Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico (2003)

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Released 31-Mar-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Making Of-Creating A Monster
Audio Commentary-Watch The Movie With The Gang
Outtakes
DVD-ROM Extras
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 72:10
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Scott Jeralds
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Frank Welker
Casey Kasem
Heather North
Nicole Jaffe
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico is one of the newest adventures featuring the gang from Mystery Inc, having been made in 2003. The gang have been well and truly updated to the 21st century when, in the opening scenes, we see Freddy emailing his internet pal Alejo in Mexico. Eager to meet his new American friend, Alejo invites Freddy and his friends to join him and his family in Mexico for the coming Day Of The Dead celebrations. Freddy emails the rest of the Mystery Inc gang and pretty soon the five are headed south of the border for a little fun and relaxation. Of course there will no doubt be a mystery to solve once they get there, and this soon manifests itself in the form of El Chupacabra, a rather large (extremely large in fact) mythological monster that has started terrorising the local community.

    As is the case with most Scooby mysteries, things are not quite as they initially seem, and so while having lunch with Alejo and his family, the Mystery gang smell a rat. This time it's in the form of Don Diego, a rather smooth-talking businessman who is vainly trying to secure Alejo's family's hotel resort and land. There has to be a connection here somewhere and the gang are desperate to find out what it is. When Daphne gets kidnapped things are starting to look just a little serious.

    The original voice talent of Frank Welker (Freddy), Casey Kasem (Shaggy), Nicole Jaffe (Velma), and Heather North Kenney (Daphne) have all returned for this new movie and this is certainly one of the strengths of the whole feature. Of course the original Scooby-Doo was voiced by the late Don Messick, and the main character is now admirably voiced by Frank Welker in his dual role. All up this really does feel just like an old Scooby episode, albeit with much cleaner animation and a lovely 5.1 soundtrack. It's not quite as polished or sophisticated as Scooby-Doo and The Witch's Ghost, but should still easily entertain the whole family.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Another recent Scooby-Doo offering means another very nice looking video transfer. This effort is excellent. It is bright, colourful, and quite modern looking animation. The improvement of these new transfers compared to the grimy looking original Scooby-Doo mysteries is remarkable.

    It is presented in the original made-for-TV aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is very sharp throughout with virtually no major blemishes. Grain is non-existent and there is no low level noise.

    Colours are superbly saturated. They are vivid and vibrant with bold reds, oranges, yellows and blues the highlights. Like the other recent Scooby movies, the backgrounds here seem to have had substantially more work than you would expect from an original Scooby episode. The colours of Mexico are not quite as brightly represented as I would have liked, but there is no mistaking where the gang are holidaying. What we do get are heaps of earthy tones such as deep reds and burnt oranges abounding. There was no evidence of any problems with colour bleeding or cross-colouration.

    Compression artefacts are completely absent as are film artefacts.

    There are only two sets of English subtitles available. Both are accurate and well placed on the screen.

    This is a single sided and single layered disc only so there is no layer change with which to contend.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are two soundtracks on this disc, with the main choice being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 effort. There is also a Dolby Digital 2.0 commentary track which is discussed in the extras section. This is a nicely engaging and quite wide reaching soundtrack that utilises all front speakers consistently.

    Dialogue is clear and easily understood, and obviously audio sync is not really an issue since this is an animated feature.

    There is a little surround channel use, but it isn't quite what I'd call aggressive. The subwoofer also doesn't see a significant amount of action.



Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Audio

Featurette-Making Of

    A 6:36 making-of featurette, labelled Creating a Monster, that primarily looks at the voice talent used in the film.

Audio Commentary

    What is supposed to be an extension of the comedy routine sees a commentary track voiced by Freddy, Shaggy, and Scooby (yes they are in character). It's not that funny really, with the guys reminiscing about the location, the sights, the locals, and the food. You will probably be only able to handle it for 30 minutes or so before it becomes a little mundane.

Outtakes

    This is a very lame attempt at the humorous bloopers that worked so well at the end of animated features such as A Bug's Life and Toy Story. This series of bloopers, mostly featuring Scooby-Doo, is really just not that funny. Runs for 1:56.

DVD-ROM Extras

    Three rather neat and very well produced games feature here in addition to the usual web-links and the like. The games are Scooby-Doo Jinx at the Sphinx, Showdown in Ghost Town, Phantom Of The Knight.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 1 disc is basically the same as the local version save for a few soundtrack differences and a couple of minor extras.

    The Region 4 disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 disc misses out on;

    Obviously the content alone swings this in favour of the Region 1 disc, but the main feature and important extras are the same, so I'd suggest to pick it up wherever you can get it the cheapest.

Summary

    Scooby-Doo and the Monster Of Mexico is one of the newest feature length movies in the Scooby-Doo series. While not being quite as entertaining as Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost, it is nonetheless very well made and nice to look at. The usual formula of the Scooby series - that being a mystery needing to be solved by those meddling kids - is all present and accounted for, so fans of the lovable great dane and his pals should be happy.

    The video quality is excellent, with a clear, clean source print used with bold and vibrant colours abounding.

    The audio quality is pretty solid and wide-reaching in range, though it is essentially anchored to the front speakers despite the 5.1 surround tag.

    The extras are highlighted by an 'in-character' commentary soundtrack.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Monday, July 26, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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