Directed by: Ray Patterson
Written by: Jim Ryan
Runtime: 1 hour 32 minutes
Full Credits at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0189072/fullcredits/?ref_=tt_cl_sm
Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy are race car champions in America, but winning a race seems to be the least of their troubles, because, across the map in spooky Transylvania, the Wolf Man has decided to retire, leaving Dracula and the other monsters one driver short for their race.
With the original werewolf retired, Dracula must create a new werewolf, and Shaggy is next on the list. Sending his goons, The Hunch Bunch, to retrieve Shaggy, and the others, our heroes are taken to Transylvania and forced into a race, with Shaggy’s fate at stake. If he can win the race, Dracula promises to turn Shaggy back to normal, curing him of his lycanthropy.
Can Shaggy and the gang win the race against the monsters, or will Dracula resort to dastardly tactics and make Shaggy lose his only chance of being human once again?
Story and Characters:
This film features a character never before seen in the Scooby-Doo franchise, Shaggy’s girlfriend Googie, who aids Shaggy and Scooby with the race when things get out of hand with Dracula’s evil schemes. She’s not a terribly annoying character as some might think, instead, she helps add some further humour and heart to the film.
The plot of the film is great, as it feels like a long episode of Wacky Races, just with monsters and Scooby-Doo characters replacing the usual Wacky Races characters. I’m quite surprised to discover this wasn’t made into some sort of video game, as it seems to have all the right elements for one. The Monster cars each have unique abilities and they use them to bash, stick, wrap and crash each other out of the race so that they can take the lead, but it always seems to be Shaggy and Scooby who come out on top.
Whilst the monsters are pretty fun to watch, the jokes might be a little too corny and on-the-nose for modern-day viewers. Dracula himself is somewhat whiney instead of terrifying (even in the child’s sense) and this can take away from the overall enjoyment of the film. However, if you can get past that, the film is pretty fun, but at times can feel a little bit repetitive, as I feel like the race segment drags on just a little too long, with the constant cutaways as Dracula tries over and over and over again to stop Shaggy from winning the race. By today’s standards, even for a child, it might seem like the film is a bit too drawn out for it to be as entertaining as it could have been.
This DVD doesn’t have many ‘special features’ and two of the three it does have are a copy and paste of the features seen on other DVDs. ‘Get the Picture’ is the fast-paced drawing tutorial on how to draw Scooby-Doo, and the music video is for ‘Scooby and Shaggy Love to Eat’, both of which were seen on the DVD for the previous film, “Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School“.
The Trailer for this film, which is added to the special features section, talks about, as many of these DVDs do, the special features that can be accessed by inserting the DVD disc into your computer, but sadly these days the PC extras do not work, as the Warner Bros. DVDs worked with an old program that you had to install, which sadly doesn’t run for whatever reason on more modern PC’s. If they did, many of these DVDs from the Scooby-Doo franchise specifically, would have games for you to play, and I cannot tell you just how disappointed I am that I can’t access these games today.
The menus as always feature some fantastic art backgrounds and the cursor takes on the shape of either a purple box or a little purple Monster silhouette.
This DVD comes with six spoken language options, and twelve subtitle options, giving this DVD a wide audience who can enjoy this fantastically funny film.
Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf is yet another fun film that feels odd, given that the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang aren’t there, or the Mystery Machine itself. This is the last of the films to use the classic cel animation technique, so it still feels very classic upon viewing. The plot is enjoyable and as previously stated, I’m surprised there wasn’t a video game released for the racing element of it all. The ending sets up for a sequel that to my knowledge never came, and though it would have been fun to see what Dracula had planned next for Shaggy and his friends, I can’t see it happening nowadays, as the modern era of Scooby-Doo humor has somewhat surpassed these classics, so the film would either feel forced or if they tried to match the humor, it would feel far too corny and outdated, meaning modern audiences would find it dull.
However, if like me you don’t mind corny humor, and you’re a sucker for the classics, then Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf is a film for you!