Yeah, the last two films, made during Scooby-Doo's 50th Anniversary, were not really good. Curse Of The 13th Ghost was seen by many as a let down and an example on how not to give closure to a series, and Return To Zombie Island was seen as an unnecessary sequel done mainly to cash in on the anniversary. But now, we have Happy Halloween, Scooby-Doo!, a new movie that thankfully brings the Great Dane back to greatness.
The story is Mystery Inc. is at Crystal Cove and manage to stop a crook who is causing trouble at the town's Halloween parade. A crook revealed to be Dr. Johnathan Crane, a.k.a. The Scarecrow. Wow, we already begun the movie, and already, we have a Batman villain being defeated by those meddling kids. However, after Scooby and Shaggy thwart the master of fear's backup plan (and in their own way, which keeps them in character), the real trouble begins, as the drones crash onto a pumpkin patch, and a tanker trailer filled with toxic waste leaks, combining with the fear gas the drones were carrying, resulting in the pumpkins mutating into monsters. Now, with the aid of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, and Bill Nye the Science Guy, the gang are on a fight to survive.
Yeah, I never liked Curse Of The 13th Ghost, and I never saw Return To Zombie Island (mainly because I saw the negative reviews), this DTV movie makes up for those two mistakes. Written and directed by Maxwell Atoms, the guy who made Evil Con Carne and The Grim Adventures Of Billy & Mandy, the film has a perfect balance between dark and goofy. While the jack-o-lanterns may be scary (and there are scenes of pumpkin guts being splattered), the film makes extra sure to keep the humor that Scooby-Doo is well-known for. Also, they keep the characters true to the original (although one detraction is near the beginning when Daphne, for some reason, uses street slang when Dr. Crane is captured, which is weird, because I can never imagine Daphne Blake or any other cartoon character from the 60's and 70's using such talk). Fred is back to his usual self, being the trap master and the guy whose love life is his car, and Velma is still the know-it-all, but is more tolerable, as some of the story involves her trying to figure out how the monsters are real, especially when Bill Nye shoots down her theory that they are all under the effects of the fear gas, causing her to want to go to her "mind palace" to get the clues as they are on the run from these mutated pumpkins.
The story is real good, and feels like it was something written for Scooby-Doo And Guess Who? (especially with the use of The Scarecrow, as will as Elvira and Bill Nye). And there are various nods to other cartoons (one float is modeled after Frankenstein Jr., and even a Grim Reaper float, a nice reference to Grim Adventures). Plus, the end has a twist we have never expected (I won't spoil it, but if you've hated a certain character from the last two films, you'll be happy to see him get his comeuppance). Maxwell Atoms did a good job with this film, as he brings Scooby back to greatness, and gives a story that will please fans of both dark horror and light-hearted comedy.