Scoob! is now available to watch on Theater at Home VOD streaming, after seeing its theatrical release canceled along with every other film that was on the release schedule this spring. The film has had a long development process since being announced in 2014, including multiple directors and writer leaving the projects and a small controversy with the voice cast. Nevertheless, Scoob and the gang are back in this modern update to the Mystery Inc. and their story. Also along for the ride are a bunch of Hanna-Barbera characters in what feels like an attempt at making a Hanna-Barbera film universe. The pleasant surprise is they seem to have pulled it off.
Scoob Has a Ton of Heart
Scoob begins back when the Mystery Inc. gang are all young kids and Shaggy meets Scoob as a puppy. Their bond is instantly deep, and while trick or treating they meet Fred, Daphne, and Velma. Right off the bat they solve their first mystery, and we flash forward to present day, with the team looking to get funding for a large scale Mystery Inc. business. After being told by Simon Cowell that Shaggy and Scoob are the weak links in the business, the pair heads off on their own and stumble into a plot by Dick Dastardly to open the gate of the undead and rescue his dog Muttley. Attempting to stop him with the gang is Blue Falcon, Dynomutt, and Dee Dee Sykes. Many twists and turns take place, including a run-in with Captain Caveman, and ultimately the gang learns that the bond of friendship can conquer anything.
It is a bit striking to see a CGI Scooby-Doo cartoon, but you get used to that pretty quickly. It helps that it looks gorgeous, this is the leader in the clubhouse for best looking animation in 2020 right now. The environments are creative and well done, and the characters feature great textures and a clean, sleek look, not to mention action sequences that do something classic animation allowed you to do: follow the action side to side on your screen. It made it much easier to keep track of what was going on. That was greatly appreciated.
Much has been made about the voice cast all being new and many of the classic Scoob voice actors not being brought back. While that is unfortunate, the new cast does a great job. Mark Wahlberg does a good job as Blue Falcon, as does Jason Issacs as Dastardly. It brought smiles to faces hearing Tracy Morgan as Captain Caveman as well, he was perfect. But the film would be DOA if the Mystery Inc. gang was not entertaining, and happily they are. Zac Efron, Gina Rodriguez, and Amanda Seyfried are great as Fred, Velma, and Daphne. They all play really well of each other, and some of the funniest comedy moments come from those three being together, even though they spend most of the film away from Shaggy and Scoob.
Shaggy and Scoob are perfect. Will Forte does a pretty admirable job as Shaggy, a little shaky to start as he gets his bearings, but once he gets his feet under him he hits all the right notes. Frank Welker has been Scooby since 2002, and he knows what he is doing by now. He is as solid as ever. The two rightfully carry the film on their backs, and all of the emotional beats are amplified by the good work the two do. Scoob feels like a classic Shaggy/Scooby adventure and that is half the battle when you try to update a franchise like this.
The film is not perfect. All of the modern references to things like hashtags and such feel a bit forced, and the wrap-up of the mystery at the end is a little off. But the most important part of all of this is that Scoob does a great job applying the concept of friendship and zaniness from the classic cartoon to a modern setting. All kinds of easter eggs for fans of the franchise are around, and hopefully they get to tell another story in this universe one day.