Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire might not be a homerun when compared with some of the more recent direct-to-video animated movies, yet there’s still some good humor and I will give the writers credit for at least attempting something new adding a musical element into the mix. The animation is good especially the few 3D animated scenes and the story is serviceable.
Genre(s): Animation, Comedy, Mystery
Warner Bros. | NR – 78 min. – $24.98 | March 13, 2012
Directed by: David Block
Writer(s): Tom Sheppard (written by)
Cast: Frank Welker, Mindy Cohn, Grey DeLisle, Matthew Lillard
Features: Sing-Along, DVD Copy, UltraViolet Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 2
Slip Cover? Yes
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 17 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 3.25/5
Dating back to the 1960s, Scooby-Doo and the Gang have tackled many spooks, goblins, creepy old guys in costumes across many mediums from animation to theatrical and live action live action flicks. On the animation side, the characters have gone through many incarnations as well from the old style of the 60s to a semi-modern take in the “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated”. They’ve also had their fair share of duds including the annoying Scrappy-Doo and the lame ass “Shaggy and Scooby-Doo: Get a Clue”. But now, the Gang is taking on a new sub-genre: a musical!
Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire begins with the Scooby Gang – which includes Fred Jones (FRANK WELKER), Daphne Blake (GREY DELISLE), Velma Dinkley (MINDY COHN) and Shaggy Rogers (MATTHEW LILLARD) – as they investigate some random case at a spooky location. After unmasking the culprit, and growing tired of the mundane daily grind where each case begins to blend with the other, Velma suggests a vacation… to Vampire Palooza, a gathering of vampire freaks obviously influenced by the Twilight craze.
Of course, nothing sinister is going to happen there, right? Right on cue, we get the story about Lord Valdrona, a spirit conjured up by a vampire singing group headed by pasty heartthrob Bram (get it, as in Bram Stoker?) who also takes a great interest in Daphne. As Valdrona terrorizes the area, the Scooby Gang goes into action to try and uncover who, or what, is behind the events, gathering clues and suspects along the way. In between all that, we get a few fairly forgettable musical pieces that fortunately aren’t too distracting and flowed well enough with the plot.
I’ve mentioned this before in prior Scooby-Doo reviews that I was more or less a moderate fan as a kid back in the 80s and 90s but have never found the shows or movies terribly great. Sure, they’re fine if you have nothing better to do or you have spare time but the animation never was great and the stories, talking about the various shows now, were obvious. For Music of the Vampire, though, while I didn’t love it, I could appreciate the animation a tad more especially some of the 3D animation style utilized in different scenes.
Once again, the voice talents that have been together through the newer television series as well as the latest round of direct-to-video animated movies are back as they all encompass their roles so well, especially the most unique of the bunch: Shaggy. It’s tough to replace a legend like Casey Kasem but thus far Matthew Lillard has made it a smooth transition and was the perfect person who could voice Shaggy for decades to come.
Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire isn’t an entirely weak entry into the franchise but it’s not the strongest one either. It had the tried and true elements you want from a Scooby-Doo mystery with a musical twist which, for the most part, was fine but hardly special. I do give them points for at least attempting to do something different… In any case, if you’re a fan of the franchise, this one is entertaining enough even if it doesn’t stack up with previous entries.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.0/5
Not much on the disc except for a Scooby-Doo! Vampire Sing-a-Along and some previews.
On the second disc is a DVD Copy and an UltraViolet Digital Copy.
VIDEO – 4.25/5
Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire spooks and sings its way onto Blu-ray high-def with a clean looking 1080p transfer. The video, with a 1.78 aspect ratio, features bright colors throughout, clean lines and no major signs of banding which tends to be a problem with classic animation.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track isn’t anything special though the dialogue (or singing) comes through nicely from the center channel with some ambient noises and/or sound effects making some use of the front and rear channels as well. This is not a dynamic lossless track by any stretch but still sounds a bit smoother compared with a standard Dolby track.
OVERALL – 3.25/5
Overall, Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire might not be a homerun when compared with some of the more recent direct-to-video animated movies, yet there’s still some good humor and I will give the writers credit for at least attempting something new adding a musical element into the mix. The animation is good especially the few 3D animated scenes and the story is serviceable. As for the Blu-ray, the video and audio are both quite good but this disc does fail in the features department, though that’s hardly a surprise.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.