[Fresh on 4K] ‘SCOOB’ a harmless treat for the family

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Connor Bynum // Film Critic

SCOOB

Rated PG, 94 minutes.
Director: Tony Cervone
Cast: Will ForteFrank WelkerJason IsaacsGina RodriguezZac EfronAmanda SeyfriedMark WahlbergKiersey ClemonsKen JeongTracy Morgan and Iain Armitage

When we reviewed SCOOB earlier this year, we gave it a favorable recommendation for families looking for something everyone can enjoy. However, we live in an interesting time, and SCOOB never did make its way to silver screens as expected. 

Instead, the film was released digitally for some time now. Those whose internet connections may not support 4K streaming or simply prefer physical media SCOOB are finally available on 4K UHD Blu-ray.

Movie Grade: B-

From our theatrical review

“Scooby-Doo is a character who’s stood the test of time. It began as a slapstick Saturday morning cartoon in 1969, was developed into two fairly successful self-aware live-action features in the early aughts, and then returned to its classic animated roots for three series in the past decade. The franchise is once again reinvigorated, this time with the eponymous animated feature SCOOB!, a lively, laugh-out-loud funny, super charming romp that captures the spirit, heart and humor of the original iconic series. By making this story less of a spooky mystery and more about the scheme of a Hanna-Barbera baddie, the refreshing sheen sparkles. It’s perfect for the whole family.”

“A few things are going on thematically, but the story is easy to track and holds sentiments that might help kid viewers struggling with similar issues, giving them a set of tools to work through their problems. The primary theme revolving around Shaggy and Scooby’s bond examines how fear impacts a friendship. It might be set in extreme circumstances, but it’s resonant nonetheless.”

“Despite engineering a narrative that includes standard Marvel-ish ingredients like a MacGuffin-driven plot and a releasing of a dangerous beast/ end of the world climax, the filmmakers deliver an action-packed adventure that’s as entertaining as it is engaging.”

The Scooby Gang in ‘SCOOB!’ Courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures.

Video/Audio Grade: B+

SCOOB is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio in 4K UHD resolution and, for the most part, shines in the format. Little details such as Scooby’s fur contrast wonderfully from the texture of his collar, character models of the main cast are brimming with detail as well, whether subtle reflections on Velma’s glasses, or individual strands of hair on Shaggy’s head. However, textures on the robotic minion characters can occasionally appear a little flat. Environmental details are also quite well realized aside from the occasional hiccup on set dressing assets such as a bottle of ketchup appearing flat and tacked on like a png file from shutterstock. But these are very minor gripes for a children’s film. All in all, the increased resolution is a welcome improvement over the film’s 1080p counterpart.

The inclusion of HDR10+ is once again the real reason to invest in a 4K home entertainment system. The increased contrast takes an already colorful film and improves it even further. Whites don’t feel washed out, and blacks are deep and crisp with virtually no visual noise in between.

The disc comes with the same DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that can be found on the standard Blu-ray and it is somewhat disappointing to not have 7.1 or Dolby Atmos track to go along with the improved visuals. The 5.1 track still does its best to play with the left and right channels, especially on the room’s rear side. Action sequences in the Falcon Fury in particular stand out with great uses of audible space. It’s just too bad that the same exact experience can be had for a lower price on a visually inferior format. 

Captain Caveman (voiced by Tracy Morgan) in ‘SCOOB!’ Courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures.

Extras Grade: C+

There are no special features included on the 4K disc. The handful of segments found on the standard Blu-ray may offer a mild distraction for younger viewers. Still, given the film’s obsession with such an iconic cartoon character’s legacy, it’s frankly surprising that so little effort was made in this department to explore it further. A digital copy for Movies Anywhere is also included. 

All special features are listed below:

  • Bloopers
  • 10 Deleted Scenes
  • How To Draw Scooby Doo
  • New Friends, Newer Villains
  • Puppies!!

Final Grade: B

SCOOB is a harmless children’s movie housed in a harmless 4K presentation. The film itself is by no means as bad as it could have (or should have) been, and the same can be said for its leap into Ultra HD. If you’re still looking for ways to keep your little ones entertained, you could do far worse, and you might just find yourself enjoying a chuckle or two.

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