One doesn’t need to be an avid Scooby-Doo fan to know the core themes of the series. A primary one is that things are not always as they seem; something that may be perceived as supernatural may have an explanation, a mystery behind it all. That is the meat and potatoes of Scooby-Doo, the thing that keeps you hooked till the end of the episode, to try and solve that mystery. What is abundantly clear here is that this Scooby-Doo adaptation is anything but mysterious and has no intention of following the themes of the series. Scoob! is a film that is trying to reinvent the wheel for a new generation of kids.
In this adaptation we follow the Mystery Inc. heroes – Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy, and Scooby-Doo as they presumably face their biggest case yet, stopping the villain Dick Dastardly from unleashing a horrid monster upon the world.
What Scoob! really focuses on is friendship. This is essentially a story of man and his companion (Scooby and Shaggy) having emotional conflict from beginning to end. More of a “Scooby and Shaggy’s friendship origin story” and less… actual Scooby-Doo mystery. This is not a story of the gang, nor is it a great mystery.‘Scoob! is a hyperactive imitation valiantly attempting to be meta and heartfelt while it struggles to be mysterious.
This film has a few peculiarities to it that have the capacity to be somewhat endearing. There are weird comedic moments that spring up at random intervals and can provide a genuine laugh or two — despite many of them tipping toward the “so-bad-it’s-good” spectrum. The rest of the film is primarily your standard kids thoroughfare. Scoob! is also weirdly heavy on action and on the hero/villain trope for some reason — making the overall story feel more reminiscent of Despicable Me than any classic Scooby-Doo episode.
One aspect that can be admired in ‘Scoob!’ is the animation, in particular – its style and lighting. Its animation is bursting in colours that blend so nicely together creating a rich contemporary-aesthetic for Mystery Inc. The lighting helps the film as best it can by creating a sense of atmosphere in every scene and adding some enjoyment to this film.
Scoob! keeps things mildly interesting by changing locations often and exploring new avenues – even if some interesting locations have no purpose. Things do not get much better with its composed score/soundtrack as Scoob! tries to reinvent the classic Scooby-Doo theme but fails to capitalise on the nostalgia of its beloved theme.
The only thing mysterious about this film is why the writers decided not to make a Scooby-Doo film. This dim reimagination leaves little mystery and sullens the name of Mystery Inc. If you’re in search of a horror themed film for kids with actual mystery, you’re better off giving Monster House (2006) a watch — otherwise, you’re more than welcome to sit through this, though, I can’t guarantee you’ll enjoy it.