Cross-dimensional animation universes? Yep, that’s an accurate description when an old animated show becomes a LEGO film.
Scooby-Doo! and his pals Fred, Daphne, Velma and Shaggy are no strangers to solving spooky mysteries filled with all types of ghouls and goblins. This time is no different. As Scooby-Doo! and his friends are on their way to Blowout Beach for a real swinging beach party in the Mystery Machine, the Ghost Pirates threaten to ruin the gang’s good vibes. It is up to Scooby and the gang to get the party back on track, without missing a beat.
Just like expecting death and taxes in life, you should add Scooby-Doo films to that list of ‘always going to happen’. And guess what? It’s not a bad thing at all. Almost every animated Scooby-Doo film I have reviewed in the last few years has turned out to be a pleasant surprise. LEGO Scooby-Doo! Blowout Beach Bash is no exception to that rule. It has all the humor, all the voices you’re used to hearing from Scooby and gang (including Matthew Lilliard as Shaggy, an actor you would know from Scream, the live Scooby-Doo movies and most recently the rebooted Twin Peaks) and a decent mystery to keep you glued to the set. What more do you want? There is LEGO humor as well, so there is more for you.
The story starts with the gang hounding (no pun intended) Fred and Velma about their constant need to work all the time in solving mysteries. Fred and Velma take the hint and decide to take everyone on vacation to Blowout Beach in hopes of becoming King/Queen of the beach during its Blowout Bash to help prove they are more than just investigators underneath. When they arrive they find a nearly deserted beach where residents are scared stiff to try and relax and celebrate. The reason? There are a couple of ghost pirates terrorizing the beach and its residents. The ghosts have become such a big problem that tourism has been severely affected, so much that the owners of the oldest hotel on the beach and most of its property are on the brink of selling it all to a rich tycoon. The first act of the movie ends with the gang deciding to cut their vacation short, or at least modify it a bit, and get to solving who is behind the ghost pirates and what motivation they have to terrorize beach goers.
I’m always amazed on how logical and simplistic the setup for nearly every Scooby-Doo mystery is in the old shows and new movies. This movie’s writers, Emily Brundige and Aaron Preacher, do a fantastic job of quickly establishing characters and setup quickly. They absolutely waste no time with the first act and do a heckuva job with actually providing the right amount of development and detail. Before you think, “Well, that’s easy, the characters are so well-known”, you’d better check that sarcasm at the door. It’s tough taking old characters and making sure you introduce them to new crowds without the need of retelling who they are over and over again. Fred and Velma are the geeks, that’s embedded with the story. Shaggy and Scooby are the goofs, told through actions. Daphne is the cool kid and that is told through action. All developments here are placed nicely within this story’s flow and it works so well. It’s so quick and it really re-establishes, for the uninitiated, who this group truly is from inside out. On top of this, the carefully woven characters are placed perfectly within the storyline and work seamlessly together. Seriously, there is a great flow to it all. Anyway, in short, the first act is carefully woven together with a beautiful blend of story, humor and character development.
As the second act begins, the ghosts finally show up and a series of terrifying run-ins begins to show that maybe these ghosts are the real deal. Maybe the hotel patrons have a big problem on their hand and the fact that the ghosts are piloting a disappearing/reappearing ship is just another cog in the belief machine that this situation might very well be exactly what it seems. The second act is filled full of zany run-ins and hopping musical montages of the group chasing and being chased by the ghost. As the second act begins to conclude, all eyes begin to point towards the rich tycoon, who is hellbent on acquiring the beachfront hotels and holding his on beach blowout bash for a nominal fee, regardless of ghost participation. Of course, in true Scooby-Doo fashion, not all is what it seems, including Fred and Velma having a serious shot at the Blowout Bash King/Queen crowns, so the third act is hinted that there is going to be a lot of unraveling of details established in act one and two before the movie ends. You must pay attention to those acts, folks.
The second act has the right amount of humor, mystery and just enough to throw you for a loop when the big reveal happens in act three. Much like act one, act two is well-crafted and is just darn fun. The writers and director Ethan Spaulding did a superb job on the second act, which is vital for the third act to function.
While I won’t get into the third act I will say it’s worth the wait. The big reveal is not easily guessed, but it logically makes sense. With that said, keep your eyes open for suspects in act one and two, as they are squarely presented right in front of you, especially with revealing dialogue.
Overall, Scooby-Doo! Blowout Beach Bash is another Scooby-Doo must-have. It’s especially geared towards a younger crowd, but it has enough mature humor (not that type of mature, just humor for parents) to keep everyone laughing. The main mystery also fits nicely into the Scooby-Doo universe, as it is deep enough to appreciate, but not too deep that you’re going to be fooled with a twist. Again, it’s a must-have.
As for special features included on this Blu-ray, you’ve got a few more cartoons to keep the film alive. here’s the list:
– Go Away Ghost Ship
– A Clue for Scooby-Doo
– Party Like It’s 1899
They are good value-added pieces for the overall package. For a $15 Blu-ray (Amazon) that’s enough to justify the purchase.