Eager to volunteer for something other than identifying bad guys and foiling deceptive plots with the Mystery Inc. gang, Fred dons his favorite ascot and brings Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby to his beloved childhood stomping ground in the hope of spending the summer as camp counselors alongside his friends.
Obviously he's got the right ascot and attitude for the job as his signature fashion accessory is mentioned right off the bat. Yet once the Mystery Machine rolls into Camp Little Moose, three people (in addition to Shaggy) try to get him to turn the van around with warnings of a maniacal ax-wielding maniac lurking in the woods.
Shortly thereafter, Fred discovers that along with his extraordinary allies, it's ultimately his skills as an amateur sleuth rather than his knack for teaching children how to handle a zip-line that will be needed for this summer mystery.
Thus they set aside Little Moose's usual agenda of rivalry with the wealthier snobs from neighboring Camp Big Moose to instead try to get to the bottom of the camp director's claim that all of the urban legends and nefarious baddies from their campfire tales have come to life to wreak bloody havoc.
Are the stories real or is somebody trying to purposely scare kids from coming to camp by sabotaging Little Moose?
Determined to still work in some time for fun and adventure since three children arrive before they can be sent back on the bus, it's evident fairly early on that the Mystery Inc. will have their work cut out for them with this assignment of being counselors and detectives by day and night.
Bouncing back with super bright animation and action packed sequences that combine adrenaline fueled excitement with daring thrills after a slightly frightening opening prologue which may have been a bit too intense for younger fans of the original Saturday morning cartoon, Scooby-Doo Camp Scare is a highly entertaining installment in the ongoing series of direct-to-disc original movies.
As the fifteenth title released from Warner Brothers in the ongoing series, Camp Scare impressively manages that difficult task of remaining true to the past by blending together some classic elements of the Hanna-Barbera series including the gang's love of literally unmasking villains along with finding themselves in comedic jeopardy throughout while subtly updating the pace and spirit of the cartoon to appeal to younger audiences.
Gently spoofing campfire tales along with scary movies set in the woods, the cleverly written children's work even pays homage to some of the series' notoriously quotable comeuppance lines like “we would've gotten away with it too if it wasn't for you meddling kids” as well.
While seasonally speaking, this one should've hit shelves in early June, from food fights to cool chases, Camp Scare is one modern Scooby-Doo DVD that's sure to appeal to new fans and old purists as well, complete with a genuinely surprising albeit outrageously Scooby style resolution to a complex case... ascot not included.
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FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I received a review copy of this title in order to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.