Review: LEGO Scooby Doo: Haunted Hollywood
May 11, 2016 11:36 am
by Joe Meno
$19.99. Blue-Ray, DVD, Digital, HD, Ultraviolet. 75 minutes.
With the relationship between the LEGO Group and Warner Brothers expanding in leaps and bounds, it wasn’t surprising that there would be a LEGO Scooby-Doo theme on the toy shelves. What is something of a surprise is that there is a LEGO Scooby Doo video release, and for the family, it’s pretty good.
Most of the adult LEGO fans in the US are familiar with Scooby-Doo and the gang from childhood - the Saturday morning cartoon was a mainstay for decades in one form or another, with the older classic episodes, and newer seasons marked by new characters, mostly Scooby’s cousins. Those who saw the shows know the formula: Something is haunted, the Scooby gang investigate, and through various hijinks and some detective work, the mystery is solved, thanks to the meddling kids!
LEGO Scooby-Doo: Haunted Hollywood is faithful to that formula, with a few small changes and a couple of nudges. The movie starts towards the end of an adventure centering around a creature haunting a lighthouse (that looks like the LEGO Scooby-Doo Lighthouse set). The creature is caught, and its unmasking is done like the typical unmasking and reveal..except that Shaggy rushes it, as he and Scooby have swore off of Scooby Snacks, and are very hungry. Their constant drive for food leads the gang to a diner where literally Shaggy and Scooby’s appetite wins the gang a trip to Hollywood and Brickton Studios.
The studio, as you would expect, is haunted. Or is it? The Scooby gang is off to solve another mystery, but first they have to make a movie….with the help of a very stressed studio owner, a studio employee, and a late-night movie host. It’s here where things go a little different, perhaps to appeal to the young ones. Daphne Blake, a character that usually is known for stepping into trouble from time to time, becomes starstruck at the studio. Her new focus is to become a movie star, which leads to a amusing thread that is resolved in a uniquely different solution. When offered, Freddy decides to become a director, which like Daphne’s turn, is unexpected and is a little sillier, as he becomes the typical Hollywood director that demands the best from the cast. Will they solve the mystery? Will they make a movie? Will Shaggy and Scooby never eat Scooby snacks? Haunted Hollywood, running at 75 minutes, answers those questions with an entertaining family film with a couple of lines and characters for the adults.
The rest of the package includes a classic Scooby-Doo cartoons (with Scooby Dumb) and another later cartoon. There’s also a short feature on Scooby-Doo’s Sleuthing Secrets, which is a show with ’Scooby-Oologist’ Jim Krieger (writer of Haunted Hollywood’s teleplay). The show is a child-oriented look at Scooby, with questions from kids answered by Krieger, along with a minor mystery…Another feature has LEGO Certified Professional Nathan Sawaya build a LEGO Mystery Machine from the LEGO set of the same name.
Overall, LEGO Scooby Doo: Haunted Hollywood is a entertaining show for families. Adults will be waiting for the parts of the show they remember from their childhood, and kids will enjoy the story and LEGO sets (scooby-themed and otherwise) they see in the show. Also for those who order or buy the Blue Ray Limited Edition will get a LEGO polybag with an exclusive Scooby Doo minifigure - he has a different expression on his face.
LEGO Scooby Doo: Haunted Hollywood is available at retail and video outlets, including Amazon, Target, and Wal-mart.
The character of Boris Karnak is based on Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney (known as The Man of a Thousand Faces)- both classic horror actors. In Haunted Hollywood, Boris Karnak is known as The Man of 999 Faces. Another character is a tip of a hat to Lon Chaney and his son. Another neat detail is that Drella Diabolique is based on late night host Elvira, Mistress of the Night. In this movie Drella is voiced by Cassandra Peterson, the real Elvira. The actor who performed Shaggy in the Scooby Doo movies, Matthew Lillard, also stepped in to voice Shaggy in Haunted Hollywood.