Scooby-Doo And The Samurai Sword DVD review

A new straight-to-DVD full length adventure for Scooby and the gang. And Daphne is a new martial arts master...

Scooby-Dooby-Dooooooo!

Since when was Daphne a master of the martial arts? I’ve long been a fan of her animated curves and flowing red hair so the fact that she can also kick considerable arse only lends to her appeal in my book, although it does seem a decidedly off-kilter decision to make her an action babe. Still it’s very much in keeping with the rest of this all-action outing for Scoobs, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne and the always-annoying Fred.

This is the latest direct-to-DVD release for the gang and it’s a step up from the previous effort, Scooby-Doo And The Goblin King. As with that release, this is a slick feature-length animated feature but this is far more exciting. In fact, the opening five or ten minutes go past at such a breakneck pace, it stands up against dedicated action animations such as Batman: The Animated Series.

The plot revolves around the second coming of a particularly dark character called the Black Samurai, an ancient Japanese warrior that’s come back to claim what he feels is rightly his. The gang happen to be in Tokyo as Daphne is attending a martial arts tournament (?!) and as such they become embroiled in a quest to find out what the legend is truly all about and along the way encounter robotic ninjas, a female martial arts school owner and plenty of Scooby Snacks.

The animation is first class, if a little old school, as is the vocal talent on show, bolstered by the celebrity talents of Kelly Hu (X2‘s Lady Deathstrike) and Star Trek‘s George Takei. Clocking in at a little over an hour, the feature fairly whips by and I can imagine younger viewers having a blast watching this from start to finish. For older viewers like me it is a little odd to see Scooby being given such a modern facelift, but I was glad to see that much of the old-fashioned comedy was still intact alongside the fast-paced action.

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Purists might baulk, but for its intended audience, and myself, this is a worthy watch. It’s a decent mystery with some strong characters and a strong sense of style. It recreates everything children would associate with Japan very well and packs in the laughs alongside the adventure.

Extras Disappointing, with just a small ten minute feature called Scooby-Doo Dojo, which offers a small guide to the history of the Samurai and a few exercises for younger viewers to enjoy.

Film:

3 stars
Disc:
1 stars

Rating:

3 out of 5