Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.
Scooby (Frank Welker) and the gang, Fred (also voiced by Welker), Daphne (Grey Griffin), Velma (Kate Micucci), and Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) are up to their arcane armpits in preternatural peril when ye olde friendly neighborhood pumpkin patch is covered in toxic waste (accompanied by a cue that definitely brings to mind 1985’s Return of the Living Dead) which results in the pumpkins coming to life and they have the horror biz foremost on their monstrous minds!
Seems like a solid Scooby-Doo scenario… how about if I told you that Elvira (the legendary Cassandra Peterson herself, ‘natch) shows up, as does Bill Nye the Science Guy (himself, though amped-up to 11)… and the Scarecrow (The A-Team‘s world famous Howlin’ Mad Murdock, Dwight Shultz)… like from Batman… yeah, what the what now?!!
With it’s faster pace and emphasis on the chase scene, Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo! definitely feels like a change of pace for the gang… I mean sure, wacky shenanigans were always on the bill, but here the action takes center stage and the “whodunit” element is downplayed somewhat; it’s a really fun dynamic that puts a bit of a twist to the proceedings without ever losing the “spirit” of what makes Scooby “Scooby”, ya dig?
It also must be said that writer/director/producer Maxwell Atoms (The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy) has really brought the humor to this production (including a rather hilariously high strung version of Daphne, and a deliriously ridiculous Nye), and some of the sequences are nothing short of brilliant; in particular the opening credit action set piece, the graveyard toxic waste birth of the zombie surrogate pumpkins (their bite can even turn others into killer pumpkins), the extended Road Warrior-style car chase involving all manner of Halloween parade floats to name but three!
It has to be said though that Kate Micucci’s Velma truly is the best part of a great flick. Her character’s inter-play with the very Hannibal Lecter take on the scarecrow is fabulous, and her interactions with Shaggy and Scoob are pretty dang sweet… plus she has a nice “conquering your fears” story arc that will resonate with younger viewers.
And not for nothing, there’s a quick blink and you’ll miss it appearance from another great Hanna-Barbera character, Frankenstein, Jr.
So that’s the main event in a nutshell, but that’s not the end of the fun to be had with this DVD release from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, as you also get three Halloween-centric episodes from a trio of other Scooby-Doo series (Be Cool, Scooby-Doo, What’s New, Scooby-Doo, and A Pup Named Scooby-Doo respectively)!
An absolutely perfect way to spend this Halloween, Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo! is a frantic, frightening (to its target audience mind you), and above all funny adventure filled with plenty of trick r’ treat trimmings for one and all!