Scoob! is a scrappy attempt at rebooting one of the most beloved animated series/movies. But one thing it definitely is is more of a targeted opening towards creating a Hanna-Barbera universe. The film is perfect for a targeted audience in the younger K-12 demographic. Scoob! looks to write an origin story for our favorite talking dog. It does so in a unique fashion, albeit reutilizing plot devices.
First off, the animation definitely threw me for a loop. It feels close to an attempted realistic look like The Clone Wars, but it really fails miserably. Once you get used to it, you can kind of ignore it. But there are some cases where it feels like it can’t decide between realistic animation, and staying safe in accepting it’s going to look animated. The animation team needed to find a better balance, with transitional points. Or they needed to pick one style and go with it.
One thing Scoob! never fails to do is draw its audience’s emotions out of them. From the play at adult language jokes, (F-bombs away is something I might take up using), to clever Easter eggs for the older generations to recognize from Hanna-Barbera. There’s even a moment at the end that will make you forget where you’re at and start crying. Even though it’s a kids movie.
The plot for Scoob! is one that’s typical. Heck, Scooby-Doo, directed by Raja Gosnell even utilizes something similar. There are two things that vary, but in an effort to remain spoiler-free I won’t touch the details. What I can say, is that what the film tries to do is be a light-hearted opening to a potential Hanna-Barbera universe that pays homage to everything Scooby-Doo before it. From the recreations of the original title sequence, to the inclusions of the Scooby snack. To the iconic final battle sequence that reminded me incredibly of Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase. The ending’s where Scoob! really felt most like an iconic Mystery Inc.
While the writers tried to integrate the best features of Mystery Inc., it fails to provide a plot that connects us to any characters other than Shaggy and Scooby. I would have liked to see more from Fred, Velma, and Daphne. Their utilization seemed to simply provide an easy way to solve a mystery that left them from the grasp of the original storyline. If this truly a film about Mystery Inc., it would have been better if the core five had not been separated for half the film. The team is what makes the movies, and the television series great.
No matter what the flaws Scoob! has, the first thing to remember the targeted audience. The film is written by fans of a series that wanted to bring an iconic franchise a new look, in order to bring in a new generation in on a first fandom for many of us. It’s important to realize this is an introduction to characters many people my age, and older were introduced to on Boomerang. It’s a fairly perfect introduction, if only the title were different.
If you’re looking for a light-hearted film to help alleviate some qualms during the COVID-19, I would say pick up this film. It’s worth it, so long as you can leave your expectations at the door. If you go in looking too close for a Scooby-Doo and Mystery Inc. film, you might find yourself disappointed. –Katie Gilstrap