by Adam Thas
When I sat down to watch Scoob with my kids, I had already heard the early reviews and seen that it was getting panned, but was ready to defend it. I have found myself, on occasion, defending the live action Scooby-Doo movies from the early 2000s because, while they’re complete messes and not good movies, what was the expectation? I mean, it’s Scooby-Doo, a show that has lived on for nearly 50 years by using the same plot over and over: talking dog, mystery, solve mystery. Repeat next week. It’s this simplicity that made Scooby-Doo successful. There is a comfort in the repetition, and the idea that scary things may not be as scary as you think they are is what made it so appealing to kids. Straying from that original idea is what made the live action movies so terrible. When I saw the preview for Scoob, it appeared to be an “origin” movie where the gang all solves their first mystery together.
I’m a child of the '80s and even back then most of these characters were already 10 years old. There is an “Easter Egg” toward the end of Scoob that gives a shout-out to Magilla Gorilla, and it was at that point I found myself asking who this movie was made for? My wife is the same age as me and she had no idea who any of these characters were. As it is, the only reason I knew any of these characters was from midday re-runs on UPN during the summer in the mid 1980s. One of the “unique” things that Scoob does is change the dynamic of Dynomutt. If you’ve ever watched a Dynomutt cartoon, you know Blue Falcon is always making fun of Dynomutt because he screws up. Well in Scoob, Dynomutt is the hero and Blue Falcon is the screw-up. This may be mildly interesting if you had any recollection of the original show, which almost no one watching it has. My children are 3 and 6, and I had kids later in my life and I barely remember these shows from re-run, so who is this for? Who watching Scoob has any vested interest in any of these characters besides Scooby-Doo and the Gang? I can only surmise that these characters were thrown into a movie because someone felt the need to launch them into their own series; otherwise, it makes absolutely no sense. By the end of the movie, Scooby is being chased by Cerebus the three headed dog across ancient Greece. Not a robot. Not a guy in a mask. The actual dog. At no point in Scoob is there a mystery and a majority of the movie is spent with Shaggy, Scooby, Fred, Velma, and Daphne being split up in their own separate movies. Nothing that made Scooby-Doo successful is present.
I was genuinely excited for Scoob, and even though I knew it wasn’t going to be great I still was ready to defend it, but I did not see this coming. I’ve seen a lot of kids' movies, but this is a unique type of bad and it upsets me that something so simple can be screwed up to this level.