According to the internet, there have been 21 direct-to-video Scooby-Doo films. No, really. I’ve seen maybe two of them before sitting down with Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery. Yes, the only reason I watched this one is because of its subject matter. In case you don’t know, I’m a pretty big WWE fan. I felt compelled to watch this. I also enjoyed the Scooby-Doo TV show as a kid. So there. That’s the background I bring into this review. You needed to know this. This was not just padding. No, sir. Or ma’am.
The film’s plot involves Scooby (Frank Welker) and the gang — Fred (Welker), Daphne (Grey Delisle), Velma (Mindy Cohn), and Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) — being invited to the as-yet fictional WWE City, where all the WWE Superstars live and where all WWE events take place. Okay, it’s not at all like this in real life, but whatever. It’s soon to be WrestleMania season, which is the WWE’s biggest show of the year. But, unfortunately, there’s an evil fire bear running rampant. Also, the WWE Championship belt gets stolen. It’s up to our heroes, along with select WWE Superstars, to find out who is behind the bear — if it’s not actually some evil fire bear and is a man in a costume — and save WrestleMania.
For those who care, the Superstars who appear in the movie, and lend their voice to the production, are as follows: John Cena, Kane, AJ Lee, The Miz, Triple H, Mr. McMahon, Brodus Clay, Santino Marella, and Sin Cara (who is voiceless). Michael Cole also gets in there, but he’s not a Superstar — although I guess neither is Mr. McMahon, so whatever. And AJ Lee is a Diva, not a Superstar. Technicalities!
We follow the standard Scooby-Doo formula while also marketing WWE as much as possible. It’s technically a mystery movie, which means that there are a bunch of suspects who all have a vague motive, but it’ll be someone you won’t suspect simply because it has to be. These are animated movies for children. WWE is a PG product now. The team-up makes sense. It doesn’t have to be challenging. In fact, you know going in that it won’t be.
It’s not like there aren’t some things to like. A few jokes — including a couple of surprisingly self-aware ones — are really quite funny. Wrestling fans will like the cameos. Look out for Sgt. Slaughter in a non-speaking role, for example. Hearing all of these WWE Superstars lend their voice to a kids’ movie is also inherently funny, at least for me. Oh, and there’s a training montage set to “Let’s Light it Up” (AJ Lee’s theme song), which immediately lifts Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery into top-tier territory. Every movie should have a training montage set to “Let’s Light it Up.” No, I don’t care if it doesn’t fit!
There’s a B-story involving a man named Cookie (Charles S. Dutton) attempting to become a WWE Superstar, despite his uncle, a trainer, trying to push him to go into the computer sciences. Of course, this winds up playing into the main story at the end. Watching John Cena become almost a literal superhero is hilarious, too.
The animation quality is fine, the jokes are there, the mystery will entertain kids, and WWE fans will, well, they’ll be entertained. What else is there? The shameless marketing that comes from this type of crossover? No, that’s a low-hanging fruit. Honestly, it doesn’t even bug me. Sure, you can complain about how this is basically a 90-minute WWE advertisement, but so what? It’s not the first of these, it’s not the last of these, and if you don’t like them, you clearly aren’t the target audience. Fans of either product will have some sort of fun, and it’s possible that WWE fans might go watch more Scooby-Doo films, and Scooby-Doo fans might give WWE a chance.
I have nothing more to say about Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery. It is what it is, and if you’re a child, a WWE fan, a Scooby-Doo fan, or someone who likes incredibly light mystery movies, you might have fun with this. But this is mostly for the fans of either or both of these franchises. That’s it. If you don’t like WWE or Scooby-Doo, don’t bother. It’s not worth your time.