The opening credit titles were a breath of fresh air and they had aflair that matched John K.'s "Ren & Stimpy" cartoon in the look of it.The music had a nice throwback to the original 69 series as well.
As for the main animation throughout, it's simply some of the cleanestand tightest that has ever been done yet for a Scooby-Doo production!The turns and inbetweens look well done and the background paints havean air of mystery that match the brilliance of the original series in'69! The CGI Mystery Machine was produced and worked a lot better thanin previous versions and there wasn't an overuse of CGI overall asthere was in "Samarai Sword" which was horrible. Digital eMation Incdid a superb job on the production. Too bad we have to send the workout to Korea as usual though. Can we make anything in this country????As for story, and having worked on Scooby stuff for 10 years of myprofessional career, the story once again shows how creatively bankruptthe Scooby-Doo series has been. Once it was a guy in a costume and oncethat was worn out they had to use real supernatural elements whichshows that it "jumped the shark" decades ago. The last batch of movieshas been really bad. Scooby stories should just be hacked out asapparently there is nowhere to take the characters and as a brand maybeit's for the best since these are made for kids. It's a strict formulaand usually these things hit the bulletpoints as to what happens whenand where in the story. WB won't allow a lot of new ideas to mess upthe brand so it will just continue. It is their golden calf so I'll letit lie, since six-year-olds won't notice the sameness till they watchthem when they are older. As an aside, the romance of Daphne and Fredhad taken a noticeable turn. She had at least one hand on Fred in mostof the scenes and flirted with him more than in any other picture. Shesure is fighting for her man in this one...
As for the voices, it was adequate. Welker was more on point andScooby's voice didn't have a touch of Fred's voice in it as it did in"Samuarai Sword". He's getting older too, so I wonder who will replacehim at some point. You can only use ProTools on a voice and speed upthe tape to make them sound younger for so long.
Matthew Lillard was watered down Shaggy and had no pep. Bad castingchoice for sure, but tying him to the animated from the live-actionScooby is a good marketing decision. This is a problem though of hiringan actor as opposed to a voice actor. Actors can't voice act worth adamn! Didn't Matt Damon and Brad Pitt animated ventures tell thestudios anything??? There is a difference and why Mel Blanc was agenius. They should have gotten Scott Innes to play Shaggy it since hestill does all the licensing work as Shaggy and Scooby, plus he soundscloser to Casey than anyone else. Billy West is the reason I can'twatch "Zombie Island" and he was the worst Shaggy ever so thankfully hewasn't cast! Maybe Lillard will improve since he'll be in the newseries, "Mystery Inc" as well.
All in all, a great clean piece of slicker animation which makes itstand out from the normal drivel.
I have to say, this movie really surprised me. After 40 odd years of anawesome show I was wondering if they would better some of the othermovies such as "Aloha Scooby Doo!". After watching it, I have to saythis is up there with the best.
The new animation technology used really hits you and seems to give adarker impression of everything. The plot really suits this and usesthe darker effect to enhance itself. Talking about the plot, I have tosay this is where I was the most surprised. In the past few years Ipersonally feel that the plots have gotten almost a little bitdesperate, as though the producers were doing anything for originality.Movies such as "Scooby Doo and the Cyber Chase" are examples of thissort of thing and generally didn't go down too well for me. However,the plot here was actually quite good. It looks like they have solvedthe puzzle for originality...well almost. I still have a few bones topick. Bringing love into the plot seems just a bit over the top for me,especially with the romantic scene (naturally it is not explicit in anyway).
It's sad that the previous voice of Shaggy has gone but his replacementis quite good. The gang also look fantastic in their original clothing.
The first scooby doo cartoon movie "Scooby Doo on Zombie Island" wasquite a hit, not only in my books either. Abracadabra Doo seems like areturn to the plot style and darkness of that successful movie and winsmy vote as being a must watch.
Everybody's favorite canine detective is back again. The Scooby Gangstill seem fresh and vibrant in their latest straight-to-DVD adventure,Scooby-Doo: Abracadabra-Doo, over 40 years after their first televisionappearance. The Mystery Machine is a newer model and now has a veryannoying GPS, but that's about all that's changed.
The script writers do seem to keep up with the times, seeing that thisnew adventure takes place at a magic school that is reminiscent ofHarry Potter's Hogwarts. It also features a very cool gryphon thatflies around snapping at everyone and causing all kinds of ruckus. Thestory has all the right elements you've come to expect from aScooby-Doo movie: a big and dark house or mansion, the eccentric castof suspects, and a creepy or foggy landscape. There's even a forebodinggroundskeeper, voiced by John DiMaggio (Bender on Futurama, Star Wars:The Clone Wars, Ben 10), who is constantly warning everyone ofimpending danger.
Speaking of the cast, Matthew Lillard has picked up duties fromlongtime voice talent and radio DJ Kasey Kasem. Lillard does a greatjob, as if anyone ever had any doubt he could after playing the part inthe two original live-action Scooby-Doo films. Frank Welker returnsonce again to voice both Scooby and Fred, thankfully. Mindy Cohn (TheFacts of Life) again voices Velma. There's also some really cool guestvoices, like John Stephenson (the narrator of Dragnet, Wacky Races, TheFlintstones), Olivia Hack (The Brady Bunch movies, Hey Arnold! TheMovie, Open Season 2), and Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development, TheLarry Sanders Show, Hellboy 1 & 2).
The animation is the same comfortable look that we've come to expect.It's pretty much the look of What's New, Scooby Doo? A mix of theclassic feel of the original television show and new animationtechnology. Thankfully, it doesn't look like the horrific animation ofShaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! I definitely enjoyed this new entry inthe Scooby series. Your kids will love it and it will keep theirattention. This is good and entertaining family fun.
Finally, for the first time in eight years, Warner Bros. Animation gotoff their backs and made a darker, more professional Scooby-Dooanimated movie similar to their infamous "Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island,"their excellent "Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost," the not-so-great"Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders" and the fun "Scooby-Doo and theCyber Chase." I have been WAITING for this ever since "Scooby-Doo andthe Loch Ness Monster" came out and simply went with the "What's NewScooby-Doo" animation style.
Story-wise, it is a shame they go back to fake supernatural creaturesonce again, after "Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King" and the "SamuraiSword" movie. But it's got plenty of suspense and jump-scenes like theoriginal movies did, though. They also go with a somewhat original plotfor once, too! The gang has already come across too many tiki monsters,mummies, pirate ghosts, snow monsters and samurai ghosts that it seemedthe writers were beginning to run out of ideas. But they REALLYsurprised us with this one. The inclusion of Velma having a sister wasfun, as was Daphne getting jealous over Fred going gaga over the lovelyfemale assistant. Speaking of Fred, he isn't as stupidly-portrayed ashe was in the previous films, or even "A Pup Named Scooby-Doo" and"What's New, Scooby-Doo." Scooby-Doo also has quite a bit of dialoguetoo, and they cleverly parodied the old formula here as well (such as adanger-prone Fred, and Shaggy using ventriloquism on a wolf puppet tomimic the famous "meddling kids" line.) Voices aren't too bad either.Sure, Frank Welker's Scooby-Doo still sounds like Brain from "InspectorGadget," but I've pretty much gotten used to it by now. As for MatthewLillard, he's actually a pretty good Shaggy! Sure, he's not as good asCasey Kasem, but he's better than Billy West and Scott Innes, anddefinitely better than Scott Menville! It does sound a little strangehearing the live-action Shaggy's voice coming out of the animatedShaggy, but after a while I got used to it. He also managed to makeShaggy sound hip and young again! The sound effects are also similar tothe early made-for-video Scooby-Doo movies, only limiting the classicH-B sound effects to the Scooby and Shaggy scenes or exaggerated comedysequences. They even managed to use the classic haunted "CastleThunder" sound as one of the magic-spell sound effects (ala "ThePowerpuff Girls"), but the other thunder sounds are pretty muchidentical to the earlier made-for-video Scooby-Doo movies, too.
The animation is also very good, too. As I mentioned, it is in a muchdarker style now, but the Scooby gang is drawn as how they appeared inthe early 1970s, complete with wearing their original outfits! It looksmuch better than the "What's New Scooby-Doo"-esquire style of the pastmovies.
Overall, this is definitely a step up from the last several Scooby-Doomovies. It seems they're finally going in the right direction. Not onlythat, this film didn't even end with a Hanna-Barbera logo like theothers did, which is actually somewhat of a good thing becauseHanna-Barbera didn't make this movie; Warner Bros. Cartoons did.Definitely recommended!
Lately, I NEVER buy these direct to DVD, factory-produced, panderingScooby titles that get distributed to dumbed-down drooling kids atWal-Mart. I was totally finished when I watched...*shudders*..."Aloha,Scooby Doo" a few years back. I could name a few other titles in a LONGrun of BAD Scooby Doo features, but I digress. I don't know whatpossessed me, but I bought "Scooby Doo: Abracadabra Doo" at Wal-Marttonight. I and my friend watched it expecting a sub-par experience.First, let me say...IT HAD A FREAKING CREDIT SEQUENCE WITH AN ENTIRELYNEW THEME SONG THAT WAS REMINISCENT OF THE GOOFY 70's POP FLUFF THATPLAYED IN THE ORIGINAL SHOW!!! Then, if that weren't enough to catch myattention, they brought the character style all the way back to the70's, by leaving NO whites in their eyes and choosing to richly shadowand detail their appearance. There was a wealth of camera angles, zoomshots, and random motion keeping your attention constantly. Thebackgrounds were extremely detailed. And there were many references toprevious Scooby images or incarnations.
As for the plot, dialogue, and character development...A giant leap inthe right direction! The plot could have stood a little bit of work,but suspense and gorgeous animation make up for this. Characterdevelopment between the Mystery 5 was brought to new depths and Scoobyhimself was even included in this. I also appreciated the knowing jabsthat Shaggy made about "those meddling kids". I loved the inclusion ofthe smart-aleck GPS. It was just the modern boost that the MysteryMachine needed. The choice to have Andrea Romano of "Batman: TheAnimated Series" fame do the voice casting was excellent. MatthewLillard did a fine job voicing Shaggy and Frank Welker was great asScooby Doo.
Overall, this is just the shot in the arm that the Scooby industryneeded. This cartoon has plenty of atmosphere, depth, and slickanimation to hold up for many years...long after "Aloha", "LochnessMonster", "Goblin King", "Chill Out", and "Samurai Sword" havemercifully passed from our memory. Maybe next time...we can get anouting that is boldly dark and creepy...with real ghosts again. Greateffort Warner Premiere. Keep up the good work.