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Much better animation saves another weak story..., 20 February 2010

The opening credit titles were a breath of fresh air and they had a flair that matched John K.'s "Ren & Stimpy" cartoon in the look of it. The music had a nice throwback to the original 69 series as well.

As for the main animation throughout, it's simply some of the cleanest and tightest that has ever been done yet for a Scooby-Doo production! The turns and inbetweens look well done and the background paints have an air of mystery that match the brilliance of the original series in '69! The CGI Mystery Machine was produced and worked a lot better than in previous versions and there wasn't an overuse of CGI overall as there was in "Samarai Sword" which was horrible. Digital eMation Inc did a superb job on the production. Too bad we have to send the work out to Korea as usual though. Can we make anything in this country???? As for story, and having worked on Scooby stuff for 10 years of my professional career, the story once again shows how creatively bankrupt the Scooby-Doo series has been. Once it was a guy in a costume and once that was worn out they had to use real supernatural elements which shows that it "jumped the shark" decades ago. The last batch of movies has been really bad. Scooby stories should just be hacked out as apparently there is nowhere to take the characters and as a brand maybe it's for the best since these are made for kids. It's a strict formula and usually these things hit the bulletpoints as to what happens when and where in the story. WB won't allow a lot of new ideas to mess up the brand so it will just continue. It is their golden calf so I'll let it lie, since six-year-olds won't notice the sameness till they watch them when they are older. As an aside, the romance of Daphne and Fred had taken a noticeable turn. She had at least one hand on Fred in most of the scenes and flirted with him more than in any other picture. She sure is fighting for her man in this one...

As for the voices, it was adequate. Welker was more on point and Scooby's voice didn't have a touch of Fred's voice in it as it did in "Samuarai Sword". He's getting older too, so I wonder who will replace him at some point. You can only use ProTools on a voice and speed up the tape to make them sound younger for so long.

Matthew Lillard was watered down Shaggy and had no pep. Bad casting choice for sure, but tying him to the animated from the live-action Scooby is a good marketing decision. This is a problem though of hiring an actor as opposed to a voice actor. Actors can't voice act worth a damn! Didn't Matt Damon and Brad Pitt animated ventures tell the studios anything??? There is a difference and why Mel Blanc was a genius. They should have gotten Scott Innes to play Shaggy it since he still does all the licensing work as Shaggy and Scooby, plus he sounds closer to Casey than anyone else. Billy West is the reason I can't watch "Zombie Island" and he was the worst Shaggy ever so thankfully he wasn't cast! Maybe Lillard will improve since he'll be in the new series, "Mystery Inc" as well.

All in all, a great clean piece of slicker animation which makes it stand out from the normal drivel.