Scoob! is a 2020 animated mystery comedy film based on the Scooby-Doo franchise. The film stars the voices of an ensemble cast including the likes of Frank Welker, Will Forte, Mark Wahlberg, Jason Isaacs, Zac Efron and Amanda Seyfried.
Scoob! starts off as a bit of an origin story, with a young Shaggy Rogers befriending a stray Great Dane, whom he names Scooby-Doo. Scooby and Shaggy soon befriend Fred, Daphne and Velma and thus, form Mystery Inc. I really enjoyed this part of narrative and I liked the fact that the film addressed the origins of Scoob and the gang, it’s just a shame the film jumps forward too quickly after this point.
The rest of the film takes place years later and it doesn’t take long for the gang to find out that a supervillain is out to capture Scoob. With the help of superhero Blue Falcon, Mystery Inc sets out to thwart the supervillain’s evil plans. After the fun and entertaining opening to the film, the film takes off at an explosive pace and crams a number of different narratives into its 93 minute runtime.
Despite the franticness to the film, the plot itself is nothing we haven’t really seen before. I feel like ‘boring’ is too harsh a word to use, because Scoob! certainly has some great moments, but I feel like even the youngest of fans may find themselves twiddling their thumbs. Scoob! includes so many different themes too, from superheroes to Greek mythology, the film ends up feeling like a bit of a mishmash of ideas. I appreciate that the film had to go in a slightly different direction from the cartoon series, but frankly the story takes so many twists and turns that it becomes tedious to watch at times.
Scoob! features a mammoth voice cast, with some huge names voicing the main cast. Will Forte voices Shaggy, Frank Welker voices Scooby-Doo, Zac Efron voices Fred, Amanda Seyfried voices Daphne and Gina Rodriguez voices Velma Dinkley. The supporting cast is equally as impressive, with the likes of Mark Wahlberg, Jason Isaacs and Ken Jeong all having starring roles. I was particularly impressed with Mark Wahlberg’s voice work as Blue Falcon; he portrayed a brilliant nervous superhero in what surprisingly, was his first voice acting role to date.
Whilst the animations aren’t quite Pixar level, they certainly hold up well and match some of the fantastic voice work throughout the film. My only gripe with the voice work is the fact that young Scooby at the beginning of the film has the exact same voice as the older Scooby later in the film. Whilst I’m not going into technicalities of what a dogs voice would sound like (because trust me, I don’t know!), I did find it a bit odd that Scooby had a noticeably deeper voice than the rest of the young gang at the beginning of the film.
One thing I did love about Scoob! was the number of pop-culture and movie references. From mentions of Harry Potter to Wonder Woman, it was nice to see Warner Brothers flexing their licensing muscles. Another surprising yet fun reference came in the form of the film’s supervillain, Dick Dastardly. Yes, that is Dick Dastardly of Wacky Races and his motives in the film become clear when we learn that he needs Scooby to save his beloved dog Mutley. These classic cartoon references may go over the heads of younger audiences, but they add an extra level of enjoyment to fans of early animation.
After an entertaining opening, Scoob! lets itself down with a convoluted and overpacked plot which at times, verges on boring. Despite this, there are plenty of pop-culture and movie references for audiences young and old to enjoy.