Since 1969, Scooby-Doo and the rest of Mystery Incorporate have been solving many mysteries and entertaining audiences with their many spooky yet exciting adventures. They have always been a highlight in Hanna Barbera's huge catalog and I've always wanted to see them and other characters get an exciting new upgrade. When Warner Bros. Animation announced in 2014 that they were starting a new Hanna Barbera Cinematic Universe and kicking it off with a Scooby-Doo film, I was very excited. I couldn't wait to see these characters get a new coat of paint and was ready to see some exciting new adventures with these characters. Unfortunately, "Scoob" didn't deliver on that promise. This was a very disappointing and often unfunny animated film and really left little to be desired. Since they were very young, Shaggy (Will Forte), Fred (Zac Efron), Daphne (Amanda Seyfried), Velma (Gina Rodriguez), and their dog Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) have been solving mysteries under Mystery Incorporated and uncovering schemes amongst people dressed as ghosts. When they try to expand, Simon Cowell (playing himself) tells Shaggy and Scooby they're useless and throws them off the team. Yes, just go with it. Afterward, they are attacked by robots at a bowling alley before taken up into the ship of the Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg), Dynomutt (Ken Jeong), and Dee Dee Snydes (Kiersy Clemons) who tells Shaggy and Scooby that a dastardly villain known as Dick Dastardly (Jason Issacs) is after Scooby. Hoping to stop him, Shaggy and Scooby team up with the Blue Falcon team while the rest of Mystery Inc. go looking for their friends while also trying to solve the mystery surrounding Scooby's connection with Dastardly. I have no idea how an idea this promising could go so horribly wrong. It seems this film was made to be fun and yet it really ended up disappointing. The story is definitely one of the biggest problems with the movie. This is a story that is constantly on the move and goes from place to place with manic and fast-paced energy never taking time to stop and breathe. After a while, this got tiring for me fast and I just couldn't get invested in this story since it was so hard to process what I was seeing. The heart of the film is supposed to focus on the relationship between Shaggy and Scooby and it also feels rather unfocused. The film wants you to believe that this bond is the glue that holds the film in place and yet it didn't feel like that to me since it was very underdeveloped. The arc is very predictable as is with Shaggy getting jealous of what Scooby is going through which results in the inevitable fight and makeup later on in the film and it's very predictable and unimpressive. Also, the jokes in this film were very bad as well. The best jokes in the film were unfortunately in the trailer with Scooby mistaking the Falcon Fury for Ikea as well as mispronouncing Dick's name as Rick. The other jokes were very unfunny and unoriginal including an opening joke involving a young Shaggy going through a playlist that plays music about being lonely that was ripped straight from "Zootopia" and the Blue Falcon's intro being played to "All I Do Is Win" by DJ Khaled. These jokes were simply unfunny to watch. Also, Warner Bros. loved to put a lot of promotion of their franchises in this film. Daphne was dressed as Wonder Woman, Shaggy mistakes Velma's judge costume for Harry Potter, Shaggy and Scooby sing "Shallow" from "A Star is Born" at one point, they name drop Middle Earth from "Lord of the Rings". It was just annoying. As far as the animation goes, I'm very split on it. One thing I loved about it was how the classic Hanna Barbera characters got a great CG upgrade. It was very true to their original designs and I loved it for that. They really looked great in computer animation. The other humans in this film though didn't look very good. They looked very standard and basic and also didn't fit the world like the other Hanna Barbera characters. Also, throughout most of the film, I thought the animation looked like a toy commercial at times. It's a shame since the film was animated by Real FX who also animated "The Book of Life" so I was disappointed with the final look. As far as the characters go, they also were not fun. Shaggy and Scooby's relationship wasn't strong enough to hold up the film and got old quickly, Daphne, Fred, and Velma were practically pushed to the side throughout most of the film which also really disappointed me since they're also a big part of Scooby-Doo, and the Blue Falcon was just annoying with Mark Wahlberg giving a really annoying performance. I did like seeing Dick Dastardly though and thought he had some fun moments though the absence of Mutley throughout the film was sorely missed. I loved Mutley as a kid so not seeing him a lot really was disappointing. I guess the best thing I can say about the film is that there was an occasional Hanna Barbera reference in the film which made me geek out, but it was not enough to save the film overall. "Scoob" just ended up being a very disappointing film. The story was too fast to follow and really unfunny, the animation had a combination of good classic character designs and also bad new ones and looked very bland at times, and the characters weren't very memorable and left little to be desired. I was really let down by this film and hoped for more. I hope Warner Bros. Animation reverses course and tries to put the Hanna Barbera Cinematic Universe back on track because so far this was not a good start. In the end, despite its promising ambitions, it just couldn't hold up to what it promised. There are very few exciting mysteries to be found here.
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