Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Review: "Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare" a Great New Spin on Classic Scooby-Doo

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 84 (of 2010) by Leroy Douresseaux

Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare (2010) – Video
Running time: 72 minutes (1 hour, 12 minutes)
DIRECTORS: Ethan Spaulding with Kirk Tingblad (animation director)
WRITERS: Jed Elinoff and Scott Thomas
PRODUCERS: Spike Brandt and Tom Cervone
EDITOR: Joseph Molinari


Starring: (voices) Frank Welker, Matthew Lillard, Grey DeLisle, Mindy Cohn, Dee Bradley Baker, Mark Hamill, Phil LeMarr, Scott Menville, Stephen Root, Tara Strong, Lauren Tom, Grant Goodeve, and Neve Campbell

Beginning in 1998 with Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, Warner Bros. has released direct-to-video animated movies based on the Scooby-Doo cartoon franchise. There has been at least one per year (except for 2003 and 2005, when two movies were released in both years). Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare is the 15th in this direct-to-video series.

Fred Jones (Frank Welker), Daphne Blake (Grey DeLisle), Velma Dinkley (Mindy Cohn), Shaggy Rogers (Matthew Lillard) and Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) take their summer vacation at Camp Little Moose, Fred’s old summer camp. Fred can’t wait to be a camp counselor, but he learns from the head counselor, a jolly old fellow named Burt (Stephen Root), that the monsters that were the stars in many Little Moose campfire stories have come to life.

The Woodsman (Dee Bradley Baker) was a green-faced, ax-wielding creep, and favorite of campfire tales. Now, he is a real monster running around the woods, threatening campers with his ax, destroying the camp grounds, and demanding that everyone leave Little Moose. The Fishman (Dee Bradley Baker) haunts the nearby, man-made Big Moose Lake, and the Spectre of Shadow Canyon (Dee Bradley Baker) threatens death on anyone who enters the Shadow Canyon.

Burt and three newly-arrived campers: Trudy (Tara Strong), Luke (Grant Goodeve), and Deacon (Mark Hamill) stick it out. They join Fred, Daphne, Velma, and (reluctantly) Shaggy and Scooby in trying to solve a wide-ranging mystery that revolves around Camp Little Moose. But the Woodsman and his spooky cohorts are ready to deliver bodily harm if they don’t leave.

After the back-to-basics approach of Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo, this Scooby-Doo animated movie series has new life. The main characters are back to wearing their original outfits, and the two most recent films are just as fun and enjoyable as the 1969 series that started it all, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! The ghost chasing, mystery solving, and action comedy is as good as ever.

Camp Scare, like Abracadabra-Doo, reveals differences from the original Scooby-Doo cartoons. Now, the ghosts, monsters, and general supernatural adversaries are darker and edgier. They certainly act as if they would like to seriously hurt (if not kill) the Mystery Inc. gang and the other good characters. Daphne’s attraction to Fred is more obvious than ever, and she is openly jealous of and hostile to rivals for his attention and affection. Velma is a little more taciturn and sardonic, but she is also more aware of what other people think and how they feel. Shaggy and Scooby are happily still the same – always looking for a meal and a way out of ghost chasing.

Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare is not only classic Scooby-Doo; it is also simply good. Very well done with quality animation (especially the beginning and end credits), it is honestly a must-see for fans of Scooby and the gang.

8 of 10

The Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare DVD has two extras. First, in “Scooby-Doo! Spooky Camp Stories, an actor telling campfire stories. The second extra is “Beware the Beast From Below,” the pilot episode of the new series, “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.” The gang takes on a slime mutant that lives in the caves below Crystal Cove, the hometown of the Mystery Inc. gang. They also encounter their new nemesis, “Mr. E.”


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