"There's nothing new or interesting about this movie."— Chris Stuckmann
"It just feels like a generic superhero movie with Scooby-Doo characters in it. It's just really forgettable."— Jeremy Jahns
"SCOOB is an entirely wasted potential that had a lot of great ideas, but it ended up becoming just another bland film that took an old property and try modernize it in an uninspiring way."— AniMat
Scoob! (stylised in all caps) is a 2020 American 3D computer-animated mystery adventure comedy film based on the Scooby-Doo! franchise, and is the first instalment of the Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe with Dynomutt, Dog Wonder, and Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels, all created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears, and based off characters created over at Hanna-Barbera Productions, as well as a reboot of the Scooby-Doo film series. It was produced by Warner Animation Group, and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, with the film's animation being provided by Reel FX Creative Studios, and was also directed by Tony Cervone. It stars the voices of Frank Welker as the titular character (the only current television cast member to feature), as well as Will Forte, Gina Rodriguez, Zac Efron, and Amanda Seyfried as Shaggy, Velma, Fred and Daphne respectively, and also features the voices of Mark Wahlberg, Jason Isaacs, Kiersey Clemons, Ken Jeong, and Tracy Morgan as other Hanna-Barbera animated characters as well as Simon Cowell voices himself.
Scoob! was released on May 15 on Video-On-Demand due to the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic that closed down movie theatres across the globe. To make up for its intended worldwide theatrical release, the film was then theatrically released in select international countries, beginning in July 2020. The film subsequently received a secondary theatrical release in the United States beginning on May 21, 2021. A sequel is in development, while a spin-off titled Scoob! Holiday Haunt was set for release in Christmas 2022, however, it was scrapped under a series of cost-cutting measures at Warner Bros. Discovery.
With hundreds of cases solved and adventures shared, Scooby and the gang face their biggest, most challenging mystery ever -- a plot to unleash the ghost dog Cerberus upon the world by Dick Dastardly. As they race to stop this global dog-pocalypse, the Mystery Inc. gang discovers that Scooby has a secret legacy and an epic destiny greater than anyone could have imagined.
- Although the original two theatrical live-action Scooby-Doo! movies aren't very good films, SCOOB! is no better, because while it has some improvements, the main issue is that it lacks the charm of the Warner Animation Group movies since it hasn't produced any more Lego movies and the movie is your typical standard "find the MacGuffin" trope film with more focus put on generic superhero, science-fiction, adventure, action and wacky comedy genre like most modern cinematic universes (even movies and animated films as well, except Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar) with not really much of mystery solving, which doesn't really follow the Scooby-Doo formula closely, despite being a Scooby-Doo! film.
- Furthermore, what makes the film even pointless is that giving Scooby-Doo a heritage as a plot element is nothing really new in the Scooby-Doo! franchise as Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has already done this plot element that was very complex and also ties well into the concept of Mystery, Inc. as a whole, and it also ties well into Scooby's relationship with the members of Mystery, Inc. The heritage in this movie is more based on typical sacrificing the chosen one to make things right that's been done in many movies already.
- A criticism of the trailer is that it depicts Scooby without pronouncing a majority of his words with an R. This actually isn't anything new, considering Mystery Incorporated (which the movie's director worked on) had Scooby speaking in proper English most of the time, as well as the fact that a lot of the recent Direct-to-Video movies downplayed this aspect. Admittedly, this was hard for all of the Scooby voice actors, leading to it being downplayed even in the original series as time went on.
- Similar to most films that focusing on the idea for trying to setting up for Cinematic Universe than the actual story, such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the infamous 2017 reboot of The Mummy, the film focus on the idea for more mainly setting up a Cinematic Universe for the Hanna-Barbera franchise, rather than being a actual Scooby-Doo! movie that are starting to tire of franchises trying to cash in on the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (though enough, Warner Bros. themselves are guilty of this considering how when they tried to to make a cinematic universe out of the The Lego Movie, over-saturation caused it to fizzle out, despite that it never killed the franchise.), in which it focusing on less, and because of this, the film feels very cluttered and rushed story as where it tries to throw in a lot of Hanna-Barbara elements without taking that much time to explore much more of those elements, particularly with Captain Caveman's appearance, who, despite his voice actor getting top billing and being featured on one of the international posters, is just shoehorned for only one scene, didn't end up getting that much more amount of screen time for much of anything to do, something that can be boiled down to the fact that he's hardly in the movie at all and is then left out and forgotten about after being defeated by Dynomutt into protecting the third skull of Cerberus, before being stolen and kidnapped Scooby-Doo by Dick Dastardly and joining the gang for the climax (though however, he does appear in end credits). His connection with Dee Dee and the Teen Angels isn't even touched upon, though one can make the assumption said group hadn't been formed yet in this film's world. But unlike those two films, however, the Cinematic Universe for Hanna-Barbera actually didn't get cancelled, since it doesn't released in theatres (due to COVID-19) nor box office bombs and there are more projects films that were in development. They also wasted perfectly good plot (through the Dark Universe is eventually resumed, with Renfield, a film centered around Count Dracula's henchman of the same name, has been in development).
- Similarly, some people were enticed by the Origin Story set up at the very beginning, only for the plot to quickly abandon that and only use it to explain how the Mystery Gang first met. Many found this unnecessary given that, if it wasn't the base of the film, they could have let the gang have a Multiple-Choice Past instead.
- When the announcement came of a new theatrical Scooby movie, a lot of people expected a traditional "Scooby-Doo" Hoax movie with just the gang. News that it was primarily a Crossover came early in interviews, but managed to be missed by a lot of people who weren't following the news that closely. In the end, the completed film doesn't really have a traditional Scooby mystery and is just centered around quest and adventure while stopping a bad guy instead of unmasking a monster. A Scooby-Doo film that lacks a mystery turned off plenty of Scooby-Doo fans.
- Alternatively, the idea of Scooby and Shaggy teaming up with various other Hanna-Barbera characters would've worked much better if they excluded the rest of the Mystery Gang from the plot and only focused on a handful of characters. Dynomutt/Blue Falcon's sub-plot in particular was worthy of a film by itself.
- For those that did want to see a Hanna Barbera cinematic universe launch, the direction of making an Alternate Continuity and putting it in a modern setting was an issue. Some feel this setting needed the freedom to pick and choose and to avoid the Canon Welding the Scooby-Doo Direct-to-Video Film Series had been doing for the previous year. For what it was worth, the movie ended up with a dual tone that on one hand clearly showed a loving embrace to many of the characters but made some changes that lead to a lot of "if it isn't broke, don't fix it" reactions. While others will admit that, given this film could launch a series of films, it is entirely possible some of these changes have intentional payoff plans that will lead to them being better appreciated. Until then, though, if this is all they wrote, it would make some older fans feel cheated to have not gotten the more classic versions.
- While most of the characters were funny and likable, the new character, Brian Crown/Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg's character) was very annoying and unlikable dude bro instead of being a serious and competent personality hero (not even for the mid-2000s standards anymore) as many fans were disappointed that this version of him is actually his son for Radley Crown and not the original of the classic Blue Falcon where it never appears in this movie.
- However, the classic Blue Falcon does make a cameo appearance, and it was later revealed that Radley Crown had retired to Palm Beach, Florida, so he is not dead.
- Despite being part of the main cast for the characters, the three Mystery Inc. members, Fred, Velma, and Daphne (while likable) feels rather pointless and forgettable, as they spend most of the film away from Scooby-Doo and Shaggy ending up getting kidnapped by Dick Dastardly in the process of trying to find them and served no purpose to the actual story.
- In fact, they actually did get the least much amount of screen time and were wasted out of the major characters (with the exception of Captain Caveman, who is knocked out by Dynomutt for protecting the third skull of Cerberus) as Scooby-Doo and Shaggy are the characters that the story gives the most focus to, while they were underdeveloped and more underutilized; they could have been written out, and it wouldn't have made a difference. It wouldn't even be that much of an issue to cut them from the story since they didn't appear in several movies and shows in the 1980s.
- Similar to the animated reboots shows and movies, like the 2016 reboot of The Powerpuff Girls, the Mystery Inc. members (except for Scooby-Doo, who is still current voiced by Frank Welker) were recast with celebrity voice actors for no discernible reason. The recurring voice actors for the main cast, like Matthew Lillard (Shaggy), Kate Micucci (Velma), and Grey Griffin (Daphne), were disappointed that they were not contacted to reprise their roles for the film. Despite that, however, the recurring voice actors still continue to voice their characters in the rest of the franchise, including for direct-to-video, video games, and shows.
- For the biggest example, Will Forte's voice performance as Shaggy isn't very good and lacks the charm compared to the rest of Shaggy's actors, like Matthew Lillard, even though he was trying his best to make it similar to Casey Kasem's impression, to which he considers Kasem an icon.
- Amanda Seyfried did a weak job at voicing Daphne Blake since she can sound deeper or may not sound like her cartoon voice actors.
- Zac Efron didn't do very well as Fred, since he gave a weak impression of Frank Welker, Fred and Scooby-Doo's voice actor.
- On the subject of Frank Welker, while it's great to hear that he reprised his role of Scooby-Doo, it comes off as hypocritical as they got him to reprise his role as Scooby-Doo, but not as Fred or to get any of the other voice actors from the original shows such as Matthew Lillard, making it pander to nostalgia for Welker for the classics. This is comparable to the 2019 remake of The Lion King, where they got James Earl Jones to reprise his voice role as Mufasa, but everyone else is recast.
- Gina Rodriguez did the below-average voice performance as Velma.
- Tracy Morgan did a terrible job as Captain Caveman since he just normally spoke in his normal voice rather than a growly broken voice as originated by Mel Blanc, which retcons the character. That said, he didn't even bother saying his signature "unga bunga" catchphrase.
- Ken Jeong gave a bland, forgettable performance as Dynomutt.
- Executive meddling: The director has stated that this was behind the recasting of the characters' voice actors - he actually intended to use the characters' original VAs, but Warner Bros. thought it would be better to use an all-star cast instead.
- While the animation is great overall for Reel FX Creative Studios, it tends to look uncanny at times, like Simon Cowell's (yes, he's in this) incredibly realistic rendering design that doesn't blend in with the Tex Avery-esque cartoony designs of the other characters, and Dynomutt's neck is an Inspector Gadget-like cute affection in more traditional animation, but due to his more realistic design becomes extremely creepy whenever it moves, resembling something like a python or a severe injury result.
- Speaking of which, while the redesigns for Scooby, Shaggy, Velma, and Daphne have been widely praised, Fred's has been met with much divisiveness. This is attributed to the fact that he no longer sports his signature ascot and looks more like a stereotypical TV jock. Not the first time, most of the Post-"Zombie Island" movies and "What's New Scooby-Doo" were hit by the same criticism on his design. Fans just can't picture the guy without his ascot.
- Overuse of unnecessary dated pop culture references, modern teen slang, and product placements. For example, there's Brian Crown/Blue Falcon dabbing in one scene after he was introduced in the Falcon Fury, the scene where Captain Caveman referred to the Mystery Machine as some "dope" wheels, the mention of toxic masculinity from Velma that comes out of nowhere, and the mentions of IKEA, Netflix, Tinder and Walmart. Furthermore, the soundtrack also contains too many overuses pop-culture songs that are out-of-place and unfitting.
- Scooby and Shaggy's friendship, while decent and faithful to the source material, feels rather unfocused, and the movie wants you to have believed this bond is the glue that holds the film in place and yet, it didn't, since it was quite underdeveloped.
- The movie copied many scenes of other movies, such as The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, another film produced by Warner Animation Group. For example: in the said The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Emmet's friends got captured by General Mayhem, which is exactly the same thing as Shaggy's friends have been captured by Dick Dastardly, but unlike Dick Dastardly, however, General Sweet Mayhem isn't actually an actual villain, since she was revealed that she just wanted to make peace with the citizens of Apocalypsburg, just like the rest of Systar System.
- Even though this isn't the first time that the franchise has done crossovers, this film's crossover is not done too well as the film tries to shoehorn too many Hanna-Barbara characters in, resulting in Mystery Inc. not getting a lot of focus as Scooby.
- Also, even though there was Scooby-Doo crossovers with Blue Falcon before, it was done way better because the primary focus of the film was kept on Mystery Inc. interacting with Blue Falcon, giving them an even number of screen time, and mystery solving was the main theme instead of typical superhero, science-fiction, action and adventure.
- The story is rather generic and cliché. Particularly, when Shaggy and Scooby-Doo's friendship breaks apart as it was coming off for used the "Friend or Idol Decision" cliché, when they are heading out to get the last skull of Cerberus.
- While the characters portrays faithfully, some characters are not accurate from their cartoon shows that retcons the character, especially in this case of Dynomutt and Captain Caveman. In the cartoon shows, Dynomutt was a bumbling silly robot dog sidekick; here, he is rather more sarcastic, straight, smarter, and blander. Captain Caveman, on the other hand, just normally spoke rather than his "cave-talk" dialogue in the show.
- The unnecessary faster energy pacing make the movie rather cluttered and hard to follow at times where it was never taking time to stop and breathe.
- While the film does pay homage to many Easter eggs, in-jokes and references, the cameos and references of other Hanna-Barbera characters, like Dee Dee Skyes and Captain Caveman, were out of place and intrusive. As a result, only older audiences and cartoon nerds will know who the heck these characters are.
- Most of the jokes and humor were either forgettable at best, or just cringeworthy, unoriginal, and unfunny at worst, including an opening joke involving a young Shaggy going through a playlist that plays music about being lonely that was ripped off straight from Zootopia and the Blue Falcon's intro being played to "All I Do Is Win" by DJ Khaled.
- Too many locations in the movie that are just only shoehorned for around in the entire one scene such as the Colosseum in Rome and not-common Scooby-Doo locations (save from the opening montage with the theme song), and basically can't decide what the locations are, as it was just road trip with the subplot, adventures on aircraft and adventures with hell.
- Very weak direction from Tony Cervone, the same director behind The Flintstones & WWE: Stone Age Smackstone.
- It doesn't have the same spirit to the live-action Scooby-Doo films, it tends to steer away from its usual mystery genre, and it manages to stay rather faithful to the Scooby-Doo! franchise through its heart and comedy.
- It does have some good messages about friendship and teamwork; two of the main themes of the source material, and yet this movie takes them to the most elaborate, with examples such as how friendship can live on and how teamwork can lead to more than just the sake of pairing up with one another, which are positive influences on the film's character development and for its target audience.
- The Mr. Peabody and Sherman-esque CGI animation is great. It works well with the film's tone, and it creates very spooky-themed aesthetics, all thanks to Reel FX Creative Studios. Even the character designs match their original versions, as mentioned earlier (except Fred).
- It does have an amount of fast and thrilling action that ties into the film's cartoony and adventure-like tone, especially the air chase scene when Dick Dastardly's ship battles against the Falcon Fury in the beginning.
- The scene where Dastardly and Muttley reuniting for the treasure is touching.
- The ending isn't too bad.
- Despite the Mystery Inc. members being poorly miscast and giving disappointing performances, most of the other voice acting is good.
- In particular, Jason Isaacs did an awesome job voicing Dick Dastardly, which makes him an impressive villain.
- Frank Welker reprises his 18-year role of Scooby-Doo, and is still as great as ever.
- Although the pop-culture songs were out-of-place and unfitting, the musical score by Tom Holkenborg is good.
- "Summer Feelings", the credits/main theme sung by Lennon Stella and Charlie Puth, is a great summer song with catchy and boppy synths, while the cover of the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! theme by Best Coast is super fun and a solid rearrangement!
- Though to be fair, there are some good pop-culture songs that were rather fitting, like "Sirius - Chicago Bulls Theme Song" by The Alan Parsons Project.
- Like mentioned before, most of the characters are likable and funny like Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Crew themselves, despite Fred, Velma, and Daphne being pointless and forgettable.
- There is over 340+ Easter Eggs and Pop Culture Reference, In-Jokes and Homages to the original source material, which make the film rather fun and interesting to watch, despite being out of place and intrusive.
- The Film does a good job portraying culture of both, California and Greece, as during scenes in both places, they incorporate real elements to make both places look real rather than look generic like most movies would.
- For example, in California, real places and street performers can be seen in the streets of Venice Beach and in Greece, the restaurant that is shown when the gang first arrives is indeed a real restaurant at the acropolis in Athens.
- These hilarious and memorable lines:
- "Oh please, my friends call me... Dick."
- "Okay... Rick."
- "I never thought I'd say this, but Simon Cowell was right! You can't count on friendship!"
- Scooby-Doo as the pup is adorable.
SCOOB! received mixed reviews from critics and audiences, who praised the callbacks to the franchise, animation, origin story, and Issacs and Welker's performance, but criticized the screenplay, pacing, modernization, lack of mystery, voice acting (particularly the Mystery Inc. members, mainly Forte) and reliance on pop culture references. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 48% based on 149 reviews, with an average rating of 5.30/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Scoob! is fun enough for youthful viewers and some hardcore fans, but never quite solves the mystery of why audiences shouldn't watch old episodes instead.". On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 43 out of 100 based on 33 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Despite the mixed reviews, it received favorable reviews by the fans of Scooby-Doo and Hanna-Barbera in general alike. Though some fans claimed it's a great installment of the Scooby-Doo franchise, others dismissed that it's a bad, and disappointing installment, and it's a disappointing way to start the cinematic universe, and it was later stated that many people are now re-evaluated the movie more positively for The Lego Ninjago Movie (despite the weakest film from The Lego Movie series).
Chris Stuckmann earned this movie a rating of D, saying how there's nothing new or interesting about this movie. Jeremy Jahns give it T-minus 1 day “Yep, I already forgot it” and says it just feels like a generic and forgettable superhero action adventure movie with Scooby-Doo characters in it.
SCOOB! was released in theaters on July 10, 2020 in five countries (France, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, and Vietnam), and grossed $1.8 million in its opening weekend. Warner Bros. announced plans to eventually theatrically release the film into 20 markets. Over its second weekend of release, the film made $243,000 from the Netherlands and $266,000 in Spain, as well as finishing third in France. Over the weekend of July 31, the film made $1.3 million from 13 countries. In Spain, the film had a four-week running total of $1.6 million. When the film was issued in North American theaters on May 21, 2021, it debuted in 8th place at the box office over the weekend with $850,000. As of September 10, 2021, the film has grossed a total of $25.8 million worldwide.
While it received mixed reviews, SCOOB! was the top-rented film on Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, FandangoNow, Spectrum, and the iTunes Store in its opening weekend. Although Warner Bros. did not report actual figures, the film had a higher sales count than Trolls: World Tour, which made $100 million over its first three days. It remained the top-rented film across all services in its second weekend, then on three of four services in its third. In its fourth week it remained #1 on FandangoNow, while falling to second on Amazon Prime and fourth on the iTunes charts.
In its fifth weekend of release Warner Bros. lowered the price from $19.99 to $14.99, and the film finished second on FandangoNow, Amazon Prime, and Spectrum, and fifth on iTunes. While no official numbers were released by Warner Bros., Deadline Hollywood estimated that by mid-June the film had made about 35% to 40% less than Trolls: World Tour (which had itself totaled at least $100 million in sales over its first month). In October 2020, The Hollywood Reporter said the film was the third-most popular PVOD title amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In June 2021, SCOOB! director Tony Cervone said that a sequel to the film is in development. It is unclear whether it will be a theatrical release or an HBO Max exclusive film.
Scoob! Holiday Haunt
On December 22, 2021, it was revealed in an HBO Max sizzle reel that a spin-off, titled Scoob! Holiday Haunt, will be an HBO Max-exclusive release in 2022, mostly December. The film takes place in the gang's youth, with the actors who portrayed their younger selves reprising. The official synopsis is: "To celebrate Scooby-Doo's first Christmas, 10-year-old Shaggy and the gang take him to a holiday-themed resort owned by Fred's favorite Uncle Ned. When the park is beset by a ghostly haunting, the kids must solve a 40-year-old mystery to save the resort and show Scooby the true meaning of Christmas.". The movie was to be directed by Michael Kurinsky and Bill Haller. However, on August 2, 2022, Warner Bros. Discovery cancelled its release, citing cost-cutting measures and a refocus on theatrical films rather than creating projects for streaming.
- This movie is the first installment of the Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe from the Warner Animation Group.
- It spawned several internet memes, such as "My friends call me, Dick." and the plot twist of Officer Jaffe being revealed to be Dick Dastardly in disguise.
- The production of the film was lasting roughly for five years.
- This is the first Warner Animation Group movie to have a reboot and adaptation of particular source material from Warner Bros.
- Press release images showing off designs of Mystery Incorporated, which also listed their voice actors, along with a render of Muttley made the rounds on social media before the ad campaign had begun.
- An anonymous user on 4chan saw a test screening of the film and posted their impressions on the board on October 2019, which gave a rough play-by-play of the plot that turned out to be largely accurate.
- This was the first and last film to use the standard Warner Animation Group logo.
- However, the trailers and posters still use the old Warner Animation Group logo at all, until Tom & Jerry, when its the last film to use the logo in trailers.
- This is the seventh overall film from the Warner Animation Group.
- The movie was hinted of next Warner Animation Group film for release date. In The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Velma Dinkley talks to Emmet about leading us for mission, even through the voice actor is different.
- Simon Cowell does guest star in the movie as himself, with his son Eric Cowell involved in the voice work as well.
- With introductions of Dynomutt and Blue Falcon in the film, their first appearances were tied together to "The Scooby-Doo/Dynomutt Hour".
- Overtime during production, Atom Ant, Jabberjaw, and Grape Ape were cut because, they served no purpose to the movie itself, cluttered the film's storytelling and events, and, had many tendencies of stealing the spotlight from Scooby-Doo. In fact, the film started off as an Avengers-esque team-up film with the Hanna-Barbera canon's use, until the final film became more about the friendships involving Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Machine gang (including Scooby-Doo and Shaggy's idolization of The Falcon Force, since childhood) testing their bond and investigating the titular character's supernatural lineage that ties in with his true purpose and how he's the core symbolism of the source material's themes and the gang's dynamic, with Scooby as the film's protagonist.
- The final film, according to Tony Cervone, even did take a lot of inspiration from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, as a result of it being the Scooby-Doo equivalent to that film.
- The Grape Ape was also intended to have a backstory. He would have been a normal ape who would have eaten an unusual grape that made him the Grape Ape that we know of today.
- Speed Buggy was also intended to be in the film where he would be portrayed as a dashboard to the Falcon Fury.
- The Great Gazoo was also intended to be in the film where he would have been a villain that is much more threatening than Dick.
- Upon release, due to COVID-19 causing the cancellation of this movie's theatrical release worldwide, WB followed the Trolls World Tour rental strategy and changed it so that not only could you rent the movie for $20, for $5 more, you could buy the movie. This was also the first animated movie to get this treatment outside of North America, as Trolls World Tour was delayed for months on end in these regions until it eventually got a theatrical release when COVID-19 restrictions were finally easing.
- On September 9, 2016, Dax Shepard was attached as a director and co-writer during early development, despite his lack of experience with animation.
- This was Warner Animation Group's first film to not be animated by Animal Logic and/or Sony Pictures Imageworks. Instead, it was provided by Reel FX Animation Studios.
- The Mystery Gang went through different proposals for voice actors
- Jason Lee, Justin Long, Bill Hader, Patton Oswalt, and Jack Black were considered to voice Shaggy
- Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Chris Pratt were considered to portray Fred
- Karen Gillan, Anna Kendrick, and Bryce Dallas Howard were considered for Daphne
- Jenny Slate, Emma Stone, and Awkwafina were considered for the role of Velma
|Warner Bros. Feature Animation (currently known as Warner Animation Group)|
Warner Bros. Feature Animation
Warner Animation Group
- IndieWire wrote that Scoob! was less expensive than Trolls World Tour, which they reported had a budget of $90–100 million.