The beloved Saturday morning kids cartoon series Scooby Doo, Where Are You? is, unbelievably, 50 years old, Of course, it has had some reboots and facelifts over the years – including the 2002 live action Scooby Doo and its sequel – but the latest incarnation, SCOOB!, is the first fully animated feature length version.
It starts as the origin story of how young, lonely kid Shaggy meets puppy Scooby Doo on a California beach, and how the new bestest pals team up with likeable kids Fred, Velma and Daphne after they all enter a local haunted house together. We then jump to a few years later and the kids – now teenagers – realise they need to start making money from their mystery solving business. Thanks to some advice from Simon Cowell (yes, really) their friendship is tested just as they find themselves caught up in baddie Dick Dastardly’s latest nefarious scheme.
Featuring some fun vocal performances from Isaacs as Dastardly, Mark Wahlberg as superhero Blue Falcon and Ken Jeong as Falcon’s far superior sidekick Dynomutt, this has lots of nods to the original cartoons for adults to enjoy, from the much loved unmaskings to the return of some familiar favourites from the Hanna Barbera universe.
Kids, meanwhile, will like the bright computer animation, contemporary references (although we’re not sure about the one mentioning Tinder) and smartly paced adventure, while the themes about friendship are sweet rather than sickly.
Perfectly suited to a family afternoon in front of the TV, this isn’t ground-breaking or particularly inventive, but it is cute, often funny (an IKEA gag and Scooby’s attempts to pronounce Dastardly’s name will raise a few chortles) and appealing both to the sentimental parent who grew up with Scoob and his pals, and young kids who are being introduced to the Mystery Inc gang for the first time.
Is SCOOB! suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
As with the original series, the movie does have the gang constantly in peril and investigating spooky events so is not suitable for young children who frighten easily. This includes the haunted house sequence, evil robotic bowling pins at a bowling alley, chase scenes and Dick Dastardly himself.
There are some more adult jokes (including the Tinder reference) but most should fly over the heads of younger viewers.
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