Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
"A Pup Named Scooby-Doo" is back, and in Puppet Form!
I really enjoyed this made-for-video production. As a longtime fan of "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo," I was a little nervous about it at first (because Warner Bros. Animation had screwed up before with "What's New, Scooby-Doo?", some of the made-for-video movies and "Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!") but the movie had the charm of the 1988-1991 TV series, except it was done in puppets! You have Velma's same walk, Scooby turning into a rocket after eating Scooby snacks, goofy takes, the characters dancing to a rock song relating to the plot, and more. Though the Jim Henson Company/Muppet studio had no involvement, many Muppet performers including David Rudman, Matt Vogel, Eric Jacobson and Peter Linz all had a hand in performing the puppets, and they did a great job with it. For the most part, the puppets actually looked like characters right out of the show (except for Fred, Daphne and Shaggy having dots for eyes.) The puppet version of Young Velma reminded me quite a bit of Prairie Dawn from "Sesame Street" for some reason, and the evil parrot and Gnarlybeard puppet designs had "Classic Jim Henson monster" written all over them. Though there were a few things I did miss. Like the theme song and the show's groovy music, and the character Red Herring. Hopefully Warner will soon incorporate the latter into any future similar movies!
The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
The best movie from Disney's dark era!
With Walt Disney's death in 1966, and many of Disney's best animators gone (the nine old men either retired or died, and Don Bluth left with several other animators to open a competing studio), the Disney animation studio was going through hard times. They had a few good post-Walt stuff prior to the Disney Renaissance (like "Robin Hood," "The Rescuers" and even "The Fox and the Hound,") but for the most part the magic seemed to be disappearing. It also didn't help that their "The Black Cauldron" (which didn't resemble a Disney animated film very much) was a major failure. So a smaller crew, featuring four directors (including Burny Mattinson of "Mickey's Christmas Carol," and Ron Clements and John Musker, both of whom later went on to direct some memorable Disney animated features afterward), put together "The Great Mouse Detective" on a much smaller budget. Development took quite a while, but with the advancements on digital technology, the actual production only took a year! Also, it did very well at the box office and gained several positive reviews, which convinced Disney that their animated films had a future, and if it weren't for this film's success, we may not have had a Disney Renaissance! Aside from that, this is definitely Disney's best movie from their pre-Renaissance slump. You've got likable characters, great voice acting, a perfect music score (complete with theme tunes for each main character!), well-done animation and effects, and even a few songs for Disney tradition's sake! Vincent Price tends to steal the show with his excellent performance as Professor Ratigan (no wonder he got top billing!) I also enjoy Basil's ingenious thinking and over-the-top acting for a detective that can fit in the palm of your hand (I can't help but notice he almost looks like an anime character at times, the way he is designed.) Dr. Dawson and Olivia are also great characters, and Fidget is good at raging from downright creepy (his two horror-style jump-scare scenes) to your typical comical sidekick (what's not to love about a big-eyed one-legged bat that's unable to fly?) I also liked hearing Alan Young using his Scrooge McDuck voice for Mr. Flaversham. The songs are for the most part your standard Disney musical fare, but like I said, they're a lot of fun. Especially fun is Miss Kitty's "Let Me Be Good to You" musical number (that had to be a scene by Ron Clements and John Musker; they're known for crazy stuff like that, as seen in "Aladdin" and "The Princess and the Frog!") The animation also has a very classic look and feel to it, which is rare for a Disney movie of this era. It also uses computer animation much better than "The Black Cauldron" did, and the climactic scene at Big Ben was quite thrilling and enough to keep you at the edge of your seat! I guess you could say that not only did Basil and company save London, they also saved Disney's feature animation division!
There's also a fun use of Basil Rathbone's vocal performance as Sherlock Holmes (from a record version of "The Red-Headed League") during a shadowed cameo of the REAL Sherlock Holmes. Fun stuff for the Holmes fans, too!
The Halloween Tree (1993)
Oh my gosh! It isn't Halloween without the Halloween Tree
Halloween has always been one of my most favorite times of year, ever since I was a kid. Now I'm 23, but I still love the holiday. You're never too old for Halloween... AND you're never too old for Halloween cartoons. Every year, I celebrate the holiday with watching "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown," "Garfield's Halloween Adventure," several Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" specials, "Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School," "Doug's Halloween Adventure," and "The Halloween Tree." When I first decided to check it out, I thought it was going to be lame. Hanna-Barbera had sadly lost their touch by this time, and their cartoons would never be the same (the studio would have been dead by the end of 1994 if it weren't for their admittedly cool and creative "What a Cartoon" shorts from 1995-1997!) Now I'm glad I watched it. It has become a Halloween tradition of mine! True, it doesn't resemble your usual Hanna-Barbera cartoon in any way. Instead it feels more like Nelvana or DiC Entertainment made it. (From what I read, Ray Bradbury wanted his animator friend Chuck Jones to bring it to life. I think a Chuck Jones version would have been even better!) But regardless, it's still fun. It helped me understand several Halloween origins and customs, and can be a bit creepy at times. Perfect! Leonard Nimoy does a good job voicing Mr. Moundshroud, but Ray Bradbury himself steals the show with his excellent narration of his own work (may God bless his soul!) The animation, like I said, isn't the usual Hanna-Barbera style you would expect. It's not totally perfect, but is still pretty good for a 1990s animated TV special (then again, bad animation became increasingly rare in the 1990s, with a few exceptions like H-B's poorly-animated "Arabian Nights" TV movie from 1994!) John Debney's music is also pretty good, especially the haunting opening theme, though it does get a bit Disney-esque at times (there were times in the 1990s when H-B felt they needed to mimic Disney!) I'm watching it as I type this review, and it's helping put me in the Halloween mood more. "Oh my gosh!" look at the time. "Ready, set, go!"
........Wow. Just wow.
This is definitely not your usual Scooby-Doo. After a very cruel cartoon producer named Sander Schwartz came to Warner Bros. Animation and made that awful revival series known as "What's New Scooby-Doo" (and the studio followed up with the Loonatics version: "Shaggy and Scooby- Doo Get a Clue!"), I haven't trusted Warner Bros. Animation these days. So early last year when this new Scooby series and its sister show, "The Looney Tunes Show," were announced, I was skeptical, nervous they would screw it up all over again. But this review only focuses on the Scooby-Doo series (I will write another review about Looney Tunes as well.)
To start off, this is MUCH different from the past two shows. It's a lot better, too, though still not as good as the classic "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" This show is much darker, realistic and scarier, not to mention VIOLENT. There have been quite a few instance where the villain nearly murders someone (even coming close to killing the gang!), things are often breaking or blowing up, people actually die, there's a bit of visible blood, one episode even has a very graphic train wreck sequence! I am very surprised the show was rated TV-Y7-FV; if anything, it should be at least PG (like "The Looney Tunes Show" wound up with.) For once, the villains have often become much more scarier and menacing, even if most of the time they are not even real (like always!)
Additionally, the plots are still in most cases the usual "just a guy in disguise" format, with some lampooning (or none at all!) I do get a bit annoyed by how they still must always have to parody the meddling kids thing to death ("And I would've gotten away with it too if it weren't for you meddling *insert random noun here*!") But, unlike "What's new Scooby-Doo?", this show also shows more about the characters. We get to see them with their families, at home, on a date, even at school! (Surprisingly, their high school actually ALLOWS SCOOBY-DOO INSIDE THE BUILDING!) The whole "Mr. E" thing was also a nice touch, and kept me hooked to the show (even if a mention isn't done until the end.)
Fred was initially dumbed-down here, practically to "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo" levels! (They gave him that obsession with traps, he doesn't know how to work a record player, etc.) but he's improved with the second season. Daphne is still pretty much the same, and I enjoyed seeing her with her family or romance involving Fred. Velma has changed quite a bit, though. If you thought Velma's attitude was different in "What's New Scooby-Doo," here you will get quite a surprise. She had a crush on Shaggy (which he does not seem to return,) and is sometimes felt left out of the gang, and tends to have more of a devil-may-care attitude. She reminds me somewhat of Judy Funnie from "Doug." Shaggy and Scooby are pretty much the same, though. This series usually gives everyone a moment in the spotlight (unlike "What's New," which usually focused on Fred, Daphne and Velma, and the "Get a Clue" which just starred Shaggy and Scooby.) Sometimes the episodes will vary the focus on one character, sometimes the episode may be mostly about Fred, sometimes about Velma, sometimes about Daphne and her family, and we even got some pretty decent episodes about Scooby-Doo himself! Three of the best episodes so far for me was the one involving a dream sequence where Scooby-Doo teams up with the Funky Phantom, Captain Caveman, Speed Buggy and Jabberjaw to save the humans for their respective mystery-solving teams, as well as one episode featuring a return appearance by the Hex Girls (unlike their appearance in the disastrous What's New episode "The Vampire Strikes Back," this one is more faithful to their "Witch's Ghost" appearance), as well as one where Scooby-Doo and Shaggy are invited to dinner at the home of Vincent Van Ghoul (from "The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo!")
The voices aren't too bad. Matthew Lillard's Shaggy still sounds good, and fits pretty well with this slightly younger Shaggy here; Grey DeLisle's Daphne still sounds the same since 2001, and Mindy Cohn's Velma still the same since 2002. Frank Welker's Scooby-Doo still at times sounds more like Brain from "Inspector Gadget" (I know, I compare it to Brain a lot) but I have gotten more used to it by now, and he can still voice Fred really well. In fact, in that crossover episode I mentioned, Frank Welker also reprises the role of Jabberjaw and does an excellent job with it! Being more "realistic," the use of the old Hanna-Barbera sound effects can vary wildly; some may have quite a few of them, some with a LOT (such as the crossover episode or the Dynomutt one), some with none at all. It seems to be more situational here, unlike with "What's New" and "Get a Clue's" more realism-driven scenarios.
Now to the animation. Even though they pretty much just write a script and then ship it off to Korea, the character designs aren't too bad. They have that "retro" look to them; in fact, it reminds me of the character redesigns utilized in the excellent 2001 Flintstones revival special "Flintstones on the Rocks." The gang is back in their classic 1969 outfits (big plus here!), with Velma wearing a couple of bows in her hair as well. Other characters also tend to have that 1970s H-B look to them, compared to the previous two shows which drew them in their typical WB "house" style.
Overall, a major step up for Scooby-Doo. It's still not as good as some of the made-for-video Scooby-Doo movies WB has been churning out since last year, though.
Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo (2010)
It's "Zombie Island" all over again!
Finally, for the first time in eight years, Warner Bros. Animation got off their backs and made a darker, more professional Scooby-Doo animated movie similar to their infamous "Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island," their excellent "Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost," the not-so-great "Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders" and the fun "Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase." I have been WAITING for this ever since "Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster" came out and simply went with the "What's New Scooby-Doo" animation style.
Story-wise, it is a shame they go back to fake supernatural creatures once again, after "Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King" and the "Samurai Sword" movie. But it's got plenty of suspense and jump-scenes like the original movies did, though. They also go with a somewhat original plot for once, too! The gang has already come across too many tiki monsters, mummies, pirate ghosts, snow monsters and samurai ghosts that it seemed the writers were beginning to run out of ideas. But they REALLY surprised us with this one. The inclusion of Velma having a sister was fun, as was Daphne getting jealous over Fred going gaga over the lovely female assistant. Speaking of Fred, he isn't as stupidly-portrayed as he was in the previous films, or even "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo" and "What's New, Scooby-Doo." Scooby-Doo also has quite a bit of dialogue too, and they cleverly parodied the old formula here as well (such as a danger-prone Fred, and Shaggy using ventriloquism on a wolf puppet to mimic the famous "meddling kids" line.) Voices aren't too bad either. Sure, Frank Welker's Scooby-Doo still sounds like Brain from "Inspector Gadget," but I've pretty much gotten used to it by now. As for Matthew Lillard, he's actually a pretty good Shaggy! Sure, he's not as good as Casey Kasem, but he's better than Billy West and Scott Innes, and definitely better than Scott Menville! It does sound a little strange hearing the live-action Shaggy's voice coming out of the animated Shaggy, but after a while I got used to it. He also managed to make Shaggy sound hip and young again! The sound effects are also similar to the early made-for-video Scooby-Doo movies, only limiting the classic H-B sound effects to the Scooby and Shaggy scenes or exaggerated comedy sequences. They even managed to use the classic haunted "Castle Thunder" sound as one of the magic-spell sound effects (ala "The Powerpuff Girls"), but the other thunder sounds are pretty much identical to the earlier made-for-video Scooby-Doo movies, too.
The animation is also very good, too. As I mentioned, it is in a much darker style now, but the Scooby gang is drawn as how they appeared in the early 1970s, complete with wearing their original outfits! It looks much better than the "What's New Scooby-Doo"-esquire style of the past movies.
Overall, this is definitely a step up from the last several Scooby-Doo movies. It seems they're finally going in the right direction. Not only that, this film didn't even end with a Hanna-Barbera logo like the others did, which is actually somewhat of a good thing because Hanna-Barbera didn't make this movie; Warner Bros. Cartoons did. Definitely recommended!
Well, at least it's better than "Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!"
This may have a minor spoiler in it.
I was surprised that Termite Terrace was able to instantly churn out another new direct-to-video Scooby-Doo movie, especially since "Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King" only came out seven months ago! Usually the trend is a new Scooby-Doo movie every fall season, since 1998 when Warner Bros. Animation started the series with "Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island." However, while this film was more enjoyable than the notorious "Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue" or even its predecessor "What's New, Scooby-Doo?", it wasn't as good as "Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island," "Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost" or even the previous "Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King." The plot isn't too bad, keeping real supernatural elements, but the plot is basically like a Japanese variation of "Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost," complete with a phony samurai ghost at one point, followed by a real one near the end. It strays a little close to the line with the real ghost resembling a kind old man but wearing a mask of the monstrous face. But I REALLY like the dragon that Scooby and Shaggy visit at one point in the movie that teaches them to be samurais, partly because I really like friendly dragons, and partly because it's about time a real dragon was used in a Scooby-Doo cartoon (well, there's Matches from the Ghoul School movie, but he was a baby dragon). However, once again, there is not much originality with the movie, since the gang had already been to Japan (I know they did so on "What's New, Scooby-Doo?" and "Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo"). I was still a little irked about seeing the dumbed-down Fred (ala "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo" and "What's New, Scooby-Doo?") and the fashion-paranoid Daphne (same as previously mentioned shows), but I thought it was hilarious when after Shaggy, Scooby, Daphne and Velma said their catchphrases ("Zoinks!" "Rikes!" "Jeepers!" and "Jinkies!", respectively), Fred moaned, "Dang! I STILL don't have a catchphrase!" But the thing is, I guess the writers forgot that Fred DID have a catchphrase in "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo"... "Let's split up, gang!" But it was still enough to make me laugh. The Scooby gang gets an equal amount of time, and there were more scenes of them together than the previous films, but there was still quite a bit of scenes with just Shaggy and Scooby, and a few scenes with just Fred, Daphne and Velma. But at least Scooby-Doo has gotten more screen time than in "Aloha Scooby-Doo" and various "What's New, Scooby-Doo?" episodes, since he's my favorite character.
Voices are decent, with Casey Kasem still being able to voice Shaggy (need I mention that terrible Scott Menville's Shaggy voice?) and Frank Welker pulling double-duty as Fred and Scooby-Doo. The latter sounds much like a combination of his Brain from "Inspector Gadget" and Scott Innes's Scooby-Doo voice, so at least he's getting a bit better.
As for sound effects, once again they haven't changed much since they started doing the direct-to-video Scooby-Doo movies since 1998, only limiting the classic H-B sound effects to exaggerated comedy sequences or nearly any scene with Shaggy and Scooby-Doo. Maybe this H-B sound effect limitation worked just fine with the original made-for-video movies, but here it just sounds awkward, even though at least they've brought back the old Scooby teeth chattering noise, which "What's New, Scooby-Doo?" and the 2004-2006 made-for-video movies never did. This also goes for the Haunted Mansion-esquire "Castle Thunder," which they still thought was too obsolete to use and instead recorded real thunder sounds (since the Samurai Ghost has the ability to generate lightning). I wonder if they came to my hometown to do so? (we had a particularly bad storm last summer that sounded exactly like the one in this film) But what annoys me about that is how the annoying "Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue" series used the old thunder sounds, but the made-for-video movies (which are WAY better than "Get a Clue!") don't bother.
And speaking of "Get a Clue," now on to the animation. The Scooby-Doo gang is still drawn in their typical "What's New, Scooby-Doo?" style, which is, I must admit, easier on the eyes than the crude animation/designs used on "Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue" TV series. Good thing those awkward character designs only stuck with that show! But I think they should try showing the characters in their original outfits like the newest Scooby-Doo comics usually do, or at least make up a new style, maybe combining their "What's New?" outfits with the ones they wore on "Zombie Island" to "Cyber Chase." Movements are fluid and realistic, and like the previous film, it is heavy with CGI effects.
But I do wish they'd start making them actually resemble "Zombie Island" and "Witch's Ghost" in look and feel again. Though it looks like a Joe Barbera dedication is definitely out of the question now, they have continued the trend from all the other made-for-video Scooby-Doo movies made since 1998 and ended them with a Hanna-Barbera logo, even though this patently hasn't been true at all! (At least Bill and Joe were alive when "Zombie Island" and "Witch's Ghost" were made.) In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they used that remake of the old 1970s Hanna-Barbera "box" logo to replace the still Scooby/H-B graphic at the end of the first four movies!
Overall, good to rent or catch on TV, but I'd only recommend buying if you're a hard-core Scooby-Doo fan. Besides that, it's definitely better to watch if you're sick of "Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!"
The Mask (1994)
"...Jimmy, a Mask named Jim Carrey!"
This film is a cult classic. Those six words are enough to describe the movie itself from my view.
I never really got into it when I was younger (maybe cause I never SAW it!) But then early this year, since I am a HUGE cartoon fan, I decided to check it out. And boy, did I miss out on a lot of fun, which I was finally able to be part of! For starters, THIS is the film where Jim Carrey's zany/goofy antics are absolutely perfect and in time with the movie he is starring in. This movie even made me like Jim Carrey a bit more (I previously saw him in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," which was actually kinda good IMO). And it gave me my first glimpse of Cameron Diaz, which was appropriate since it was her debut film role as the beautiful miss Tina Carlyle. And was she ever sexy! Combine the Girl of "Red Hot Riding Hood," Jessica Rabbit, and Daphne from "Scooby-Doo," and you've got a great character with a great actress! Ben Stein was also great, too. I get a kick out of hearing his "boring" voice! The plot is one I can identify with. A social misfit that loves cartoons... almost kinda like ME! (Though I'm a bit more socially successful than Stanley Ipkiss was). And after a terrible day, he finds the ancient mask that transforms him into... THE MASK! From here on, it's classic cartoon bouncy/zany stuff whenever The Mask is lurking! Unfortunately, he is only the Mask for 30 minutes of the film, maybe because this was produced in 1994 and they didn't want to blow a lot of money with extensive use of CGI animation (Remember, CGI was state-of-the-art for its time back in 1994!) The Mask is able to whirl like the Tasmanian Devil, seduce like a Pepe Le Pew clone, carry many things up his sleeve, and just put a smile on your face.
The Mask's cartoony antics are very similar to (and reminiscent of) some of the great super-cartoony classics, such as the Tex Avery cartoons, some of Bob Clampett's best works, and "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo!" (Great show, BTW!) The CGI animation is state-of-the-art for its time (Shame this film didn't win the Oscar for best special effects!) Some of my favorite bits include the lines "It's party time! P-A-R-T... Y? Because I GOTTA!" and "I believe my friends are (on the guest list for the Coco Bongo club), perhaps you know them... Franklin, Grant and Jackson!" and "Let's ROCK THIS JOINT!" I also loved it when The Mask squeezed that little horn at the car, but the horn lets out a long verbal "AAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOGAH!" as loud as a Chrysler air raid siren, as well as when he is asked by a punk if he's got the time, The Mask gets out a ticking clock and says "Look at THAT! It's exactly two seconds before I honk your nose and pull your underwear over your head!" This then results in The Mask's first wedgie! And his little balloon animal show... "For you sir... a French Poodle!" *BANG! Sputter...* "Sorry son, the dog was rabid, had to put it down!" And what about the Hey Pachuco musical number, and The Mask's "Oscar-winning performance" (complete with an animated applauding audience silhouette!) Personally, my all-time favorite part in this movie is when The Mask goes to the Coco Bongo nightclub, and among seeing the sexy Tina Carlyle, he bugs his eyes out, unfurls his tongue on the ground, pounds his heart through his chest, and then he MORPHS INTO A 'TOON WOLF AND HOWLS AT HER, THEN WOLF-WHISTLES AND BANGS HIS HEAD WITH A MALLET! That wolf scene is a thousand times better than any werewolf transformation I have ever seen on film!
Whew... glad I got all that out. Anyways, one of the best movies ever made. In the words of the green-faced living 'toon himself, The Mask is 'SSSSSSSSMOKIN!!!
Back to real ghosts and monsters!
This is the first post-Sander Schwartz Scooby-Doo made-for-video movie. And it's a good one, too! Because when Warner Bros. Animation originally began producing the made-for-video Scooby-Doo movies 10 years ago, starting with "Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island," they broke away from the typical "fake ghost and monster" formula and broke new ground, using real ghosts and monsters. (This wasn't the first time they did so either, they did so back in the 1980s with "The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo" and a few TV movies.) "Zombie Island" and the following "Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost" (the best of the "real monster" movies) were much darker compared to the older Scooby-Doo cartoons. But when Sander Schwartz took over in 2002, he made them switch back to fake monsters and ghouls, the first two were good ("Legend of the Vampire" and "Monster of Mexico") which were practically like 70-minute episodes of "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?", and after that it would vary. They basically became 70-minute episodes of "What's New, Scooby-Doo?" and typically focused on Fred and Daphne. But beginning with "Scooby-Doo in Where's My Mummy?" they began toying around with the old formula again, which somewhat became the norm for the later films, which started to get better over time. Now that Sander Schwartz is gone from Termite Terrace (thank god!) I guess they decided to experiment again. Bringing back real ghosts and monsters helped liven up this recent installment in the Scooby-Doo made-for-video series of movies! It also helped put a bit of creepiness back into the Scooby franchise, something that "What's New, Scooby-Doo?" and the 2001-2007 made-for-video Scooby movies completely avoided. (Even the original "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" had quite a bit of creepiness in it, too.)
However, now it's on to reviewing the actual movie itself. Even though this was probably the umpteenth time they did a Scooby-Doo story that revolves around Halloween (such as "The Headless Horseman of Halloween," "To Switch a Witch," "A Scooby-Doo Halloween" and many others), I still enjoyed it, mainly because Halloween is my favorite holiday! And I really liked that fairy princess. I guess that proves not all real supernatural creatures in this movie have to be bad! The real ghouls and dark setting helped bring this movie up to "Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost" level. As far as voices go, we still have the same voice cast from "What's New, Scooby-Doo?" and the other past made-for-video movies. And I am so glad that Casey Kasem was still able to voice Shaggy, because I won't go into details on Scott Menville's crappy Shaggy voice in the "Get a Clue" series. Frank Welker has improved a little on his Scooby-Doo voice. It's starting to sound less like Brain from "Inspector Gadget" and more like Scott Innes's Scooby-Doo voice! It seems Mindy Cohn's Velma voice changed a little, and Grey DeLisle's Daphne voice hasn't changed a bit since 2001. The music is pretty good, too, with a bit of lively musical numbers by the monsters! At that part it seemed to remind me of "Scooby-Doo and the Boo Brothers." As far as the sound effects go, they haven't changed them much since 1998. They only use the classic H-B sound effects for exaggerated comedy scenes with Scooby, Shaggy, the goblin guards and Krudsky the Magician, similar to when Warner Bros. Animation was making the Cool Cat cartoons for WB/Seven Arts 40 years ago. And this may be a minor gripe, but the people at WB STILL haven't used the Haunted Castle Thunder sound effect like the classic Scooby-Doo cartoons did! This annoys me mainly because the crappy "Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue" series used it, so why not have the made-for-video movies use it? They're MUCH better than "Get a Clue!" Instead it sounds like they just sent the Foley editor into a real storm to record the thunder. But speaking of "Get a Clue," now on to the animation. The characters are thankfully not drawn in that ugly "Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue" style, and the animation is quite decent, though not as good as the animation in "Zombie Island" and "Witch's Ghost." There are also extensive uses of CGI effects/animation in this movie, which I don't think the previous direct-to-video Scooby movies even attempted! And as far as the classic character personalities go, Scooby and Shaggy have never changed since 1969. Daphne did not complain at once about her hair or clothes in this film, and it was nice to see a more intelligent and serious version of Fred again (after dumbing him down in "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo" and "What's New, Scooby-Doo?"). Velma fainting at the sight of a real fairy was just hilarious! I'm surprised she didn't do that at the real monsters in the late-1990s made-for-video movies! My only main complaint about this movie is that they STILL didn't dedicate any of the recent Scooby-Doo movies, including this one, to Joseph Barbera! Since he died before this film was even thought up, it would've been nice to dedicate the movie to one of Scooby-Doo's creators. But nevertheless, they still insisted on using that zooming "1970s Hanna-Barbera" logo at the end, which is still completely inaccurate and has been since 1998, since Warner Bros. Animation produced the movie, and now that both Bill and Joe are gone, it makes no sense to have another company's logo (even if it's owned by WB) at the end of a WB movie! Imagine seeing it at the end of a Looney Tunes cartoon of the 1950s, and it'd be just as weird, if not weirder.
However, this is admittedly better than the 2004-2007 made-for-video Scooby movies, and it's WAY better than "Shaggy and Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!" I highly recommend this one, especially if you loved the 1998-2001 Scooby-Doo movies!
Oh and P.S., the werewolf Scooby-Doo and Shaggy come across when first entering the monster world is AWESOME!
If you like classic Disney animation, this is for you!
I saw this film tonight, and I have to admit, I totally loved it! Disney finally made a good movie, the first in several years. It is a loving tribute to the classic animated Disney movies, particularly the ones made from 1937-1959 and 1989-1999. If you are a big fan of those movies, you will love pointing out the little references they made to those films here (a pizzeria is called the "Bella Notte Restaurant," Robert Phillip's ball outfit resembling the Beast's suit) The animation seen at the beginning and the end, though it was obviously outsourced, was very good. It looked like classic Disney at its best! The whole plot with Giselle and Edward not understanding the harsh reality of modern New York City actually made for an interesting plot. My favorite part was when Giselle sang out the apartment window and attracted the pigeons, cockroaches, rats and other NYC pest animals to help tidy up the house ala "Snow White!" The chipmunk was rather amusing when he was in the real world, with his unintelligible high-pitched "real world" voice and pantomime. Overall, I highly recommend this film if you absolutely love the great animated Walt Disney Classics!
Pretty good modern-day Inspector Gadget cartoon
Obviously made to cash in on the crappy 1999 "Inspector Gadget" movie, this made-for-video cartoon is actually pretty good. The framing story is interesting (even though half of it is merely recycled animation from older episodes given new voices) and three classic episodes of the series are also shown here.
The new segments are pretty cool. Maurice LaMarche provides a decent Gadget voice (though it can't match Don Adams) and also voices Chief Quimby, while Cree Summer reprises the role of Penny (predating the 2006 "Robot Chicken" episode) and Frank Welker voicing Brain, Dr. Claw and M.A.D. Cat. There's some new animation of Inspector Gadget in the computer-filled laboratory from the episode "Gadget's Replacement" combined with old clips from said episode and several others, and he also contacts Penny and Brain and chats with Chief Quimby. However, the music in the new segments is not as good as the music from the actual series, but at least it's passable.
The three episodes include one from the first season and two from the infamous low-budget second season. They cut the safety tips for some strange reason, though. I would've liked to see those as well. The first-season episode included is "Prince of the Gypsies," and while it's rather decent, there were plenty of other episodes to choose from ("Eye of the Dragon" and "The Curse of the Pharaoh" particularly come to mind). The second season episodes include "The Capeman Cometh" and "Gadget's Gadgets," both of which feature the dreaded Corporal Capeman (the IG equivalent to Poochie the Dog!) The second season wasn't as good as the first, especially with the out-of-place music and Corporal Capeman and Penny's different voice.
However, I recommend this if you are an Inspector Gadget fan and if you can tough Corporal Capeman :P