The Scooby gang try to rescue an old movie studio, which is not only threatened by developers, but a series of movie monsters too.The Scooby gang try to rescue an old movie studio, which is not only threatened by developers, but a series of movie monsters too.The Scooby gang try to rescue an old movie studio, which is not only threatened by developers, but a series of movie monsters too.
The first Lego 'Scooby Doo' film, after being pleasantly surprised if not blown away by the short special 'Knight Time Terror', 'Haunted Hollywood' has both good and very weak elements that make it an interesting but mixed bag watch. It is a long way from the worst 'Scooby Doo' film (excluding the television specials of the late 80s, which are very flawed but not that bad, and 'Arabian Nights', which is terrible, the only weak one to me is 'Monster of Mexico'. However, all the other 'Scooby Doo' films are much better. Especially 'Zombie Island', 'Witch's Ghost', 'Big Top', 'Goblin King' and 'Mask of the Blue Falcon', the rest are decent to very good.
Starting with 'Haunted Hollywood's' issues, the film doesn't have enough story for the 75 minute running time, making it feel over-stretched and making one think that a half an hour special would have been better.
Despite saying that 'Knight Time Terror' felt too short and rushed, that had a much stronger mystery, much more going on, more atmosphere and felt too hasty for a special so a feature length would have been justified. The mystery has its moments but can feel bland and some of the film feels padded, not all of it necessary, with a fairly obvious reveal.
Of the gang, only Shaggy and Scooby work properly. The other three lack agreed distinct personalities, Daphne particularly is bland and her rock star subplot would have worked and easy to relate to if it didn't wear thin too early.
Lastly, some of the character designs are wanting, especially for Daphne and a couple of the monsters. Even for Lego they look blocky and their movements aren't particularly smooth, Daphne apart from the hair and clothes could have been someone else entirely.
However, other elements do work very well. Character-designs aside, the Lego animation is very nicely done. It's very colourful and atmospheric, with some of the visuals also being inventive. The music is both dynamic and groovy, with a lot of energy and a haunting undercurrent.
A good deal of the writing is fun and smart, with witty in-jokes, endearingly goofy jokes (although a few of the puns go overboard on the corniness) and nostalgic homages to past horror films that are so much fun to recognise. It's quirky and a few thrills and scares, thanks to the villains being pretty creepy.
There are some decent supporting characters, particularly Drella Diabolique (brilliantly voiced by Cassandra Peterson.
Voice acting is very good. Frank Welker shows no signs of being long in the tooth despite voicing Fred since the very beginning way back in 1969, so nearly 50 years and he is going strong. His Scooby voice took some getting used to, having been so accustomed to Don Messick since forever, but it's definitely grown on me. Matthew Lillard is a worthy successor to Casey Kasem, a very difficult feat that he pulls off with ease, he is hilarious and an immensely likable goofball.
Kate Micucci does well as Velma, though the writing for the character is not the best. Grey DeLisle has to work with Daphne being bland but that doesn't stop her putting effort with the character regardless.
In summing up, a slightly above average mixed bag with an air of disappointment. 6/10 Bethany Cox
- Sep 19, 2017