It’s been 16 years since Scooby, Shaggy, and the gang hit the big screen. That’s an eternity in Hollywood time — we’ve had seven Spider-Man movies since 2004 — so it makes sense that the Scoob! is on its way to theaters.
What makes absolutely no sense — besides not casting Matthew Lillard as Shaggy — is the final trailer for the digitally animated movie. It was released mere hours ago, and since then I’ve watched it several times in an attempt to understand just what the hell the movie is going to be about. I still don’t know.
The trailer opens with Shaggy—now played by Will Forte—and Scooby in a spaceship belonging to Blue Falcon, a Hanna-Barbera character that dates back to the 1970s series Dynomutt. OK, it’s going to be a space adventure.
Back on earth, Velma, Fred, and Daphne are left to piece together clues in the bowling alley – particularly the wreckage of a robotic scorpion — to find their friends. OK, it’s going to be space adventure and a standard Scooby mystery.
Then we flashback to a young Shaggy, eating a huge sandwich on the beach as he’s approached by a damn adorable CGI puppy. A shorts-wearing beach cop threatens to take away the “mangy stray,” but Shaggy saves him by saying he’s his dog and that his name is Scooby Dooby Doo. OK, it’s going to be space adventure, a standard Scooby mystery, and a Scooby-Doo origin story.
Cue fist-bump time-lapse, and we’re back in the present, where things get even weirder. Fred says “This isn’t about some guy in a rubber mask” as we see a guy in a rubber mask. The Blue Falcon makes a grand entrance and reveals himself to be a Troy McClure type. The Falcon Fury flies really fast somewhere. Fred, Velma, and Daphne are chased by insectoid drones sent after them by Dick freakin’ Dastardly. Scooby and Shaggy run through an abandoned theme park, evading laser fire. Scooby puts on a skintight blue suit. Velma finds out Dastardly has been stealing Netflix. There are more space aerials. OK, it’s going to be space adventure, a futuristic Scooby-style mystery, a Scooby-Doo origin story, and ???
At the end of the trailer, there’s what seems like a meta scene of Scooby and Shaggy sitting in a movie theater. “I guess our new movie is an origin story,” Shaggy says, and honestly, his guess is as good as mine. Assuming that he, a character in Scoob! is talking about Scoob!, which, yet again, isn’t particularly clear.
Now nothing about this movie looks particularly bad. It could be another Muppets in Space, a deeply weird, beloved installment of a neverending franchise. It could also be completely awful. We just don’t know, and the trailer does more to obscure than to illuminate.
We will hopefully figure out just what the hell Scoob! is about when it comes to theaters on May 15.