In Review: Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

Warner Home Video US, 77 mins
Released: October 1998

This new full-length Scooby-Doo animated feature reunites the original gang when Daphne, now a reporter, when she decides to try and track down a real haunted house and not turn up yet another old man in a rubber mask, foiled by those “pesky kids”. Well, they certainly find it in this adventure – in spades! Mystery Inc. end up in the Louisiana bayou, threatened by a zombie pirate and assorted undead. But is it a fraud, as Fred and Velma suspect – or is this the real thing? 

This new Scooby-Doo story, the first for seven years, takes that show back to its most popular format, which we all know and love – and, thankfully, that irritating tyke, Scrappy-Doo, is nowhere in sight. Every minute of this new adventure is punctuated by classic Scooby moments, not least of which is Scooby’s befuddlement everytime someone complains there’s a dog in the room (“A rog? Rhere?!”).

Along with an enjoyable script that has all the hallmarks of the original Scooby-Doo series, the movie features some cracking animation. The Hanna Barbera team have pulled out the stops and delivered a top-notch production. 

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

The adventure does have a few faults: for me, it’s perhaps a little slow-moving in places, and there’s maybe two too many scenes of Scooby and Shaggy consuming huge amounts of food – although admittedly these all serve as opportunities to further the plot. But these are are minor glitches in an otherwise fun new movie, and putting the original team up against real ghosts and supernatural villains (or do they?) was something I always wanted to happen as a kid (just like I wanted Dick Dastardly and Muttley to win a Wacky Race, just once). 

So, if you’re one of many Scooby fans who has been asking (or singing) “`Scooby-Doo, where are you?”, the answer is: right on this tape! 

John Freeman

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
Buy it from AmazonUK (Affiliate Link)

Executive producer: Jean MacCurdy. Produced by Cos Anzilotti with supervising producer Davis Doi. Director: Jim Stenstrum Writer: Glenn Leopold
Price: $19.96 
Rhino Records have released Scooby-Doo’s Snack Tracks: The Ultimate Collection, an audio CD of Scooby-Doo music

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998)

Here’s what Lance Falk, who worked on its creation has to say about creating the new Scooby-Doo movie: 

“The trick was pulling the gang into the 90’s without sacrificing any of their innate charm or familiar virtues. A lesson learned on Jonny Quest. We couldn’t very well knock Jonny Quest’s Season One’s contemptuous revisionism and then be guilty of the same thing ourselves. The trick is to remember not to change anything that still works while having the nerve to change or dump what doesn’t hold up after three decades (like Scrappy-Doo and all fake monsters). 

“We don’t want to alienate the long time fans but we shouldn’t be stuck in the past either. It’s a tough balancing act to pull off, but you know what? I think we did it.The video has gotten a fantastic response, both in sales and by the critics. It will lead to more work by our team without a doubt. At the very least, a follow-up Scooby project will probably be green-lit.”

Scooby-Doo weblinks

Did you know?

The template for the character of Shaggy was the character Maynard on a 1950’s sit-com (Dobie Gillis). Maynard was a beatnik guy played by Bob “Gilligan” Denver. HB started Scooby in 1969, so Shaggy went from beatnik to hippie. Now, he sort of looks like a fan of the Seattle Grunge rock scene

Dobie was the template for the Scooby-Doo show in the same sense that The Honeymooners was for The Flintstones and Blondie was for The Jetson family. (Thanks to Lance for this)

Categories: Animation, Features, Magazines, Reviews, Television

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