Corporate Synergy — The concept that the combined value and performance of two companies will be greater than the sum of the separate individual parts — is pretty much what sums up the strategy behind the Scooby-Doo brand joining forces with toy giant Lego, and with Lego Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood, we find out just how well these two childhood staples work together.
After defeating a sea creature that was haunting a lighthouse, Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) and Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) decide to never again eat Scooby Snacks, because those delightful treats have been used as bribes to get the cowardly duo to play live bait once too often. This leads to the gang visiting the local malt shop where Shaggy and Scooby accidentally enter a hamburger-eating contest and win the whole gang a trip to Hollywood. When the Scooby gang arrives at the legendary Brickton Studios, home of many classic horror movies, they are shocked to find that the place is rather understaffed. The studio’s seemingly sole employee Junior (Scott Menville), an avid fan of horror films, welcomes the gang and offers to give them a tour, but before the tour can start, the studio’s owner Chet Brickton (James Arnold Taylor) shows up with V.I.P. guest Atticus Fink (JB Blanc), a developer who wants to buy and then level the studio.
As expected, the tour doesn’t go as planned, with the appearance of a Headless Horsemen cutting things short, and the Scooby gang soon has a new mystery on their hands. Things take a decidedly interesting turn when the ghost scares off the cast and crew of the current film in production, Two Hearts in Paris which Chet Brickton needs to succeed if the studio is to remain solvent. This results in the Scooby gang volunteering to help finish the film. Much to Daphne’s (Grey Griffin) dismay, she is overlooked as the lead in favour of horror television host Drella Diabolique (Cassandra Peterson). It’s Drella who informs the gang about the curse revolving around legendary horror icon Boris Karnac, “Boris Karnac was the greatest actor who ever lived; too good, in fact. He played otherworldly creatures so well that when he passed on, his spirit came back to haunt the studio as his most famous creations, forever!”
Mystery-wise, Lego Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood doesn’t really bring anything new to the game; not only is the suspect pool shallow, but the guilty party is pretty obvious from the outset. A cursed and haunted studio would lower the price of the property, so Atticus Fink is the primary suspect, and then we have horror superfan Junior, who hates the very idea that Brickton Studios has moved away from making horror films and started dipping its toes into the romantic-comedy genre. Drella Diabolique is a “possible” suspect as it is she who promotes the whole “Curse of Karnac,” but even her getting the lead in Two Hearts in Paris isn’t enough to make her look guilty, which is why the “big” unmasking of the Headless Horsemen to be Atticus Fink is less than surprising. We do get a second unmasking that shows that Junior was also a guilty party, but he wasn’t in cahoots with Fink, he simply wanted to stop Two Hears in Paris from being made so that the studio would go back to making monster movies, and it’s also revealed that Junior’s full name is Boris Karnak Jr, and that he wanted to carry on his father’s legacy. Now, where Lego Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood fails on the mystery end of things, but they more than make up for this in the Lego Scooby World that they have created, with costumes and reveals being done with the simple swapping of Lego pieces.
- The character of Boris Karnak is a blend of horror icon Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney’s “The Man of a Thousand Faces” and Boris Karnak Jr, a clear stand-in for Lon Chaney Junior.
- Fred swaps out his obsessions with traps for his new obsessive desire to complete the movie and become a great artistic director.
- Daphne is in full klutz mode as she tries to force her way into stardom while they try and shoot Two Hearts in Paris and it’s kind of painful to watch.
- Velma (Kate Micucci) is given very little to do in this movie, but she is at least on-point character-wise when it comes to solving this mystery, that the reveals are a “surprise” to no one doesn’t help though.
- The Lego versions of the Scooby monsters in this movie are well-designed but are even less scary than regular Scooby-Doo villains. So if you have little ones who found the Headless Horsemen in Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King too scary, this may be the movie for them.
Lego Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood is immensely fun to watch, mostly due to seeing how everyone’s favourite mystery-solving gang is transformed into Lego characters, but the mystery is weak and quite a few of the “humorous” moments come across as little more than padding — which isn’t good when you consider the run-time is only 75-minutes — but overall, it’s a harmless entry in the series of Direct-to-Video movies.
You can find all my reviews of the various Scooby-Doo shows and movies collected here: The Wonderful World of Scooby-Doo.
Lego Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood (2016)
Movie Rank - 5.5/10
If you are a fan of Scooby-Doo and have fond memories of playing with Lego then Lego Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood will most likely appeal to you, but its lack of a decent mystery may leave some Scooby fans a little cold.