Review: Scoob! (2020)

Sophie Hicks discusses the disaster that is the new Scooby-Doo film Scoob!

Sophie Hicks
22nd June 2020
Image Credit: IMDB
As someone who frequently looks at the Scooby-Doo family tree for a laugh (Scooby Dum, Whoopsy-Doo and Howdy-Doo are my favourites), thinks about the Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders (2000) film too often and had a dodgy bootleg copy of Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004) as a kid, it was fair to say Scoob! got my attention.

When the initial trailer came out, it seemed to be an origin story of how Scoobert Doobert "Scooby Dooby-Doo" Doo, Shaggy and the gang met and solved their first mystery together or something along those lines. Oh how I wish that was what this movie is. I'm not even sure what this movie is. I went in to viewing it knowing the reviews were bad, but it could at least be a laugh, and even then I was left disappointed.

As a twenty-year-old, I struggled to keep up with the plot

First and foremost, this isn't a Scooby-Doo movie. For the majority of the film, the Mystery gang do nothing to actually move the plot along, it's actually the side characters. Also, I hate when films split up the main team and then just allow 90% of the titular cast to do nothing. But anyway, back to the actual plot. As a twenty-year-old, I struggled to keep up with the plot half the time. This film had about four plots in total, and little of it made sense, even for a Scooby-Doo movie. It starts off as a 'this is them as kids' plot, and then Simon Cowell comes into the mix and then a bunch of 60s/70s character reboots, such as Blue Falcon, Dee Dee Skyes, Dynomutt, Captain Caveman and Dick Dastardly. However, don't be fooled- these aren't the characters you know and love. These are only their skins.

Scoob! poster
Image Credit: IMDB

Warner Bros skinned them alive and slapped different personalities on to them, and it was extremely unnerving. For instance, I'm pretty sure Dick Dastardly used the term "meddling millennials" at one point. He also had his own minions pretty much, but in the form of pretty ugly looking baby robots that he hated, despite creating an infinite number of them for himself. Oh, and Blue Falcon dabbed. I think this was Warner Bros attempt at making an extended cinematic universe, Marvel style, for Scooby-Doo and classic 60s/70s cartoon and comic book characters.

Honestly, I don't hate this idea, it could be a lot of fun. However, I don't understand how destroying the integrity of the original characters benefits anyone. Rather, it frustrates people who remember the originals, and yet they're also too forgettable in this film for younger generations to get attached to them. The best part of this cinematic universe collision was the credit sequence, where it showed them in a cooler comic-book-style animation, alongside many others. I'm still not sure why they didn't go for this animation style the entire film, because the animation throughout is god-awful and lacks any sense of depth or dimension for the characters, so they all look like plastic dolls that are quite terrifying.

For Godsake, in the end, Dastardy didn't even say "I would have got away with it if it wasn't for you meddling kids!" properly.

So yeah, if you're anything like me, you're confused as to what is happening in this movie. I guess the real plot is that Dick Dastardly wants to capture Scooby-Doo because he's the last living relative of Peritas, Alexander The Great's Dog, and only Scooby can open the door to the Underworld using Cerberus the dog's three heads so that Dick Dastardly can get Muttley, his own dog back, after he got trapped when he tried to steal the Underworld's treasure. I wish I was making this up, but the hardest drug I take is paracetamol.

Amanda Seyfried, Zac Efron, and Gina Rodriguez looking like plastic dolls in Scoob!
Image Credit: IMDB

The film has some nice moments, such as some homages to the original theme song and sequence here and there. I was also really excited when I saw that Dick Dastardly was the villain, as Wacky Races was a childhood favourite, but they just completely sucked the life out of him. He did have the Mean Machine though, so that's something at least. Oh, and the whole time my brother and I were waiting for some bad plot-twist villain scheme, we were betting on Blue Falcon, but to our surprise, they didn't go that route and it was extremely refreshing. However, it just lacked the heart of Scooby-Doo. For Godsake, in the end, Dastardy didn't even say "I would have got away with it if it wasn't for you meddling kids!" properly.

The biggest sin of this movie is that it ruins the Scooby-Doo family tree lineage

Oh, and I completely forgot that for a split second they killed off Shaggy and we got excited because something actually happened in this film, but the cowards couldn't kill him off for more than 30 seconds. They also made a Cats reference at the end, so I'm not sure whether I add or deduct a point to my rating based on that.

Honestly though, this film was pretty bad. Not even laughably bad, quite boring bad. Plus, there's the whole controversy of the new voice actors because they didn't consult the current (and largely long-time) voice actors beforehand, shoddily replacing some of the most iconic voices in animation history. Surely it would be less confusing for kids if they kept the voices they already know and love? Bit odd for Troy Bolton to voice Fred. If I was a kid, I wouldn't be interested in this version of Scooby-Doo, so this fails as a children's movie and as a Scooby-Doo reboot. However, the biggest sin of this movie is that it ruins the Scooby-Doo family tree lineage. How does Peritus, Alexander The Great's dog, link to Yankee Doodle Doo? It just makes no sense.

Rating: 1/5 stars, maybe a 2/5 with the Cats reference, which could also take it back down to to 1/5 on a good day.

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AUTHOR: Sophie Hicks
Former TV Sub-Editor for The Courier and BA Media Communication and Cultural Studies graduate

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