As my daughter grows up, I thought it might be fun and interesting to review the things we put on TV to amuse/distract her. Let's find out if that's the case.
I may be very new to the world of fatherhood but I can say with some confidence that every parent wants their kid to like the stuff they like. At least that's how I've been operating this entire time. For years I've been amongst the camp of people yelling "Oh man kid's cartoons these days are the worst! Nothing like the classics we use to have back when I was growing up! When I have my own kid I'm only going to show them the stuff I liked. Bwwwaaaa!" I'm ready to follow through on this promise. I have the complete series of The Real Ghostbusters, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Scooby Doo, Where Are You? on DVD ready to go. The original series of course. I didn't want anything to do with the incarnations that have been released since. Only the things I liked are good!
I'm changing my song now because if any of those others cartoons have gone in a direction half as incredible as Scooby Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery I have a lot of watching to do.
The concept of the guest star is certainly nothing new to Scooby Doo. The Scooby Gang has met Batman, the Harlem Globetrotters, KISS and apparently Smash Mouth which is super unfortunate for them. For some reason the idea of them teaming up with John Cena seems the most ridiculous idea of all and I was hoping they would lean into the silliness of the whole thing. Yeah, that was nothing to be concerned about. Let's break down the plot.
So check it out. Scooby Doo and Shaggy, who apparently own a house together, are playing a wrestling video game that must involve Kinect or something because it has them mirroring a victory dance that certainly doesn't involve a controller. Scooby Doo perfectly mimics Sin Cara's victory dance and as a result, wins an all expense trip to WWE Town as well as the chance to see Wrestlemania. Now WWE Town is not an amusement park. It's a literal town where all the WWE Superstars hang out and train. All seems well except oh shit! Ghost bear! Yep a ghost bear is running around causing all kinds of nonsense. Also there's a subplot that leads to Scooby and Shaggy having to fight Kane in Wrestlemania and if they don't win, Vince McMahon is going to send both of them to jail. Why? You'll just have to watch this 84 minute slice of crazy and find out for yourself!
Wrestlemania Mystery is full of weird and pretty incredible moments. Here's just a few:
- John Cena leaps out of nowhere and saves the gang from a boulder by pushing it off a cliff while his theme song plays
- Kane, Triple H and Sin Cara all fighting a ghost bear
- I mean...there's a ghost bear. So yeah all of that
What I enjoyed about the whole thing is that it does not take itself seriously at all. There's meta jabs at Scooby Doo lore, John Cena glistening in the moonlight when he takes his shirt off, a shot of Cena and Daphne embracing in front of what I remember being an erupting volcano, and more. The jokes are often corny (which with Scooby Doo should be expected) but there's a lot of material here that's actually funny. I knew there were a ton of Scooby Doo original movies but I wasn't quite ready to see actual effort on display. Even the animation was sharp, though only being familiar with the classic series it may have looked like this for years and I would have no idea.
Here is a paragraph about the voice acting. It's nice to hear that Frank Welker is still doing the voice of Fred after all these years and I like that Matthew Lillard hung around to keep doing the voice of Shaggy (I have to revisit those live action movies to see if I should still be defending them). The WWE Superstars are clearly having a good time as well.
My biggest disappointment, and this is especially true on behalf of my daughter, is the lack of musical action scenes. Scooby Doo ain't Scooby Doo without music accompanying chase sequences and while this one has a training montage, there's a severe lack of songs. So that was a disappointment since the little one had nothing to dance around to but let's face it, watching this thing was 99% for me anyway. She played with her toys and lost interest while Dada just kept yelling excitedly. "Did you not see Cena fight that boulder?! Da da da daaaaaaa! DA DA DA DAAAAAAAA!"
Scooby Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery is way better than I would say it has any right to be. If this is an indicator of the quality of Scooby Doo direct to DVD movies than I have some prompt Amazon purchases to make.