TRICK OR TREAT SCOOBY-DOO! (2022)
Featuring the voices of Frank Welker, Grey DeLisle, Matthew Lillard, Kate Micucci, Myrna Velasco, Anthony Carrigan, Dee Bradley Baker, Jeff Bennett, Erin Fitzgerald, David Lodge, Lara Jill Miller, Candi Milo, Jenelle Lynn Randall and Kevin Michael Richardson.
Screenplay by Audie Harrison, Laura Pollak and Daniel McClellan.
Directed by Audie Harrison.
Distributed by Warner Animation. 77 minutes. Rated G.
Jinkies! Another Scooby-Doo! movie!
Since the original series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! started running in 1969, the gang from the Mystery Machine has crossed decades and generations of fans, mixing comedy, pop music and classic monster frights into a fun-filled romp. Over the years, the characters have spawned 16 (!!!) different TV series, as well as nearly 40 (!!!) movies – both animated and live action, made for TV, straight to video, or theatrical.
This latest movie is pretty standard fare, a lot of fun but not exactly pushing the envelope that much. Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo! does make some concessions to modern edginess – particularly by chastely acknowledging that Velma Dinkley is probably a lesbian, or at the very least bi-curious. (Note to people who are just itching to be offended just because of this storyline: Velma’s sexuality is not really delved on, it’s all done rather matter-of-factly.)
It also plays around with the gender politics of the Mystery Machine gang – even though no one seems to know what exactly it is that Daphne does for the gang other than being pretty, it turns out that she’s sort of the behind-the-scenes leader of the group.
However, for the most part, Trick or Treat, Scooby-Doo! is just a loving – if slightly post-modern – celebration of the old series – particularly the classic first season.
Trick or Treat also erases the turn-of-the-new-millennium tendency to make the monsters real, instead making them mostly people in monster costumes. And every one of them says when caught a variation of, “And I would have gotten away with it too, if not for those meddling kids and their dog.
In fact, the main villain is indeed the costumer who created all of the classic monsters over the years – including the Spooky Space Kook, The Black Knight, The Ghost Diver and The Ghost Clown, all of whom appear in this film. This super-villain/seamstress is Coco Diablo, a Eurotrash-pretty designer who has apparently been costuming all of the monsters locally for decades (even though she looks no more than 25 years old). She is also the person who Velma gets a crush on.
When the Mystery Inc. kids put the designer in jail, suddenly all of their cases dry up. After a year of saving cats from trees, they are desperate for work. And when a group of ghosts – all of which seem to be ancestors of the gang – shows up, they jump at the chance for a real case. They also get help from the jailed Coco and a fanboy prison warden.
The trick and the treat about Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo! is that the movie works equally well for young fans just discovering the characters or long-time followers who are just watching for the nostalgic rush. There are plenty of Easter eggs to keep adults happy mixed with lots of creeps and comedy for younger viewers. The movie isn’t trying to reinvent the franchise, just tweak it enough to keep everyone engaged.
And they got away with it too, those meddling kids and their dog.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2022 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: October 18, 2022.