Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock & Roll Mystery

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock & Roll Mystery Movie Poster Image
Mayhem and music merge; fun but more intense than past films
  • NR
  • 2015
  • 75 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

Teamwork rocks.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Each member of the Scooby gang has the other's back. They're loyal, caring, and goal-oriented. Humorous, non-offensive portrayal of Jewish businessman. No ethnic diversity.

Violence & Scariness

An action-packed journey through a "phantasmagorical" amusement park, filled with cartoon perils and some scary images: falls, flamethrowers, explosions, a grotesque head, laser blasts, fire breathers, lightning bolts, cackling scoundrels, and narrow escapes. A villainous "Crimson Witch" who travels through the air in a red haze, wreaking havoc on all the heroes as she attempts to bring total devastation to the world. Scooby and Shaggy have multiple teeth-chattering moments as the "red evil" seems bent on destroying the whole team.

Sexy Stuff

Mild flirtatious behavior between Daphne and Starchild (a member of the Kiss rock band).

Language

"Barf bag."

Consumerism

The popular Scooby-Doo franchise is combined with another long-lasting marketing phenomenon: 1970s rock band Kiss.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Scooby-Doo! and Kiss: Rock & Roll Mystery finds the gang solving a mystery with members of Kiss, the 1970s metal rockers. Frequent visuals of the bizarre, heavily made-up, and costumed band members, a scary villain, and lots of old-school "psychedelic" images make this movie best suited for older elementary school-age kids and up. In addition, there's more cartoon action and violence than in many Scooby films, including lasers, explosions, fires, falls, a witch soaring through scene after scene menacing the gang and a plot to bring total devastation to the world. Volcanoes erupt; ghosts appear; a dangerous witch's accomplices threaten. It has a more complex plot than Scooby fans may be accustomed to. Kiss adds to the boisterous mix with six of their classic hits and one new one, making rock music an important part of this offering.

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What's the story?

Always attracted to curious mysteries, the Scooby-Doo gang encounters a famous rock band, a "spirited" amusement park, and the evil Crimson Witch in SCOOBY-DOO! AND KISS: ROCK & ROLL MYSTERY. A death-defying villainess haunts Kiss World, the park built in celebration of the 1970s band whose popularity has ascended once again to thrill a new generation of fans. At first band members Demon (Gene Simmons) and Starchild (Paul Stanley) are reluctant to let Scooby and friends help them solve the riddle of the witch, but once park employees and customers are in grave danger and the upcoming Kiss concert is threatened, the two classic gangs join forces in an effort to save mankind. They must find and hold onto the Rock of Hysteria, a gleaming jewel that prevents the witch's creation, the Destroyer, from engulfing the world in a "torrent of darkness and evil." Will Scooby, Kiss, and company keep the Rock and thus the Destroyer's power from the Crimson Witch? Will the true identity of the witch be revealed? Will Kiss live to entertain their legion of fans, both old and new? Will Shaggy and Scooby ever go hungry again?

Is it any good?

This Scooby adventure is a flashy, bright, psychedelic 75-minute music-video-like mystery that calls upon the gang to give its all to solve the riddle of the Crimson Witch. The creators did an effective job of uniting Scooby and friends with Kiss, whose 40 years of popularity is a phenomenon of marketing, personality, and audacity. Since many of the original Kiss fans are parents of today's Scooby-Doo audience, it's a well-conceived match that uses humor, roaring classic Kiss songs, and constant cartoon action to entertain multigenerational viewers. Humorous cameo voice appearances from Garry Marshall, Penny Marshall, and the current Kiss members add to the fun. An abundance of scary images and narrow escapes (landslides, explosions, eruptions, frightening evildoers), along with the outrageous Kiss characterizations (the strutting sex symbol Starchild and the Demon's iconic tongue action), make this better for older kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about combining Scooby-Doo with Kiss. In what ways did the outrageous rock band and its music add to your enjoyment of the adventure?

  • How did including Kiss change both the look and the tone of this Scooby-Doo mystery? Does the merging of the two brands work? Who benefits from this partnership?

  • What is a "whodunit"? Did you realize that the Crimson Witch was really one of the people you'd met as the story evolved? Who were the three "suspects"?

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