Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island

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Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
Scooby-doo-on-zombie-island.jpg
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
Cameron Clarke
Jim Cummings
Mark Hamill
Music by Steven Bramson
Edited by Paul Douglas
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Home Video
Release dates
  • September 22, 1998 (1998-09-22) (VHS)
Running time
77 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island is a 1998 animated direct-to-video horror-comedy film based on Hanna-Barbera's Scooby-Doo Saturday-morning cartoons. In the film, Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and Fred reunite after a year-long hiatus from Mystery, Inc. to investigate a bayou island said to be haunted by the ghost of the pirate Morgan Moonscar. However, the five find not only a deeper mystery on the island, but their first encounter with a genuine, deadly supernatural threat. It is the first in a long-running series of direct-to-video Scooby-Doo films; succeeded by Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost (1999). Production started at Hanna-Barbera, starting in 1997, 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 movie is also one of Ed Gilbert's final roles.

Plot[edit]

Mystery, Inc. goes their separate ways after becoming bored of mystery solving. Daphne Blake, along with Fred Jones, starts running a successful television series. Velma Dinkley becomes the proprietor of a mystery bookstore, and Scooby-Doo and his owner Shaggy Rogers bounce from job to job. For Daphne's birthday, Fred decides to get the gang back together for a road trip while Daphne is filming her show.

After encountering a lot of fake monsters, the gang finally arrives in New Orleans. They are soon invited by a young woman named Lena to visit Moonscar Island, her employer's home, which is allegedly haunted by the ghost of the pirate Morgan Moonscar. Although the gang is skeptical, they go with Lena, to whom Fred has taken a fancy.

On the island, the gang meets Lena's employer Simone Lenoir as well as the ferryman Jacques and Simone's gardener Beau, to whom Daphne takes a fancy. They also meet Snakebite Scruggs, a ill-natured fisherman, and his hunting pig, Mojo. The gang sets out to prove that the "ghost" is a fake. But after seeing ghost writing appear in Simone's kitchen, and Moonscar's ghost appear on film, Fred alone is still convinced the ghost is a hoax, especially after hearing the Moonscar supposedly buried treasure on the island. After Scooby chases Simone's cats, Scooby and Shaggy are chased by Mojo and end up falling into a big hole, where they encounter the zombie of Morgan Moonscar. By the time the rest of gang comes 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. Velma identifies the ghost as Jackson T. Pettigrew from an ownership plate on the back of the mirror, and Simone explains that the island was a temporary headquarters for a Confederate regiment during the Civil War. Due to Simone's cats, Scooby and Shaggy eat in the Mystery Machine, but find the food spicy and get some water from the lake, where an army of zombies emerge. Shaggy's bad driving gets the Mystery Machine stuck in the mud, forcing him and Scooby to flee on foot.

Fred and Daphne find the Mystery Machine, but no sign of Shaggy and Scooby. They argue about each other's supposed love interests and come across Scooby and Shaggy. They manage to capture a zombie, which is revealed to be real after they try to "unmask" it. As more zombies emerge and swarm around them, the gang splits in panic. Elsewhere, Scooby and Shaggy discover wax dolls that look like Fred, Velma, and Daphne, and they play with them, causing their 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 find Lena, who tells them that the zombies took Simone away. Fred, Daphne, Velma, Beau, and Lena find a secret chamber for voodoo rituals, where Velma finds footprints of Simone's heels and interrogates Lena about the story. Simone then appears, and she and Lena use voodoo dolls to trap the gang in the chamber. They reveal themselves to be evil cat creatures. Simone tells them that over two centuries before, she and Lena were part of a group of settlers who were devoted to a cat god. The vengeful Lena and Simone asked their cat god to curse pirates, who had chased the settlers into the gator-infested bayou. Their wish was granted and they killed the pirates, but the curse caused the duo to become cat creatures 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. The gang realize the zombies' intent was to warn the gang to leave to escape their fate.

Jacques finds and chases Scooby and Shaggy to drain their lives, but they accidentally tumble into the cave, interrupting the draining ceremony and distracting the cat creatures. Velma quickly unties herself and creates voodoo dolls of Lena and Simone to interrupt their ritual, but Jacques knocks them away. When they are finally cornered, the cat creatures' 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 and discuss the adventure. The next morning, everyone leaves the island via ferry to head back to town.

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.

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 animated series since the monsters were real. The film was dedicated to the 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 it for resurrecting the Scooby-Doo franchise, and for being a significantly darker than the original series.

The videos sold well and received acclaim from critics, who praised 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]

Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost was released on October 5, 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]