Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders

Starring: Joe Alaskey (Voice), Bob Bergen (Voice)
Director: Jim Stenstrum
2 (Europe, Middle East & Japan only)
Format: PAL, Animated



Let's face it. The plots are always the same: smugglers usually want to scare people off from their base of operations by pretending to be ghosts or aliens or whatever. Yeah, right, as if that would work. In real life the place would soon be overrun by National Enquirer reporters, hordes of curious onlookers and the like! There'd probably be even someone selling hot dogs at a stand!

The monsters are also never real, but usually some guy in a mask whose identity we guessed from a list of possible suspects. Scooby and Shaggy gets chased around a bit - and there you have the makings of a classic episode. You have to be of a certain age to appreciate this sort of thing. . .

Which is why I bought this full-length movie for my baby daughter - she'd be old enough to enjoy it in a few years' time. I use full-length as only the loosest of terms Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders only clocks in at under 70 minutes - usually full-length features clock in for twenty or so minutes longer.

No problem though. Ninety minutes running time would have been really stretching the premise thin. The plot already feels padded at 70 minutes, but not as padded as the recent Piglet's Big Movie I had to endure. That particular movie's lack of plot and extended running time began to feel like some sort of sadistic Zen experiment by Disney on unsuspecting parents watching it with their toddlers.

The Scooby team gets lost during a dust storm and encounters a flying saucer. Soon, they are stranded in a small town where they investigate some alien sightings.

You'd be glad to know that Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders (made for TV in 2000) features much better animation than the original ?classic? episodes. OK, it's not much better than a lot of Saturday morning cartoons, but it's not too, um, shaggy either.

Some of the voices are noticeably different though and I?m sure purists will no doubt nit-pick about that (but we're not one of them). Events move along at a quick pace and the whole thing is easier to endure than any of the countless straight-to-video sequels churned out by Disney.

Some bits might be scary for very small kids, but the tone is light throughout. A colleague of mine bought Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (also one of the several full-length TV movies) for his kids and while it featured some fun post-modern touches, it was also a bit scary for little 'uns.

THE DISC: This Region 2 disc has several language tracks and a five-minute ?Making of? feature. Kids will probably find it disconcerting to see adults talking like their favourite cartoon characters, so don't spoil it for them. It comes in a carton snap case, typical of all Warner Bros. DVDs. Why they persist on packaging their DVDs like this is a mystery since these cases tend to wear easier than the standard plastic cases . . .

WORTH IT? This is a movie for kids and not really one you can watch with them. DVD is the preferable format for kiddies movies because they can really wear VHS tapes out by endlessly re-watching them. (Or maybe that's why DVDs for kids maybe aren't such a good idea when you think about it . . .)

RECOMMENDATION: Wait for it to appear in the bargain bins one day and don't watch it with your kids unless they scare really easily . . .

NOTE: Jennifer Love Hewitt sings the Scooby theme song on this disc. Be afraid . . .



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