Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase
Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase is a 2001 direct-to-video animated comic science fiction mystery film, and the fourth in a series of direct-to-video animated films based on Hanna-Barbera's Scooby-Doo Saturday morning cartoons. It was released on October 9, 2001. The film was produced by Hanna-Barbera Cartoons. In spite of its grimmer atmosphere, it also has a lighter tone, similar to the previous film, Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders (2000).
|Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase|
|Directed by||Jim Stenstrum|
|Written by||Mark Turosz|
by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears
|Music by||Louis Febre|
|Edited by||Joe Gall|
|Distributed by||Warner Home Video|
It is the final Hanna-Barbera production to be executive produced by both William Hanna and Joseph Barbera before Hanna's death on March 22, 2001. It is also the fourth and final Scooby-Doo direct-to-video film to be animated overseas by Japanese animation studio Mook Animation. This movie, along with Aloha, Scooby-Doo!, was part of the first Scooby-Doo re-release on Blu-ray on April 5, 2011.
This was also the first movie to feature Grey DeLisle as the voice of Daphne Blake after the death of Mary Kay Bergman in 1999. It was also the last film where Scott Innes voiced Scooby-Doo and Shaggy, as well as the last film where B. J. Ward voiced Velma.
In a college computer lab run by Professor Kaufman, two of his students, Eric Staufer and Bill McLemore, are working when a virtual creature – the Phantom Virus – emerges from a new game based on the Mystery Gang's past adventures and tries to attack.
The next day, Mystery, Inc. themselves come to the college and learn from their friend Eric that the virus had assumed a lifelike form thanks to an experimental laser able to transmit objects into cyberspace, and is now running rampant across the campus. The gang goes on the hunt for the Phantom Virus, leading to it chasing Scooby and Shaggy throughout the campus. Unfortunately, the whole gang, including the virus, is banished to the game after an unknown person activates the laser. Left with no other choice, the gang fights their way through the ten levels of mystery and adventures to complete the game in order to escape it, with the goal of finding a box of Scooby Snax to complete each level. The Phantom Virus, meanwhile, attempts to impede their efforts on each level.
After a while, they finally reach the game's tenth and final level, which is in a huge city, where they meet their virtual counterparts who resemble themselves from previous series. They team up to confront the Phantom Virus, who wreaks havoc across the final level and summons his henchmen – five villains from the gang's past: the Creeper, Jaguaro, Gator Ghoul, the Tar Monster, and Old Iron Face. To make matters worse, all the monsters are real. The climax takes the two gangs to an amusement park, where they fight off the creatures and attempt to retrieve the last box of Scooby Snax. During the fight, they use magnets to fight the virus, whom they discover is severely weakened by magnetic forces. Cyber-Scooby distracts the virus long enough for the real Scooby to retrieve the Scooby Snax, winning the game and deleting the monsters and the Phantom Virus once and for all.
The real gang bids farewell to their virtual selves and head home. Back in the lab, the gang reveals that they figured out the culprit, who turns out to be Bill due to the Phantom Virus making baseball references throughout their adventure, and Bill was a huge baseball fan. Bill is arrested by Officer Wembley and confesses that he created the virus to scare Eric away and take all the credit for inventing the laser. He was outraged when Kaufman chose Eric's video game design over his baseball-themed video game, despite being at the college two years longer than Eric, and felt more deserving to win the prize money at the university's science fair. Fearing Mystery Inc. would expose him as the Virus' creator, he sent them into cyberspace in the hopes that they would not survive. Kaufman protests that students are all equal as he is taken away. The gang and Eric play the new Scooby-Doo game, during which Scooby interacts with the gang's virtual counterparts once again by feeding Cyber-Scooby some Scooby Snax.
The post-credits scene includes the gang telling the audience what their favorite parts of the movie were.
Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase is the fourth direct-to-video Scooby feature, and was the last for the original team that worked on the first four films. The team was led by Davis Doi, and included Glenn Leopold, Jim Stenstrum, Lance Falk, and others. They had previously clashed with studio executives who suggested outside screenwriters for the second Scooby film, Witch's Ghost. For Cyber Chase, it was the same situation: executives recommended Mark Turosz, a writer already under contract with Warner Bros. who had little experience with animation. The crew had produced the first Scooby film, Zombie Island, as well as the third, Alien Invaders, with total autonomy, and were insulted by Warner's insistence that they use Turosz's script.
The team were particularly critical of Turosz's draft of the script, which according to Falk was considered a regression in terms of the franchise's potential. They felt its pacing and plot line were unsatisfactory. In addition, it was reportedly poorly formatted and unfamiliar with the animation process. For example, the script included complicated camera moves impossible to do with their budget, as well as countless locales that would prove tedious to design. As a result, the original team moved onto other projects after the film's completion. The next Scooby feature, Legend of the Vampire, was also written by Turosz.
Stenstrum initially suggested they explore using live-action actors for scenes set inside the video game, though the idea was quickly dropped. Out of the first four films, Cyber Chase features the largest array of storyboard artist credits, as the team were under significant time constraints and required additional help. Cyber Chase was also the last Scooby film to feature animation produced at Japanese studio Mook Animation.
Despite having a lack of critical consensus and reviews, the film has a 60% approval on Rotten Tomatoes, based on five reviews. Common Sense Media gave the film a two out of five stars, saying, "The gang's trapped in a video game; peril, cartoon violence."
Home media releaseEdit
Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase was released October 9, 2001 for both VHS and DVD formats. The film was re-released on Blu-ray on March 29, 2011. This was the first animated Scooby-Doo film to be produced in the high-definition format.
- "Scooby Doo and the Cyber Chase". 7 February 2006 – via Amazon.
- "Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase". Retrieved 2 November 2014.
- Jozic, Mike (interviewer); Falk, Lance (interviewee) (February 7, 2017). APNSD! Episode 03: Interview With Lance Falk (Podcast). Retrieved July 27, 2019.
- Jozic, Mike (interviewer); Falk, Lance (interviewee) (March 8, 2017). APNSD! Episode 04: Interview With Lance Falk (Podcast). Retrieved July 27, 2019.
- "Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 24, 2012.
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