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This Scooby-Doo film came at the end of 80s era, when Hanna-Barbara, by
produced their worst shows. Everything H-B made in the 80s stunk, because
their plots were reduced to stupid gimmicks and lame humor instead of the
catchy themes that kept the animation studio unique. And no other H-B
creation suffered more in this decade than Scooby-Doo.
It should be pointed out that "Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf" was the last entry in the 80s era Scooby cartoons. It's actually pretty interesting that this cartoon came out in 1988, the same year as the debut of "A Pup Named Scooby Doo," which tried to radically alter the style of the 80s Scooby cartoons and return to the former 60s and early 70s glory days of actually being a detective show (while still dumbing the premise down for kids).
Beginning in 1979, it was an era of real monsters, no detective work, a loss of most of Mystery Inc. (only Scooby and Shaggy remained near the end of the decade), and most importantly, Scooby's nephew Scrappy-Doo. THE MOST ANNOYING CARTOON CHARACTER OF ALL TIME!! (And I can say that with a clear conscience, since so many people agree with me.) A character so reeking of "cuteness" his appearance was obvious from the start; to warp the minds of little children with his presence! Scooby-Doo had betrayed itself by becoming a pale version of its once former glory.
The story for "Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf", if there is such a thing, involves Shaggy (who is now a race car circuit star for some reason) being cursed into being a werewolf in order to compete in a race in Transylvania. He has a new girlfriend named Googie that is not given much personality, add that to the fact that she is never seen again in any future incarnation of the show which lets you know how awful she really was.
In order to lift the curse, Shaggy agrees to race in the competition, which is littered with so many road obstacles (some living!) and evil fellow drivers you'd think it was invented by the producers of "Survivor." It plays like a horror version of "Wacky Races", but when you have Dracula filling in for Dick Dastardly you know you're in trouble.
The film is basically a collection of lame humor, such as Dracula's race color commenter Vanna Pira's statements ("There's a red! There's a green!") Stop it, you're killing me! Literally! Dracula gets the only two funny lines in the whole movie, one about sunblock that even I'll admit made me crack a smile, and the second a riff at how "dead" his audience is since they're not laughing at his jokes. I know just how they feel, Drac.
And of course there's Scrappy, the little turd that for once I'd wish Shaggy and Scooby wouldn't save! Just let him try some of that Puppy Power on Frankenstein, I'd love to see Scrappy become a puppy pancake! The only thing good about him in this movie is the fact that this is his final appearance; once "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo" came along he was gone for good. And good riddance.
H-B has since thankfully learned from its past sins, making some excellent direct to video Scooby-Doo cartoons in the late 90s and early 00s. The whole Mystery Inc. gang is back again, and Scrappy has mysteriously disappeared (hopefully Shag and Scoob finally realized how much an annoying hanger-on he really was and just left him behind in Transylvania to be eaten by the monsters! :) ) In any case, the formula has been improved, and Scooby-Doo is once again interesting to watch.
Watch this movie as a final reminder of how off-base the series had gotten before H-B decided to take a breather and then return to the old mystery solving format. It's the last vestige of the Scrappy era stupidity, and like the other products of its time it's pretty much indistinguishable from every other 80s Scooby cartoon. In the end it was shallow, overlong and ultimately pointless, and I don't think Scrappy would want it any other way.
5 out of 10, mostly because of Dracula's two good jokes and the happy feeling I have knowing Scrappy is out of the picture!
I will admit, until I saw this for the first time yesterday since the last time I saw it 3 years ago, I never used to like this film. Seeing it yesterday actually changed my initial perception of Reluctant Werewolf. True the animation isn't always that great and the plot is a bit slow in places. I also didn't think much of the music, despite the admittedly groovy Tom Jones-sounding song playing in one scene, neither did I find the Hunch Bunch particularly entertaining. Still there is still a lot to like about it, namely a terrific voice cast, Casey Kasem and Don Messick are great as always, and Jim Cummings and Ron Paulsen stand out too. Best of all though was Hamilton Camp, who was gleefully enjoyable and was quite frankly born to voice Dracula. The characters in general were fun, even Scrappy wasn't as contemptible as people make him out to be. My favourite character has to be Dracula, he was charming and wickedly funny, especially with his line "I guess the bats were a little undercooked" in reference to the batburgers, the sunblock one was great too. When I saw it for the first time a long time ago, i didn't think much of the script, thinking it cheesy and unfunny. Boy was I wrong, most of the time it was the complete opposite. I also thought the monster car race was great fun though some of it could have easily been trimmed down. All in all, Reluctant Werewolf was much better than I thought it was. 6/10 Bethany Cox
I saw this like a hundred times when I was a kid and I did not think I
laugh at it as much as I did then. Especially considering this is old
Scooby animation and not the sleeker, brighter animation of recent years.
was surprised at how much I enjoyed this. It's even better than Scooby's
most recent adventure (The Monster of Mexico).
There is no Mystery Inc or Mystery Machine in this movie. It's just Shaggy (wearing a red shirt instead of a green one) and Scooby (and unfortunately, Scrappy, tho he doesn't feature prominently) and Shag's girlfriend Googy. Shaggy lives in an alarmingly large, mansion-esque house and is chosen by Count Dracula to become a werewolf so he can take part in a race for monsters.
Despite looking cute and cuddly as a Werewolf, Shaggy obviously doesn't want to do it but Dracula promises to change him back to human if he wins. What follows is a Scooby Doo version of the Wacky Races as insane customized cars battle it out on an anything-goes Transylvanian race-course.
The majority of laughs come from Dracula, ever so desperate to keep his wicked plan from falling apart and always making a complete idiot of himself.
It's also new to see Shaggy not jump into Scooby's arms every time he sees a monster. And this time they're real too , not just some guy in a mask.
I would definitely recommend this to Scooby fans and those who are just total Scooby completists (like me). It's very funny and totally rewatchable.
The DVD is in 1.33:1, as drawn and comes with a Dolby Mono soundtrack.
Following up "Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School," the Hanna-Barbera studio churns out another made-for-TV Scooby-Doo movie for their "Hanna-Barbera Superstar" series, "Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf!" This looks different from the two previous films, but that might be because they used a digital coloring system and some cheap computer graphics here. This film seems like a cross of "Scooby-Doo," "Fangface," "Wacky Races," "The Groovy Goolies" and "Drac Pack." It is a pretty funny spoof of those old werewolf films. However, Shaggy doesn't really look much like a real werewolf (the one that "retired" at the beginning of this film (as well as Scooby's wolf mask) looks more like the Wolfman from "Van Heisling"). Plus, in this film, Scrappy-Doo is a bit useful, and not as annoying as he is in his earlier appearances! However, we could have done without Shaggy's cheesy girlfriend and have Fred, Daphne and Velma with them. The animation is sometimes a bit corny, and the various monsters in it (Dracula, Frankenstein, Crunch and Brunch, the mummy and skeleton and slime monsters) might remind you of the cast of "The Groovy Goolies!" However, I LOVED some of the jokes in it, most of them coming from Dracula himself. This is actually quite enjoyable and much better than the newer Scooby cartoons!
Okay, okay ... first the good stuff. Some of the colors here are very
cool, particularly the intense greens and blues in Dracula's castle.
But that's not what Scooby-Doo is about, right? It's about corny jokes,
frightened squeals and Ghostbuster-style monsters. And there's plenty
of that here, if that's what you want. Many of the usual cast -- Fred,
Velma and Daphne -- are Missing In Action, but that isn't necessarily a
But for those of us who aren't huge fans of the cartoon, there's really not much appeal. The monster race takes up about 50% of the movie, simply Shaggy and Scooby driving along while Dracula continually thinks up new ways for him and his cronies to stop them. As soon as they get past each of the obstacles, they're straight in the lead again. And that's pretty much what this movie has to offer. Well ... I say 'movie' ... really it's just an extended cartoon episode. There's nothing here to suggest that it's a departure from that, aside from the running time. Don't get me wrong -- I don't mind Scooby in small doses, but ninety minutes of this was just about all I could take without my brain melting.
Good for big fans, and maybe for kids, but not much appeal for anyone else.
You know a Scooby-Doo feature is bad when Scrappy seems benign relative to
everything else. Actually the little guy for once does a good job of
refraining from irritatingly hogging the spotlight in this one, but
unfortunately we just might have been better off if he had.
The basic plot is that Dracula turns Shaggy into a werewolf and forces him to win an all-monster road race to have any chance of becoming human again. The race itself tries to cross the Wacky Races with the Coyote/Road Runner shorts but after the 527th failed effort to put Shaggy and Scooby out of the race and the 83rd time Dracula whines about things not going his way (with no end in sight), it gets just the tiniest bit tedious.
This (in conjunction with the concurrent "Pup" series) was the point where the Scooby-Doo franchise hit absolute rock bottom, and the cowardly great dane and friends went into a long-overdue semi-retirement.
Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf (1988)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Monsters from around the world gather at their annual car race but the werewolf is missing so Count Dracula demands that they get another. The Hunch Bunch decide to turn Shaggy into a werewolf so Dracula tells him that if he takes part in the race and wins that he'll lift the curse. Scooby, Scrappy and Shag's girlfriend must make sure he wins. SCOOBY-DOO AND THE RELUCTANT WEREWOLF is a fairly entertaining feature but the biggest problem is that it feels incredibly long at 91-minutes. When you consider that this here is close to five individual episodes of the TV series you realize that the subject is best served in smaller portions. With that said, outside the length this here contains some pretty big laughs including the highlight, which takes place during a drive-in horror movie where Shaggy first gets turned into a werewolf. The only problem is that he has the hiccups and keeps transforming back and forth but never realizing it. Another funny thing about the film is Count Dracula who is simply delightful. I really thought he made for some great jokes throughout and Hamilton Camp did a fantastic job with the vocals. The film features all sorts of monsters like Dracula, the mummy, Frankenstein's monster, swamp thing, the bride and various others. Fans of the genre should get a kick out of seeing all of these monsters together and packed into one film. I think the film really would have benefited from fifteen-minutes being shaved off but it's still entertaining.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have heard many negative comments about this feature in the years since it aired. However, I quite liked it even if it did have a few faults.
This is an adventure featuring Scooby, Scrappy, Shaggy and Googie (Shaggy's new girlfriend). Shaggy is now a racing car driver. Fred, Velma and Daphne are nowhere to be seen unfortunately but don't let that spoil your enjoyment of the film.
Back in Transylvania, Dracula needs a werewolf to compete in a car race. For some bizzare reason, he sends a disgusting pair of hunchbacked little boys (called The Hunch Bunch) to go to the U.S. and turn Shaggy into a werewolf so he can compete in the race. After a couple of failed attempts, The Hunch Bunch manage to turn Shaggy into a werewolf and bring him to Transylvania to race. The only way Shaggy can turn back to a human is by winning the race.
There's plenty of fun in the film and The Hunch Bunch are a funny pair. One is a moustached little boy with smart hair and a well-spoken accent. The other is a bald, ugly eyed little creep who can not stop spitting when he talks. They get up to plenty of mischief in the film and are probably the best thing about this film.
All the monsters are here-Dracula, Frankestein, The Mummy and a few others (look out for Genghis Kong). And there's plenty of fun throughout.
Tow more points about the characters-Googie is the girlfriend of Shaggy and it's a shame she didn't ever make a comeback to Scooby-Doo. She'd have made a great addition to the team. Secondly, I like Scrappy-Doo and I think it's a shame he has been missing from the recent animated movies. Scrappy was a courageous little puppy and the stories had a great variety when he came on board. The pre-Scrappy years consisted mainly of the gang unmasking a monster/ghost who turned out to be a normal guy. When Scrappy came on board, there were a different variety of stories. Also, Scrappy was a great role model. He spoke clear concise language (unlike some modern day characters with their illiterate ramblings) and acted in a positive manner. Long live Scrappy!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Dracula needs a werewolf for his annual race and decides Shaggy is the
perfect fit. With the help of a couple of bumbling idiots, Shaggy is
turned into a reluctant werewolf. With the help of the infernal Scooby,
Shaggy must win the race before he is stuck in Transylvania forever.
The only problem is that Dracula has every intention of rigging the
course to make sure Shaggy loses. This is a really entertaining movie.
I thought I'd never seen it before, but it dawned on me while I was
watching it that I have. It was a childhood favorite of mine and I
forgot the title. This one is lacking Fred and the gang, but Shaggy and
Scooby are up to the task in entertaining us like always. This is NOT
to be taken seriously obviously. There are some really good gags and
slapstick. One involves Shaggy's hiccup troubles in the midst of
turning into a werewolf. Another involves food gags, such as "spiderweb
spaghetti" Shaggy isn't a very convincing werewolf, which is the point,
of course. It has so many classic monsters in it! Frankenstein,
Dracula, Jeckyll & Hyde, Mummy and more. Hamilton Camp steals the show
as Dracula! His hammy performance is filled with funny one- liners and
I relished every moment he was on-screen. The only thing that bothered
me was Scrappy's involvement. He annoys me to no-end. Shaggy's
girlfriend was pretty cool, though. The ending is hilarious and leaves
it open for a potential sequel. (Probably not, it has been many years
since this movie came out) I can't forget the Hunchbunch, either! They
Scooby fans will love this movie! The gags can get a bit redundant, but most of them are funny. It's filled with creativity and fun. Take a trip back to your childhood and just enjoy yourself.
I remember watching this movie as a kid . Those were good old days when
Cartoon Network was a truly entertaining channel . I can't stand what
happened to CN in those last years . How they could turn entertaining
channel into trash ?
Anyway , this movie is a TV movie made shortly after "Scooby Doo and the Ghoul School". Just like in "SDATGS" there is no Fred , Daphne , Velma and Mystery Inc. It's just Scooby , Scrappy and Shaggy. Maybe it was also set after "The 13 ghost " saga , but I'm not sure . The good thing that made me remember this movie is the fact that our trio meets REAL MONSTERS , not some costumed freak . I guess that was Hanna- Barbera tactic for whole trilogy at that time bring real monsters ( the trilogy includes : "Ghoul School " , "Reluctant werewolf" and "The Boo Brothers"). Dracula, Frankenstein, Crunch and Brunch, the Mummy and Skeleton and Slime monsters. What a team !
The story seems to be a combination of old werewolf movies and Wacky Racers. I was surprised by the appearance of Googy , Shaggy's girlfriend (LOL) . I don't remember her from the TV series , so she might have been created especially for this movie . The idea that someone could fall in love with Shaggy seems unrealistic for me . Also, I don't understand why the house of our heroes looks like a big mansion ? Maybe I missed something here.
It was great to see that our heroes are actually good in something (racing) . Googy was an OK character . The most entertaining characters were Dracula and his bride.
The movie is well paced and fun from start to finish . There are bits of black humor here , even if the whole movie is obviously a family friendly entertainment . Some of the jokes were repetitive , but I don't mind it that much. I was never bored thanks to this action-packed little movie .
A nice movie . I give it 6/10.
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