Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf
|Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf|
Australian DVD cover
by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears
|Written by||Mark Bernay|
|Screenplay by||Jim Ryan|
|Directed by||Ray Patterson|
Brian Stokes Mitchell
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||91 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Hanna-Barbera Productions|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original network||Syndicated|
|Original release||September 14, 1988|
|Followed by||Scooby-Doo! in Arabian Nights|
Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf is a 1988 animated made-for-television film produced by Hanna-Barbera for syndication as part of the Hanna-Barbera Superstars 10 series. It marked Scrappy-Doo's last appearance as a protagonist in the Scooby-Doo franchise to date; he would not appear in a Scooby-Doo production again until the live-action Scooby-Doo movie in 2002, where he was the main antagonist.
Every year, all of the classic Hollywood monsters (consisting of Frankenstein's monster, his wife Repulsa, a Mummy, the Witch Sisters, Bone Jangles the Skeleton, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Snyde, Swamp Thing, and Dragonfly) gather at Count Dracula's castle in Transylvania for the "Monster Road Rally", an ultimate road race similar to Wacky Races, awarding the winner with the "Monster of the Year" award as well as many other prizes only monsters would enjoy (and one prize — a trip to Hawaii — that none of the monsters want). This year, however, Dracula receives a postcard from the Wolfman stating that he has retired to Florida and will not be participating.
Lacking one of the most well known monsters, Dracula fears they will have to cancel the race. Luckily, Dracula's minion Wolfgang notifies him there is another option, namely, to create a new werewolf. After searching an old book for information, it is revealed that every five centuries, the full moon comes into a "perfect position" to transform a human into a werewolf, on three nights in a row that begin the following night. The one next in line to become the next werewolf is revealed to be is none other than Shaggy Rogers, who recently demonstrated his skills on the racetrack by winning a funny car race with the help of his pet dogs that serve as his pit crew, a talking Great Dane named Scooby-Doo, and Scooby's young nephew Scrappy.
Dracula sends his hunchbacked henchmen (the mush-mouthed, incomprehensible Crunch and the well-articulated British Brunch, together known as "The Hunch Bunch") to America to transform Shaggy into a werewolf, and bring him back to his castle. On the first night, they attempt to cut a hole in the roof above Shaggy's bedroom to let the moon shine on him. However, Scooby learns of their plan and rescues Shaggy just in time before his transformation could begin, but fails to convince Shaggy and Scrappy of the Hunch Bunch's presence. The second night, they go after Shaggy while at a supermarket, but they again miss their window thanks to Scooby. On the final night, while the trio is at a drive-in movie, along with Shaggy's girlfriend Googie, the Hunch Bunch manage to expose Shaggy to moonlight by dropping the sunroof of his customized race car with a push of its button, causing Shaggy to be finally transformed into a werewolf.
However, a snafu enters the Hunch Bunch's scheme when they learn that Shaggy has the hiccups, and changes between human and werewolf with each hiccup. Not noticing him as a werewolf, Googie sends Shaggy to the snack bar for something to cure his hiccups, and he attracts horror from the other movie watchers along the way. Scooby, hearing them speaking of a werewolf loose in the theater, hides in a nearby car. The Hunch Bunch attempts to grab Shaggy, who flees from them, and is then chased by the crowd when they see him as a werewolf. Upon meeting Scooby and seeing his reflection, Shaggy flees the drive-in with his car, Scooby, Scrappy, and Googie in tow, escaping his pursuers with the car's customization. The Hunch Bunch then knocks the group out with moon dust from their "bat-copter" and fly back to Transylvania, towing the car.
Upon reviving the group and quashing their hopes that the current situation is a nightmare, Dracula informs Shaggy that he was turned into a werewolf in order to fill the missing slot in his monster road rally. Shaggy, having no desire to be a werewolf, is displeased with his current situation, and refuses. Dracula tries all manner of coercion: speaking of the pre-race party and all its rewards, showing the awards for the race, imprisonment in one of the guest bedrooms, and even trapping him in a room with a needle wall. Ultimately, however, Shaggy still refuses, forcing Dracula to strike a bargain with him: if he agrees to drive in the race, and wins, Dracula will change him back to a human, and allow him and his friends to leave. Shaggy accepts the bargain, but unbeknownst to him and the gang, Dracula secretly crosses his own fangs while reversing the needle wall, meaning the evil count will continue to expand his devious scheme to keep Shaggy as a werewolf forever.
The gang are given good lodgings and treated like guests in the castle, allowed all the food they wish for breakfast (though the food in question is flavored with "scream beans", much to their displeasure). Dracula then shows them the trail that Shaggy will have to follow for the race, and consents to allowing them to navigate the track in their own race car, with the Werewolf Wagon currently undergoing maintenance for Shaggy. Dracula attempts several rotten tricks on the track out of sadistic pleasure, but regardless, Shaggy completes the course expertly, creating anxiety for the vampire that he may lose his werewolf. He subsequently changes the racetrack, sabotages the Werewolf Wagon, and has the Hunch Bunch deprive him of sleep but to no avail.
Shaggy is still asleep the following morning. Googie's help revitalizes Shaggy, and upon beginning the race with Scooby in the passenger seat, he has little difficulty repairing the Wagon. The Hunch Bunch, a couple of the racers, and Dracula himself try their best to sabotage him, but thanks to Googie and Scrappy, who follow along in their own car as their pit crew, they end up doing more harm to themselves than him. At one point, the Hunch Bunch tries to dispose of the duo, forcing Shaggy to save them, but even this only serves as a minor inconvenience, and Shaggy keeps first place for most of the race. Finally, losing his temper, Dracula unleashes his trump card, a massive beast named Genghis Kong who manages to halt their progress. As the other racers near the finish line, however, Googie and Scrappy come up once more and rescue Shaggy and Scooby, then both pairs work together to make the monster fall down on the other cars, leaving an easy path to victory for Shaggy.
Furious to see all of his dirty tricks failed, Dracula refuses to revert the spell, stating that there is no way to turn Shaggy back. However, after Dracula's dimwitted wife Vanna Pira unwittingly reveals that the solution of how to turn a werewolf back into a human is in Dracula's spell book, the gang steals the book and make their getaway. Dracula chases after them in his weaponized car, and then his plane after the car is destroyed due to Shaggy's cleverness. The four only barely manage to dodge Dracula's powerful gadgets, and right before Dracula gets the best of them, a thunderstorm ensues and Dracula's plane is struck by lightning, sending him plummeting into the ocean below where he is chased off by a shark.
In the end, Googie uses the book to change Shaggy back to normal. That night, the gang all sit down to watch another horror movie and eat pizza, glad that their problems are over, but in the final scene, Dracula, Brunch and Crunch sneak up behind their window, and say "We're baaaack!"
- Don Messick as Scooby-Doo, Scrappy-Doo
- Casey Kasem as Shaggy
- B.J. Ward as Googie, Repulsa
- Hamilton Camp as Dracula
- Jim Cummings as Frankenstein, Skull Head, Genghis Kong
- Joan Gerber as Dreadonia, Woman at Store
- Ed Gilbert as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Snyde, Narrator
- Brian Mitchell as Bonejangles
- Pat Musick as Vanna Pira
- Alan Oppenheimer as The Mummy, Swamp Thing
- Rob Paulsen as Brunch
- Frank Welker as Crunch
Home media releases
Scooby-Doo! in Arabian Nights was released on September 3, 1994.
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