By Chaz Lipp
Here’s an oddity that’s so goofy and out of left field, it’s downright irresistible. New to Blu-ray and DVD is Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery, an all-new animated feature from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The classic Hanna-Barbera-created Mystery Inc. has been paired with the classic rock band for an interdimensional, sci-fi-tinged adventure. Even though it clocks in at just under 80 minutes, the film comes perilously close to wearing out its welcome. But for the most part it’s quite a kick and can easily be counted on to hold kids’ attention. Kiss fans will find plenty of novelty value in watching the supernatural heroics of the animated incarnation of their favorite Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted band.
The story is set almost entirely within the confines of Kiss World, an elaborately-designed theme park that looks like a blast for anyone with a special affinity for The Demon (Gene Simmons), Star Child (Paul Stanley), The Catman (Eric Singer), and The Spaceman (Tommy Thayer). That’s the current lineup of Kiss, who voice their own animated characters. Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), Scooby (Frank Welker), and the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang are heading out to Kiss World – who knew they were all members of the Kiss Army? Well, all but the terminally unhip Fred (also Frank Welker). He’s busy singing the praises of his favorite band, the corny retro act The Ascot Five. We hear their anthem, the hilariously dopey “Don’t Touch My Ascot” (the most inspired gag: the song is actually performed by Kiss!).
Weirdness ensues as it turns out that Kiss World is haunted by the spooky Crimson Witch, who’s always shrouded in apparently foul-smelling red mist whenever she appears. Seeing as they’re well-established mystery solvers, Daphne (Grey Griffin), Velma (Mindy Cohn), and the gang are enlisted to figure out exactly what’s going on. There are some fun running gags, like the frequent “commercial” interruptions that poke fun at the aggressive marketing of the Kiss brand. While the action-oriented climax goes on a bit too long, the hijinks are never less than entertaining. Once a portal is opened up to another dimension (Kissteria, no less), the battle between the glam rockers and the Crimson Witch is taken to new visual heights.
Awesome technical specs make Rock and Roll Mystery even more enjoyable, especially the DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix. The extra features a bit light, with a pair of vintage Scooby-Doo! bonus episodes (22 minutes each), a short interview featurette (two minutes), and a one minute “blooper” reel. The Blu-ray Combo Pack includes a standard DVD and a Digital HD download.