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Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire (2011)
by Kevin Conner
IMDB Entry and source image credit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2162709/
images are copyright their respective owners, and are used under fair use.
“Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire” is yet another attempt by the absorbed Hanna-Barbera entity to make a musical version of Scooby-Doo!, for no other reason, it seems, than to please the shareholders that think Scooby-Doo! can compete with the likes of Pixar or classic Disney.
The basic plot, as stated by the promotional material: “Daphne falls in love with the lead of a vampire production who may be a real vampire!” or “Daphne becomes involved with a vampire production, and chaos ensues!”.
NEITHER of these summaries are correct. If you think it’s a bad sign that the production doesn’t even know what movie they produced, then you’re on the right track. The actual plot involves a ‘Vampire Fair’ (like a Renaissance Fair), a costumed group of musicians who pretend they are vampires, a mummy of an ancient “accused” vampire mummy, and conspiratorial merchants who want to milk revived evil vampire sightings for every penny they can. This story is broken up with song, and blatant pieces of exposition where the actual “bad guy” gives himself away between every five minutes worth of song. The vampire sightings are essentially just minor public disturbances, which could literally have gone unpunished because no laws were broken, up until the kidnapping of Daphne Blake – because it would’ve made a good plot twist? The stated motivation explained by the monster makes no sense based on the actual real motivation of why the monster exists. The whole 30 minute plot fails at that moment, in fact, it’s so suspiciously flawed, you have to wonder if the writers inserted the kidnapping just to give the appearance of an actual crime being committed!
This movie leaves a very sour taste in the mouth of anyone, but the most devoted (and under experienced) fan.
Besides the fact this movie has a 30 minute plot, padded to be over 1 hour, the music is poorly constructed. Not one song within this musical fits with another. To better explain the issue, let’s examine Danny Elfman: Regardless of the soundtrack he produces, all of his music is unique, but maintains strong threads of commonality between each song or instrumental. Contrarily, this movie has each song so strongly unique that there are no threads of commonality between each song, leaving the entire soundtrack disjointed and unfriendly to the emotional experience required of a musical. To make matters worse, the songs don’t always represent the specific scene. For instance: the scene between Daphne and the singer of the vampire band. They share a love duet which is shoved in-between bookends of dialogue where she literally tells him to go away and never bother her again.
The direction feels bland, and lacking of real creativity, as the director wanted to make sure the kids could see happy smiling faces of their favorite characters looking at them while singing and smiling. That would be OK if this movie were for little kids, but the horrific scenes, advanced plot devices, and vocabulary used, deny any young child any amount of enjoyment other than seeing a talking dog and how funny he is!
In addition to these issues, and previously mentioned script issues, there are further problems with plot development. Scooby and Shaggy are separated from the group (as normal), only this separation lasts for at least half the movie, adds nothing to the plot, involves them being completely removed from almost all of the effects of the plot; and leaves Shaggy with an unjustified, ridiculous, belief he has somehow been bitten by a vampire, thus causing a sequence of events that even Scooby finds to be stupid.
This movie has a very small audience that may find it enjoyable. The only good things about this movie lay in the relatively smooth production design (despite the production failing to grasp the content of the movie), moderately decent voice acting (the fab five are great, the rest are marginal), and decent editing. Everything else about the movie lay in mediocrity. While this is far from the worst animated Scooby-Doo! movie I’ve ever seen, it remains difficult for me to recommend this movie, because there are so many other better Scooby-Doo! shows for kids (or kids at heart) to experience.
Production: 3 1/2
Acting: 3 1/4
Overall (rounded up) 3 out of 4
Cast and Production Information
(with many more)
Warner Bros. Animation