Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! debuted in 1969, which means that if Scooby was a real dog, he would have died in the early 1980s. And if he was a real dog, then in dog years he would now be 322 – which is roughly the combined age of the members of the rock band KISS, who turn up in this latest direct-to-video adventure starring the cartoon great dane and his human pals.
Scoob and his gang – Fred, Shaggy, Daphne and Velma – head to the newly-opened KISS World theme park to investigate some weird goings on. The park has been closed to the public because it's being haunted by the Crimson Witch. So the gang team up with KISS to investigate and unmask the villain (because it's always somebody in a mask in these things).
It's interesting to see these two long-running franchises combined (and there is some fun mocking of merchandising to be had here) but you do have to wonder just who this film is aimed at. Scooby Doo has, for 46 years, been a kids' cartoon. And KISS is a band that had its heyday in the 1970s, so how many kids today would be fans of theirs? Would today's average 10-year-old even know who KISS are?
Still, it's a silly, sometimes psychadelic and fun adventure that fans of both Scooby Doo and Kiss are sure to enjoy. What makes it even more fun for grown-ups is the great voice cast - KISS, of course, play themselves, but we also get Carpenter (from Dexter), Jay and Silent Bob (Mewes and Smith) and the husband and wife team of the Marshalls. Welker has played |Fred since day one, and he still sounds as fresh as always here. Sadly, he's now voicing Scooby Doo too (original voice actor Don Messick died in 1996) and doesn't quite get it right - there's no more "Rooby Roo", now Scooby almost speaks properly. Better casting is Lillard as Shaggy, since original voice Casey Kasem is no longer with us. Lillard played Norville "Shaggy" Rogers in the two live-action films, and is a spot-on replacement for the character.
There's plenty of music in the movie, as you would expect with a rock band being front and centre. The KISS hits Rock and Roll All Nite, Love Gun, Shout It Out Loud, I Was Made for Lovin' You, Detroit Rock City and Modern Day Delilah all feature, plus a new track, Don't Touch My Ascot.
So Scooby Doo and KISS: Rock & Roll Mystery scores well for nostalgia value, but will your kids love it? Well, they will probably enjoy it if they are Scooby fans, but you may have to sit them down after and fill them in on the KISStory...
EXTRAS ★ A very poor showing – all we get we are a two-minute featurette called Are You A Scooby Or A Shaggy? in which some of the voice cast are asked about which character they would like to be, and a one-minute gag reel called KISS Cut Ups. Once again, the UK misses out. Not only does the UK not get this release on Blu-ray (which the the US does), but the rest of the US extras are also missing – the two main bonus features are episodes from the original Scooby-Doo series: To Switch A Witch (in which the gang travels to Salem and winds up having to prove that their friend Arlene is not a witch) and The Diabolical Disc Demon (where they head to a recording studio haunted by "the Phantom").