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Scooby Doo and Lego: Haunted Hollywood
Scooby-Doo gets a new-do(o?) with the first LEGO movie featuring Scooby and the gang in LEGO Scooby-Doo: Haunted Hollywood. The Mystery Machine and it's group of energetic mystery solvers sets off to Hollywood when they win a special visit to a Hollywood studio famous for making classic monster movies: Brickton Studios. This LEGO Scooby-Doo film is from executive producers Jason Cosler, Sam Register, and Jill Wilfert.
When Scooby and the gang arrive at Brickton Studios, Scooby Doo and the rest discover that the famous monster-movie studio now has a problem with a real monster running around the studio: The Headless Horseman! It's up to Scooby-Doo, Velma (Kate Micucci), Daphne (Grey Griffin), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), and Fred (Frank Welker) to work together in this latest Scooby-Doo mystery: the first one to feature the characters as LEGO versions. Can they save the studio from the mysterious monster?
When the gang first arrives at the studio they meet an energetic new employee named Junior (Scott Menville) who is longing for the days when the studio made monster movies. Brickton Studios had been a hugely successful film studio known for making classic monster movies but now the studio faces possible financial ruin. The studio no longer even produces classic monster movies and instead focuses on making romantic comedies.
The studio is struggling to produce their new romantic comedy because of the headless horseman running around the sets. It's up to Scooby Doo, Shaggy, and the rest to save the day. While at the studio the gang meets studio producer Chet Brickton (James Arnold Taylor) and an actress working with the studio named Drella (Cassandra Peterson). With some help from their new acquaintances at the studio, Scooby-Doo and the rest set out to solve the mystery and set things right for Brickton Studios.
The voice-acting from the cast works well with this LEGO Scooby-Doo outing. The cast of VA's do excellent work with these characters. It's interesting to note that Frank Welker (voice of both Fred and Scooby Doo) has been doing the voice since the beginning. The newer cast members also excel in their roles. Matthew Lillard has been voicing Shaggy in many Scooby-Doo animated productions (ever since starring as Shaggy in the live-action versions). He is a wonderful voice-actor who does a great job as Shaggy.
The animation style for this production is significantly different from anything else Scooby-Doo related before. It's to be expected given the LEGO style but it does take some getting used to as the new character designs and LEGO approach is much different than standard Scooby-Doo animation. However, the stylistic approach remained faithful to the original characters. They have been LEGO-ified but fans will still recognize the iconic characters from the Scooby-Doo series. The style isn't as impressive as classic Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! or the wonderful recent series Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated but it does work generally well given the LEGO universe.
Written by James Krieg (Spooksville, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox) from a story by Heath Corson and Duane Capizzi. Based on the classic Scooby Doo characters from Joe Ruby and Ken Spears. The new LEGO Scooby-Doo mystery outing isn't one of the strongest of the recent productions. It's not terrible by any means but it's not as good as Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated. Though the cast of characters have some moments to shine during the course of the film (most especially Fred attempting to become a director at the studio), the film isn't as funny or interesting as one might hope for in the Scooby-Doo cannon. The main mystery is somewhat straightforward (especially given the small cast of supporting characters).
Directed by Rick Morales (Beware the Batman, Generator Rex), LEGO Scooby-Doo: Haunted Hollywood is reasonably entertaining at times and is worth a look for fans of the long-running Scooby Doo franchise. Though the film is not as entertaining as some other recent Scooby-Doo productions, it's a decent effort which should be entertaining enough for a viewing. The film is a step in a new direction for the franchise by implementing the LEGO style and for some it might be a bit of a drawback (compared to the more traditional style) but it's a fun concept which will hopefully be built-on (pun intended) in the future.
LEGO Scooby-Doo: Haunted Hollywood arrives on Blu-ray with a somewhat disappointing 1080p MPEG-4 AVC encoded presentation. The PQ looks quite impressive in numerous sequences given the colorful HD presentation but also has an issue with banding present throughout the film. The encoding quality and banding issue is a drawback to the film's presentation but most viewers will still consider this release to have reasonable quality.
The audio is presented in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. This lossless audio presentation is quite good overall. The clarity is excellent. Dialogue is easy to understand. The sound effects and score are well reproduced. The only drawback is that the surrounds aren't heavily utilized. However, this is a reasonable surround sound presentation that still has fun moments of surround-surround.
Subtitles are provided in English SDH (for the deaf and hard of hearing), Spanish, and French.
This release is a Blu-ray + DVD + HD UV Combo Pack.
Collectible Scooby-Doo Lego Figurine (2 Piece). LEGO fans will find this to be the best bonus of the release. Despite being only a two-piece figure, it's pretty neat to have a LEGO Scooby-Doo toy as a bonus pack-in.
Scooby-Doo! and LEGO Too! (HD, 9 min.) focuses on the building of the Mystery Machine set and the Headless Horseman as a build-it-yourself tutorial.
Scooby-Doo's Sleuthing Secrets (HD, 7 min.) features Scooby writer Jim Krieg giving answers to questions from children who are fans of Scooby-Doo and who want to know how the writers come up with ideas for the mysteries, write the characters, and more. It's a silly behind-the-scenes piece with the writer dressed up in Scooby-Doo mystery-style attire and featuring a number of Scooby-Doo props.
LEGO Scooby-Doo! Knight Time Terror (SD, 23 min.) is a LEGO Scooby Doo episode-length cartoon special.
Scooby-Doo! The Headless Horseman of Halloween (SD, 24 min.)
What's New Scooby-Doo? Fright House of Lighthouse (SD, 21 min.)
Lastly, the release includes trailers for Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! (HD) and LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League - Cosmic Clash (HD).
LEGO Scooby-Doo: Haunted Hollywood is a decently entertaining Scooby-Doo spin-off with LEGO thrown into the franchise mix. It's the first animated Scooby-Doo outing to feature the iconic characters in LEGO-form. While the film isn't amongst the best recent Scooby-Doo efforts, it's worth checking out for fans and should at least be worth seeing once.
Fans of the franchise who are enticed by the inclusion of the bonus Scooby-Doo LEGO figurine might consider it worthy of a purchase.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema. He aspires to make movies and has written two screenplays on spec. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.