What do professional wrestling and automotive racing have in common? Well, other than my complete lack of interest in either of these two “sports,” they were both smashed together in the animated feature Scooby-Doo! and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon. In this feature, once again the Scooby gang teams up with the stars of the World Wrestling Entertainment juggernaut to solve a mystery. This is the second direct-to-video pairing of WWE Studios and Warner Bros. Animation, the first one being Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, but this time out, the action leaves the wrestling ring and enters the world of off-road racing.
As the movie opens, we find Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and Scooby (Frank Welker) operating a food truck at the Muscle Moto X Off-Road Challenge, an off-road racing event featuring WWE superstars and a million-dollar prize for the winner. Before anyone can even utter a single “Jinkies,” a demon racer named Inferno (Steve Blum) appears during one of the time trials and attacks the Legendmobile, operated by Dusty Rhodes and the Undertaker. As their vehicle is destroyed by the scorpion tail of Inferno’s monster truck, poor Dusty Rhodes is left to face off against the demon himself. Dusty attacks the demon and, unfortunately, is injured when Inferno throws him down before escaping, but the Undertaker vows to make him pay.
What follows is your standard Scooby-Doo mystery but with the added addition of numerous WWE stars being shoved into the proceedings, making this direct-to-video movie work more as a commercial than a Scooby-Doo animated feature. The decision to take these WWE characters out of the wrestling ring and into a crazy off-road race is a tad odd and had me wondering if this had originally been a script for a feature-length version of the animated series Wacky Races. That all the vehicles are tricked-out with numerous gadgets, and back-stabbing and cheating looked to be all part of the race, all goes towards supporting this conclusion and sadly kept me wishing for Dick Dastardly and Muttley to show up to brighten things up.
The mystery itself isn’t any better, as the collection of suspects is as blatant as it is boring and the actual guilty party’s motive is beyond the pale boring and asinine. On our suspect list is reality television producer Walter Qualls (Phil Morris) who is excited about the demon racer boosting the show’s ratings. Then we have Big Earl (Eric Bauza), the head mechanic who is in desperate need of some extra cash. Next, we have Triple H and Stephanie McMahon who, despite Inferno’s attacks, make it to first place twice in a row. Finally, we have the Chairman of the Board himself, Vince McMahon who seems really eager to get his daughter out of the race and he’s never seen around during any of the races, disappearing mysteriously just before an event is about to start. Of course, it turns out that Vince McMahon was simply sneaking off to practice singing the National Anthem and the real culprits were actually Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. And why would Stephanie be sabotaging Muscle Moto X Off-Road Challenge, which was entirely her concept in the first place? Well, apparently this was all done to show her father that she could win and make Muscle Moto X a huge success.
- Fred (Frank Welker) is concerned that his becoming a gearhead could cut into his trap studying time, which does seem in keeping with Fred’s obsessive nature of late.
- Velma (Kate Micucci) becomes jealous of Daphne’s (Grey Griffin) developing a friendship with the “Billionaire Princess” Stephanie McMahon. These moments make Velma look quite petty and Daphne to be rather shallow, and as this “subplot” is all these two have going on during this mystery, it’s a bit crap.
- Shaggy and Scooby are tapped to replace Dusty Rhodes as The Undertaker’s partners, but Shaggy states he doesn’t know how to drive, which is blatantly untrue as we’ve seen him drive in various shows and movies.
- The Undertaker plans to use his winnings to bring the world of puppetry to his “Little Creatures of the Night” fan base, this is the only time I actually chuckled watching this thing.
Note: This puppet gag is a nice reference to Daphne’s puppet obsession from Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!
I wasn’t a fan of the blatantly crass commercialism of Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery, but I can at least say the Wacky Races element of Curse of the Speed Demon was able to bring this movie up a notch. The mystery itself was still terrible and the voice acting of the WWE cast ranged from passable to embarrassing, but at least the artists over at Warner Bros. Animation know what they are doing and thus, we still have a visually engaging adventure. Scooby-Doo! and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon isn’t the worst Scooby-Doo mystery out there, but it’s not one I can recommend anyone go out of their way to see.
You can find all my reviews of the various Scooby-Doo shows and movies collected here: The Wonderful World of Scooby-Doo.
Scooby-Doo! and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon (2016)
Movie Rank - 4.5/10
The two WWE Scooby-Doo team-up movies were never going to be favourites of mine, and throwing in car racing didn’t help any, but I can see fans of either of those sports finding this movie moderately more entertaining than I did.