I like it when Hollywood conspires to combine two of my favorite things that I never thought would work together.
I love it when the combination works.
“Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire” isn’t the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of animated musicals, but it’s way more fun than I was expecting, for sure.
I’ve been a Scooby fan since I was little. I started enjoying musicals a while later. I haven’t been enamored of the latest direct-to-video Scooby movies, and Cartoon Network’s “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated” show is cute but not appointment viewing. The new live-action movies? Um, yeah …
But a musical? That’s a ghost of a different color.
The film starts with the nice, moody “Bayou Breeze” as the camera pans through the swamp and winds up on an old man in a boat, who starts telling the story.
What is that story? Well, the gang heads to a vampire convention in Louisiana as a vacation. But, this being a Scooby-Doo movie, a real vampire crashes the fun and wants to make Daphne his bride. There are lots of potential suspects, from the convention owner who’s losing money and could use an influx of tourists, to the evangelist who wants to shut the abominable event down, to Vincent VanHelsing, descendent of the legendary vampire slayer who could use a boost to his book sales.
On their way there, Daphne gets things started by insisting on listening to showtunes in the Mystery Machine. Then we get our first song, the gang hoping they won’t meet up with any monsters, and the stage is set for the world’s first Scooby-Doo musical.
Can the world handle it? Sure. It’s breezy, silly, Scooby-Doo fun. It has all the necessary components — bad guys, Scooby and Shaggy’s insatiable appetites and penchant for cowering, a bad Fred trap, a Don Knotts-inspired sheriff and a “would have gotten away with it” ending.
The songs are fun, which you’d expect since most of them come from “Animaniacs” songwriter Randy Rogel. Anybody involved in turning all the state capitals into a song is a great choice for a project like this.
My biggest complaint is the animation, which is done in Warner Bros. typical el-cheapo style for these releases. The colors really pop, but the animation itself is choppy, and the backgrounds can be sloppy.
But it’s all an enjoyable way to spend a bit more than an hour. If you’re a Scooby fan, it’s definitely worth checking out, especially if you like musicals, too. It’s better than a lot of the recent stuff I’ve seen.