Warner Brothers delivers the twenty-third, direct-to-DVD Scooby Doo movie with Moon Monster Madness. When the Mystery Machine’s gang wins the final five spots on a space mission, they find themselves battling an alien on the moon that looks a lot like the one Sigourney Weaver once battled. Sound terrifying? Nothing ends up quite as scary as Daphne’s driving test at the beginning of the episode!
The voice crew from previous films, Frank Welker, Matthew Lillard, Grey DeLisle, and Mindy Cohn, all revisit their roles here, bringing both the humor and the backbone to a story that gives us some insight into a few of the deeper subplots. There’s a security officer who is afraid of progress/the future, deep-seated in his frustration over his father’s being marginalized by technology; there’s a TMZ-like reporter who is all in it for the headshot and the interview, regardless of what danger could actually befall them. More serious than some of the other Scooby Doo features, this one entertains the kids but it also asks some adult questions about the way society functions.
Adults will also dig the space-related allusions. There’s a shout-out to 2001 A Space Odyssey with H.A.M., as well as the robot that’s really a person (flipping Alien) as well as a woman named Ridley, a comment about having “the right stuff,” an E.T.-like moon shot, Mark Hamill voicing a character… you get the point. If you like sci-fi flicks, this is a solid sendup.
The only drawback to the film for me was the ridiculous collision of Daphne and Velma, where a case of petty jealousness causes friction throughout the feature. Malcolm McDowell is a fun inclusion: his voice has both comical and villainous overtones, and the film is full of potential ‘baddies’. The musical score is excellent, and, as always, the folks behind this one find a way to make me laugh out loud a few times.
Setting the film in space allowed for those conversations, and made the film standout from its predecessors. Scooby Doo is one of those modes that allows Batman and Robin, the WWE, or space to show up, and we don’t really blink: we just enjoy the ride. With everything involved, it’s best to view this Warner Bros. release as a ride, to infinity and beyond, and just enjoy it for what it is. rating: buy it