I know going in some of you are going to hate this no matter how great it is because you have hang ups about WWE being involved. That’s your loss.
Imagine your weirdest, wackiest, craziest childhood dream…
…okay, got yours?
Now, imagine that it came true! That’s what this was for me.
When Shaggy and Scooby win tickets to WrestleMania, they convince the entire Mystery Inc. gang to travel to WWE City in the Mystery Machine to enjoy the show. But the trip quickly turns into another mystery as WWE City is full of secrets! A mysterious ghostly bear appears and threatens to ruin the show and steal the championship title belt. With the help of WWE Superstars John Cena, Triple H, Sin Cara, Brodus Clay, AJ Lee, The Miz, Santino Marella and Kane, Scooby-Doo and The Mystery Inc. gang team up to solve the case before it is too late!
The last Scooby DTV I was able to see was Music Of The Vampire and this is 10X better than that! One of my biggest fears about this going into it was the runtime. 84 minutes leaves alot of room for filler in a movie like this. But there was really only one scene that felt sorta unnecessary and that was the opening with Kane, Miz, & The Ghost Bear.
And it’s not that I hate that scene it’s just that everything that happens in it is mentioned later so that we don’t really need to see it. But it introduces us to the world so it’s fine.
My 3 favorite scenes/sequences are the Tag Team Match near the beginning, an Indiana Jones-esque scene where The Gang is chased by a boulder, and the whole chase sequence that ends with Shaggy and Scooby using Cena as a raft.
First, the Match, which has one of my complaints.
It’s a quick Tag Match, John Cena and Sin Cara (whose family is tied in with the Ghost Bear’s origins) Vs The Big Show and Alberto Del Rio. This is one of the things I wanted the most out of this movie, an animated match, and it 100% works…except for the commentary. I’ve always liked Michael Cole as a commentator/announcer, he’s always filled the role well no matter what it called for him to do, good guy or bad guy. But one of the big things about Wrestling commentary, or any sports commentary for that matter, is playing off of your broadcast partner.
Jerry “The King” Lawler, Cole’s partner on Monday Night Raw, is mentioned and shown later during a tour of WWE City. Why not get him in the recording booth with Cole for more authentic commentary? Cole alone, by no fault of his own, just falls flat.
Second, the boulder scene.
It’s kicked off by a rockslide caused by a Hillbilly that’s angry about WWE City always expanding. The boulder chases them Raider style to the edge of a cliff where Cena jumps in and stops it. John Cena jumping in brings up an interesting topic. For years WWE fans have complained about Cena being to much like Superman and here that is in full effect. At one point early in the movie he even lifts the Mystery Machine out of a ditch.
And the DC Comics parallels and easter eggs don’t end there.
Brandon Vietti, the Director of this movie, who worked on Young Justice included an easter egg of all of the girls from that series watching WrestleMania at home.
The other sorta parallel I see is they made Sin Cara come off as a mixture of Batman and Robin, sorta like Nightwing I guess.
He has a flair for the dramatic, he always seems to have just what is needed at any particular moment, and he also seems to have a ton of fun while doing his thing.
I’ve read a few reviews, one by a WWE fan, where the reviewers have wondered why Sin Cara was even included since he doesn’t talk. I think that is pretty obvious having seen it. He’s colorful!
And as a Luchador he presents a brilliant excuse for over dramatic and beautiful animation. Maybe somebody like Rey Mysterio would have been a better fit but Sin Cara works great for the role.
Going back to the animation, I’ve thought since Abracadabra-Doo the animation has gotten better everytime out of the gate. Having missed the last 3 DTV’s, I can tell you the animation has taken a quantum leap forward since then. Sleeker, smoother, and just an all around feast for the eyes. It’s truly stunning.
Before I talk about the Bear chase, a few more things of note.
Something that bugs me is that they felt the need to create new wrestling characters when WWE has an ever growing cast of characters they could’ve used instead. One of the new characters named Cookie is a former wrestler that got injured and now trains the next generation of WWE Superstars. This is a roll that any number of WWE Hall of Famers could have played.
Now this is, admittedly, a small gripe but it would have made the movie more enjoyable for me. This isn’t a complaint just a fact, if you pay very close attention, you can figure out who the villain is within the first 20 minutes. It’s no where near as blatant as say Curse of the Lake Monster was, so it won’t ruin it at all. But I did figure it out.
On to my favorite scene.
I like this scene so much because it reminds me of the Alien Invaders end chase scene in the caves cranked up to eleven mixed with that oh-so-nerdtastic tracking shot from The Avengers that followed each of the heroes through the battle of New York. This scene follows the Gang through several levels of the Ghost Bear’s cave lair, from top to bottom and back again. It had to be an absolute nightmare to storyboard/plot out and it came out perfectly.
The voice acting is superb all around, Scooby regulars and WWE folks alike. It is funny, fast paced, and most importantly fun. For me, it was so surreal to hear Scooby, Shaggy, and the Gang talk about WWE and all of the Superstars and Hall of Famers and vice versa. It must be how kids felt watching The New Scooby-Doo Movies back in the day. And hearing all of the WWE music sprinkled throughout was another thrill for me. Jim Johnston does great work for WWE and hardly ever gets called out for it. When I first saw the opening credits I liked what I saw but I hated that song.
I don’t like it…but I don’t hate it.
That’s the best I can say for it. I miss the Just For Laughs songs. The redesignef Mystery Machine take some getting used to.
Honestly, I’m still not sure I like it. I’m sure it’ll grow on me, but it will take some time.
Now, onto my biggest complaint.
To a vast number of WWE fans, when you say WrestleMania! one name comes to mind…The Undertaker! Yet, he is no where to be found. Undertaker and WrestleMania are synonymous. Not including The Phenom would be like Marvel forgetting Stan Lee or DC forgetting Batman and Superman. There are two references to him, on is a visual, but that’s not nearly enough for me. A missed opportunity for sure. Its cool to have a new bonus feature too, though it focuses on the WWE Talent and how excited they are to be apart of the project and their memories of the franchise instead of the Scooby Talent…or better yet, both.
So overall, it’s a great Scooby movie that is alot of fun and you don’t need to be a regular or long time WWE viewer to get into it.
Though if you are there are tons of references and jokes, some of which are visual, to interest you.
Definitely check it out!