Scoob! marks the first time Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Incorporated gang have been brought to life via computer animation, which is a great way to reboot a classic franchise. The film starts with a 10-minute origin story of how Shaggy met Scooby, and then how the duo teamed up with Fred, Daphne, and Velma while trick-or-treating (Velma’s costume is awesome). We see them solve their first mystery together before we’re treated to an updated version of the cartoon show’s title sequence.
Unfortunately, it’s all downhill from there. For a reboot, Scoob! makes the enormous sin of taking its characters for granted. It’s almost as though the film’s five screenwriters didn’t want to make the movie about the Scooby gang, because after that first 10 minutes, the movie begins introducing a myriad other Hanna-Barbera characters — surely a desperate, corporate ploy to expand a cinematic universe that isn’t yet ripe for the expanding.
Shaggy and Scooby are attacked in a bowling alley by a bunch of strange robots controlled by Dick Dastardly, who wants Scooby-Doo because Scooby is an heir to the pet dog of Alexander the Great, and is thus the only dog who can open a portal to another dimension where Dastardly can gain riches and release a big ghost dog upon the world. But Shaggy and Scooby are rescued from Dastardly’s minions by Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, who are working to stop Dastardly’s plan from succeeding. All the while, Fred, Daphne, and Velma — well, they drive around and stuff, I guess. Captain Caveman (voiced curiously by Tracy Morgan) is thrown into the second act for good measure, as is Simon Cowell — playing himself. Don’t ask.
The overall character designs and style of the film are fine. And the first ten minutes could have led to a much better movie that adults and children alike could have enjoyed. With it’s slap-dash storyline and bevvy of supporting players, there’s not a lot to grasp onto narratively, emotionally, or even nostalgically. No Scooby Snack for this effort, Warner Brothers. Please try again.