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Scooby Doo! And WWE: Curse Of The Speed Demon Ushers In New Era Of Wacky Races!

Written by  Published August 2, 2016 07:22
There is really only one name in animation as far as I am concerned in regards to the direct to video market and that name is Warner Bros. For the last 5 years not even Disney can challenge the leaps and bounds that Warner has taken for updating old properties and making them relevant and fresh for the modern audience. In fact, while resurrecting Tom and Jerry, Jonny Quest and the Flintstones in recent direct to the shelf features the team at Hanna-Barberra (a division of Warner) have also revived everyone from Birdman to Herculoids in DC Comics as well.

The latest release is the second in a series of Scooby-Doo and WWE team ups called Curse of the Speed Demon. I reviewed WrestleMania Mystery here when it was released, so feel free to hit the archives and read it if you wish. Like with Lego and DCAU the standard is high as my expectations. Did Curse of the Speed Demon bring down the house of miss the spots? I broke it down below. Spoiler-free except for the summary.

400x400 75So let’s get this monkey smoking…

The SUMMARY from iMDB.com

Scooby-Doo and the Curse of the Speed Demon
Available on Amazon now and DVD August 9th

It's pedal to the metal as Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and the gang team up with the superstars of WWE in this hi-octane, all-new original movie! When Scooby and Mystery Inc. visit an off-road racing competition, it's not long before strange events start to occur. A mysterious phantom racer, known only as Inferno, is causing chaos and determined to sabotage the race. It's up Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and their new driving partner, The Undertaker, to save the race and solve the mystery. Along with other WWE superstars such as Triple H, Paige and Sheamus, it's time to start your engine and your appetite because Scooby-Doo and WWE are chasing down adventure and laughs just for you!

 

The BREAKDOWN

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In 1968 Hanna-Barberra released Wacky Races nationwide on Saturday Morning to the delight of millions. In this cartoon, 11 cars raced all around the world for a prize. All of the stars of HB cartoons participated from Dick Dastardly and Muttley to Penelope Pitstop. Many attempts to recapture this wonderful cartoon have come and gone since then with All-Star Laff-A-Lympics being the most successful to date. Many flopped.

With Curse of the Speed Demon the gang at Hanna-Barberra and WWE have brought back the caper race in spades and who would have thought the WWE would have been the perfect vessel for this? As each wrestling team of drivers is introduced the audience can feel childlike wonder rise in their hearts. The voice acting from the actual superstars adds a credibility needed to instill a sense of competition that feels believable. But you can’t do a proper HB special without Scooby-Doo and the gang.

This is the best Scooby-Doo mystery ever made. It captured perfectly both the Wacky Races feel and the Scooby-Doo Movies engagement of the 70s. Guest stars from Don Knotts to Kiss have made appearances with the sleuth dog before but the chemistry between the Scooby cast and the Superstars of the WWE is flawless The direction is perfectly balanced between the absurd and the brilliant at all times and never gets too silly or too serious. It is a perfect caper chase film. Undertaker steals the show and Mr. McMahon is as good in this as he is Camp WWE without the raunch.

I still will never get used to Matthew Lillard as Shaggy (I miss Scott Innes in this role) but this was his finest performance and it needs to be noted.

The animation is impeccable in this movie and it is shot much like Monday Night Raw in the angles and in the storytelling swerves, but the return of a few classic HB vault sound effects had me smiling again and again.

 

The VERDICT

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For the last 5 years Scooby-Doo has made a comeback in a big way. While characters from other companies, like the new Mickey Mouse revamp, are tepid and half-hearted attempts at best, Warner and HB have found a secret formula for making classic properties hip, fresh ad relevant again. I highly recommend Curse of the Speed Demon, but let’s be clear – if you see an HB direct to video release buy it.

They have been on track for years now and from Lego, to Batman, to Scooby-Doo they have instilled the spirit of Bugs Bunny into their properties as well as the DCAU’s storytelling devices.

Order, buy, stream or download this if you love Scooby-Doo. Or WWE. Or just good cartoons.

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