Scooby Doo! And KISS: Rock N Roll Mystery (2015)

After the very entertaining fun of the Scooby Doo Wrestlemania Mystery, I was both nervous and excited for this one. While different, the KISS movie exceeded all my expectations (save one, which I’ll get into later. The plot is a simple one; There’s an evil witch terrorizing the KISS theme park, and the Scooby Gang and KISS team up to solve the mystery. Pretty standard fare, but there is a definite influence from Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer, Eric Singer and Paul Stanley (who provide their own voices). The movie is filled with fantasy and science-fiction and super-hero elements. The members of the band are never referred to by their real names, and instead are only called “The Demon”, “The Spaceman”, “The Catman” and “The Starchild”, to help distance the characters from the performers and let a little bit of the fantastic elements seep in to the reality of the world.

This is actually my one problem with the movie.

Scooby Doo is usually a wonderful franchise for skepticism in an otherwise fantasy-filled landscape of cartoons. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for great fantasy storytelling, but I love Scooby Doo for being unique in this regard. There are no monsters, ghost-pirates, goons or goblins, just real people who try to use superstition and fear to push their nefarious plans forward. Shaggy and Scooby are scared of illusions, and that’s what marks them as cowards.

Spoilers as we move forward here.

So when KISS does have super-powers and they are battling ACTUAL forces of inter-dimensional evil, then Shaggy and Scooby can no longer be branded cowards, in this adventure or any adventure afterwards. They battle a giant evil demon-god that threatens the human race, and when you KNOW that this exists in the universe, well, the next time you run into a Space Kook, well, it’s perfectly reasonable (and not cowardly) to run away.

To be fair, the movie does address this, revealing that the witch’s “red mist” is a hallucinogen and the gang suffered from a shared psychosis as a result of their exposure. This satisfies Velma, but at the end of the movie, Scooby and Shaggy see evidence that perhaps the fantasy world is real.

But that’s a me thing, and not everyone will care or be aware of those issues.

In any case, the cartoon does kick a lot of ass. They use a bunch of KISS music;

  • Rock and Roll All Nite
  • Love Gun
  • Shout It Out Loud
  • I Was Made for Lovin’ You
  • Detroit Rock City
  • Modern Day Delilah

The music is also really well used. Shout It Out Loud is used for the classic chase sequence, and that was perfect.

The other thing that is done really well is the artwork, particularly the off-world stuff. A pretty blatant “homage” to Jack Kirby, the art recalls his New Gods/Silver Surfer work. It’s trippy, it’s full of his classic “Energy dots”, bizarre headdresses, and alien architecture. I feel that Gene Simmons walked up to the animators with a bunch of old Thor comics and said “Make it look like this, guys!”.

So this cartoon looks cool, sounds cool, and otherwise is a decent Scooby Doo cartoon. It was fun and worth checking out.

 

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