Friday, November 14, 2014

Scooby-Doo Wrestlemania Mystery

A few months back in my review of Bounty Hunters I mentioned how a friend and I have a nasty habit of getting each gag gifts in the form of awful movies. Today's entry is for another one of those "gifts" I dug out of backlog box, which was a collaboration between Warner Bros. and WWE Studios earlier this year with the animated release of Scooby-Doo Wrestlemania Mystery (trailer).

I watched too many episodes of Scooby-Doo growing up than I would care to admit. No matter how predictable that cartoon got, somehow it found its way onto our family's television set seemingly every day. I always have a fond recollection of the Harlem Globetrotters crossovers, but it looks like this special production with the WWE universe will take its place as my new favorite crossover.

Wrestlemania Mystery takes place in the fictitious setting of WWE City, where all WWE talent resides and all their shows take place, including the upcoming premiere event of the year, Wrestlemania. This year's event is in jeopardy however as WWE stars are getting attacked by the mythical ghost bear named Vicious. That is right, I said ghost bear. Luckily, Scooby-Doo won a video game contest that awarded the Mystery Machine gang a trip to Wrestlemania, so rest assured they are on the case.

Expect all the trademarks of an episode of Scooby-Doo, such as getting chased down nonstop by the villain of the week, Shaggy and Scooby acting like buffoons and regularly stuffing their faces and the vintage 'meddling kids' line at the end we all love so much. Also expect the trademark debauchery of a typical WWE production, such as racist low-brow humor, John Cena getting the overpowered and unstoppable 'SuperCena' treatment, and announcing tables being vulnerable for being destroyed.

There were parts where the kiddy-friendly humor was unbearable and I cringed, and there were also a few times where the film got a few surprisingly legit chuckles out of me. For better or worse, it is predictable like an average episode of Scooby-Doo and the weekly wrestling I indulge, but I would not want it any other way. When I had my nephew over to watch TMNT last month I originally had this movie picked out to watch, but he said he saw this already. He said he liked it, but did not want to watch it again. Looking back, I do not believe the little rascal.

Being a huge wrestling nut, there were a few minor references to us addicts that cracked me up, such as a huge statue of Triple H getting attacked by the ghost bear early on and destroying Triple H's knee in the process. Also, it is well known among us wrestling enthusiasts that it is a cardinal sin for the wrestlers and announcers in WWE to say the word 'belt' as it is a pet peeve of WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon. It is a known fact that Vince will chastise you endlessly for using that forsaken word as he does not want the WWE Championship to be mistaken with a common household belt, and yes I do have proof of this rule. One of the plot points of Scooby-Doo Wrestlemania Mystery involves, spoiler alert, the WWE Title getting stolen(!), but the cast constantly refer to it throughout the film as the WWE Belt. The superfan inside of me was crying out 'you cannot say that' every time this happened, and it happened quite a bit, even by an animated Vince McMahon himself. I wish I had a clip to link to you, but a search yielded nothing to me. Regardless, this is a big deal that Vince finally took it easy on everyone on this ridiculous rule, even if it was just for this one animated kids film.

There are a couple bonus features on this BluRay release. Behind the Scenes with Scooby-Doo and the WWE Gang is a quick seven minute watch that interviews some of the Warner Bros. crew and WWE stars involved in the film and shows a few snippets of them in the recording studio. Seeing some WWE stars get really into the moment in the studio like Miz and Brodus Clay was a hoot to watch. Wrestle Maniacs is a bonus episode of the short lived A Pup Named Scooby-Doo cartoon that sees the Mystery Machine gang in kid form solving mysteries. This early 90s standard definition episode is included because it involves what else, but a ghost haunting the fictitious 'Coolsville Wrestling Federation.' It is another standard Scooby-Doo episode, and the nod to the past was a nice gesture as a bonus if you can get past the unpolished SD transfer.

I think this will go down as one of the more tolerable gag gifts I got from my friend over the years. Yes, there are a lot of unbearable jokes aimed specifically for the little ones, but there is admittedly some appeal to seeing the WWE world in animated form and how that dynamic played out with the Scooby crew. Think of it as a modern day version of the old school Rock and Wrestling cartoons from the 80s. With all that said, I am actually giving Scooby-Doo Wrestlemania Mystery a mild recommendation because it is a movie that you can use to sit down and enjoy with your kids, and maybe just maybe use this on them as a gateway to the wonderful world of pro wrestling.

Other Random Backlog Movie Blogs

12 Angry Men (1957)
21 Jump Street
Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Bounty Hunters
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Field of Dreams
Fight Club
The Fighter
For Love of the Game
Good Will Hunting
Hercules: Reborn
Marine 3: Homefront
Marine 4: Moving Target
Rocky I-VI
Running Films Part 1
Running Films Part 2
ScoobyDoo Wrestlemania Mystery
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Source Code
Star Trek I-XII
Veronica Mars
The Wrestler (2008)

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