There are so few things I’ve enjoyed more in my life than Saturday cartoons. Among them, Scooby-Doo has been a feel-good fixture in my life for years.
The 2002 live-action film was, and still is, one of my favourite kid’s movies and makes me laugh every time. The chemistry between real-life couple Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar as Fred and Daphne, the perfect casting of Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, and the weird, whacky Linda Cardellini all made a mark.
So perhaps it was with a little hesitation that I went into Scoob!, featuring a voice cast that had none of the people I grew up with.
While I’m happy to say Zac Efron (Fred) and Amanda Seyfriend (Daphne) are fun and serviceable, and Gina Rodriguez is fantastic as Velma, it is with great disappointment that I have to say Will Forte just didn’t capture the essence of Shaggy like Lillard did.
The plot is interesting, if not particularly fresh, and the animation in Scoob! is pretty wonderful. It’s a whole lot of enjoyment, even if it’s inevitably non-essential, entertainment.
Mark Wahlberg’s voice casting and Jason Isaacs as the villain add to the proceedings considerably.
One can’t help but wonder why Lillard wasn’t brought on, having done the animated Scooby-Doo shows and movies, and the live-actions, and that’s a shame. Forte’s a great actor but doesn’t have the spot-on sensibilities and playful charm of Lillard.
Scoob! is truly an enjoyable, fun one for adults and kids alike, even if it doesn’t have that Hanna Barbera charm of old.
Jordan Parker is a PR professional and journalist in Halifax, and these reviews appear first on his film blog Parker & the Picture Shows.