SCOOB! (2020) Reviews and overview

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‘Mystery loves company’
Scoob! is a 2020 American 3D computer-animated film directed by Tony Cervone from a screenplay by the latter Matt Lieberman (The Addams FamilyMonster on the Hill), Adam Sztykiel, Jack Donaldson and Derek Elliott.

Producers Charles Roven and Richard Suckle – responsible for Warner’s live-action Scooby-Doo (2002) and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004) – were joined by Cervone’s producer wife Allison Abbate whose credits include The Iron Giant, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and the Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie.

The film is the first in a proposed Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe. As part of the Warner Animation Group banner, the Scooby-Doo movie will apparently lead a roster of animated big-screen adventures featuring characters from the late 60s/early 70s stable of Hanna-Barbera.

Zac Efron (Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile) and Amanda Seyfried (Jennifer’s Body) play Fred and Daphne, respectively. The voice cast includes Will Forte (Last Man on Earth) as Shaggy, Gina Rodriguez as Velma (Annihilation), and Tracy Morgan (30 Rock) as Captain Caveman. Franchise stalwart Frank Welker, who has voiced Fred Jones since the cartoon’s inception in 1969 and has been the voice of Scooby-Doo from 2002 on is also onboard.

Animated by Reel FX for Warner Animation Group, the film was initially titled S.C.O.O.B. (and was announced as a live-action/animated project). Tony Cervone was initially hired to direct the film in August 2015, with Dax Shepard being brought to co-write and co-direct it in September 2016. By October 2018, Shepard was no longer a part of the project. Much of the cast was hired in March 2019.

Since childhood, Shaggy Rogers, Fred Jones, Velma Dinkley, and Daphne Blake have been solving mysteries across the globe accompanied by Shaggy’s pet dog, Scooby-Doo. However, their greatest mystery together comes in a turn of events when the Blue Falcon recruits Shaggy and Scooby to thwart Dick Dastardly and his canine cohort Muttley from causing a global “dogpocalypse”.

The release date of May 15, 2020, was going to be theatrical but is now on digital due to the lockdown.

“Of course, while Scoob! doesn’t make big sweeping moves to unnecessarily advance its protagonists, one big change from tradition is in the style of animation that gives the characters a literal extra dimension – and it’s a change that works.” Cinema Blend

it feels like because the IP is valuable, it had to be put to use regardless of how well it channels the original properties. Scooby-Doo is not a superhero property, but superheroes are hot right now, so Scooby-Doo must become a square peg shoved into a round hole.” Collider

Scoob! stays incredibly fast-paced, cramming in a ton of quips and content with barely a lull long enough to break for the bathroom. It’s a movie loaded with hijinks, heroics, humor, and a little horror that can etch ear-to-ear smiles on Scooby fans of all ages. Shouldn’t that always be what Scooby-Doo is all about?” Culture Crypt

“The ensuing mess of events continues to take us further away from the ingredients that made the original show and its many iterations so well-loved by so many, replacing a goofy small-town mystery with a blockbuster-level global quest. In trying to update the formula, the film’s four writers have expanded the focus too wide, flattening out the distinctively shaggy mystery elements and turning it into just another soulless kids movie.” The Guardian

“The laidback vibe of kids fighting supernatural threats and bad cases of the munchies has been replaced by enormous action setpieces. Fred (Zac Efron), Daphne (Amanda Seyfried), and Velma (Gina Rodriguez) are barely in the film. In their place are a lot of high-tech gadgets, and a ton of schtick involving Blue Falcon, who inherited his mantle and might not be cut out for crimefighting.” Screen Crush

” …Scoob! is a dumb movie, full of creaky topical references and jokes that are above kids’ heads but below adults’. It’s also pretty boring because it makes no real effort to give the plot any sort of cinematic build […] Perhaps your children won’t (and shouldn’t, really) care about the debasing of a lesser icon from yesteryear. But they might at least care about narrative structure!” Vanity Fair

“The plot is functional enough, zipping around the globe in a way the original Scoopy kids could rarely manage. There are big action setpieces, important lessons learned about friendship and lots of opportunities to slide in references to toxic masculinity and imposter syndrome and copyright infringement.” The Wrap


MOVIES and MANIA rating:

Scooby Doo: The Early Years – article

The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo – animated TV series

Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!

Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!

Scooby-Doo – 2002 live action

Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo

Scooby-Doo and Guess-Who? – 2019 series
Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost

Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King

Scooby-Doo! and the Loch Ness Monster

Scooby-Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost

Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare

Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster

Scooby-Doo! Glow in the Dark Puzzles – toys and games

Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays – 2012 short

Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated – animated TV series

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island

Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island (2019)

What’s New, Scooby-Doo?

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