Scooby-Doo and the Goblin KingWarner Bros.
Starring: Frank Welker, Casey Kasem, Mindy Cohn, Hayden Panettiere, Wayne Knight, Wallace Shawn, Jay Leno, and Lauren Bacall
Scooby-Doo has a lot in common with James Bond: both franchises have been around for 40 years; both use the same characters but at times different actors to portray them; both have had a younger version of the character portrayed on TV (see James Bond Jr. and A Pup Named Scooby-Doo); and both utilize the same catchphrases, characterizations, and template in each adventure taken. Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King is the twelfth direct-to-DVD Scooby-Doo movie, which comes after a string of TV series utilizing Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne, and Velma. I found myself liking different parts of this animated film, and there were enough of them to make me recommend it.
The story: After Scooby and Shaggy humiliate a hack magician during his show, the magician steals power from a lost fairy. His newfound magic powers lead Scooby and Shaggy on a quest to stop the magician before he uses his magic for evil on their friends and others.
What I thought was the most fun about this DVD was how many celebs contributed their voice-talents to the film. Each time a new character appeared it was cool to hear Jay Leno (The Tonight Show), Wallace Shawn (Princess Bride), or Wayne Knight (Seinfeld) having a good ol’ time. I was happy to see that Frank Welker (Fred), and Casey Kasem (Shaggy) were back as the characters they played from the start of the Scooby-Doo universe. Welker also fills in as the voice of Scooby-Doo, which was once done by the late Don Messick (who also voiced Boo Boo Bear, Papa Smurf, Bamm-Bamm Rubble, and a host of other characters).
Rounding out the all-star cast: Hayden Panettiere (Heroes), voices Fairy Princess Willow; Tim Curry (Rocky Horror, Scary Movie 2) voices the The Goblin King; Mindy Cohn (The Facts of Life) voices Velma; Lauren Bacall (dozens of movies) voices The Grand Witch; and Jim Belushi (According to Jim) voices Glob.
The animation is quite good, and the overall production quality is excellent for direct-to-DVD release. Not only that, but the story, which takes place on Halloween is entertaining and worth watching. It’s safe and family-friendly, too!
Check out the scene with Scooby and Shaggy in a ghoul bar, and see how many past villains you can spot. It’s an impressive homage to the classic TV series and its gaggle of ghosts and ghouls. Even Scrappy-Doo has a quick cameo toward the end (it’s pretty clever how they work him into the film).
The only things that didn’t work for me were the songs. Scooby-Doo is not meant to be a Disney-type animated musical. So when Wallace Shawn belts out the first song of the film, I was thrown off. It was unexpected and seems out of place for Scooby-Doo. 3.
Special features include a special about doing magic tricks at home, and a trailer for the movie.
So, after you finish trick-or-treating, but before you crank up the slasher flicks, check out Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King and have some fun. It’s just plain groovy!
Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King scares up an A-. Great cast, lousy songs. What can ya do?