Scooby-Doo! And Kiss: Rock and Roll Mystery (2015)
Directed by: Spike Brandt, Tony Cervone
Written by: James Krieg, Kevin Shinick
Starring: Eric Singer, Frank Welker, Gene Simmons, Grey Griffin, Matthew Lillard, Mindy Cohn, Paul Stanley, Tommy Thayer
SCOOBY-DOO! AND KISS: ROCK AND ROLL MYSTERY (2015)
Directed by Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone
On DVD in the UK from 12th October 2015
The Scooby-Doo! gang are excited to be visiting amusement park KISS World to see their rock n roll idols KISS play live… Well, everyone that is except for Fred who’d rather see his favourite band The Ascot Five. Unfortunately, KISS World is forced to close after a phantom known as the Crimson Witch begins to haunt the park and terrorise the guests. Flying around the park leaving a trail of red smoke behind her, the terrifying Crimson Witch threatens the entire Halloween party planned for the KISS Army fanbase. It’s up to the Scooby-Doo gang and fellow mystery solvers cum rockers KISS to get rid of the witch for good.
Family animation SCOOBY-DOO! AND KISS: ROCK AND ROLL MYSTERY takes the much loved cartoon Scooby-Doo and combines it with the make-up wearing glam rockers KISS. This isn’t the first time Scooby Doo has crossed over with a famous entity after having created a feature-length film where the Scooby gang visit a WWE event. However, this particular feature length animation seems to draw inspiration from KISS’ existing live-action film Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park (aka Attack of the Phantoms) with the titular band possessing similar super powers and doing battle with a villain in an amusement park. KISS’ current members Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer voice their animated counterparts and seem to be enjoying the experience as much as the viewer. Long-time voice actor for Fred, Frank Welker, returns whilst also voicing Scooby Doo, whilst Mindy Cohn voices Velma, Grey Griffin voices Daphne and Matthew Lillard, who starred as Shaggy in the live-action films, voices the character of Shaggy after taking over the voiceover role in 2010.
I’ve always been a fan of Scooby-Doo except for when his annoying nephew Scrappy Doo joined the fold. This version thankfully has no nephew, just the originally line-up however it’s KISS who steal the show from the Mystery Machine Inc gang. There are elements where Shaggy and Scooby find themselves in the centre of conflict, as per usual, Daphne fawns over Paul Stanley and Fred and Velma find clues pertaining to the mystery but it’s ultimately Starchild (Stanley), The Demon (Simmons), Catman (Singer) and Spaceman (Thayer) – the four members of KISS – that are the ones solving the mystery that plagues their park. It’s not done in your typical way either. This movie is very tongue-in-cheek with its humour and maybe adults will get a lot more out of it than the kids will. First off, we have KISS’ manager popping up every so often attempting to flog KISS products with even a shopping channel style sidebar advertising the item at the side of the screen. This can be anything from binoculars to smelling salts. Knowing KISS lend their band name to churn out a lot of gimmicky items in real life, such as coffins, condoms and cologne/perfume, this is an hilarious nod to their money-making business. What truly makes this film though is the inclusion of some of KISS’ most popular songs such as Love Gun, Rock n Roll All Nite, Detroit Rock City and I Was Made For Loving You. Even one of the stage designers who works in KISS World has the surname Strutter, another reference to KISS’ body of work.
SCOOBY-DOO! AND KISS: ROCK AND ROLL MYSTERY is rather splendid to look at. It still uses animation though everything is much cleaner and vivid compared to the older animated episodes. Taking on a superhero theme, the animations that include KISS seem to borrow heavily from the Japanese anime style which works quite well with the standard animation which mimic shots that are often used in full length live action movies. There’s even a surreal segment of the film where KISS and the Scooby gang are flying on a guitar-shaped spacecraft after the Crimson Witch to the planet of Kissteyria which will totally blow your mind as it’s nowhere near anything we’re used to seeing from Scooby-Doo cartoons.
As much as I enjoyed this crossover film, I felt as though the Scooby-Doo gang took a backseat which I felt was a little unfair. I would have liked to have seen more retro style to the film, more reminiscent of the Scooby-Doo! Where Are You? cartoons with KISS playing a minor role although I must admit the film did entertain me to the point of making me laugh out loud and sing KISS songs all night afterwards. The story does suffer a bit with a lame excuse of a motive from the weak villain, who you couldn’t really give a toss about, but as a whole it’s worth a watch, particularly so if you’re a fan of KISS.