Saturday, July 25, 2015

'Scooby Doo! And KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery' Feels Like an Episode of 'The New Scooby Doo Movies'

Scooby Doo is an icon, and beloved through generations.  A consistent stream of modern cartoons as well as re-runs of old ones ensure that.  But the surprise to me is that producers apparently find KISS still relevant or appealing enough to warrant a crossover with Scooby Doo.  Seriously, is KISS really the kind of thing you want to introduce to a younger audience?

Anyway, in the direct-to-video animated movie Scooby Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery, the Scooby Gang goes to visit a KISS theme park on which the hard rock band is set to have a Halloween concert.  At arrival, they learn that the theme park is under attack by the mysterious Crimson Witch, and this put the concert at risk of being cancelled.  The Scooby Gang has to team up with KISS in order to get to the bottom of the mystery and save the day.

KISS members Starchild, Demon, Spaceman, and Catman are basically real-life cartoon characters anyway, so the transition to cartoons isn’t that big of a leap.  However, they are depicted to have superpowers in this movie.  It’s not really that absurd of a concept to someone who is familiar with the supernatural representation of KISS in the comics, and just treats this incarnation of the band as based on the comics’ version rather than the real-life band.

KISS’ songs are understandably featured in this movie.  But it’s not that inappropriate as it seems to be.  If you know KISS, you would know that despite their outlandish and hardcore appearances and theatrics, their music per se is really not that heavy nor has that dark vibes.  Their music is tamer than what their image implies.  And though I’m not a fan of KISS’ music, I don’t hate it either.  So I tolerated its presence in the movie.

The movie is as dumb, ridiculous, and weird as you would expect.  But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  As what it’s trying to be – a good form of kids’ entertainment – it hits its mark.  The voice work is good and the animation has appeal.  There is kids-level fun in it.

Scooby Doo used to have a show called The New Scooby Doo Movies wherein real-life celebrities or popular animated characters would guest star.  And I was reminded of it while watching this.  If Scooby Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery had been an episode of that show, it would have been a pretty solid one.  Of course, if it was up to me, I would prefer seeing the Scooby Gang team up with Batman & Robin, Josie & the Pussycats, or the Addams Family (my most favorite The New Scooby Doo Movies guest stars) again instead of KISS.         

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