Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase
SD Cyber Chase.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byJim Stenstrum
Written byMark Turosz
Based onScooby-Doo
by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears
Starring
Edited byJoe Gall
Music byLouis Febre
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Home Video
Release date
  • October 9, 2001 (2001-10-09)
Running time
75 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase is a 2001 direct-to-video animated science fiction comedy mystery film, and the fourth in a series of direct-to-video animated films based on Hanna-Barbera's Scooby-Doo Saturday morning cartoons. It was released on October 9, 2001. The film was produced by Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. In spite of its grimmer atmosphere, it also has a lighter tone, similar to its predecessor, Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders.

It is the final Hanna-Barbera production to be executive produced by both William Hanna and Joseph Barbera before Hanna's death on March 22, 2001. It is also the fourth and final Scooby-Doo direct-to-video film to be animated overseas by Japanese animation studio Mook Animation. This film, along with Aloha, Scooby-Doo!, was part of the first Scooby-Doo films to be re-released on Blu-ray on April 5, 2011.

This was also the first film to feature Grey DeLisle as the voice of Daphne Blake after the death of Mary Kay Bergman in 1999. It was also the last film where Scott Innes voiced Scooby-Doo and Shaggy, as well as the last film where B. J. Ward voiced Velma.

The Scooby-Doo direct-to-video films would not feature real supernatural creatures again until Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King.[2]

Plot

The mystery gang visits their old friend, Eric, at his college. Eric invited them because he made a prize-winning computer game based on their adventures using a high-tech laser he intended to enter at a campus science fair. They arrive at the same time a scary beast called the Phantom Virus is causing mayhem. It is established that the monster has been "materialized" from the Phantom Virus which has infected Eric's program and that it can be weakened by using high-powered magnets. The suspects appear to be Eric's teacher, Professor Kaufman; Bill, a fellow student who is a baseball-loving programmer; and a grumpy campus security officer, Officer Wembley. During one of the Phantom Virus' scare runs, the gang and the virus are beamed into Eric's ten-level video game. To finish each level, they have to find a box of Scooby Snax.

Level one is set on the moon. The second level is set in Ancient Rome. The third level takes place during prehistoric times. The fourth level takes place under the ocean. The fifth level is set in a backyard. The sixth level takes place in the Samurai era. The seventh takes place in Ancient Egypt. The eighth is set during medieval times. The ninth takes place at the North Pole.

On the tenth level, the gang discovers cyber-versions of themselves at a restaurant. They help the gang deal with the Phantom Virus and the guardians of the last box of 'Scooby Snacks' boxes - which are monsters that the gang had faced before: Jaguaro, Gator Ghoul, the Tar Monster, Old Iron Face, and the Creeper. All of them are real in this game, whereas originally, in reality, they were merely people in costumes. The Phantom Virus leads the villains. After a chase through the amusement park, they find the box of Scooby Snacks in the game arcade. Scooby-Doo and his cyber-clone defeat the Phantom Virus, wiping it clean out of the game and existence. Back in their real world the gang, using the baseball terms the Phantom Virus frequently used, unmasked his creator as Bill, who had done it out of jealousy towards Eric. Bill confesses that he felt that he deserved to compete in the science fair more than Eric did, especially since he had been going to the college two years longer than Eric had. Bill's arrested by Officer Wembley, and Eric and the gang go to a local restaurant to celebrate their victory. While there, they see the cyber gang, waving to them and Scooby gives his cyberself some Scooby Snacks from helping them.

In a post-credits scene, the gang tells the audience what their favorite parts of the film were.

Voice cast

Production

Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase is the fourth direct-to-video Scooby feature, and was the last for the original team that worked on the first four films. The team was led by Davis Doi, and included Glenn Leopold, Jim Stenstrum, Lance Falk, and others. They had previously clashed with studio executives who suggested outside screenwriters for the second Scooby film, Witch's Ghost. For Cyber Chase, it was the same situation: executives recommended Mark Turosz, a writer already under contract with Warner Bros. who had little experience with animation. The crew had produced the first Scooby film, Zombie Island, as well as the third, Alien Invaders, with total autonomy, and were insulted by Warner's insistence that they use Turosz's script.[3]

The team were particularly critical of Turosz's draft of the script, which according to Falk was considered a regression in terms of the franchise's potential. They felt its pacing and plot line were unsatisfactory. In addition, it was reportedly poorly formatted and unfamiliar with the animation process. For example, the script included complicated camera moves impossible to do with their budget, as well as countless locales that would prove tedious to design. As a result, the original team moved onto other projects after the film's completion. The next Scooby feature, Legend of the Vampire, was also written by Turosz.[3]

Stenstrum initially suggested they explore using live-action actors for scenes set inside the video game, though the idea was quickly dropped. Out of the first four films, Cyber Chase features the largest array of storyboard artist credits, as the team were under significant time constraints and required additional help. Cyber Chase was also the last Scooby film to feature animation produced at Japanese studio Mook Animation.[4]

Reception

Despite having a lack of critical consensus and reviews, the film has a 60% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, based on five reviews.[5] Common Sense Media gave the film a two out of five stars, saying, "The gang's trapped in a video game; peril, cartoon violence."[6]

Home media release

Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase was released October 9, 2001 for both VHS and DVD formats. The film was re-released on Blu-ray on March 29, 2011. This was the first animated Scooby-Doo film to be produced in the high-definition format.

Video game

Main article: Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase (video game)

A video game based on the film was released by THQ in 2001 for the PlayStation and Game Boy Advance. This is the first Scooby-Doo video game to be on a sixth-generation handheld.

References

  1. ^ "Scooby Doo and the Cyber Chase". 7 February 2006 – via Amazon.
  2. ^ "Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase". Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  3. ^ a b Jozic, Mike (interviewer); Falk, Lance (interviewee) (February 7, 2017). APNSD! Episode 03: Interview With Lance Falk (Podcast). Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  4. ^ Jozic, Mike (interviewer); Falk, Lance (interviewee) (March 8, 2017). APNSD! Episode 04: Interview With Lance Falk (Podcast). Retrieved July 27, 2019.
  5. ^ "Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
  6. ^ "Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase - Movie Review". 23 January 2017.