Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo (2010)
|Genre(s): Adventure / Animation / Mystery|
|Warner Premiere || NR - 75 minutes - $19.98 || February 16, 2010|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-02-14|
Writer(s): Alan Burnett (story), Alan Burnett and Paul Dini & Misty Lee (screenplay)
Cast: Frank Welker, Matthew Lillard, Mindy Cohn, Grey DeLisle
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In life, there are only a few things one can count on: Death, taxes, family fights and Scooby-Doo. Although the regular series has come and gone (a few times), Hanna Barbara and Warner Brothers still continue to release these direct-to-video original movies.
In Abracadabra-Doo, Scooby, Shaggy and the rest of Mystery, Inc. gang travel to the secluded Whirlen Merlin Magic Academy to visit Velma’s sister, Madelyn, when it seems someone wants to scare everyone away from the school. And that’s not too hard when a gryphon – half dragon, half lion bird – begins attacking but the gang believes there’s something more going on and plenty of suspects to investigate. Is it the greedy ice cream mogul wanting to buy the castle the school is housed in? Or maybe it’s the screaming banshee that terrorizes the lake? There’s no shortage of clues as the Scooby Gang is on the case to save the school before it’s too late.
No one ever said the plots for the Scooby stories were complicated. Although they are a tad more “complex” (and I use that word loosely) compared to the old series, I found this addition to the direct-to-video Scooby-line to be fairly entertaining. Maybe it’s because I was having a good day or maybe it was a slow weekend morning and just needed a break from the weekday grind. Whatever the reason may be, I laughed a few times and was interested in the story from the beginning to end.
Now, I don’t want to say Abracadabra-Doo is some advancement in 2D animation, because it isn’t, but the animation and style is still great (more later in the video section). Also to note, while the Mystery Inc. voice-overs are the same from the previous original movie releases – Frank Welker as Scooby/Fred, Mindy Cohn voicing Velma and Grey DeLisle playing Daphne – missing is the great Casey Kasem who has voiced Shaggy for well over 150 years now and taking over the reins, it would seem, is none other than Matthew Lillard who of course played Shaggy (and did a scary good job with the voice) in the two live action theatrical films. Kasem, who turns 78 this year, retired from voice acing and it would seem that Lillard is a great choice to take over (and given how resilient the Scooby-Doo animated franchise is, it’s steady work).
Overall, Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo is a fun animated movie. Yes, the finale is wacky and really ridiculous, but it’s the journey there and seeing the zany characters and cheap wise-cracking jokes that makes watching these DTV movies so worthwhile. Obviously anyone who has been a fan of the Mystery Inc. gang will enjoy this, others might find it a little too preposterous.
The only feature is a lame Scooby-Doo and Puppets Too featurette where you can learn how to make “your very own scary puppet”. I know these are for kids, but how about throwing in something for those who are over 10?
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
Abracadabra-Doo comes to DVD with your usual Full Frame (1.33) presentation and as one should expect for a direct-to-DVD animated release, this looks crisp and very clean. Colors are vibrant and I didn’t notice much in the way of pixilation, so enjoy!
Surprisingly, while the other DTV animated releases got a Dolby Stereo or Surround tracks, this gets a nice upgrade with a Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Yep, 5.1 channels. It’s not overly encompassing but I was impressed enough as you get some ambient sounds with the dialogue coming out of the center channel.
Aside from the fact Warner Bros. still stiffs us out of any features for anyone over the age of 10, I found this addition to the Scooby animated original movie collection to be a lot of fun. It’s one of those movies, albeit short at only 75-minutes, where you can sit back and just enjoy and laugh at the stupid jokes.