It’s time to review the final special from the 4 Scooby Doo specials marathon. This special sees the group head to the Beach for some much needed RnR, but things don’t turn out that smoothly because a Water Dragon has begun to attack them all. Saddle up guys because we’re in for one epic show! The gang’s really going to have to bring their A game this time…not that they usually don’t of course!
See, Fred was traumatized because nets are and always will be his life. That’s the real reason why the group needed the RnR in the first place, but they took Fred to a net hotel, which may not have been their best move. That’s when the Water Dragon shows up and wrecks the place, which leads to our usual array of suspects. We’ve got the shady hotel owner who admits that he is a little crazy and he certainly has the motive. An accident of this scale could get him quite a lot of insurance money. We’ve got the owner of a dog who has ensnared Scooby Doo with her chibi charm. Perhaps this is just a tactic to get the heroes to lower their guards so that she can steal the place. There’s also the owner of a rival company which is getting some water exhibits soon…one of them uses solidified water. Hmmmmm. There’s also the dog owner’s husband who lately has no time for her and the dog, which has made them all tense. So many suspects and so little time!
As always, the special is around 20 minutes give or take so the pacing is solid. The animation is solid and the soundtrack is nonexistent, etc, etc. I may as well not repeat myself from the last 3 specials right? The water dino is pretty hype since it busts into the Hotel and is actually there. No smoke and mirrors this time folks, since we have solidified water, this dino/dragon is actually a very real threat. There’s definitely quite a bit of plot hax about the design once we find out the twist though. Are we expected to believe that nobody noticed a person in the center of the dragon? I don’t think so!
Unfortunately, this film was bogged down by a really annoying subplot involving good ole Scooby. As mentioned earlier, he takes a fancy to another dog and then decides to stop being pals with Shaggy as he even gives away his Scooby Snacks. If the other dog had any personality and if she could talk, then maybe (I doubt it) this plot would be more bearable, but as this dog seems rather generic and forced into the plot, it just comes off as unnecessary. Luckily Shaggy drags Scooby back to reality by the end, but trust me when I say that this was a pretty rough side plot.
Another iffy scene is when Velma grabs the owner’s priceless necklace and then uses it as bait for the monster without any actual plan. Granted, we find out that the necklace was a fake, but the owner didn’t know that and there would be no way to prove it if Velma had actually lost this prize. That would have been quite the blow to the team’s public relations image and that’s why you should solve cases without putting innocent items in the line of fire.
Naturally, a good chunk of the main plot was about helping Fred to cope with his obsession with nets. He prefers to dodge the issue by running away and yelling, but eventually everyone admits that he’s actually got the right idea. Nets are the future and we just have to learn to accept it. This does lead to a plot hax moment where Fred turns the brown VHS cords into a clear net that looks nothing like his materials, but we can assume that he gave up and just grabbed a proper net. That still works when it comes to my head canon.
On a final note, this film definitely cements the fact that the Mystery gang depends on Fred. Without him, they were toast since the rest of the members couldn’t think of any good strategies to deal with the water monster. They were simply out of their depth by that point. The Fred plot would have been even more intense if they had gotten his old rival from the prequel show, but I’m going to assume that they’re saving him for a huge film that’ll come out and rock our world. The other Mystery Inc. members are good as per usual with the exception of Scooby Doo.
Overall, This was a solid Scooby Doo film. The Scooby subplot was disappointing, but you can’t go wrong with a Fred plot to headline the story so go check this one out! Technically, the film is consistent as always and throwing in the cool villain and original locale makes for a fun special. It’ll be over before you know it and the experience should be a good one. Just sit back and enjoy the adventure. I’m not sure when I’ll be checking out the next Scooby Doo special or film, but there are always more of them out there so stay tuned!