Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Music of the Vampire" an Average Scooby-Doo Toon

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 37 (of 2012) by Leroy Douresseaux

Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire (2012) – Video
Running time: 78 minutes (1 hour, 18 minutes)
DIRECTORS: David Block
WRITER: Tom Sheppard
PRODUCERS: Spike Brandt and Tom Cervone
EDITOR: Kyle Stafford
COMPOSER: Andy Sturmer
ANIMATION STUDIO: Digital Emation Inc.


Starring: (voices) Frank Welker, Matthew Lillard, Grey DeLisle, Mindy Cohn, Jim Cummings, Jeff Bennett, Mindy Sterling, Christian Campbell, Rob Paulsen, Jim Wise, Julianne Buescher, Obba Babatunde, and Robert Townsend

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. Except for a few years when two movies have been released, there has been at least one movie a year. Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire is the 17th movie in this direct-to-video series. It is also the second musical in the series, following Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King (2008).

After battling a giant cockroach monster, the Mystery Inc. gang: Shaggy Rogers (Matthew Lillard), Fred Jones (Frank Welker), Daphne Blake (Grey DeLisle), Velma Dinkley (Mindy Cohn), and, of course, Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker), are in need of a vacation – a monster-free vacation. They hop in the Mystery Machine and end up in bayou country (Louisiana?) where they eventually come to Petit Chaure Sourie Ville, which means “Little Bat Town.”

They have been invited to the small town by Vincent Van Helsing (Jeff Bennett), a direct descendant of the famed vampire hunter, Abraham Van Helsing. Vincent has a museum and a parcel of land that he leases to a traveling vampire-themed festival owned by the unscrupulous Lita Rutland (Mindy Sterling). Part of this traveling show is Fangenschanz, a cheesy version of Cirque du Soleil with actors dressed as vampires. During a performance, the Fangenschanz troop apparently awakens a centuries-old vampire, Lord Valdronya (Jeff Bennett). Now, that he is awake, Valdronya wants a bride, and Daphne is the bride he wants.

For the past few years, I’ve been looking forward to each new Scooby-Doo direct-to-DVD movie. However, I didn’t have high hopes for Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire, especially after learning that it was a musical. The eight songs (two of which are reprised) aren’t bad, but they aren’t exceptionally good, either. I have seen some good Scooby-Doo movies; this isn’t one of the particularly good one, although it does have some nice moments. My niece, who was visiting recently, watched it numerous times during this just-passed Mother’s Day weekend. I don’t like Music of the Vampire as much as she apparently does, but she is currently in an I-love-everything-Scooby-Doo phase.

What else can I say? I am guessing that children that like Scooby-Doo will like Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire. Adults who are down with the Doo may not like this, or, like me, they will try to find things in Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire to like.

5 of 10

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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