It’s officially October, which means it’s time to enjoy all things spooky! Join up with Scooby and the rest of Mystery Incorporated as they take on a puzzling Halloween mystery in ‘Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo!’ available October 6th on DVD!
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo! DVD that I reviewed in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and Scooby-Doo is one of my favorite franchises, so naturally, I was excited to catch up with Mystery Incorporated’s latest adventure. After all, one of the best ways to get into the Halloween spirit of things is to face costumed monsters and a puzzling mystery that needs to get solved. That, mixed with Scooby-Doo’s classic brand of humor and a handful of surprise guest appearances from both real and fictional characters alike, this movie is a party.
The whole mystery begins during a Halloween festival in Crystal Cove, which I thought was a super cool decision for the writers to make. I’m somebody who loves little Easter eggs and callbacks to other iterations of Scooby-Doo shows and movies. For those of you who might not be familiar, Crystal Cove—The Most “Hauntedest” Place on Earth—was where the Scooby characters lived in the 2010-13 Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated series. And while the canon from that show doesn’t carry over to this movie, it’s a fun little detail for those that did watch that series.
The Halloween festival in Crystal Cove is being headlined by Elvira, The Mistress of Darkness, who has her own parade float and who has attracted a generous crowd of attendees. However, the festival and float parade is almost immediately interrupted by the appearance of Scarecrow (Jonathan Crane) from Batman: The Animated Series, who explodes a building and launches an attack with motorized drones carrying his signature “fear toxin”. After a musical chase scene, the gang apprehends Crane and carts him off to jail. But the mystery doesn’t stop there.
The festival clears out following the destruction thanks to Scarecrow’s drones and Shaggy and Scooby stumble upon a tanker truck full of toxic waste that accidentally crashed into a pumpkin patch. The two are immediately attacked by evil mutated flying pumpkins and one oversized “master” pumpkin, which starts to rampage through the city (Crystal Cove residents just can’t catch a break, can they?). Anyways, the pumpkin rampage sends everybody in the city, including Elvira and Mystery Incorporated, running for the hills in their separate vehicles as they attempt to outrun the oncoming slew of flying pumpkins that seem determined to capture Scooby and the gang.
From there, the movie turns into something similar to a racing movie. It actually reminded me somewhat of Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf. Elvira and Daphne ride together in Elvira’s tricked-out hearse. Scooby and Shaggy are tagging along with a father and daughter that are also trying to get away from the pumpkins. Meanwhile, Fred and Velma speed their way down the highway alongside the rest of their friends in a high-tech Mystery Machine 2.0, thanks to Bill Nye The Science Guy’s impromptu appearance. The flying pumpkins, however, are not far behind as they chase the fleeing mystery-solvers atop commandeered parade floats and stolen cars from the city.
As the finale of the movie comes into play, everybody’s respective vehicles run out of gas or end up taken over by the flying pumpkins. This leads the gang into an empty cemetery off the highway where they devise a plan and defeat the giant “master” pumpkin. In typical Scooby fashion, the villains are defeated and unmasked. In this case, the flying pumpkins were actually drones. And the actual villainous mastermind, operating from inside the master pumpkin, wasn’t Scarecrow. It was actually the local “Sheriff”.
Now, here’s what I liked about the movie. I loved the Easter eggs. Like I said before, I like that they referenced the city of Crystal Cove. I also liked that the movie kind of paid homage to The Reluctant Werewolf. There was also a moment during the grand unmasking of the villain where none of Mystery Incorporated recognizes the Sheriff because he’s clean-shaven, and only recognize who he really is once they visualize a beard on him. This could’ve been a possible nod towards “A Clue for Scooby-Doo”, an episode from the original 1969 series with The Ghost of Captain Cutler.
I also really liked the guest appearances. Although I did feel like they maybe added one too many, I thought that Elvira, Bill Nye, and Scarecrow were an interesting trio to meet up with the gang. What was even more interesting was that Scarecrow ended up being framed for most of the panic and ended up getting his cliffhanger revenge on the real mastermind. I wonder if he’s going to be making a reappearance in a future installment of the current Scooby movie franchise.
Speaking of the Scooby franchise, the other thing that I loved was that the original voice actors were back in action following S.C.O.O.B electing to replace all but Frank Welker in the latest theatrical Scooby-Doo movie. Grey Griffin, Matthew Lillard, Frank Welker, and Kate Micucci embody the characters of Daphne, Shaggy, Fred, Scooby, and Velma with great skill. So, it’s always a pleasure to have them continuing on the legacy of these characters for the cartoon’s direct-to-DVD releases, at least.
Now, onto the things that I didn’t like. The main problem that I had was the ending and the reveal of the real villain mastermind being the Sheriff. My problem really stems from the fact that you have to watch Scooby-Doo and the Curse of the 13th Ghost and Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island in order to know the Sheriff character. Which means that kids who are watching this movie, without having watched the other movies, will be totally confused as to who this villain is. Even I was confused and I have watched the other movies in this canonical universe. I really wish they would’ve created a new villain specifically for this special Halloween movie.
The other thing that I didn’t like was how much of the film took place on the highway with the characters in different cars. Yes, it did remind me of Reluctant Werewolf, but Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo! also tried to keep the standard Scooby formula. Meaning, they find clues and connect the dots. The only problem was that the majority of the film was spent inside a car where they couldn’t do much but look in their rearview mirrors in horror at the approaching pumpkins. As a result, finding clues to help solve the mystery really amounted to Velma recounting the events at the destroyed Halloween festival inside of her own mind and Bill Nye explaining scientific things via a hologram on the Mystery Machine 2.0’s dashboard.
All in all, I thought that this movie was an enjoyable adventure with the characters we all know and love. Any Scooby fan will certainly enjoy the classic Scooby humor and production. And considering that this is a kids’ movie, it’s something perfect to celebrate the holiday season with!
Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo! DVD Special Features:
- 3 bonus episodes of 3 different Scooby-Doo television shows:
- Be Cool, Scooby-Doo: 2×07 “Halloween”
- What’s New, Scooby-Doo?: 2×06 “A Scooby-Doo Halloween”
- A Pup Named Scooby-Doo: 1×10 “Ghost Who’s Coming to Dinner”
The standard DVD version of Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo comes with 1-disc, featuring the 80-minute movie and 3 bonus Halloween-themed episodes from past Scooby-Doo cartoons. The DVD will be marketed for $19.98 SRP, ($24.98 in Canada), and $14.99 for digital download.
Both the DVD edition of the film, as well as the digital download will be available for purchase on October 6th, 2020!
Are you guys picking up a copy of Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo when it gets released?
Let us know in the comments down below!
Rodney has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. Aspiring to one day write television shows and novels, he’s an avid slash-shipper and enthusiast for all things gay. Rodney’s especially a lover of magic, mystery, and superheroes—holding Harry Potter, the X-Men, and Scooby-Doo close as his own personal favorites. But when he’s not fantasizing about how cool it would be to have magic, he’s busy writing fanfiction and re-watching old TV shows.
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