Synopsis: Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma join forces with the world’s greatest detective, Batman, when they discover that villains from their respective rogues’ galleries have combined efforts to terrorize the city. With Scooby snacks in tow, the crime-fighting teams encounter classic Batman foes (Joker, Catwoman, Riddler, Penguin, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn) and allies (The Question, Aquaman, Plastic Man, Martian Manhunter) along with a bevy of fiends from Scooby-Doo lore (Spooky Space Kook, Gentleman Ghost, Miner 49er, Ghost Clown). As always, you won’t know who the ultimate villain is until the very end when those “meddling kids” pull off the mask!
Review: I included a synopsis of the film more out of habit than anything else. Viewers don’t really need it. In this instance, the title is the plot. The story is held together by the character beats, the set pieces, and the internal logic.
As for the character beats, I adored Fred fanboying over Black Canary, Velma fangirling over the Batcave, and Daphne showing a hidden aptitude for super heroism. My favorite moments, however, were the Scooby Gang functioning as Batman’s sidekicks, including Scooby, who tried to do Ace proud. An honorable mention goes to Martian Manhunter for always beating Shaggy and Scooby to the Chocos.
Legendary voice actor Frank Welker was in wonderful form throughout as both Scooby and Fred. He was ably assisted by Grey Griffin as Daphne and Black Canary. Additionally, Matthew Lillard continued to perfectly channel Shaggy. Diedrich Bader was the center of the show, though. He inhabited this lighter iteration of Batman perfectly. None of the comedy would have worked without him as the straight man.
This film made me very happy. With the death of Adam West came the inevitable end to the Batman ’66 animated movies. Batman: The Brave and the Bold is now the only variant that can fill that void. Adding the Scooby Gang brought even more warmth and made for a genuinely lovely afternoon’s entertainment.
Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold is available on DVD, Blu-ray, and V.O.D. now.