First introduced in 1969, the adventures of Scooby-Doo—a talking brown Great Dane—and his teenage friends Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, and Norville “Shaggy” Rogers who solve crimes involving supposedly supernatural creatures has become a cultural phenomenon. Given the success of several animated series, and live-action films, it’s no surprise that Warner Bros. found success with a series of animated direct-to-video films.
The twenty-third entry in the series, Moon Monster Madness finds the gang invited to take a trip to the moon. Happy to go, Scooby voiced by Frank Welker), Fred (Welker, again), Velma (Mindy Cohn), Daphne (Grey DeLisle) and Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) are joined by billionaire Sly Baron (Malcom McDowell) (an obvious stand-in for Richard Branson), astronaut Shannon Lucas (Jennifer Hale), alien hunter Ridley (Hale, again), Zip Elvin (Mark Hamill), Colt Steelcase (Jeff Bennett), television reporter Clark Sparkman (Eric Bauza) and football superstar Univous “U-Boat” Botango (Kevin Michael Richardson).
It’s all fun and games aboard Baron’s Sly Star One until a mysterious alien starts destroying the ship! As the ship fails, the crew is forced to land on Sly Baron’s base… on the dark side of the moon! Anyone familiar with these direct-to-video Scooby-Doo adventures pretty much knows how things are going to end up. The surprise is the new component they bring to the proceedings. Here, all the characters make a mockery of themselves. It’s a lot of fun, because all of the characters—out to instead of just Scooby and Shaggy—are over-the-top when faced with being seriously out of their element.
The creative behind these films have the formula down pat and know how to please fans of Scooby-Doo. While this entry may be a bit weaker than some of the previous films, it’s still a lot of fun. As an adult, I really enjoyed the space-related allusions. There’s a reference to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and an E.T. like moon shot. The pop culture geek in me was amused.
Presented in widescreen, and featuring a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround soundtrack, English SDH subtitles are available.
The film also includes an extra featuring the voice of Velma, Mindy Cohn who introduces viewers to the world of space travel.
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