A Double Unmasking

Those genuine moments where Scoob pays pure homage to Hanna-Barbera animation matter. Scoob is more than a reset of Mystery Inc. – it’s intended to revitalize the entire brand, recalling Wacky Races, Captain Caveman (but not son), and others. A Marvel-verse, in cartoon.

Sound effects call back to the ‘60s and ‘70s. Cartoon gags like shuffling feet and waiting for gravity to take over in mid-air catch on something lost in modern animation. If there is to be a Hanna-Barbera resurgence, that’s the way.

Scoob is of the new mindset though too. Sometimes that works. A few jokes land successfully. Then come the pop culture references, like Simon Cowell, for whatever reason, factoring into the story. Pop songs, many well beyond a kid’s range, saunter into the soundtrack. That’s all generally a mess.

As a story about friendship and understanding heroes are fallible too, Scoob is fine

This isn’t a case of wanting more nostalgia over something different; Scoob so rarely feels like Scooby-Doo, because its sci-fi gadgets and superheros obliterate the mystery. Velma, Fred, and Daphne pop in the script like afterthoughts, as if someone saw an early edit and realized they needed more screentime. This is the Scooby/Shaggy show, sharing time with Dynomutt and Blue Falcon almost equally.

As a story about friendship, overcoming anxieties around people, and understanding heroes are fallible too, Scoob is fine. It’s an appropriate message, told with charm, and predictable twists. Energy is key, and Scoob isn’t afraid of keeping up its manic pace; imagine the pounding tempo in a compressed 20-minute TV slot, no longer constrained by commercial breaks. That’s Scoob.

Scoob’s world brings in a talking dog, so as the story introduces killer robots it’s not a stretch. Then come mystical curses, dinosaurs, Greek mythology, and hairy cavemen. There’s a lot here, too much, really, jamming ideas in en masse to catch every facet of Hanna-Barbera’s history. By the finale as a Cerberus jumps from an inter-dimensional portal, Scoob turns into a mass of (colorful) noise. The Mystery Machine is no more, and it’s wonder why the Mystery team is even involved. Shaggy’s fun, Scooby’s charming, but the teamwork messaging falters considering the team doesn’t materialize as a unit.

Video

Beautiful stuff here from Warner, bringing pristine, untouched clarity to 4K. Source animation isn’t the most detailed, but offers some impressive flourishes like Scooby’s fur or Blue Falcon’s intricately textured armor. Captain Caveman’s hair looks appropriately matted. Sharpness maintains its peak, without loss. Ever.

Story beats offer numerous opportunities to exploit HDR, from laser beams to glowing robot eyes. Neon signs sizzle, and green flames pouring from Cerberus’ mouth(s) during the finale showcase peak brightness. Overall contrast adds stable, pleasing depth, accentuating the dimension in the 3D animation.

Finally, there’s color, washing Scoob in candy-like primaries. Saturation delivers on all counts, even when restricted by Blue Falcon’s ship interior covered most in… blue. Still, variety leads, attractive in differing hues and tones, undoubtedly assisted by deep color.

Audio

At least it’s not Dolby Digital, but DTS-HD 5.1 sounds just as limiting for a new release in this Atmos era. The mix is solid, certainly energetic while robots scatter around the soundfield or ships pass by. Strong positional touches miss nothing, discreetly making use of each channel, fronts spread just as wide as surrounds. Panning effects transition perfectly.

There’s satisfying low-end response too, pumping up the music selections as much as the action. A few explosions a couple crashing cars, roaring monsters – it all hits. A few misses like a Ferris wheel decoupling limit their force, while the rest enjoys a firm LFE kick.

Extras

On the Blu-ray only, there’s an EPK making-of, a short blooper reel, a few deleted scenes, drawing lessons, and a one-minute clip of cast members playing with puppies, the latter the only thing worth watching, and arguably, worth a perfect score on its own. Because puppies.

Scoob
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
2

Movie

Cramming in an entire universe worth of cartoons into a slim frame, Scoob forgets it involves more than a talking dog and its hippie friend.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 58 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD: