Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery

 

Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery

Based on characters created by Hanna Barbera

Written by Michael Ryan

Edited by Kyle Stafford

Music by Ryan Shore

Casting & Dialogue Director: Collette Sunderman 

Produced & Directed by Brandon Vietti

Direct-to-Video Release: March 25, 2014

 

Voice Cast:

Frank Welker as Scooby-Doo

Matthew Lillard as Shaggy Rogers

Mindy Cohn as Velma Dinkley

Grey DeLisle as Daphne Blake

Frank Welker as Fred Jones

Charles S. Dutton as Cookie

Corey Burton as Bayard

Mary McCormack as Ms. Richardson

Bumper Robinson as Ruben

Fred Tatasciore as The Bear

. . . and, as themselves:

John Cena

Sin Cara

Kane

The Miz

Brodus Clay

Michael Cole

AJ Lee

Triple H

Santino Marella

Mr. McMahon

 

Production Studio:

WWE Studios & Warner Animation

Video: Warner Home Video

 

Video

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p

Codec: AVC

Disc Size:  BD25

Feature Size: 15.31 GB

Bit Rate: High (30~33 Mbps)

Runtime: 83:30 minutes

Chapters: 10

 

Region: All / NTSC

 

Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1

 

Subtitles: English & French

 

Extras

• Behind-the-Scenes - in HD (7:30) 

A Pup Named Scooby-Doo (1989) - in SD (23:15)

 

Presentation:

Amaray Blu-ray Case & Slipcover: BRD + DVD Utraviolet

Street Date: March 25, 2012



Introduction :

Everyone's favorite mystery-solving gang joins forces with WWE for the first-time ever in the all-new animated film, Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, co-produced by WWE® Studios and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. The highly anticipated movie reveals the tale of how Scooby, Shaggy and the rest of the gang protect the coveted WWE championship belt during a trip to WWE City.  WWE Superstars John Cena, Sin Cara, Kane, Brodus Clay, The Miz, Triple H, Santino, AJ Lee, and Michael Cole all appear in animated form in the film and lend their voices to the film, along with WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon.


               

 

Synopsis :

When Shaggy and Scooby win tickets to WrestleMania, they convince the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang to travel to WWE City to enjoy the show. But the trip quickly turns into another mystery as WWE City is full of secrets! A savage, ghostly bear appears and threatens to ruin the show and steal the championship title belt. With the help of WWE Superstars John Cena, Triple H, Sin Cara, Brodus Clay, AJ Lee, The Miz, Santino Marella and Kane, Scooby-Doo and The Mystery Inc. gang team up to solve the case before it is too late!


               

 

Critical Reaction :

Den of Geek -

When it was announced a year and a half ago that there was going to be a Scooby-Doo/WWE crossover, I admit that I was taken aback. It seemed like such an odd pairing. Then, over time, I noticed that it wasn't so strange after all. WWE has crossed over with the Muppets and two generations/incarnations of the A-Team. . . Scooby and the gang regularly teamed up with Batman and Robin and the Harlem Globetrotters. . . Honestly, I'm rather surprised it took this long. . .

 

In terms of WWE cast, the ones who are a big deal are Vince McMahon, John Cena, Kane, and Sin Cara. To this movie's credit, it does a better job making Sin Cara look appealing than the last two years of WWE programming . . . The cartoon format helps paint him as the most unique of all the grapplers and you can almost argue that he's the closest thing to a primary protagonist in the WWE camp . . . Miz and AJ Lee get minor roles, while the others either get a couple lines or no lines at all. There are some really random choices for famous names that show up.


               

 

The animation is pretty solid, outside of a sequence where the gang is chased by a blatantly CGI boulder. It's a moment that really takes you out of the scene. Despite the silly crossover concept, the real highlight of the movie is a chase sequence where the sleuths are chased by the Ghost Bear in a cave. . . It's a pretty fantastic bit. Speaking of animation, when John Cena removes his shirt, he does it the John Cena way. You know, that thing where he whips it off with one hand in one quick motion? Lovely attention to detail . . . The voice acting is a mixed bag, outside of the dependable Scooby mainstays like Frank Welker (of course), Mindy Cohn, and Matthew Lillard. Miz and John Cena are naturals, McMahon's quality changes from line to line, and Brodus Clay and Triple H sound completely off. Clay's lines are already cringe-worthy and his delivery doesn't help matters.


               

 

I guess the main problem with the animated movie is that it's a little too loose due to an excessive amount of characters we're meant to follow. You have the five main characters, the four original characters, and four WWE characters who are deemed important. That causes you to forget that Velma even exists for 99% of the movie and Fred is so relegated to the background that his own little arc is a complete afterthought. If you're like me and love "why does this exist?" type entertainment, you might as well give it a shot. There's nothing actively wrong with it, although it's nothing I'm rushing to rewatch again. It's a colorful adventure that's all over the place with ideas and direction, but grooves into a fantastic climax. Best of all, we're spared of any meeting between Scrappy Doo and Hornswoggle. I feel like we dodged a bullet with that one.


               

 

bobafett1138 -

 To start off with; I'm not a big Scooby-Doo fan and never have been either. Weak and cheap looking animations, boring characters, unfunny moments and each episode was basically always more or less the same. Scooby-Doo of course has continued to develop throughout the years and I must say I was liking this 'modern' cartoon way better than any of the old classic ones. . . When compared to all of the older Scooby-Doo TV series episodes, the comedy seems to have matured and the movie isn't aiming at just young kids but at some slightly older and more mature ones as well. I simply have to admit that this movie amused me and I even laughed a couple of times.


               

 

But at the same time, I just can't call it a great animated movie as well though. . . It really isn't ever anything too bad or distracting and certainly no reason for me to hate this movie. The main story itself remains the foremost reason why this works out as such an incredibly formulaic and average feature length animated Scooby-Doo entry. The animations are all pretty good looking, as you would expect from a Warner Bros. animated feature. It has a modern style to it, though all of the classic characters still have their classic look. The movie itself even makes fun of this, numerous times (a few times too many perhaps) throughout the movie. 

 

It also uses the familiar and classic set up of Scooby and the gang investigating some strange occurrences, involving a ghost like figure but it of course eventually turns out that it's nothing more but a person in a suit. The movie does a pretty good job setting up its mystery and it provides the movie with more than a few likely subjects. It's fun to guess who will eventually turn out to be the crook. It will leave you guessing and it never makes things too obvious for you. 6/10 - Brandon Vietti


               

 

Comics Aliance -

I’m afraid I have some bad news for the roughly 6.5 billion of you who are not Chris Sims: It turns out that they’re just producing media for me now. I know, I was surprised too, but how else do you explain the actual existence of Scooby-Doo: WrestleMania Mystery, a feature-length, direct-to-video film in which the gang from Mystery, Incorporated and their talking dog team up with the superstars of World Wrestling Entertainment in order to battle a demon bear who wants to steal the WWE Championship?

 

The premise of this movie is that WWE has their own city — possibly a small sovereign nation — full of WWE-related businesses, including an arena that seems to host every WWE event, including WrestleMania [and a] beautiful vision of McMahon’s Waffle House (complete with waffle-shaped roof) and Tombstone Tacos [that] have made WWE City the new leader in fictional locations I want to go to and never leave. Suck it, Hogwarts. With the setting firmly established, we get to the plot, which is that WWE City is being menaced by a demon bear. But not just any demon bear — a demon bear that is actually the ghost of a monstrous wrestling bear named Vicious defeated in a wrestling match on that spot generations ago by Sin Cara Grande, the ancestor of the current Sin Cara.


               

 

I have to admit, director Brandon Vietti and writer Michael Ryan have done a pretty fantastic job of this one. Vietti in particular has finally created a crossover that has redeemed him for the lackluster and disappointing The Batman vs. Dracula. The mystery isn’t exactly edge-of-the-seat stuff, but it is a step above the usual Scooby-Doo DTV movies, and considering how much they have to do to incorporate this completely bonkers premise that they’re dealing with, it’s infinitely fascinating (to me). There wasn’t a five minute stretch of this film where something didn’t happen that made me want to grab a screenshot and show to everyone I know. Like, say, this. Please add Daphne Blake to the next season of Total Divas. Don’t even explain it. Just Roger Rabbit her right in there. - Chris Sims


               

 

Image: 9

Warner Animation can do this sort of thing very well, as evidenced in any number of Justice League features. They can also do it less well, as evidenced in any number of Justice League features. Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery is one of their pretty good efforts. Colors are bold, linework is clearly delineated without jaggies. Contrast is exceptional, which allows for some nice depth in many scenes, daytime or night, indoors or in the arena. I’m not as certain as Den of Geek as to what causes the boulder chasing sequence to look dodgy, but I agree that it does. Otherwise, not a trace of noise or transfer artifacts.


               

 

Audio & Music: 7/7

Right off the bat we are treated to some nice thunder rumbling in the background that signals the likelihood that the audio mix will be neither frivolous nor over-the-top. If anything, the uncompressed surround mix is rather understated just when I expected it to pull out all the stops, as during the final match when the crowd competed for our attention with body slams and mat whacks. The chase through the tunnel, and subsequent water fall was good, but the boulder needed more LFE.


               

 

Extras: 6

There are two bonus items: a seven and a half minute behind-the-scenes look at the WWE players featured in the movie, their interest and participation in the production, with special emphasis on the voicing. It’s all very EPK, but that fits right in with the packaged entertainment the WWE is famous for. While that bonus item is presented in sparkling HD, the second – and for my money, the more interesting – piece is an old tv-format rendering of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo, which, if you aren’t up on your Scooby-Doo history (as I was not until I researched it out) is not the introductory episode for the 1969 series, but the pilot for an 1989 spinoff (that ran four seasons) where the cast was “re-imagined” as junior high school students. It has a more Tex Avery/Looney Toons look to it, which I rather liked. There is also something refreshingly naïve about the plot and characters. Despite the SD rendering, once the credits are out of the way, the image quality is better than passable.


               

 

Lens-View: 7

Imagine my surprise when I opened last week’s FedEx delivery from Warner Bros and found a feature length cartoon with characters, none of whom I had ever seen before! Now this is quite an admission – never to have seen a single Scooby-Doo cartoon. I knew he and his family of cartoon sleuths were a product of Hanna-Barbera, which I had written off almost from the start. I was too old for Huckleberry Hound and thought The Flintstones was lame and a little too much ripping off The Honeymooners for comfort. By the time Scooby-Doo reached the airwaves in 1969, I felt my snobbery regarding H-B’s cheaply made animations with its simple, cardboard backgrounds and cutout characters, getting the better of me, and I never gave him the time of day. Fast-forward four decades, during which time I indulged in Japanese anime that was more reminiscent of H-B’s animation style than Pinocchio; stir in some awesome HD imagery and pretty good surround sound, and. . . voila.


               

 

Then there’s the WWE – that’s World Wrestling Entertainment, as if you didn’t know. Well, I didn’t, exactly. I’ve seen a few frames on one video or another, but I’ve never stuck around for as long as 30 seconds. The idea struck always me as a live action cartoon, which, I suppose, makes it the perfect foil for an animation. Dumbing it down - or raising the bar, I’m still not sure – for a children’s show, turned out more plausible than I could have imagined at first blush.


               

 

I suppose the slamming steroidal violence of wrestling entertainment fits right in with what young children are exposed to these days in their cartoons – it is only necessary to delete the fake rage and near bloodfeuding rivalries that accompanies the live action version. . . which the present movie does exceedingly well. It’s a cartoon of a cartoon, pretty much stripped of the screaming testosterone that keeps these guys from feeding some hapless jerk to the lions. So, from this point of view, I have to give Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery points.


               

 

Scooby-Doo himself and his Mystery Inc. team is another matter. As Den of Geek points out in its review, so much screen time is devoted to introducing out the wrestlers, spotlighting the main muscle, and fleshing out the mystery that, except for more shots of Scooby-Doo and Shaggy falling all over each other, relatively short clips of Daphne swooning over John Cena and Velma making rational as she does, the Mystery Team is more or less sidelined. A sequel is likely to put that right.


               

 

Recommendation: 7

I amsure there will be cynics out there that see this movie as a commercial for the WWE. I don’t, for two reasons: As such, it’s a pretty bad commercial and the target audience isn’t all that likely to make the connection into adulthood. I could be wrong, but I don’t see Scooby-Doo as addictive in the same way as cigarettes. If young children are actually watching WrestleMania, they are in serious need of parental oversight. . . Back to the movie. Perhaps, because it was so novel in my travels, I found it easy to warm to. It was all so silly, but in good, harmless fun, with some action, some thrills, and even some mystery. The art work is good, even if the voicing of the wrestlers is hit and miss. Recommended.

 


Leonard Norwitz

© LensViews

March 30, 2014



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