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  Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo Scooby goes to Hogwarts?
Year: 2010
Director: Spike Brandt, Tony Cervone
Stars: Frank Welker, Matthew Lillard, Grey DeLisle, Mindy Cohn, Danica McKellar, James Patrick Stewart, Brian Posehn, Diane Delano, Jeffrey Tambor, Crystal Scales, John DiMaggio, Dave Attell, Olivia Hack, Dee Bradley Baker
Genre: Comedy, Animated, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Right as the Scooby Gang are closing a case Velma (voiced by Mindy Cohn) receives an urgent phone call from her hitherto unmentioned kid sister Madelyn (Danica McKellar). It seems something supernatural is stalking aspiring magician Madelyn and her fellow students at the Whirlen Merlin Magic Academy. So Fred (Frank Welker), Daphne (Grey DeLisle), Velma, Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and of course Scooby-Doo (Welker again) travel to a spooky old castle in Ireland where prestigious prestidigitator Whirlen Merlin (James Patrick Stewart) is set to lose his school unless the gang crack the case of a monstrous menacing giant Gryphon.

Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo, the fourteenth entry in Warner Brothers' ongoing series of direct-to-video Scooby-Doo films, was something of a return to its roots for the beloved and long-running animated series. Co-directors Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone, seasoned veterans behind multiple Scooby-Doo projects including arguably the most acclaimed iteration of the franchise - Scooby-Doo Mystery Incorporated - here returned the Scooby Gang to their original character designs and iconic outfits. Moving away from the 'hip' early 2000s look established by What's New, Scooby-Doo? and the silliness of films like Aloha, Scooby-Doo (2003) and Chill Out, Scooby-Doo! (2007), this outing brought a 'darker', more 'realistic' edge to proceedings more in line with the fan-favourite Mook Animation films; most notably Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998).

It is still a kid-friendly Scooby romp of course with witty gags, riotous set-pieces and musical sequences pitched squarely at a juvenile audience. That said from here onward the animation team also subtly sexed up the series with shapely character designs for the female cast, some mildly risqué humour and flirty banter. One subplot concerns Fred's infatuation with sexy lady magician Crystal (Crystal Scales) which drives Daphne to jealousy while Shaggy proves predictably if still inexplicably oblivious to the adorable Madelyn who harbours a hopeless crush. Speaking of Shaggy, Abracadabra-Doo saw Matthew Lillard, previously the live-action incarnation of the character, make his voice acting debut replacing beloved original vocalist Casey Kasem. At the time there was considerable resistance to Lillard assuming the role but he eventually won over the fans. To the point that when Lillard was himself replaced in the recent computer animated feature Scoob! (2020) the internet was once again in uproar.

Co-written by Paul Dini, of Batman: The Animated Series fame, the mystery plays by the series long-established rules but still proves appreciably intricate and, for what it is, well conceived. To its credit the film makes an attempt to evolve Daphne further away from the classic danger prone stereotype and subtly repositions Scooby-Doo himself as Shaggy's conscience. Also endearing is the denouement which exhibits a charming humane streak by allowing all the characters, good and bad, a happy ending.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

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