Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is just like any classic Scooby-Doo tale: There's a shadowy monster, a couple of sinister figures who might be behind it, and the can-do spirit of the teenage gang who regularly split, share, and delegate tasks to solve any mystery that comes their way. A few scenes of comic peril at the hands of the abominable snowman might disturb very young children, but the slapstick action will appeal to a wide range of youngsters. It's nice to see animated Tibetan characters that are rounded and appealing (aside from the scary Tibetan monk).
What's the story?
In a DVD that will appeal to every fan of the mangy mutt and his meddling crew, CHILL OUT, SCOOBY-DOO! follows the adventures of Scooby-Doo (voiced by Frank Welker ), Shaggy (Casey Kasem), Fred (Frank Welker), Daphne (Grey DeLisle), and Velma (Mindy Cohn), as they try to solve the mystery of the abominable snowman, high in the Himalayas. The adventure starts when Shaggy and Scooby are diverted from a planned Parisian rendezvous with the rest of the gang, and instead are dropped unceremoniously in the Himalayas as bait for a hunter determined to capture the mythical Yeti. The pair come across a brother-sister duo who disagree about whether the Yeti exists, and eventually the rest of the gang shows up in the Mystery Machine to put the question to rest.
Is it any good?
Slapstick but clean humor and lots of red herrings will keep viewers between ages 4 and 11 amused and intrigued until the very end. Yet the Paris scenes introduce a puzzling and unnecessary change to the traditional tone and energy of the Scooby-Doo franchise: it seems that Daphne is burned out by mystery solving, and would prefer to shop and flirt with clueless Fred. It doesn't seem fair to leave Velma as the only girl in the movie whose heart is with the mission.
As with every Scooby-Doo caper, there are a couple of side characters who may or may not be the bad guys. An ambitious scientist appears to be in the Himalayas in search of Shangri-La, but that plot angle quickly veers off in another direction. Other stock-in-trade Scooby characteristics, like Shaggy and Scooby's incessant eating, Velma's "Jinkies!" and the terrific reaction shots as characters realize they are in danger, give this an authentic feel.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the scenes of the Himalayas and Tibet. Can you find those places on a map or globe? Do you think the Yeti really exists? Do you think you'd like the ability to stay forever young, as the monk does? What would be the advantages and disadvantages?