Scoob! is not just the latest revival of the Scooby Doo franchise, it’s a loving tribute to all the awesome super heroes of Hanna-Barbera.
A teenage Shaggy meets a meat-roll stealing Scooby Doo and immediately becomes best friends. Soon, they are also joined by Fred, Daphne, and Velma, and as Mystery Inc., the five solve many many-faced mystery. Eventually, their fame attracts the potential investment of Simon Cowell, following which Scooby is suddenly the prized target of Dick Dastardly. Together with the Blue Falcon, Dee Dee Skyes, and Dynomutt, Shaggy then combats Dastardly’s many evil machinations, and machines. His friendship with Scooby is also challenged, as Scooby seemingly discovers new purpose in life.
A couple of days ago, I read an article about the craving for nostalgia during times of crises.
The concept sounds ridiculous but believe me when I say it’s spot on. Scooby Doo has never been a favourite cartoon series of mine but when I found out the Singaporean release was delayed because of COVID-19 shutdowns, I was DEVASTATED. When it temporarily seemed possible that I might never watch it on the big screen, I deeply despaired. For a few hours, at least, I felt the world permanently lost some colours.
Well, I finally got to watch it in a cinema, and let me just say, I had fun making a fool of myself. (As in, I guffawed harder than the kids seated behind me) The story is as outrageous and as nonsensical as it gets, but enthusiastic inclusion of Hanna-Barbera icons, and classic shenanigans, excited the 70s and 80s kid in my heart. I was positively ecstatic when Captain Caveman cameoed, and had a high yelling his signature war-cry with him.
As for the story, the whole “best buddies forever” theme is classic Sunday morning cartoon, and admittedly doesn’t grow the franchise or characters in any way. I suspect some of today’s kids might even find this too inane.
But tickle the longing for nostalgia, the craving for supposedly better days of the past, the movie does the job. Gain some new fans, possibly too. This extended Mystery Inc. mystery is no storytelling or cinematic masterpiece, but as distraction from the gloominess that is the pandemic, it is wonderful medicine. It is oh-so-yummy, relieving medicine.