewers a bone to satiate them as they watch with their children. It gets tired, and it doesn’t do much to enhance the film’s already week script.
Scoob! is not a movie that will make you feel nostalgic or greatly entertained. While it has its occasional virtues, it is a mostly lifeless and derogatory animated adventure that will probably appeal mostly to young viewers.
Scoob! is now available on VOD.