Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Frank Welker, Matthew Lillard, Grey DeLisle, Mindy Cohn, Danica McKellar
Director: Spike Brandt
Series: a Scooby-Doo! Movie
Release Date: 16 February 2010
Length: 73 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: DVD
My Rating: 3/5 stars
“While paying a visit to the secluded Whirlen Merlin Magic Academy, Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, Fred and Velma attempt to stop sinister forces that want the school closed. But to thwart the baddies, the gang will have to face a slew of menacing monsters. Full of surprising twists and turns – not to mention the goofy antics of everybody’s favorite cowardly canine – this animated adventure delivers a spine-tingling blend of magic and mystery.” — Netflix.com
I was a bit disappointed in this movie. I thought it was going to be fun and have lots of magic tricks and spoofs, but it did not really live up to my expectations. The animation style in this movie is different than what I am used to seeing and I felt like the characters were not quite themselves. Fred is attracted to one of the magician’s beautiful assistants and Daphne gets jealous. Daphne is determined to become as graceful as her rival and get Fred’s attention focused back on her. Thelma doesn’t really come up with any clues and doesn’t seem to be pursuing the mystery. Shaggy is being nice to Thelma’s sister, Madelyn, who has a crush on him and literally becomes her white knight as he goes out of his way to save the day. I felt like each of the characters was changed in this movie and didn’t really care for the changes. I also did not like Matthew Lillard‘s vocals for Shaggy in this movie. His voice was tolerable in the live-action movies, but I really did not enjoy it in this animated version. I was not a fan of Casey Kasem‘s portrayal of Shaggy’s voice, but he was better than Lillard.
The gryphon is pretty cool and is animated well. I loved the castle setting and the thought of someone taking the time to build a castle like that in essentially the middle of nowhere. The obvious villain, who is trying to buy the castle, is pretty funny as he is trying to sell brussel sprouts & other vegetable flavored ice cream. He is too obvious to be the evildoer behind trying to shut down the magic school, but it is nice to have a bad guy up front and out in the open. I suspected that I knew who was behind all of the gryphon attacks about 20 minutes into the movie and, for once, I was absolutely right! This is unusual for me as I typically cannot tell who the bad guys are or if there is a bad guy in these new movies.
The plot is pretty simple, the music is nothing special and the mystery is pretty easy to solve. I enjoyed the movie because I like Scooby-Doo movies, but it is definitely not one of my favorites or even one of the better ones out there right now.
There are a few intense, kind of scary sequences when the gryphon is attacking and the banshee is chasing the crew. It is pretty typical for Scooby-Doo movies and I felt like there are other episodes that are much scarier. Appropriate for viewers of all ages though you will probably want to watch with your younger children (ages 5 and under) to make sure they are doing okay.