The 35th entry into the Scooby-Doo! Direct-To-Video Movie series arrives on September 26, 2023. Scooby-Doo! and Krypto, Too! continues a long history of crossovers of Mystery Inc. with the DC Superhero Universe. There is no current continuity in the Mystery Inc. Universe, so my assumptions are that this fits better into recent DC Universe releases that I’m less familiar. I’m your resident Scooby pundit here to put this new release in perspective of a longtime fan of the Scooby Gang.
The Justice League has gone missing and the Legion of Doom has taken over Metropolis. Jimmy Olsen has called in a favor of his childhood friend (crush?) Daphne, to come help solve the mystery of what has happened to the Justice League and who is haunting the Justice League Headquarters. Mystery Inc. teams up with Krypto, left behind by Superman, and an uneasy partnership with Lex Luthor.
The story plays cards across a vast spectrum of fandoms. There are references to the original Superfriends cartoons in the Hall of Justice. The food truck outside of the Hall of Justice is called Challenge of the Superfries. There’s a fun running gag about Lex Luthor having been President from the comic book continuity. I like the gag that Jimmy and Lois can’t recognize anyone when they remove their glasses. The last battle adds a Transformers parody to the film. I’m not familiar with Krypto in other current continuity but his voiceless character takes away from some of the fun that Scooby has with other dogs like Courage or even Dyno-Mutt.
This film was leaked to the internet months ago when it appeared to be cancelled. I remember reading some glowing reviews for it then, and that might be why it was released in this Halloween slot after all. The plot differs slightly from recent crossovers in that it brings Mystery Inc. to another Universe instead putting their characters within their continuity. The story is simple and the conclusion to the mystery is satisfying enough. The Legion of Doom and Lex Luthor (I can’t unhear him as “Rex Rufor”) aren’t scary villains in this feature. The Fred and Daphne relationship is referenced as more of boyfriend and girlfriend than it has been in years and Fred’s jealousy of Jimmy provides some laughs.
The Scooby franchise is on life support. Velma and Scoob! not only didn’t gain traction but put a black eye on the franchise with negative reception. The direct-to-video series has consistently been the best releases in the past ten years but this is only the third release since 2021. I don’t think that’s going to be enough to generate a swell of new fans in the younger generation.
The DVD includes three episodes of previous TV shows that had crossovers with DC Comics characters. “The Scooby of a Thousand Faces” (Wonder Woman), “What a Night, for a Dark Knight” (Batman) and “One Minute Mysteries!” (The Flash) are fun and show a variety of different ways that the characters can be used with the group.
There is a comfort to the same group of voice actors over the past years. The animation and presentation has remained consistent and comfortable. There are fewer original songs in this release but there is at least one long musical chase. I enjoyed this film and I hope it gets some traction. There’s plenty of room for a lighthearted release like this that has DC Comics Universe characters. Let’s keep this franchise alive.