Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island

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Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
Promotional poster features a group of teens and a prominently featured Great Dane creeping through the marsh and woods. The overcast night sky broadcasts a glowing full moon, casting a shadow over a castle under it. To the right of this is a group of disfigured zombies.
Promotional poster
Directed by Jim Stenstrum
Produced by Cosmo Anzilotti
Written by Glenn Leopold
Starring Scott Innes
Billy West
Mary Kay Bergman
Frank Welker
B. J. Ward
Adrienne Barbeau
Tara Strong
Cam Clarke
Jim Cummings
Mark Hamill
Music by Steven Bramson
Edited by Paul Douglas
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release dates
  • September 22, 1998 (1998-09-22) (VHS)
Running time
77 minutes
Country United States
Japan
Language English

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island is a 1998 animated direct-to-video horror-comedy film based on the animated television series Scooby-Doo Saturday morning cartoon franchise. In the film, Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and Fred reunite to solve a frightening new mystery: they leave for a haunted bayou island to investigate the ghost of Morgan Moonscar the Pirate. It is the first in a long-running series of direct-to-video Scooby-Doo films; succeeded by 1999's Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost. Production started at Hanna-Barbera, but was then completed by its then-new parent company, Warner Bros. Animation (which would produce all subsequent Scooby-Doo films). It was also the first of four Scooby-Doo direct-to-video films to be animated overseas by Japanese animation studio Mook Animation.

The film was released direct-to-video on September 22, 1998 and premiered on Cartoon Network on October 31, 1998. The film received acclaim from critics, who praised the animation, voices and writing. The film also has a much darker tone than the original series. Unlike in the original series, promotional commercials for the movie announced that "This time, the monsters are real!"

The movie was dedicated to the memory of Don Messick, the original voice of Scooby-Doo, who died nearly a year before the film's release. The film is also one of Ed Gilbert's final roles.

Plot[edit]

The Mystery, Inc. gang is pursued by a moat monster, soon revealed to be a counterfeiter. This is actually an old case of the now-dissolved Mystery, Inc. being told on a talk show program by Daphne Blake, who (along with Fred Jones) is running a successful TV series Coast to Coast with Daphne Blake. Velma Dinkley has gone on and become the proprietor of a mystery bookstore, and Scooby-Doo and his owner Shaggy Rogers are Customs Inspectors at the airport. Fred decides that Daphne's show should be about tracking down real ghosts, so he gets the gang back together for a trip to Louisiana.

After encountering many fake monsters, the gang finally arrives in New Orleans. There they are invited by a young woman named Lena to visit Moonscar Island, the home of her employer, which is allegedly haunted by the ghost of the pirate Morgan Moonscar and unexplained disappearances took place over the years. Although the gang is skeptical (except for Shaggy and Scooby), they go with Lena.

On the island, the gang meets Lena's employer Simone Lenoir as well as the ferryman Jacques and Simone's gardener Beau. They also meet Snakebite Scruggs, an ill-natured fisherman, and his hunting pig, Mojo. The gang set out to prove that the "ghost" is a fake. Scooby and Shaggy are chased by Mojo and end up falling into a big hole. They uncover a skeletal arm. Then the skeleton transforms into the grisly zombie of Morgan Moonscar. By the time the gang come to investigate, Moonscar isn't around.

Simone, invites the gang to her house to stay for the night. As the gang is dressing up for dinner, Shaggy sees the ghost of a Confederate colonel in the mirror; Simone explains that the island was a temporary headquarters for a Confederate regiment during the American Civil War. Due to Simone's cats, Scooby and Shaggy eat in the Mystery Machine. An army of zombies emerge from the lake. Shaggy's bad driving, gets the Mystery Machine gets stuck in the mud, forcing him and Scooby to flee on foot.

Fred and Daphne find the Mystery Machine and later come across Scooby and Shaggy and manage to capture a zombie, revealed to be a real monster. As the zombies swarm around them, the gang splits in panic. Velma is now suspicious of Beau because "he is never nearby when something strange happens" and she decides to stick by him. Elsewhere, Scooby and Shaggy discover wax dolls that look like Fred, Velma, and Daphne, and they play with them, causing his friends to undertake a series of involuntary actions for a short time until they leave after disturbing a nest of bats.

Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Beau return to Simone's house and discover a secret passage under the staircase. They follow Simone's trail to a secret chamber for voodoo rituals. Simone appears, and she and Lena use voodoo dolls to trap the gang in the chamber. They reveal themselves to be evil werecats. Simone briefs them in 1798, she and Lena were part of a group of settlers who were devoted to a cat god. One night, during the harvest moon, while the settlers were celebrating their successful harvest, Morgan Moonscar and his pirates chased the settlers, except for Lena and Simone, into the bayou, where they were devoured by alligators. The vengeful Lena and Simone asked their cat god to curse the pirates. Their wish was granted and they killed the pirates, but the curse caused the duo to become werecats permanently, requiring that they drain life forces to preserve their immortality. They also gave Jacques immortality so they had a ferryman to bring them more victims. Shaggy and Scooby are now on the run from Jacques. The zombies, including Morgan Moonscar reanimate every harvest moon, but their intent was to warn the gang to leave to escape their fate.

Scooby and Shaggy accidentally tumble into the cave, interrupting the draining ceremony and distracting the werecats. Velma is quickly unties herself and creates voodoo dolls of Lena and Simone to interrupt their power. When they are finally cornered, the werecats' curse expires, causing them to disintegrate, freeing the zombies' souls to rest in peace. Beau is revealed to be an undercover police officer sent to investigate the disappearances on the island. Daphne offers Beau a chance to guest-star on her show. The next morning, everyone leaves the island via ferry to head back to town.

In a post-credits scene, Scooby feeds the cats milk.

Voice Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film's screenplay was written by Glenn Leopold, of Nickelodeon's Doug, and Davis Doi, then a writer for Hanna-Barbera's production Dexter's Laboratory, contributed to the final script.[1] After Don Messick's death, Scott Innes replaced Messick as the voice of Scooby-Doo. Casey Kasem did not reprise his role as Shaggy Rogers due to him only voicing Shaggy if the character is a vegetarian like he is himself. Instead, Billy West provided the voice for Shaggy. Mary Kay Bergman was cast as Daphne when the character was taken in a new direction. B.J. Ward who played Velma in the Johnny Bravo crossover episode, reprised her role in this film. Frank Welker is the only actor from the original series to reprise his role as the 1st man standing.

The film was directed by Jim Stenstrum, who worked as a character designer on numerous previous Scooby-Doo productions, beginning in 1983 with The New Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Show. Hiroshi Aoyama and Kazumi Fukushima directed the film as well, but are not credited on the picture. This and the following two films had a darker tone than the original cartoon series since the monsters were real. The film was dedicated to memory of Don Messick. Production started at Hanna-Barbera, the company that originally created Scooby-Doo, but was finished at Warner Bros. Animation (Hanna-Barbera's operations had moved to the Warner Bros. Television Animation building in 1998), whom would then go on to produce all subsequent Scooby-Doo direct-to-video movies (though still copyrighted to Hanna-Barbera.)

Professional composer Steven Bramson (who is also known for his contributions with fellow composer Bruce Broughton on projects such as Tiny Toon Adventures, JAG and Lost in Space) wrote all the music for the feature. The soundtrack for the film features three songs composed specifically for the film. "The Ghost Is Here" and "It's Terror Time Again", both written by Glenn Leopold, were performed by Skycycle. The title track, "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You", was performed by Third Eye Blind.[2] The film was animated and is presented in standard 1.33:1 full frame format.[1]

Release[edit]

The film was released on VHS on September 22, 1998,[3] and made its television debut a little over a month later on October 31, 1998, on Cartoon Network. The film also made another television appearance on October 31, 2000, on TBS, along with Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost.[4][5] It was released on DVD on March 6, 2001, and re-released with extra bonus features on February 8, 2005.

The film was promoted as part of Cartoon Network's "Wacky Racing" sponsorship deal with Melling Racing in 1998, as the third of four paint schemes featured on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series #9 Ford Taurus driven by then-rookie Jerry Nadeau. The paint scheme debuted at Richmond International Raceway in the Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 on September 12, 1998, and was featured on the car through the Dura Lube Kmart 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on October 25, 1998, for a total of seven races out of the thirty-three race schedule.[6]

Reception[edit]

The film has received a following of fans who credit the film for resurrecting the Scooby-Doo franchise, and for being a significantly darker film than the original series.

The videos sold well and received critical acclaim from critics, praising the animation, voices and story for its originality. The success of the film and its near-universal acclaim led to a series of direct-to-video Scooby-Doo feature films and a new television series, What's New, Scooby-Doo?. The movie currently holds a rating of 88% on Rotten Tomatoes.[7]

Follow-up film[edit]

The success of the film led to the creation of the second movie, Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost (1999).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Michael Stailey (March 21, 2003). "Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island - DVD Review". DVD Verdict. Retrieved March 21, 2003. 
  2. ^ IMDB - Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998) (V) - Soundtracks
  3. ^ Jillian Mapes (October 23, 1998). "Ghosts, Goosebumps Celebrate Halloween". Miami Herald. Retrieved January 28, 2011. 
  4. ^ John Wirt (October 30, 1998). "Scooby's Zombie Island TV premiere is Halloween treat for lucky dog Innes". The Advocate. Retrieved January 27, 2011. 
  5. ^ Tom Maurstad (October 31, 1998). "Scooby-Doo, where . . . oh, there you are". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved January 27, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Car number 9 in 1988 NASCAR Sprint Cup". Racing-Reference.info. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  7. ^ "Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 24, 2012. 

External links[edit]