MOVIE REVIEWOne of the joys of being a parent is being able to share the things that were important to you as a kid to your own kids. For cartoon lovers, Scooby-Doo makes it to the top of the list. There have been many side roads and changes for the Mystery Machine teens over the years, (Scrappy Doo, “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo,” “The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo,” “What’s New Scooby-Doo” and of course the live-action Scooby-Doo movies) and most made true fans groan. Fortunately, the Scooby we know lives on in his original format in a number of original movies, which are really just extended TV episodes.
One of the newest to hit store shelves is “Big Top Scooby-Doo” featuring the whole gang still wearing the same clothes they did back in the late 1960’s. Scooby still favor Scooby Snacks, Velma hasn’t switched to contacts and Fred will not give up that red scarf.
In this 80 minute episode, we learn that Fred always wanted to perform in a circus and finally gets his chance. A new circus has just arrived but is being terrorized by werewolves. At the same time, local jewelry stores have been broken into by the beasts. So, of course, it is only logical to have Scooby and his pals work undercover as circus performers to find out whom or what is doing these crimes. Fred’s gets a try as a trapeze artist; Daphne becomes a motorcycle stunt driver/clown and Velma a human cannonball.
The story is just a silly as you remember the stories from “Scooby-Doo, Where are You?,” but with a humorous sarcastic edge that older viewers will appreciate. While the animation is much better than the limited animation Hanna Barbera fans are used to, it still isn’t up to the standards of other more recent Warner Bros. animation. Still, this movie (and other recent stories) does a better job of storytelling than some the original Scooby-Doo TV shows and the voice talent is top notch.
Since 1969, Frank Welker has voiced the part of Fred making him the oldest teenager in animation. Adult fans may be surprised by some of the other voice talent as well. Mindy Cohn (“The Facts of Life”) has been voicing the role of Velma Dinkley for many years, Grey DeLisle voices Daphne Blake, Matthew Lillard voices Shaggy Rogers. Also in the cast is voice work from Jeff Dunham and Craig Ferguson.