Out this week was a new animated movie starring Scooby-Doo, his friends, and a whole bunch of WWE wrestlers: John Cena, Kane, The Miz (who, poor guy, just gets beat up on), Sin Cara, Brodus Clay, Triple H, AJ Lee, Mr. McMahon, and other cameos. The movie comes in a combo pack with Blu-ray, DVD, and UltraViolet copy, as shown here, or single-disc DVD.
Scooby-Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery runs about an hour and a half. It starts when Shaggy and Scooby are playing a movement-based wrestling video game. Beating the game wins Scooby and four friends (how convenient!) a trip to WWE City, “a place dedicated to everything WWE”, and tickets to Wrestlemania. Scooby and Shaggy blackmail the rest of the gang into coming on the trip with them by showing photos of the many times they’ve been set up as bait to catch monsters. Velma hates the idea, but Fred wants to take photos, and Daphne develops a huge crush on Cena.
For those not as familiar with the wrestlers, it’s helpful that they either tend to talk about themselves in the third person or Shaggy adoringly announces their names when they appear. The animation is limited but watchable, with no obvious shortcuts, and overall, it’s goofy fun, particularly moments such as seeing Scooby in a wrestling mask.
While they’re visiting, the WWE championship belt, a gaudy creation of “solid gold … encrusted with gems and jewels” of course gets stolen. Scooby is blamed, and he and Shaggy have to wrestle as a last-ditch effort to clear his name. That allows for a slapstick training montage, but in keeping with standard Scooby-Doo stories, there’s also some kind of flame bear ghost monster terrorizing the area.
It’s basically a WWE ad guest-starring the Scooby gang, or a super-sized Scooby episode with a LOT of guest stars. It moves fast, though, and keeps one’s attention. One of my guest viewers gave it the faint praise “not as stupid as I thought it would be … entertaining at least.” And we laughed heartily at Scooby and Shaggy’s wrestling names (which I won’t spoil). It’s a good mystery, using the additional space available from the longer running time, and the WWE characters seem authentic, which makes it honorable for both franchises.
Brodus Clay, Sin Cara, The Miz, AJ Lee, Stephanie McMahon, Scooby-Doo, Triple H, and Kane
Here are a few other random things I noted:
* The Scooby characters are a bit more self-aware than I’m used to, with Shaggy making jokes about them wearing the same outfits every day, and Daphne can be downright cranky until she goes gaga over John Cena.
* Old fans may find the voices not quite right (although Frank Welker is still voicing Fred and the dog). Specifically, Matthew Lillard’s Shaggy can be a bit too light and frenetic. He and Scooby are shown as slobbering fans of the WWE, which was a tad over-the-top for me.
* Fred sleeps on the couch in the boys’ cabin while Scooby’s in one of the two twin beds. Must be nice to be the star.
* I said “physics doesn’t work like that” a bunch of times, but it’s a cartoon.
* For the final WWE big show, I thought it notable that the fans shown watching at home are in two groups: a young boy and his parents, and a group of four women. Apparently all the guys go to see the show in person?
* This scene with Daphne and Velma never appeared, so clearly plans for the movie’s story changed over the last year and a half. Shame, not much was done with the girls at all in this final version.
There are two. “Behind the Scenes With Scooby-Doo and the WWE Gang” (7 1/2 min) shows the real-life wrestlers explaining the movie and promoting the effort. It’s fun to compare them to their animated counterparts. You can see similar comments in this short promo video. Plus, Triple H hoists Scooby-Doo!
There’s also a full episode of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, “Wrestle Maniacs”, that runs 23 minutes. Unfortunately, since it’s unrestored, it looks absolutely horrible, as though it was pulled off fuzzy videotape several generations removed.
There are also ads for two DC movies, Justice League: War and the upcoming Son of Batman, as well as some Tom & Jerry thing. (The studio provided a review copy.)