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gang visits a Science Expo in Houston, Texas, only to find that another mystery is waiting for them. It seems that a giant robot dog named Mecha Mutt has come to life, and legend has it that the Science Expo is haunted by a "Space Specter." The gang, along with their new friend Melanie Staples, investigates the mystery of the Mecha Mutt Menace and tries to stop the robot canine before he strikes again! Written by
Well above average, if one of the weaker Scooby Doo specials
As a huge fan of Scooby Doo as a child and growing up (still am too), none of the six Scooby Doo direct-to-video specials are up there with the best of Scooby Doo but there is much to like about every single one of them.
'Scooby Doo! Mecha Mutt Menace' is well above average and is good solid entertainment, but of the six direct to video specials it is perhaps second weakest after 'Scooby Doo and the Beach Beastie' (oddly not listed here yet). Although all the specials are short at just under twenty five minutes, 'Mecha Mutt Menace' is the only one that feels like it would have been even better as a film, with quite a lot of the pacing feeling rushed.
While much of the mystery is great fun, the reveal sadly is a disappointment in that it is far too obvious too early on. The perpetrator to me was number one of the suspects list the second they were introduced and the motive was one of, perhaps even THE, oldest in the book, for Scooby Doo and in general. The Fred and Daphne relationship was also pretty pointless here and doesn't really go anywhere.
However, the animation is great. It is very colourful and rich in detail, everything looks fluid, clean and smooth and everything and everyone is well drawn. The music is not the most memorable in the world, but it's groovy and energetic while also unobtrusively haunting and beautifully orchestrated. One of 'Mecha Mutt's' strengths is the writing and the humour. The writing is sharp and witty, without ever sounding too complicated or dumbed down. It is particularly good in the humour (most of it from Shaggy and Scooby), which has such as ever an endearing goofiness, and the as always charming and affecting relationship between Shaggy and Scooby which has always been the heart of the franchise.
Apart from the disappointing reveal and some rushed pacing, the story is very well executed and has a good balance of fun and suspense. The final battle is thrilling, enormously entertaining and contains some of the most particularly striking visuals (along with the space food, one has to admire Shaggy and Scooby being able to stomach anything that looks unappetising), while Mecha Mutt is a cool and wonderfully frightening villain and deserved a much better reveal than what was given. The characters, lead and supporting, help make the story engaging, and the voice work is solid if not standout-worthy for the supporting characters (Lacey Chabert fares best) and very, very good for Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Velma and Daphne, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy is particularly notable.
In conclusion, one of the weaker direct to video specials for Scooby Doo but still fun and well above average. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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