Thursday, May 21, 2020

They are surprisingly effective goofballs.

I love dogs. And I'm pretty sure I always have.

When I was little kid, we had a mostly-black German shepherd named Pharaoh, and he was the best dog ever. Until I got my first puppy that is, and Koko then became the best pup the world. Okay, she actually wasn't , as that damn dog was bananas and died horrifically, but for as long as I had her, I loved her (honestly, I remember very little about this dog, which is probably my brain doing me a huge favor as I was a little kid home alone it happened).

Then, friends, dreams do come true. We got Monty. Or Montgomery, or during formal events, Montel, the runt of a litter of Gordon setters, who was, without a shred of a doubt, the greatest dog the planet had ever seen. I had moved to college by then, but summers and Christmases?

Oh, that was Monty Time. 

While the above explains how I got here, Scoob!, the latest entry in the theater-in-your-home experiment explains the origins of Scooby-Doo, another dog I've always adored. Well, it tries to...just not very hard.

Maybe there were other trailers that I didn't see, but I was kind of shocked when this alleged origin story abruptly (but thankfully) ended and an updated version of the TV show's theme song kicked in. Then, it was suddenly modern day Mystery, Inc., and away we went. Pup Scoob and young Shaggy were more like a short film that played before the real feature. Again, thank goodness, because I wanted to punch little Shaggy in his whiny face. We get it, kid - you don't have any friends. Don't be such a dick about it.

You guys, this show was my jam as a little kid, so there's no way I wasn't going to like this movie, but for whatever reason, instead of being about ghosts and a haunted amusement park, it's equal parts outer-space adventure and Hanna-Barbera world-building exercise. If you dug Wacky Races (like I did, sigh), seeing some of these old characters dusted off is momentarily, um, ...exciting, I guess. Or it would have been, but I dozed off three-quarters of the way through (on the first watch).

Short of a translucent werewolf, everything about the bowling alley scene was pitch perfect Scoob and Shag ridiculousness. 
Luckily, my six year-old, Violet, hung in (my wife went first, then my son, then me) and when I did that thing where you try to pass off that you weren't sleeping during the movie, she was already headed to bed quite pleased with Scoob! (and herself), telling me over her shoulder, Dad, that was a very good movie (implying that I should watch it sometime). Ouch. Dial it back, sis.

You know what you should sleep through? The Yays and Boos. They haven't been around much lately, as this whole ride has been either one long dream, or one helluva nightmare.

It might me my slight (/overwhelming) man crush talking...
...but Efron kills it as Fred.

  • Even if it's to show a long, long time ago, the inclusion of Dre and Tupac's California Love is always welcome.
  • The crescent fresh CGI visuals of the opening are so sweet, but the cover of the old theme song? Not so much.
  • I gotta be honest, I don't really remember this Blue Falcon dude all that much, but I dig Wahlberg cranking up his naive strongman routine. If only he could have thrown in a say hi to your mutha for me I would have shit.
  • Jinkies, Hot Cop Lady was sexy enough (I'm gross, screw it) just looking at her, but when I found it was Christina Hendricks voicing her (in a frenzied/pants-less internet search), my dear Lord.
  • Yeah, that really was Bombs Over Baghdad on the soundtrack, and no I don't know why they used it, and yes I still love it so shut up.
  • The copyright infringement quip has made me laugh every time I've heard it. So well-timed...
  • I would have been crushed if they didn't have at least one old-school chase sequence. There's not a lot that instantly makes me feel like a kid, but seeing the good guys somehow end up chasing the bad guys (or them running together) absolutely brings me back.
  • And finally, honestly, this movie isn't all that good (especially when you watch as much Pixar as my family and I do), but it brings back the gang in probably the least offensive way possible. It's not entirely sterilized, modernized, or overly ironic in any way. It's just consistently silly, which is what I've always loved about the original cartoon, and it doesn't have suck-ass Scrappy Doo (but damn do I miss the laugh track).

I'm sure Ken Jeong have Dynomutt his best effort...
....but no thanks.

  • Man, young Shag is a relentless weirdo. That kid's voice was rough.
  • I don't know if he lost a bet or won one, but Simon Cowell is in this and his appearance is equal parts horrifying and mystifying. I know Simon loves dogs (who doesn't?), but apparently he hates me. Why else would the CGI version of him be the main character in all my nightmares?
  • It's probably weird that I've always had a thing for Daphne (the lovely Amanda Seyfreid). Just kidding. It's definitely weird.
  • Not that I remember what Captain Caveman ever sounded like, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't exactly like Tracy Morgan.
  • The Muttley laugh is legendary. If only the same could be said for the dodgy CGI that accompanies it...
  • I know it's a kid's movie, but my goodness, if you have to flashback to thirty-seven minutes ago, clearly you have no faith in our children to remember anything - even the simplest of things. And as a teacher of our youth, that's just sad. Spot on, sure, but also sad.
  • My wife was clutching her pearls at some of the word-play (some Dick jokes here, some f-bombs there) but the Boo is really because she's such a square.
  • And finally, while the jokes generally lack sophistication - which is what makes them great - comprehending the plot likely takes an undergraduate degree from an accredited university at minimum. Dick Dastardly needs Scoob's DNA to open a portal to Scrooge McDuck's moneybin because Alexander the Great used the skulls of Hagrid's dog to lock Muttley in the past sort of? What in fresh Hell is going on around here? Can't we just get the gang to investigate a ghost down by the docks or something?
After Monty passed, I thought I was done with dogs, but then my wife and I bought a house with a fenced-in backyard, and we were graced with Dodger, our beloved pup who passed away in July of 2019. I cried for a month (or three) when I lost him, as he meant everything to me. Straight up, he was the best dog ever.

Just last week, after holding off for almost a year, we adopted Marilyn (I'm going to get another dog and name him Monroe) and she, yes, she...might just be the best dog ever. Well, second best. Er, third best? I mean, you can't forget Scooby-Doo, who just might have started this all.


  1. Marilyn is gorgeous! I had a dog growing up that lived to be 15, and after he died I never got another because I don't know if I could go through with that sadness again, even though I love dogs and miss having one.

    Now for Scoob....just, no. I hate the title. I hated the show growing up, I'm so happy my son has zero interest in this so I don't have to suffer through it.

  2. Thank you so much! When she's not being insanely adorable she loses HER DAMN MIND and I'm assuming wants to eat the throats of all passersby. Good thing we have curtains, I suppose.

    Aw, I hear you on the second part of your comment. After Dodge I was like, f--k this, I'm never getting a dog again EVER, and held to it for almost a year. But with all this time in my house, shit, it was now or never. (I swear when my kids movie out, I'm going to be crazy dog guy and collect those f--kers like Pokemon).

    WAIT, WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?????? You hate Scooby-Doo??? Huh-what??? Your loathing of Shrek is one thing, but this? This? This cuts deep. *curls into ball*

  3. DOGGGGOOOOOO! I had two dogs growing up, German shepherds both but I have discovered in my old age (I can say that, I'm in my 30s!) I've discovered that medium-small dogs fit my personality better. While I adore dogs and cats and all kinds of animals, I feel like the energy of a bigger dog is too much for me :D If that makes sense? Anyway, many dog tests say I need to get a Jack Russell, and considering the fact that I was dead terrified of The Mask as a kid, which had a JR in it, it seems fitting really :D :D

    1. Awwwww, wow, look at us. I too grew up with German shepherds, Getter, and also am with you on the small/medium dogs being a better fit (but my kids wanted a big dog this time around). Good thing Marilyn acts like a small dog (she curls into you at any moment)...but barks like a GIANT ONE.

      HAhahaha...I remember the dog in The Mask, wasn't he...cute? I wonder what freaked you out about him? I'd get a JR for a second dog, I'm just not sure I can handle two of them no matter the size!