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Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

Last Watch Date – October 11, 2022
Total Times Watched – Once

Comments

I am a big fan of the original Scooby-Doo series and all the quirkiness of the mysteries they solve. I do remember this movie coming out but at this point I was a sophomore in high school and not really interested as such. So why did I watch it now? Well, I have a 10 year old who was interested! Let’s get to it.

My first thought when starting this movie up was that I wasn’t super keen on the animation style. It looks like a generic 90s low-budget cartoon with computer aided design. The characters look a little too brightly colored as well. If you watch some of the old ones, you’ll see that Daphne has a dark purple dress, Velma has a pretty drab orange sweater, and Fred’s ascot is muted as well. This one is all BRIGHT purple, BRIGHT orange, BRIGHT orange. It’s too much and throws the tone of the show off a little bit.

Speaking of tone – this one happens to be one of the darker Scooby-Doo episodes (we’ll say episode even though it’s a 77 minute feature). The zombies are all pretty creepy for a kids show and they’re drawn really interestingly. Lots of bones, muscle, sinew, etc that you can see. The fact that they’re real is out of left field when it comes to Scoobs. Normally it’s some dude in a mask.

Speaking of that shift, they somewhat cover it in the early parts of the episode in a little set of montages. You get to see them solving mysteries but now they want a REAL haunting. And they got one! The story itself is bizarre for sure. It has all the markings of a typical SD story, but they’re never real. Fred makes a point about this multiple times: there’s a logical reason for this! There’s gotta be! But there’s not. It’s a strange story even for Scooby-Doo.

The pacing is not great. The first half of it is really slow and not very interesting. If anything else, this reinforces why Scooby episodes are generally 30 minutes and not over an hour. The setup for this story (Daphne is a reporter and the gang has been split up for a year) is not well thought out or done. My assumption is they’re trying to make some drama early on but you know they’re going to get back together and they do within a few minutes. The montages of old mysteries is maybe helpful for a kid who has never seen any of it before, but I don’t really think that was their target audience. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pick up until more than halfway through when they’re trying to solve the mystery.

This follows the same generic setup as a regular Scoob episode: they come across a mystery, they investigate, they get chased around, they solve the case. In this one, though, they don’t really solve the case as such. It’s revealed to them, but they didn’t really do anything to discover it themselves. All of the clues they find are sort of red herrings (though they do relate to the end “mystery”). If not for some dumb luck, they wouldn’t even survive. On that alone, it’s a hard pill to swallow for someone who expects them to be able to solve the mystery.

Recommended?

It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really great either. If you want your fix of Scooby-Doo, just watch some reruns.

Rating – 6 Zombies out of 10