Review: Lego Scooby Doo! Blowout Beach Bash (2017)


Lego Scooby Doo! Blowout Beach Bash (2017)

Directed by: Ethan Spaulding | 73 minutes | animation, comedy, family, fantasy, horror | Original voice cast: Frank Welker, Kate Micucci, Gray DeLisle, Matthew Lillard, Jeff Bennett, Kate Higgins, Josh Keaton, Tom Kenny, Natalie Lander, Jack McBrayer, Kevin Michael Richardson, Fred Tatasciore, Iqbai Theba, Hynden Walch

Ever-hungry and good-natured dog Scooby-Doo and his friends Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma from Mystery Inc. have been a household name in cartoon land since the 1970s. In addition to the original cartoon series, the characters have also appeared in various longer cartoons and feature films. In ‘Lego Scooby-Doo! Blowout Beach Bash’, Hanna-Barbera’s popular franchise is cast in the form of a Lego animated film. Not an illogical move, because the Lego films have now acquired a prominent place within the international animation universe.

In ‘Lego Scooby-Doo! Blowout Beach Bash’ travels the team from Mystery Inc. off to a dazzling beach party, the Blowout Beach Bash. Shaggy and Daphne soon steal the show and are immediately embraced by a large part of the beach goers. The two have therefore set their sights on the titles king and queen of the Blowout Beach Bash. But the party is ruined by real pirates, ghosts who seem to have returned from their watery tombs. The ghost pirates search for their lost treasure and do not tolerate interference from outsiders.

The fruitful collaboration with comic giant DC has already shown that translating comic and cartoon stories to the Lego format can be quite successful. ‘Lego Scooby-Doo! Blowout Beach Bash’ gives the familiar Scooby concept a new look. This approach is quite nice and refreshing on many fronts. The references to the original cartoon material are often liked, while the narration fits well into the storyline that follows the adventures of Mystery Inc. follow as a rule. This nod to the past is combined with the humor and animation techniques that are characteristic of the newfangled Lego films.

Still, ‘Lego Scooby-Doo! Blowout Beach Bash’ occasionally finds itself in an awkward split. Due to the many nods to the original Scooby material, large parts of the film are mainly a feast of recognition for adult viewers. This will be especially true for the people whose childhood coincided with the heyday of the cartoon series. On the other hand, sometimes a bit forced, an attempt is made to tailor the story to today’s children’s audience. This sometimes leads to imbalance. For example, the central mystery is solved much more easily than we are used to, while the slightly dark undertones and subtlety of the cartoons in this Lego production are almost completely absent. In its place comes an extra batch of moderately successful jokes. In addition, Lego-Scooby’s palette of endearing and crazy facial expressions comes out less well than with its traditionally drawn counterpart.

‘Lego Scooby-Doo! Blowout Beach Bash’ is certainly not a bad picture. The film has enough momentum and certainly shows respect for the source material. It’s just a bit of a shame that the makers are a bit of a compromise between nostalgia and modernity, so that the film lacks its own face. Nevertheless, this production is definitely worth a look.

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