Scooby-Doo! And Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery (2015)
Turn up the volume with Scooby-Doo and KISS
What, don't look at me like that. Sometimes a grown man just feels like watching some Scooby-Doo. I admit, it is a change of pace from recent movies, but that's never a bad thing. Anyways, seems like the Scooby gang has gotten themselves mixed up in a mystery that involves a popular (at least to people old as I) rock band. Will it rock your world?
If you happen to be a fan of Scooby and the gang's various adventures, you already know exactly how the plot is gonna play out. That being said, a crazy crimson witch seems to be haunting the Kiss-world amusement park, so management calls the best mystery crew around - Kiss! Yeah, the Mystery Inc gang manage to show up anyways thanks to a little misleading from star-struck Daphne, but after finding out there is a mystery afoot, they can't help but sneak in to help out.
Kiss and the gang team up to work together, and start searching for clues around the park. Our forever-hungry duo wanders off to check out some rides after an unsuccessful search for food, and unintentionally stumble across the witch searching for a rock. A musical-number pursuit erupts as she chases after them on a boat ride, with the stakes raising when she animates a bunch of dolls to attack the two. They narrowly escape, only to be rescued by the members of the band who use their super-powers to drive the witch off. After the two are woken up by everyone else, a fortune teller arrives and tells them all a warning and upon further clarification it seems the entire thing may deal with the black diamond stone that Kiss has.
It seems this stone is magical, being the key to unlock a world-destroying monster from his volcano prison, and the witch wishes to do just that. A plan is hatched to catch the witch by using the stone, and as usual Scooby and Shaggy end up being nominated for bait duties. Things end up getting complicated quickly, with the witch opening a portal to another world that sucks up the duo. Intent on rescuing them, Kiss summon a giant guitar spaceship and open a portal of their own, taking along the rest of the mystery crew. Can the gang figure out what is really going on and save the day. Is there actually a villain to unmask and a valid explanation to this?
Animation quality is, as with most Scooby-Doo content, quite well done. The motions are fluid and shading all stands out great, as are most the effect-type works such as glows and smoke. To be sure, it all scales up in size quite well and still retains quality - not fuzzy or much of anything. I do admit, it feels as though this one is much more action filled than the typical entry - mostly brought about by the inclusion of super-powered Kiss stars who run around breathing fire, growing claws, shooting eye-lasers, and throwing lightning. It's pretty crazy, but it does cause a little something different from the normal Doo moments.
Voice work is great here. The cast spews out lines similar to what you would think, and have some pretty decent emotion in their voices for when it's needed. Kiss does their own lines as well, including their musical numbers, and it's all in their alter-egos when it comes to delivery. On that note (haha, music pun!), the musical numbers are fun - assuming of course you like Kiss music - as you are treated to four or five Kiss songs, as well as some of the more typical music one would find amidst a Scooby flick. Overall, the audio department is pretty well handled.
The plot isn't going to really blow anyone away here. Unfortunate as it may be, if you've seen one Scooby, you've seen all Scoobies. Mysterious, magical thing happens causing the gang to show up and look for clues, which in turn leads to the villain and eventual unmasking. It's tried and true, so if it's not broken why fix it? To be fair, those actions scenes I mentioned before do help to break out some out of the generic mold, but it also still retains a wacky chase or two.
I have to admit it's fun. I also have to wonder just a little bit about the combination with Kiss - a band that unless the slightly older generations have been passing down their love for, doesn't seem like it would be striking a cord with a younger audience who seems like they listen more to pop and r&b acts. I mean, I enjoy it, and it does serve as a good setup to the whole "planet Kiss" stuff they got going on to help broaden the mystery and make you wonder if just maybe this time it's not scientifically explainable. If nothing else, kid's should have fun with the typical Scooby movements, and their elders should be able to enjoy their sweet Kiss tunes. It's fun, and I don't think it really needs to be anything more than that.