Scoob! has no idea what its identity is. Scooby-Doo has had more animated movies than any other cartoon property. Yet Scoob! is somehow the first theatrical animated movie in the franchise. Or at least it would’ve been if the pandemic didn’t push it to streaming. Although I still haven’t committed myself to the direct-to-video Scooby-Doo movies, Scoob! felt a little more necessary. It was computer animated and seemed to be made with fans in mind. Then everything changed when the Hanna-Barbera universe was announced. Turning Scoob! into yet another desperate attempt at an MCU style cinematic crossover. Half the time it feels like Mystery, Inc. is only used for their name recognition. What 10 year old child is gonna know who Dynomutt, Captain Caveman, or Dick Dastardly is? They don’t have half the staying power of Scooby-Doo, yet every obscure Hanna-Barbera character is given a computer animated update.
What’s worse is the over reliance on cringey modern slang and references to Netflix, Ikea, or the Hemsworths. It’s like the movie has no target demographic. The all-celebrity cast is a much larger issue that continues Hollywood’s lack of faith in voice actors. Will Forte is a surprisingly unenthusiastic Shaggy. Zac Efron sounds right on paper, but his Fred is way too full of himself. Gina Rodriguez is another non-white Velma, but her brains almost make her boring. Amanda Seyfried is also off, but I felt like she was a lot closer to capturing Daphne. Frank Welker is the only returning cast member who only voices Scooby. Maybe it’s his age, but even his voice felt off. Scoob! seems to be an origin story about how a child Shaggy met a pup named Scooby-Doo. That, along with his meeting with Fred, Daphne, and Velma all feels very underwhelming. You know mysteries aren’t important when a revision of the Where Are You! opening is the only thing that feels remotely mysterious.
A very out of nowhere (and creepily rendered) Simon Cowell sereraptes Shaggy & Scooby from the gang. Leaving Fred, Daphne, and Velma to look for them when they’re abducted by the Falcon Fury. Everyone has some Scooby-Doo knowledge, but I know next to nothing about the Blue Falcon. Mark Wahlberg voices the son of Blue Falcon with a gritty new costume. Ken Jeong voices Dynomutt and Kiersey Clemons is given top-billing as the only black Hanna-Barbera character Dee Dee Skyes. Shaggy really doesn’t feel like the fanboy type, yet that’s given more attention than anything else. Jason Isaacs is trying a lot harder than he needs to as the villain Dick Dastardly. His plan involves finding his dog Muttley and opening the underworld to release Cerberus or something. Tracy Morgan eventually shows up as Captain Caveman, but it’s just as tact on as everything else. Although it tries to make friendship the heart of the movie, Scoob! is more incorporated character branding than mystery solving.