Hey gang, Valkor here. It's been a long time sinceI've actually admitted to liking a new Scooby-Doo anything, with the only time being Abracadabra-Doo!; I passed on the live-action stuff and I haven't taken much of a shine to the newer series. But maybe there's something to these original films that I've been missing because the latest film – Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright Blu-Ray Combo Pack… dear god I chuckled more than once!
Stage Fright pits Scooby (Frank Welker), Shaggy (Matthew Lilliard), Fred (Welker), Daphne (Grey DeLisle) and Velma (Mindy Cohn) against a Phantom who's haunting an opera house in Chicago. Currently the place is being used to host a reality TV series called "Talent Star" where Fred and Velma are featured as contestants. But the Phantom appears and he demands that one of the contestants be crowned the winner. As the gang start to gather clues and suspects, they'll not only find the real Phantom who is anything but scary, but also find hints that there's another Phantom and he may be more than the gang can handle. There's also a side story that centers on Fred, Velma and their long standing attraction to one another. Will this be the film that they FINALLY get together? I mean really? All this time and nothing?
Stage Fright also features a host of cameo performances including Vivica Fox (Solid State), Wayne Brady, John O'Hurley, Peter MacNicol, and Kevin Michael Richardson. Stage Fright BD is also a combo pack that includes the Blu-Ray, DVD, and digital Ultra Violet Copy. Finally you get two classic episodes - "Never Ape an Ape Man" and "Don't Fool with a Phantom", both are from the series "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" Stage Fright comes just in time as Halloween is just around the corner and it's time to start adding films to your film rotation. Will this Scooby adventure make the cut?
I enjoyed Stage Fright way more than I expected and that's saying a lot since I haven't been a fan of a Scooby anything for a long time. Right from the jump, I was bopping to the opening tune, but the good vibes kept flowing as the film delivers a solid story that's easy to follow and paced ever so nicely. The jokes also score a win and I'll be damned if I didn't laugh at a good chunk of them. And the best of the bunch comes when the Phantoms are revealed with each ending "And I would have gotten away with it…". I'm also glad Matthew Lillard has found his calling and continues voicing Shaggy as he's so perfect for the role. But the rest of the voice work is rock solid, with my personal favs being Frank Welker as Scooby/Fred and Mindy Cohn (The Facts of Life) as Velma. Can you say: nailed it! Picture quality looks crisp, clean with solid colors and fluid animation and the DTS 5.1 audio is clear and sounds great. In the end, I think the gang at Warner Home might have found their calling in the Scoobyverse by continuing to produce these amazing original films.
My only objection to the film is the voice work of Daphne; she comes across as being waaaaay too dippy and I've never known Daphne for being such a ditz. If you want proof, watch the classic eps on the disc and then watch Stage Fright – the two are comparatively different and I'm definitely not a fan of this version of the character, whom I'm used to seeing as sexy yet strong.
Watching Scooby and Shaggy having a "Lady and the Tramp" moment as they down a very large pizza.
Scooby-Doo Stage Fright is available now and it's definitely worth the price of purchase, even if you're not a fan of the character. It's loaded with laughs, great music, and everything that makes a Scooby mystery worth checking out. And out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving Stage Fright a 4.