Scoob! director Tony Cervone: This is the greatest Scooby-Doo animation that’s ever been done

(L-r) Shaggy voiced by WILL FORTE and Scooby-Doo voiced by FRANK WELKER in the new animated adventure “SCOOB!” from Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Animation Group. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Scooby-Doo is a popular animated franchise that has spawned many series and films since its debut in 1969. Scooby-Doo and the gang also had the theatrical treatment with two films in 2002 and 2004. 16 years later, moviegoers will finally get to see the gang again on the big screen, only this time it’ll be an animated feature. Scoob! follows the first time Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) meets Shaggy (Will Forte), Fred (Zack Efron), Daphne (Amanda Seyfried), and Velma (Gina RodriguezGina Rodriguez), and it’ll be one of their biggest adventures yet. A new trailer was released today, and during our Warner Bros. Studios visit last month in Burbank, director Tony Cervone discussed the movie, Hanna-Barbera cameos, California setting, the importance of friendship, etc.

“I personally have been doing Scooby-Doo stuff since 2008,” Cervone said. “This is an opportunity to animate Scooby and Shaggy and the gang and all these other Hanna Barbera characters the way they should have been animated – the way they could have been animated. And it’s all coming in, in lighting with all the fur and all this stuff on it. No one’s ever seen this, including me. This has been just a great opportunity to make a big, fun movie and animate it in a way that’s never ever been done before. I can clearly and honestly say this is the greatest Scooby-Doo animation that’s ever been done.”

With so many films and series available, the upcoming animated film plans on answering some questions about Scooby-Doo and the gang.

“This movie can fill in blanks that have never really been filled in before,” Cervone added. “How did Scooby and Shaggy meet? Where did they meet? We’re mostly all here from California. They meet here. I grew up outside of Chicago, and I learned a lot about LA from different things, and Scooby-Doo is one of them. I never knew honestly what a burrito was. I was three years old. I learned what a burrito was from Scooby-Doo. I remembered going, ‘What is a burrito?’ Because I know Shaggy likes them. As a longtime LA resident now, they met here. I want LA to be represented. I want California to be represented, and it very much is. It’s kind of the way Spider-Verse was set in New York, this movie is clearly set in Los Angeles. There’s an origin story. We see how they met. We see how they met the gang. We see why this weird little group of mystery solvers is formed, to begin with. And then we go into a mystery that is more personal than the one we’ve told before because it involves them. The key to the mystery is one of the gang. I don’t want to give away too much.”

We were shown an opening clip of the film, and it starts with a wide shot of Venice Beach with a needle drop of “California Love” by 2Pac featuring Dr. Dre. Already we can tell it’s a love letter to California. A young Shaggy is walking down the boardwalk, listening to songs and tapes about loneliness in a comedic way. Yes, he can use a friend. On the other side of the beach, a puppy is on the run from the cops because he stole food from a shop. He finds a hiding spot and encounters Shaggy for the first time, and the rest is history.

(L-r) Scooby-Doo voiced by FRANK WELKER, Blue Falcon voiced by MARK WAHLBERG and Shaggy voiced by WILL FORTE and in the new animated adventure “SCOOB!” from Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Animation Group. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The origin story will take Scooby-Doo and the gang all over the world, and they will meet other Hanna-Barbera characters like Blue Falcon (voiced by Mark Wahlberg), his sidekick Dynomutt the Dog Blunder (voiced by Ken Jeong), and the villain Dick Dastardly (voiced by Jason Isaacs).

“When we go all over the world, we meet other Hanna Barbera characters that we get to kind of reintroduce in a fun way,” Cervone revealed. “And if we keep making more of these movies, we’ll do more of those characters. The movie also challenges these characters. I like to challenge the characters. I’ve been around Warner Brothers for a long time. My favorite stuff is when I go, ‘I know them; I feel like they’re real people.’ That includes the Hanna Barbera characters and the Looney Tunes characters. You want to challenge them, you want to throw them in a situation and go, ‘How do they get out of this?’ Like, I love Daffy Duck, because I can tell you how Daffy Duck would react in any room in any situation and anything you could put him in. But I feel the same way about Scooby and Shaggy. Their friendship is so strong that I think it’s inspiring to people. I think it’s one of the reasons we still watch the cartoon. So what do we do with that friendship? I want to see them meet. I want to challenge it. And I want to see where they come out at the end of the movie. So it’s all cool stuff.”

(L-r) Daphne voiced by AMANDA SEYFRIED, Fred voiced by ZAC EFRON and Velma voiced by GINA RODRIGUEZ in the new animated adventure “SCOOB!” from Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Animation Group. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

“The origin story is about friendship,” he continued. “How does that friendship get challenged in deeper, more interesting ways that we can all enjoy that are universal? Some of us have had friends that we met when we were little kids in grade school, right? I still know people I met when I was five years old, and we’re still friends. But not all of us are friends. Not everyone you’ve met when you were five years old you are still friends with. So why do some friendships endure? And why do some other people drift apart and what is it about that? Relationships are challenged every day. How do they survive? So let’s challenge Scooby and Shaggy. I think that’s a powerful message for kids everywhere and adults.”

With a new movie that challenges the characters while trying to bring something new to the table, it can be a balancing act. Are the main characters still the same? Are their personalities still intact?

“I think that with Scooby and Shaggy, we tried to keep the personality of the core characters, but then just try to find a way to go deeper into those characters a little bit and let them be fun,” Cervone said. “I feel like we have a pretty funny movie too. I didn’t really say that before, but we put a big emphasis on the humor of it. We wanted a modern, humorous movie and also a layer of humor because this property has generations. It needs to be multi-generational.”

The lesser-known characters, on the other hand, could be altered a bit more.

“So Scooby Shaggy and the gang, especially Scooby and Shaggy, you have to listen to the characters because they will kind of tell you what they want to do,” he added. “We’ve taken other liberties with some of these other characters because I felt like we could.”

(L-r) Daphne voiced by AMANDA SEYFRIED, Fred voiced by ZAC EFRON and Velma voiced by GINA RODRIGUEZ in the new animated adventure “SCOOB!” from Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Animation Group. Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

It’s also a balancing act with giving the fans what they want and offering something new.

“It’s a dance,” Cervone said. “You have to give the audience what they pay their money for and not forget that. I’ve done this for a long time; I sometimes will forget it. I don’t think we did in this movie. Mystery Incorporated was a TV series where we did push things way beyond normal boundaries, but I would get, ‘Why are there no Scooby Snacks?’ and I’d be like, ‘Come on, enough with the Scooby Snacks.’ But no, people want the Scooby Snacks. You have to give the audience what they want, but that can’t be the only thing you give them or else you’ll just be bored. So you always have to give them what they want and then more. So this origin story is more. This bigger mystery is more. The challenges to their friendships are more. This modern version of the characters, this new cast is more, but it’s the same.”

Catch Scoob! when it hits theaters on May 15, 2020.

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John Nguyen
John Nguyen 10448 posts

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