Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword (2009)
|Genre(s): Animation / Comedy / Mystery|
|Warner Brothers || NR - 74 minutes - $19.98 || April 7, 2009|
|Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-04-20|
Writer(s): Joe Sichta
Cast: Frank Welker, Casey Kasem, Mindy Cohn, Grey DeLise, Kelly Hu
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[Note: Most of this portion has been taken from my review of Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King.]
Scooby-Doo has had many adventures over the years starting with the hit 1969 series, “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” showcasing the Scooby-gang hunting for clues to find out what plans the fiend of the week has in store. And in the last 10 years or so, Hannah-Barbera has churned out several straight-to-video movies, along with the two live-action feature films (and a live-action prequel is on the way), like Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island and Scooby Doo and the Loch Ness Monster (amongst so many others). Last year saw the release of the so-so Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King and now the Scooby Gang are going international with Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword.
This adventure finds the gang in Tokyo, Japan on a semi-vacation to take in the sights and support Daphne who had been invited to some sort of fighting competition but of course where the Scooby Gang goes, ghosts, mysteries and clues follow! In this case, it surrounds the “Sword of Fate” where whoever possesses has some kind of ultimate power. The one after it is the Black Samurai, an evil spirit with a sordid past who first must decipher some ancient scrolls which will lead to the sword. Of course the Mystery Inc. crew are hot on the case and actually get the scroll before the Black Samurai, unraveling the clues that leads them to the South Pacific and back to Japan.
I saw this before in my Goblin King review and I’ll say it again: “I would love to say this movie was a blast even for the older general fans, but instead we have a series that is made for kids; I’m not asking for Pixar material or anything, but at least give something for the adult fans... please!” While I actually found Samurai Sword a tad more enjoyable, I still wasn’t that impressed. You get more of the same Scooby/Shaggy shenanigans (at least this time the Scooby snacks came back as, IIRC, they were missing the last go around) and the jokes were, again, more dumb than actually funny.
I don’t know, with this now being 2 Scooby-Doo direct-to-DVD movies I’ve watched, maybe my tastes have changed. It could be the real world has jilted me and I’ve become too serious. Well, that might be true but I will say that you could do worse for a kid’s movie than Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword. No, it’s not a great mystery/adventure but it does hold a bit of entertainment value and it is actually a movie you can watch with kids (10 and under).
Diehard Scooby fans will probably still love this but for me – even though it was a slight step up from Goblin King – did little to change my mind on the current Scooby stories. One thing I will say, to leave this review on a positive note, is the animation looks great. Sure, it’s still the typical 2D style and probably cheaply made, but it was fun to look at...
Again, there’s only one feature called Scooby-Doo Dojo which gives a look at the world of martial arts and learn about the Samurai tradition.
.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.
As with any cartoon DVD of this sort, the movie is presented in classic full frame. Colors seem to be clear and clean. The animation style looks to be old school so there’s really not much to judge.
Warner Brothers provides a Dolby Digital 5.1. It’s not a great track, but certainly better than having it in stereo. I was, however, impressed with how clear the dialogue was through the center channel and any ambient noise came through the others fine.
While these new DTV movies aren’t exactly my cup of tea, they at least are semi-entertaining fluff that the entire family can watch together. Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword is a slight step up from Goblin King and this actually could be one I’ll check out at some later time if I ever get the inclination to give it another try.