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As a child, this reviewer was a huge fan of Scooby Doo. At 24, she
still is. While 'Haunted Holidays' may not be Scooby Doo at his best,
it's still incredibly entertaining with all of the ingredients that
makes the franchise so loved present and is one of the better direct to
video Scooby Doo specials.
There really is not much to criticise here with 'Haunted Holidays'.
With the inclusion of all the standard Scooby Doo tropes, parts of the
special does feel very predictable. Velma has also had a much less
likable personality since 'Mystery Incorporated', she isn't quite as
bitchy or annoying here as she has tended to be in recent years and her
main function of being the brains of the group has been maintained, but
she has been more caring and resourceful before.
However, the animation is great with a nice mix of classic Scooby Doo
and new Scooby Doo. It is very vibrant, atmospheric and beautifully
draw, and attention to detail is typically meticulous. The music is
groovy when appropriate and haunting when also appropriate, while the
writing and jokes are typical Scooby Doo and range from very funny to
hilarious with an endearing goofiness too at times.
While predictable, the story is efficiently paced while never rushed
and diverting without being convoluted or simplistically obvious, the
mystery is a solid one and entertainingly and atmospherically told in
the classic Scooby Doo mould, Shaggy and Scooby's pivotal friendship is
charming, funny and affecting and the villainous snowman is a very
convincing villain, quite scary and cool (plus he can shapeshift, with
the giant spider guise being one of the special's coolest and most
visually striking moments).
Sometimes in Scooby Doo the perpetrator is a complete surprise and then
there are other times when it is rather obvious as a result of a
shortage of suspects (a common problem in the still entertaining 'Be
Cool, Scooby Doo!', and even a couple of episodes of 'Scooby Doo! Where
are You?' had this too). Luckily, 'Haunted Holidays' is a case of the
former. Apart from some reservations with Velma, the characters are
very engaging and drive the narrative and mystery very well. Shaggy and
Scooby are particularly well done, while Fred and Daphne are similarly
likable and the supporting characters are no less interesting.
Voice acting is terrific, Frank Welker, who has been voicing Fred since
the beginning, is still going strong and his Scooby voice is growing on
me. The standout is Matthew Lillard, who, when he first started voicing
the character from the start of the post-Sander/Schwartz era, had big
shoes to fill from the late Casey Kasem, which can't have been easy at
all, and does a fine job.
All in all, very good holiday fun. 8/10 Bethany Cox
Tags for Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays (Video 2012) Full Movie
, Mindy Cohn
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