The World of Hanna-Barbera changed the lives of many with its dive into cartoons that would become cultural icons. Zany antics of the Flintstones, the futuristic mishaps of the Jetsons, and the exotic worlds explored by Johnny Quest, all painted the landscapes for many cartoons to venture down. Yet one of the most beloved was beloved dog and his best friends solving the supernatural crimes that plagued the world. Yes I’m talking about Scooby Doo, the loveable canine who over the years has taken on many forms, some great, and some not quite as epic. This weekend the Corona Virus has allowed his latest adventure to come directly to home and hopefully inspire a new bunch with a new style. Robbie K back for another limited review as he scopes out:
Movie: Scoob (2020)
- Like the New Animation Style
- The Nostalgia
- The Music
- The Heart At Times
- Treaded A little off the Path
- Caught Up On a Few Ideas
- Some Toxic Politics
- New Twist Took Away From The Scooby Antics
From talking with my parent friends they go to a kids movie to get their kids laughing and enjoying the adventure with them as they form memories. That’s going to be accomplished in this film as young and older join together to take part in the antics of our animated characters. The gang still has plenty of zany tricks up their sleeves with the leading duo taking lead in most of the phone of klutzy falls, cute one liners, and slapstick that the cartoon made famous. It’s new adventure tone is family friendly, more cute than scary, as the comedy tries to remain on that G- PG level that many modern guardians will want in the kids flick. The new animation style manages to pop the crew out, blazing colors, full of energy that manages to accent the scene and try to bring the environment out to full effect much like the drawings of the past. Yet the driving factor of the movie is certainly the nostalgia, as the famous techniques of the classic cartoon brigade come out in full force to help immerse those who grew up with Scooby into the new style, while still pleasing the young. The snack jokes, the sites they visit, background shots of famous monsters, and even the opening credits are all about taking you back into the past of the famous Scooby adventures. However, the new twist goes a step ahead and potentially hints at a connected Hanna-Barbera universe where all sorts of classic characters may try to stay relevant in the modern universe. I guess time and profits will tell right? Still all the fun cute visuals and nostalgic themes get a hand with great music, compilations and covers of famous tracks that are sometimes used super creatively, and other times meant to make people just get up and dance. It’s simplistic sure, but it helped up the energy of some of the scenes again. Then comes the heart of the show. While most of the cartoons in the past are meant more for laughs and simple humorous adventures, Scoob decides to add a little more heart to mixture. Themes like being best friends, courage, and empathy are just some of the strong components that drive this movie to heart string pulling levels that will make the sensitive cry and those with big hearts relate. A few scenes in the middle to end are surprisingly deeper than expected and I give them props for expanding these simpler characters to some more fulfilling roles.
For all the good though, there can potentially be a lot of bad and Scoob is not able to run away from some of these problems. It starts off with treading off the beaten path for an attempt at something new. While, the movie gets points for originality, the movie’s dive from comedic mystery to comedic adventure with a super hero twist is not the world I was hoping to start my journey in. The focus of comedy, kid friendly ideas, and this quick opening into the universe made for a bit of a jumbled plot that was entertaining at times but just not the quality of the classics. Some of the characters were reduce to political pieces, others block headed pieces meant to make potential statements or get cheap laughs, and others getting a decent dose of character development. It’s this inconsistency that makes the movie feel a little sloppily put together, and being unable to blend all these directions together was a big limiting factor. As such, the movie also got lost in some toxic motives again, political trends being interjected into the dialogue at times once again turning the characters into new agenda pawns. Because of these agendas and some dialogue heavy in foreshadowing thanks to sappy, clichéd writing, the plot’s mystery and originality was diluted to a predictable film that some kids movies tend to fall into these days. As for the voice acting… it’s okay, Frank Welker wins the best voice acting cast for me and of the adults, Ken Jeong and Mark Wahlberg are close seconds in terms of bringing their characters to life. Others though felt sort of forced on them, choosing to really sell the political moments, while other times seeming bored with the fun dialogue. Given all the directions they were taking though, it sort of diverted away from that spirit of Scooby that we all loved in his first adventures long ago, something I think of lot of people were looking for.
For a kids film Scoob accomplishes the victory of being a cute bout of fun that the modern audience will adore with their younger audience members. It’s new animation is fluid and fun and the use of color and music will really bring the energy of youth that we all look for in these films. However, the heart and the nostalgia are going to be the key factors for many older audience members to look forward to in order to better buffer into the new twists. Sadly, the movie’s lack of focus, splitting of agenda and forced character development took away from the film, and the mystery we so love turned into a comic like adventure with loads of simplicity. Scoob’s overall presentation feels rushed, potentially thanks to COVID, and did not quite deliver on the full potential I was hoping they would. Depending on the success though, a new universe could be born to the modern era… again, and we may see more team ups coming in the new future. At that point, this story will start fitting in better.
My scores for the movie are:
Movie Overall: 6.0