Scooby-Doo, one of the greatest cartoons of all-time. One of the many genius creations of Hanna-Barbera.
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), the most prominent organization in sports-entertainment. A truly larger-than-life phenomenon.
But surely, though?! An actual crossover feature-film featuring these two diverse franchises?! I couldn’t believe it! The mere idea would be dismissed as impossible!
And yet here we are! WWE Studios and Warner Bros. have actually joined forces to produce Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery. And the final result…is incredible. It’s actually quite good!
So what mystery has actually drawn the crew of Mystery Inc. to the mad & wild world of WWE? Well, Shaggy & Scooby have won tickets to WrestleMania, and convince Fred, Daphne & Velma to come along. So off they go to ‘WWE City’, and (naturally) they find themselves at work; a mysterious ‘Ghost Bear’ threatens not just WrestleMania, but World Wrestling Entertainment itself! With the likes of John Cena, Sin Cara and other WWE superstars aiding the Scooby-Doo Gang, this utterly mad-caper defies all logic and turns-out to be rather enjoyable.
It’s the same old Scooby-Doo theme – teenagers and their dog going round, investigating monsters and unmasking criminals with sinister motives – presented in the WWE Universe. The format of Scooby-Doo has always been a winning-formula that will doubtless continue to stand the test-of-time, and the plot for this direct-to-video movie is actually pretty decent. The film avoids taking itself seriously, and allows the WWE Superstars to just have a good time with the voiceovers.
There’s genuine suspense/excitement, the mystery will keep you guessing, and there’s plenty of good humour throughout. Admittedly, it’s a bit hokey in places, the pacing stalls here-and-there, and some of the film’s final moments are just outright bizarre. But when the final product could’ve been so much worse, you’ll end up being thankful for this.
The best thing about WrestleMania Mystery is that it pays equal respects to both franchises, emphasizing the appeal of both Scooby-Doo and WWE, underlining just how much FUN they are for all fans (young-and-old alike). The animation is great, as is the soundtrack – blending Ryan Shore’s original score with the various WWE Superstar themes (as composed by Jim Johnston). Things like the chase sequences, wrestling scenes, the glitz & glamour of WWE and the trademark antics of the Scooby Gang are all beautifully brought to life here, and the wrestlers themselves have such presence in this cartoon.
The likes of John Cena, the Miz, Kane, AJ Lee, Triple H, Brodus Clay, Santino Marella, Sin Cara, Michael Cole and Vince McMahon himself(!) all have their fun in the spotlight, eliciting genuine laughs and splendid entertainment throughout. Each of the superstars deliver outstanding & distinctive voice-work, except Sin Cara (obviously) who compensates through perhaps the most brilliant form of sign-language I’ve ever seen. Kids will definitely love this, and wrestling fans will surely get a kick of spotting all the cameos from various wrestling legends throughout.
Special-features on this DVD include subtitles, the ‘Wrestle Maniacs’ episode from the old A Pup Named Scooby-Doo series, and an excellent featurette ‘Behind-The-Scenes with Scooby-Doo and the WWE Gang’. Rather nice, indeed.
Now, obviously there’re people out there who will dismiss the wrestling aspect of this film on the grounds that it’s ‘fake’. And there are wrestling purists who will preach that their favourite sport should never EVER blend with Scooby-Doo. Really, I say to both parties to just give this thing a chance. Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery is perhaps the unlikeliest crossover of all-time, and one that somehow manages to succeed. You maybe pleasantly surprised.