By Chaz Lipp
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness is an all-new animated feature centering on Scooby-Doo and the usual Mystery Inc. gang. Now available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the 79-minute film offers a fair amount of visual excitement as Scooby (voiced by Frank Welker), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), Fred (also Welker), Daphne (Grey DeLisle), and Velma (Mindy Cohn) win a lottery prize that takes them to the moon, literally. They board the Sly Star One, a fancy spacecraft owned by megalomaniacal billionaire Sly Baron (Malcolm McDowell).
Admittedly the whole idea of Scooby and the gang going to the moon is pretty far out (as Shaggy himself might say). But as far-fetched as the whole thing is, the sci-fi setting allows for some visually inventive action set pieces. The storytelling gets a bit labored once the Mystery Inc. crew lands on Baron’s gargantuan lunar base. They’re forced to make the landing after apparent aliens attack Sly Star One. Once on the lunar surface, the mysterious alien attack deepens and the gang must do what they always do: solve the big mystery of who’s behind it all.
There’s, of course, plenty of humor along the way and most of it is smile-inducing, if perhaps short of laugh-out-loud funny. Fred can’t seem to get the hang of using the talkback button on his spacesuit in order to hear what people are saying. Glamorous Daphne and nerdy Velma deal with their stereotyped images in the midst of their condescending travel companion, astronaut Shannon Lucas (Jennifer Hale). Mark Banker’s screenplay gets a bit convoluted as the lunar alien activity intensifies, but Moon Monster Madness is probably going to please undiscerning younger fans. The voice cast does nice work, especially Malcolm McDowell.
In the special features department, there’s a featurette called “Space Travel is Groovy!” Hosted by Mindy Cohn, this takes us to some kind of space camp where some supposed astronaut trainers explain a bit of the realities of outer space travel. Frankly, while it’s nice that Warner included a little extra-value content, this is a dull segment that is highly unlikely to inspire multiple views.
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness video clips courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment