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Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island

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Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
Zombie Island title card
Distributed By Warner Home Video
Release Date September 22, 1998
Runtime 1hr 17m
Starring Scott Innes
Billy West
Mary Kay Bergman
B.J. Ward
Frank Welker
Producers Jean MacCurdy (executive producer)
Davis Doi (supervising producer)
Music Steven Bramson
Edited By Paul Douglas
Produced By Cos Anzilotti
Written By Story:
Glenn Leopold
Davis Doi
Screenplay:
Glenn Leopold
Directed By Jim Stenstrum
Chronology
Previous Film None
Next Film Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost

"This time the monsters are real!"
– Tagline

Scooby-Doo On Zombie Island is the first in a series of direct-to-video animated films based upon the Scooby-Doo Saturday morning cartoons. It was released on September 22, 1998, and was the first Scooby-Doo movie to be produced by Warner Bros. Animation, though it had Hanna-Barbera Cartoons, Inc. copyright at the end. It was the first movie to feature real monsters instead of simple 'bad guys' in masks. This was heavily promoted before its release including a tagline used during commercials stating, "This time, the monsters are real." This theme would be followed up in several subsequent direct-to-video Scooby-Doo animated films released in the late-1990s and early-2000s. Although real monsters had previously appeared in most of the 1980s Scooby-Doo series and features, this continuity was ignored with the characters said to be encountering real monsters for the first time. After Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase, the direct-to-video Scooby-Doo movies would not feature real monsters again until ten years later in Scooby-Doo! And The Goblin King.

Premise

The Mystery Inc. team split up to do their own thing but come together again to solve a real ghost mystery. The gang of sleuths get more than they bargained for when, on Moonscar Island in the Louisiana bayou, they find themselves amongst worshipping un-dead werecats and a swarm of zombies.

Synopsis

At a typical spooky castle during a rainstorm filled with thunder and lightning, Mystery, Inc. is being pursued by a green troll-like monster. After a fortunate accident by Scooby, he is caught and revealed to be a counterfeiter. This is actually a re-enactment of the now-dissolved Mystery Inc.'s adventures on a television program featuring Daphne and Fred; after years of unmasking phony ghosts, the Mystery Inc. gang have gone to their separate ways. Daphne and Fred run off to start a successful investigative TV series (Coast to Coast with Daphne Blake), Velma has gone off and become the proprietor of a mystery bookstore, and Scooby and Shaggy bounce from job to job, including work as customs officers at an airport, from which they are fired after eating all the confiscated imported foods. Daphne's next season will involve searching for real monsters, not just mere crooks in monster costumes, but it won't be the same without the whole gang. So Fred decides to surprise Daphne (on the day of her birthday) by bringing along Scooby, Shaggy and Velma, for a trip to Louisiana.

After encountering a lot of fake monsters ("just like the old days"), such as a nerdy-looking guy in a lobster-man suit haunting a canned shellfish factory, an old man in a man-vampire bat suit at a graveyard, a ghost that turns out to be a hologram, and a zombie riverboat captain, that turns out to be a middle-aged woman, the gang finally arrives in New Orleans. There, they are invited by a cook named Lena Dupree to visit Moonscar Island, the home of her employer, which is allegedly haunted by the ghost of the pirate Morgan Moonscar. Although the gang is skeptical (except for the scared/convinced Shaggy and Scooby), they decide to go along with Lena on whom Fred has taken a fancy (to Daphne's disapproval). On the way, Velma informs the gang that Moonscar Island has had many unexplained disappearances over the years.

The gang arrives on the island and meets Lena's employer, Simone Lenoir, a beautiful Cajun woman, who explains about the haunting. En route to the island, the gang also meet Jacques, a beautiful French-American who runs the ferry from the island to the mainland, and Beau Neville, Simone's hunky gardener, to whom Daphne takes a fancy (to Fred's disapproval). They also meet Snakebite Scruggs, a grungy-ill-natured fisherman, and his hunting pig, Mojo. The first act is like a standard Scooby-Doo cartoon, with the gang investigating and working to prove that the "ghost" is a fake. Scooby and Shaggy are chased by Mojo and end up falling into a big hole. While trying to climb out, they pull down some of the wall, revealing a skeletal arm. A mysterious green fog envelopes the skeleton, causing it to transform into the grisly zombie of Morgan Moonscar himself. While running away, Scooby and Shaggy run into a suspicious Beau and bring everyone back to the hole, which is now, however, empty.

Simone invites the gang to her house to stay for the night. As the gang is dressing up for dinner, Shaggy sees the ghost of a Confederate colonel in the mirror; Simone explains that the island was a temporary headquarters for a Confederate regiment during the American Civil War. Later that night, Scooby and Shaggy eat in the Mystery Machine, so Scooby wouldn't chase Simone's cats. However, the spicy food burns their mouths and both of them rush to the lake for water. The green fog reappears and sinks into the nearby ground, causing an army of Voudoun zombies to emerge from the lake. Due to Shaggy's bad driving, the Mystery Machine gets stuck in a muddy bank, forcing him and Scooby to flee on foot. Fred, Daphne, and Velma go to look for them, but bump into Beau, so they split up.

Fred and Daphne argue about each other's supposed love interest. They come across Scooby and Shaggy trying to escape, and they also capture a zombie. Fred thinks the zombie is another fake, but it turns out to be all too real, and when the other zombies begin to swarm them, Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, and Daphne separate in panic. While trying to escape from the zombies, Fred trips on a stone, and accidentally drops the camera (which he used to record their investigation) which then sinks into quicksand, leaving them without proof. Fred and Daphne reunite with Velma and Beau (Velma is now suspicious of Beau because "he is never nearby when something strange happens" and she decides to stick by him). Elsewhere, Scooby and Shaggy discover wax dolls that look like Fred, Velma, and Daphne, and they play with them, causing his friends to undertake a series of involuntary actions for a short time until they leave after disturbing a nest of bats.

Fred, Daphne, Velma, and Beau return to Simone's house and discover a secret passage under the staircase. They find Lena in the passage, who tells them that the zombies kidnapped Simone and dragged her away. Daphne, Fred, Velma, Lena, and Beau proceed down the passage and find a secret chamber for voodoo rituals, where Velma finds footprints of Simone's heels (meaning she wasn't "dragged") and interrogates Lena about the story. Indeed, Simone appears, and she and Lena use voodoo dolls to trap the gang in the chamber. They then reveal themselves to be evil werecats. Simone reveals that in 1798, she and Lena were part of a group of settlers who were devoted to the cat god. One night, during the harvest moon, while the settlers were celebrating their successful harvest, Morgan Moonscar and his pirates chased the settlers, except for Lena and Simone, into the bayou where they were eaten by alligators. The vengeful Lena and Simone begged their cat god to curse the pirates. Their wish was granted and they killed the pirates, but the curse caused the duo to become werecats permanently, requiring that they drain life forces to preserve their immortality. Over the years, Lena lured more people to the island, and they also gave Jacques immortality so they had a ferryman to bring them more victims (by this time, Jacques has already transformed into his werecat form and chases Shaggy and Scooby). The zombies—including Morgan Moonscar—were the victims they have murdered over the centuries, who reanimate every harvest moon to warn away visitors, and that they were merely trying to warn the gang to leave to prevent them from suffering the same fate they did.

Scooby and Shaggy accidentally tumble into the cave, interrupting the draining ceremony, and distracting the werecats. Velma is quickly able to untie herself and create voodoo dolls of Lena and Simone to interrupt their power. When they are finally cornered, the time for the werecats to drain the life force had expired, ending their lives and causing their bodies to age hundreds of years and disintegrate, freeing the zombies' souls to rest in peace. Afterward, Beau is revealed to be an undercover police officer sent to investigate the disappearances on the island (to Velma's fascination); The next morning, Fred and Daphne admire the beautiful sunrise together, and Daphne offers Beau a chance to guest-star on her show and discuss the adventure. Everyone is ready to leave the island via ferry to head back to civilization. Scooby's peace may be disturbed though, as he's surrounded by Simone's cats and the glow of their eyes.

Cast and characters

Actor Character
Scott Innes Scooby-Doo
Billy West Shaggy Rogers
Mary Kay Bergman Daphne Blake
B.J. Ward Velma Dinkley
Frank Welker Fred Jones
Simone Lenoir's cats (uncredited)
Adrienne Barbeau Simone Lenoir
Tara Charendoff Lena Dupree
Cam Clarke Beau Neville
Jim Cummings Jacques
Morgan Moonscar (uncredited)
Plantationer (uncredited)
Mark Hamill Snakebite Scruggs
Jennifer Leigh Warren Chris
Ed Gilbert Mr. Beeman
Uncredited
Airport manager
Alligators
Frog
Owl
Moat Monster
Mojo
Pierre
Pirates
Settlers
Zombies
Non-speaking roles
Big Mona
Plantationers
Swami

Songs

Song Credits Preformed by
"Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" Written by David Mook and Ben Raleigh Performed by Third Eye Blind
(Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment)
"The Ghost Is Here" Music by Tom Snow
Lyrics by Glenn Leopold
Produced by Skycycle and Richard Mouser
Performed by Skycycle
(Courtesy of MCA Records)
"It's Terror Time Again"

Villains

Suspects

Suspect Motive/reason
Beau Neville Velma thought he was suspicious.
Snakebite Scruggs He hates tourists.

Culprits

Culprit Motive/reason
Opening culprits
Mr. Beeman as the Moat Monster To conceal counterfeiting.
Main film culprits
Morgan Moonscar and various other unnamed pirates, settlers, soldiers and tourists To warn the living of the dangers of the island, and Simone and Lena.
Simone Lenoir
Lena Dupree
Jacques
Lure victims to Moonscar island, then drain their life essences to perpetuate their own lifespans.

Locations

Notes/trivia

  • This movie features an all-new cast of voice actors for the adult Mystery Inc., save for Frank Welker who returns as Fred. This is the first Scooby-Doo production not to feature Don Messick and Casey Kasem as Scooby and Shaggy; Messick had passed away (the film is dedicated to him) while Kasem didn't like Shaggy's eating habits as the actor had become vegan so Scott Innes and Billy West replaced them, respectively. From the next movie Innes would voice both Scooby and Shaggy. Mary Kay Bergman and B.J. Ward replaced Heather North and Marla Frumkin as Daphne and Velma, respectively; Ward had previously voiced Velma in the Johnny Bravo episode, Bravo Dooby-Doo.
  • This is the first Scooby-Doo production that alludes to a romantic relationship between Fred and Daphne (which had been poked fun at in the Johnny Bravo episode, Bravo Dooby-Doo); they get jealous of each other when Fred takes a shine to Lena and Daphne is interested in Beau. Velma also forms a friendship with Beau, but denies an attraction to him.
  • This story is based on Glenn Leopold's unfinished Swat Kats episode, The Curse of Kataluna.
  • The film ignores Scrappy-Doo, just focusing on the original core group.
  • The videos sold well and received generally positive reviews in the press, leading to a series of future direct-to-video Scooby-Doo feature films, and a new television series, What's New, Scooby-Doo?.
  • Out of all of the direct-to-video movies this one is argueably the darkest and most frightening out of all of them.
    • Also the only one where characters are killed: three on screen, dozens off.
  • It won an Annie and Golden Reel award both in 1999.
  • Simone was voiced by actress Adrienne Barbeau who is known for her roles as Catwoman in Batman: The Animated Series, and DJ Stevie Wayne in the 1980 horror film, The Fog, which deals with ghostly and/or undead sailors terrorizing a seaside town. Undead sailors (i.e. pirates) and cats are featured prominently in this film.
  • This was the first time a real monster was discovered by the original Mystery Inc. gang.
  • When Fred is trying to "unmask" the zombie pirate he yells "It's the ferryman!" While, Jacques is obviously not the zombie, he actually is one of the villains, and partly responsible for some of the events of the movie.
  • Morgan Moonscar can either be viewed as an anti-hero, or as redeemed altogether. He was partly to blame for Simone and Lena's curse. In his undead form, he attempted to warn and/or help the living escape Simone and Lena.
  • Mr. Beeman's counterfeiting scheme is vaguely reminiscent of what Mr. Conrad did in the A Pup Named Scooby-Doo episode, A Bicycle Built For Boo!.
  • This movie premiered on Cartoon Network on October 31, 1998.
  • This is the only direct-to-video movie not executive produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera prior to their deaths, and the only movie that doesn't have the 'Special Thanks to Joe Ruby and Ken Spears' credit at the end. Instead, the former two are given sole credit of creating the characters when in fact it was just their company which produced it. Later films would say "Based on Characters Created By Hanna-Barbera Productions".
  • The house Daphne waits in front of (which presumably belongs to her), resembles the house Daphne and Velma shared together in the What's New, Scooby-Doo? episode, A Scooby-Doo Valentine. Whether the latter was an intentional reference is unknown.

Animation mistakes and/or technical glitches

  • When Simone and Lena, as cat creatures, catch Scooby and Shaggy the first time, Scooby is missing his collar, which returns in the next shot, and later ripped off by Jacques. Scooby remains without a collar until the sunset, when they all leave Moonscar Island.
  • The glow on the cats' eyes aren't actually properly placed on their eyes, but above them.

Inconstitencies/continuity errors and/or goofs/oddities

  • Velma's bookshop has three different names: "Dinkley's Mystery Book Shoppe" on the window; "Dinkley's Mystery Books" on the sign sticking out; and then calls it "Mystery Inc. Bookshop" on the phone.
  • Morgan Moonscar's buried treasure does exist, as shown in the cutscene describing his demise. However, it is dropped from the story altogether as a red herring, but the treasure presumably is still there.
    • The cutscenes show his crew carrying the chest ashore and later beginning to bury it, so it appears that the motive of killing the colonists was (at least in part) to keep them from witnessing where he buried his treasure.
  • The chances of an undercover detective (especially one investigating a possible string of homicides) not carrying a gun or a dispatch radio are extremely remote, even in a cartoon.
  • How Simone and Lena got ahold of Velma's eye glass cleaning cloth and other articles of clothing and/or hair from Fred and Daphne was never explained. Beau already lived there so the two women could have taken something from him at anytime.

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
Greek Ο Scooby-Doo στο Νησί των Τεράτων Scooby-Doo on Monster Island
Norwegian  Scooby-Doo på Zombie-øya Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island

Home media

Quotes

"Maybe it's... real!"
— Fred Jones '

"The ghost is real; of course if you're too scared to go..."
— Lena Dupree '

Gallery

Videos

Images

External links

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