Scooby-Doo: Abracadabra-Doo (DVD)
When a secluded school for magicians faces danger from a fantastical flying creature outside and sinister forces inside, there's just one thing to say: Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo. While visiting Velma's sister Madelyn, who's enrolled at the Whirlen Merlin Magic Academy, the gang gets more than a rabbit emerging from a hat. A greedy ice-cream mogul wants to close the place; a screaming banshee gives everyone the creeps; and a mythological half-dragon, half-lion known as a gryphon seems all too real. Can Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Daphne, Fred and Velma learn enough tricks of the trade to uncover the secrets that will save the school? Abracadabra! With these mystery solvers around, having fun is always magical.
The line between illusion and reality is intentionally blurred in the world of magic, but when a mysterious half-lion, half-eagle beast called a griffin threatens Velma's little sister Madelyn and her fellow students at Whirlen Merlin Magic Academy, the Mystery Inc. gang sets off to solve the puzzle. The castle-turned-school is teeming with odd characters, including two magician brothers with opposing personalities, an attractive magic assistant, a gruff groundskeeper, an older woman caretaker that came with the property, and a crafty ice-cream tycoon with an eye on purchasing the old castle. While the castle may be old, the technology used in the school features state-of-the-art projection equipment, fog machines, and other modern magical devices. Even Fred and the gang have joined the 21st century and are using a GPS device with plenty of attitude to help them find the castle. In the end, it's not a high-tech gadget, but some good old-fashioned sleuthing that leads the gang to solve the mystery of the griffin. The animation is fresh and clear in this new production, and while it initially seems odd to hear Mathew Lillard (from the live-action Scooby-Doo
films) voicing Shaggy rather than Casey Kasem, viewers will quickly adjust. Frank Welker, Mindy Cohn, and Grey Delisle all return in their respective voice roles. Overall, the main characters seem less typecast than in previous films, but there are still plenty of references to Velma's propensity to overthink things and Daphne's innate clumsiness, and Fred is teasingly referred to as "scarf boy" more than once. The bonus "Scooby-Doo and Puppets Too" features Michael Moodoo instructing kids in the art of puppet making. His lessons on making rod puppets, bag puppets, and sock puppets are easy to follow, but they feature a strange mix of deliberately slow speech and grownup word choices. (Ages 7 and older) --Tami Horiuchi