Big Top Scooby-Doo is probably in the middle of the pack compared with the other recent direct-to-video Scooby releases. The voice talents are the highlights to go along with a story that at least didn’t telestrate who the villain(s) is/were. The Blu-ray has solid video/audio transfers but the features are disappointing with three episodes from previous “Scooby-Doo” television shows.
Genre(s): Animation, Comedy, Mystery
Warner Bros. | NR – 80 min. – $24.98 | October 9, 2012
Directed by: Ben Jones
Writer(s): Doug Landale (written by)
Cast: Frank Welker, Mindy Cohn, Grey DeLisle, Matthew Lillard, Jeff Dunham, Greg Ellis, Peter Stormare, Craig Ferguson
Features: Featurettes, DVD Copy, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 18.4 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 3.25/5
Yep, it’s that time of year for another adventure with the Scooby Gang. Although the series has been around going on 40 years, there have been many television series, including “Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc.” currently airing on Cartoon Network, a few live action movies and numerous direct-to-video flicks as well.
In their latest, entitled Big Top Scooby-Doo!, the gang – Fred (FRANK WELKER), Daphne (GREY DELISLE), Velma (MINDY COHN), Shaggy (MATTHEW LILLARD) and Scooby-Doo – just want a fun and relaxing vacation in Atlantic City free of ghosts, goblins and mysteries. Unfortunately, thanks to Fred’s desire to go to the circus, they stumble upon a mystery when they discover the circus has been hounded by supernatural werewolves. To solve what or who is behind it, the gang goes undercover resulting in zany chases and outrageous ruckus.
I’ve been a fan of the “Scooby-Doo” franchise for years, save for a couple of outings (such as the live action films and the occasional DTV ones) and although Big Top isn’t the best of the Scooby Gang flicks, it’s still fairly entertaining with some jokes that stick. The voice talents once again are great from the old standards such as Frank Welker as Fred and Scooby-Doo, Grey Delisle as Daphne, Mindy Cohn voicing Velma and Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, marking his sixth voice appearance including the two live action films.
Of the recent Scooby-Doo direct-to-video movies, Big Top Scooby-Doo ranks in the middle. There’s some fun mystery which, for most part, isn’t too predictable (the old show hardly hid who the villains were). What I did enjoy was that it didn’t delve too much into the supernatural elements as I prefer when the villains are human with a technological boost to accomplish their devious tasks.
All in all, Big Top is a fine addition to the franchise and is enjoyable enough for kids and adults alike. The voice talents are top notch and the animation, while not entirely different from the other DTV releases, looks great.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 0.5/5
This releases come with a nice embossed slip cover.
Features-wise, the disc is fairly light with only 3 features: Bedlam in the Big Top (22:05) episode from “Scooby Doo, Where Are You!”, The Ghouliest Show on Earth (23:41) from “The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo”, and Menace of the Manticore (22:33), an episode from “Scooby-Doo, Mystery Inc”.
Also included is a DVD Copy and an UltraViolet Digital Copy.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Big Top Scooby-Doo arrives on Blu-ray presented in 1080p high-definition and a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio. As with most animated movies, these tend to look great in HD and this is no exception. Colors look vibrant throughout and even during the night scenes; the black levels are stark but doesn’t detract from the visual elements.
AUDIO – 4.25/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track meanwhile sounds good with the various songs, music score and dialogue levels. It’s hardly a lossless track that will wow you, but certainly a step up from a standard Dolby Digital tracks. This is pretty much on par with the other Scooby-Doo animated movies on Blu-ray.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, Big Top Scooby-Doo is probably in the middle of the pack compared with the other recent direct-to-video Scooby releases. The voice talents are the highlights to go along with a story that at least didn’t telestrate who the villain(s) is/were. The Blu-ray has solid video/audio transfers but the features are disappointing with three episodes from previous “Scooby-Doo” television shows. If you can nab this for around $10, then it would be worth it, otherwise wait for the eventual price drop.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.