Blu-Ray Korner: Scooby-Doo! & KISS: Rock & Roll Mystery

By pharoah - August 18, 2015

91WGBID4CxL._SL1500_A team-up that no one asked for – and that, somehow, didn’t happen in the 70s – ties KISS lore into Scooby logic for a clunky final product.

Over the last few years Warner Bros. Animation has been on a mission to resurrect Scooby-Doo. Well, maybe “resurrect” is the wrong word; it isn’t like Scooby-Doo disappeared or something. If anything it appears that Warner Bros. has made it a goal to make Scooby-Doo relevant to a new generation of fans: the children of the original Scooby-Doo fan. This undertaking has been spear-headed with a one-two punch of the recent Mystery Incorporated! animated series, which reinvented the Scooby-Doo mythos in many respects, and a slew of straight-to-video full-length animated films more in tune with what we’ve all come to expect from the mystery-solving quartet. While these aren’t the greatest animated films you will ever watch they are at least a warm, familiar experience from childhood for a parent to share with a child.

Then there’s the crossovers.

A couple of years ago Scooby-Doo and the gang found themselves in WWE City, solving the “supernatural mystery” of a ghost bear out to steal the WWE Championship and stop Wrestlemania from happening.

It… was not one of Scooby’s better outings.

The two properties ultimately made no sense immersed in one another’s realities; they didn’t really work together at all and Warner Bros. haven’t dipped their toe into the Scooby-Doo crossover waters since.

Not until now, that is.

Scooby-Doo! & KISS: Rock & Roll Mystery pretty much starts like all Scooby-Doo mysteries start at this point: the Mystery Inc. crew are traveling to KISS World, a KISS themed amusement park, to see KISS in their big Halloween concert. This is mostly because Daphne has a thing for Starchild but also because KISS World is having a pesky problem with a baddie called the Crimson Witch haunting the place, and the gang wants to help take her down before the big day. You know, because that’s what they do.

There's something funny yet wrong about Fred being the only one not in KISS regalia. Kinda like a dad dropping off his kids and their friends at a concert.

There’s something funny yet wrong about Fred being the only one not in KISS regalia.

This, of course, becomes something more than a routine mystery when the gang and KISS find out that the Crimson Witch is from an alternate universe called KISSteria and plans to use the black diamond that KISS uses in their song “Detroit Rock City” to summon a monster called The Destroyer to destroy the earth.


So… this film is ridiculous. It’s about as ridiculous as you’d expect it to be. It’s got a whole lot of elements that are all over the place that the writers try to force into playing nice and many of them miss their mark. With that said, in the broad lexicon of modern-day Scooby-Doo tales this film really isn’t all that bad when compared to its recent predecessors. The things that do work in the film work well, mainly due in part to the mysticism of KISS and the connections to KISS lore from their Psycho Circus comics and games and KISS Immortals online cartoon from the past two decades. The baddies work within the confines of KISS’s reality, not Scooby-Doo’s, which is honestly the best decision the creators of the film could have made during the brain-storming and pre-production phases of this particular piece of animation. By working within KISS lore the danger is much more real and palatable than most Scooby-Doo dangerous situations tend to be and the proceedings are a little less hokey. The film even uses KISS’s music during the film for the obligatory chase scenes and what-not. The connection to KISS lore, however, is as much a pro as it is a con, primarily because I’m sure there are KISS fans/parents out there who will have to elaborate on and explain certain aspects of KISS that their kids may not be completely immersed in (are there any kids “completely immersed” in KISS nowadays?).

Even with the use of KISS history this is still a Scooby-Doo production, meaning that at times the story is almost insultingly inane and the characters are all a little too over-the-top. And, of course, the film ends with a typical Scooby ending (if you’ve ever watched an episode of the original series you know exactly what I mean).

At the end of the day Scooby-Doo! & KISS: Rock & Roll Mystery is clunky but watchable. It’s much better than some of the Scooby-Doo DVD/Blu Ray offerings as of late but that’s not exactly saying a whole lot. I can, however, see how this film could appeal to a certain sector of fans and, I suppose, that’s all it needs to do.




P.S.: Funny thing is that KISS, in their heyday of the 70s, never crossed over with Scooby-Doo. You guys missed a golden opportunity decades ago, Hanna Barbera!

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