Review by Brad Green:
Every cartoon cast and their dog seem to get a break on the big screen nowadays. More and more frequently in the form of “live action” movies, which seem to work well with superheroes, and less well with other flights of fancy. I haven’t seen this take on the slobbering Great Dane with the great name, but apparently while he gets a CGI work-over, his human buddies only look drawn because they’ve been listening to the soundtrack—the rap and hip-hop pop component of it anyway.
The certain silliness required of this kind of compilation is no excuse for vapidity—as the music of the Muppets demonstrated many rainbows ago. If a frog can have a fabulous theme song, why not a dog? It’s not that Shaggy (the rapper that is, not Scooby’s co-star) or the Baha Men fail to bring a sense of fun to their versions of the original theme tune, it’s just that they fail to bring any bite to it. In fact the only tracks here worth half a Scooby snack are Allstars’ Bump In The Night, an undeniably catchy kid-pop trifle; and The Atomic Fireballs’ Man With The Hex, a previously released, by-the-book swing number that at least is as vibrant as it is unoriginal.
Meanwhile, Kylie Minogue fills out the numbers with a neo-disco ditty that’s so unremarkable it not only doesn’t appear in the film, it couldn’t even make it to the final cut of her last two albums—despite being short-listed. The truth is that I’m a great admirer of the way our very own pop princess has stepped up her act since her embarrassing emergence as a Stock-Action and Watered-down puppet; but she’s not yet a world class diva, and when a track can’t make the best two dozen or so of her recent recordings, I’d warrant that it’s a telling sign.
Tagged on to the tail of the CD is one selection from David Newman’s score. It starts out with a clever pastiche of cartoon cliches—cascading strings, orchestra blasts and woozy brass in the great Warner tradition—and mutates along the way to an ear pleasing piano theme that frolics in and out of highly colourful arrangements, enhanced with electronic bass and percussion. It sounds very much like a score which in its entirety might be something special. The only question is: Why is there a snippet of it stuck on the end here, when it’s hardly likely to appeal to fans of the songs, or vice versa? Now there’s a mystery that I doubt even Scooby and chums could solve.
Publication date: June 20, 2002