Scooby-Doo On Zombie Island: 15 Years Later

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It’s been fifteen years since the release of Scooby-Doo On Zombie Island. Back in the days of VHS tapes and no cellphones. Ah, the good old days. I remember the release of this movie very well because this was around the time I was first getting into Scooby-Doo. I remember never being able to rent it, because it was always checked out{and who else remembers the Burger King happy meal toys?}. But does Zombie Island hold up after all these years? The short answer is yes.  Not only is it arguably the best Scooby film to date, it also breathed new life into the franchise, leading to the multitude of DTV sequels, series, and of course live action films.

I’m sure most of us have seen the movie by this point, so I won’t go too far into the plot. After many years, Scooby and the gang reunite in search of real ghosts for Daphne’s talk show. The gang is invited to Moonscar Island, which is being haunted by pirate Morgan Moonscar. But this is no bad guy in a mask as our heroes will soon discover as they encounter real zombies and evil cat creatures. I know the use of real monsters in Scooby-Doo is a controversial thing among fans{understandably so}. I’m the type of guy who doesn’t mind when they use real monsters as long as they don’t overdo it. Here I think they used the idea to great effect. Sure, they dabbled a bit with real monsters during the Scrappy-Doo era, but but Zombie Island is the first time they introduced the supernatural into the franchise and did it right. While those Scrappy movies/episodes were a bit on the silly side, There’s a true sense of terror and fright in Zombie Island that you normally don’t get with Scooby-Doo.

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Of course, with real monsters comes a darker tone. This is arguably the darkest Scooby-Doo movie to date. I don’t think that’s really a bad thing though. They did a great job with balancing the humor and darker elements throughout.

The voice acting is great, even though Frank Welker is the only original actor to return{sadly, Don Messick passed away the year before}. Scott Innes as Scooby is great. The only one I don’t particulary care for is Billy West as Shaggy. His voice is a little too high pitched and doesn’t even come close to Casey Kasem.

The one minor problem I have with this movie is that the zombies are not actually zombies. I know they couldn’t really use the traditional brain eating zombies with this being Scooby-Doo and all. But they’re more like “undead spirits” than actual zombies.

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Thankfully, Scooby-Doo On Zombie Island has held up well over the years and still remains one of the best Scooby movies to date. While it might be too scary for younger viewers, us older fans will certainly enjoy it.

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  1. // Reply

    There are other movies I like, but this above all else is the greatest Scooby-Doo movie of all time. It had great promise for future stories, but the point was to tell a story of them having drifted a part (which we had already seen in the 80s) and coming back together (the story is purposely done for that reason).

    This was a great relaunch for the franchise. At the time of its release I'm sure everybody of that era had seen Scooby-Doo from reruns of the original series and this film not only reintroduced the franchise, but also introduced it to a new one. And what a way to introduce it. Whenever I talk to anyone it's this film they mention more than anything. It just really stands out. I wasn't a fan, but every time it came on TV I would watch it and not a thought of the scary things done in this which now I'm very aware of what's happening. That's also the reason I won't buy it which is unfortunate because it's such a great movie. I think you could even say it was viagra (if I can say that?). I don't know what would've happened without this film. It took a big risk and it paid off immensely.

    The idea of them being adults crumpled though because I think for one thing the writers could never give up the whole "those meddling kids" thing and secondly it would've tired out eventually which it did mainly because it just was going nowhere with them being adults. Everything they did in Alien Invaders and Cyber Chase they could've done as teens. It's not impossible to imagine. (And what were they doing in the middle of Roswell anyway?)

    Last two things is the voice acting. I don't have a problem with the voices pre-Zombie Island, I just think from this film it gave more range to Welker and made Fred a more three-dimensional character as it did to all of them ("all of them" being Velma & Daphne). I agree about West, he doesn't come close to Kasem and Innes only continued what West did. Except for perhaps Night of the Living Doo. Mary Kay Bergman was also a fine choice for Daphne. Too bad she had barely anything to do in the following ones. (Like I said Daphne the reporter was a missed potential.)

    Lastly the music. Both songs capture perfectly what's happening on screen, especially "The Ghost Is Here" which captures perfectly the heart of the Scooby-Doo franchise.

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  2. // Reply

    It's true! That movie scared the heck outta me (and I loved it!)!

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