A WALK DOWN NOSTALGIA LANE REVIEW: “Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School” is voiced by Don Messick (The Last Unicorn, The Jetsons [TV series]), Casey Kasem (Ghostbusters, Looney Tunes: Back in Action), Glynis Johns (Mary Poppins , While You Were Sleeping), Ruta Lee (Witness for the Prosecution, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers), Remy Auberjonois (Fair Game, Michael Clayton), Ronnie Schell (Emergency! [TV series], Battle of the Planets [TV series]), Frank Welker (Transformers: Age of Extinction, Aladdin ), Susan Blu (The Transformers: The Movie, Jem [TV series]), Patty Maloney (The Addams Family , Charlie’s Angels [TV series]), Pat Musick (An American Tail, Mr. Peabody & Sherman ), Russi Taylor (The Simpsons Movie, Babe), Marilyn Schreffler (Fatal Attraction, The Golden Child), Bumper Robinson (Enemy Mine, Brother Bear), Aaron Lohr (Rent, A Goofy Movie), Scott Menville (Teen Titans [TV series], Mising Link ), and Jeff Cohen (The Goonies, Family Ties [TV series]). It is directed by Charles A. Nichols (Alvin and the Chipmunks [TV series short], Rambo [TV series]) and written by Glenn Leopold (The Smurfs [TV series], The Prowler). Shaggy (Kasem), Scooby (Messick), and Scrappy (Messick) find themselves in an interesting predicament when the all-girl’s school Shaggy is hired to be an athletics coach turns out to be an all-ghoul’s school.
Ever wanted to see what the daughters of some of the most famous monsters (Dracula, Frankenstein) look like? How about watching an entire, animated volleyball game, even though this isn’t a volleyball movie? Maybe that’s not enough. Why not toss in a pun every few sentences? If any of this tickles your fancy, “Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School” is the film for you! Who would’ve thought that an installment from our beloved dog and shaggy pal could be so intricate. I even forgot from time to time what this film was about. But I guess that’s what happens when filmmakers follow the dollar sign; all sense goes out the window. Sure, it’s hard to deny the pure entertainment value of Scooby-Doo, regardless of how many ventures are churned out within a given year. However, “Ghoul School” suffers from a lack of direction. Shaggy is called in to be an athletics coach (seriously?) for an all girl’s school. What he doesn’t know is how they are monsters (or as the title suggests, “ghouls”). From there, we kinda just pal around, going from a volleyball game to a swamp field trip to a final battle with the bad guy who was introduced in the second act. It’s nuts, and more importantly, it can get tiresome. Let’s say that you know what you came for: “Scooby-Doo” has been prone to offer little character development and sacrifice everything for the monster villain at hand. The mystery and sleuthing are what make this franchise a success, but where “Ghoul School” gets wrong is just that; there’s no mystery, no thrills, and an utterly weak villain. Everything is given up to puns, repeated lines, and gags that try to glue scenes together. It can be entertaining/funny, but whether it is because it’s good or bad is another question. I used to watch this flick quite a bit growing up; it made me scared, more so at looking at myself in the mirror (you’ll have to see the scene). But what I come to realize is all the moments I remembered were just that: moments. There was no narrative. For what there was, it was slim. While I liked the uniqueness of characters and some of the jokes (the opening is hilarious), “Ghoul School” doesn’t sell me. Is it the worst movie of the “Scooby-Doo” universe I’ve seen? Definitely not. But at the same time, it doesn’t give me much to root for. The fact that it’s easy to lose interest at any given moment with this picture gives a cause for alarm. In a weird way, I mainly got through it just because it was outlandish and never settling for anything. The movie was unpredictable, but only because it had no idea where itself was going. For that, I’d say this one’s a pass. FINAL SCORE: 65%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: