Scooby-Doo: Return To Zombie Island
Soon, Shaggy and Scooby return to the hotel and barricade the door, as a group of zombies approach the hotel. Shaggy and Scooby give their OK to the others to solve mysteries again and the gang set a trap for the zombies. But the clawed figure, a black Were-Cat, knocks over a candelabra, setting fire to a curtain, which then causes the sprinkler system to douse the fire and melt the zombies' faces to reveal that they were the hotel staff in disguise. The gang discover that they actually are on Moonscar Island, which is doubling as a filming location. Alan confesses to the gang that he's a film director known as Alan Smithee, who wanted to make a scary movie after looking into Velma's unsolved mysteries blog. He also revealed that he sponsored the vacation for Shaggy to win, but states that he had no knowledge of the black werecat. Despite everything that happened, the gang offer to help Alan finish the movie. As filming continues, the gang meet Seaver, a stunt double for Fred, who has a monster truck version of the Mystery Machine. As the sun goes down, Velma heads into the forest wearing night-vision goggles but runs away when she sees a cluster of cats' eyes.
Scooby-Doo: Return to Zombie Island
After Velma tells the others to make a run for their lives, they see a harmless-looking beige kitten coming out of the bushes, startling Scooby. Just as Shaggy assures Scooby that there's nothing to worry about, the kitten (fully grown in an instant) turns feral and roars like a tiger, scaring Shaggy as more cats attack. After the movie crew (except Alan and Seaver) hide, three were-cats appear. As the gang and Seaver run for the ferry, Alan crazily burns it. Fred, acting on impulse, rescues the Mystery Machine from being burned with the Ferry. Fred tells the others to get in, but one of the cat creatures tries to grab Smithee's medallion, which is Simone's pendant. The gang save Alan and the pendant and the cats and cat creatures pursue them back to the resort. After a wild chase, the gang hide in the cabinet Shaggy and Scooby hid in, leading them to the cavern where the were-cats tried to drain the gang's life force. They notice that there are a lot of holes in the cave, which gives Velma an idea. The three cat creatures enter the cavern, find the medallion, and place it on the pedestal in the light of the harvest moon. The light is reflected to specific spot on the ground where the cat creatures dig until they find a chest that appears to be filled with gold coins, though its contents turn out to be Scooby snacks covered in gold foil. The cats are attacked by the gang, disguised to resemble zombies, causing them to become scared and hide in one of the cave's holes. The gang unmask the creatures, revealing them to be the greeters and the ferry captain. The trio intended to find Moonscar's treasure, using cat whistles to control the island cats to deter anyone who were getting too close. The fourth werecat (the one who attacked the van and tried to set fire in the mansion) remains at large. After the police take the culprits away, Alan despairs that his movie doesn't have a finale.
Parents need to know that Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island is typical Mystery, Inc. fare. The story is billed as a "sequel" to 1998's Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, but it's certainly not necessary to revisit the old movie; this one stands alone. Though the gang has vowed to give up solving mysteries, they're drawn into an unexpected adventure. Most of the humor comes from Hollywood "insider" jokes, with an impassioned, amateur film director at the heart of the story. Viewers can expect the usual animated scares: howling, fanged, clawed cats with glowing eyes pop up often; zombies roam the island; and there are chases, falls, narrow escapes, bad guys, spooky music, and special effects.
As SCOOBY-DOO! RETURN TO ZOMBIE ISLAND opens, the gang has made a firm promise, both to Shaggy and Scooby, and also to the local sheriff. They aren't going to try to solve any more mysteries. Their meddling seems to get them (and often others) into a lot of trouble. They're taking their vow seriously, so when they "win" a trip to a tropical island, it's a timely opportunity. No more mysteries, a lot more relaxation. But the island isn't exactly what it seems. In fact, it bears a striking resemblance to an island they visited years earlier, one that had a mystery they never truly solved. They're right, of course. The proprietor of their hotel, Alan Smithee (Michael John Higgins) is a wannabe film director, and he has a major secret up his sleeve. The gang is forced to solve a mystery or two, and zombies and werecats are only the beginning of this new adventure.
Changing established canon from the Original zombie island really annoyed me, Daphne had her own show and was being interviewed, she was not working at a TV station for a school project!!!. The original had the Scooby Gang as adults and having jobs and this film just wanted you to think they are just teenagers around 18.
Velma her constant skepticism really annoyed me like seriously annoyed, now yes Velma has always been a skeptic but not this much. She even accepted the zombie and cat people were real in the original and now in this one she believes they were not real and that zombie island was an unsolved mystery!!!!. ZOMBIE ISLAND WAS SOLVED!!!
The animation was also just to colourful and happy especially considering this is supposed to be a direct sequel to zombie island, but I guess that's where family friendly WB comes in, unfortunately. Absolutely no mention of Bo and him being in the FBI, let's just scrub another character like they never existed. My biggest question with this film is did they actually care about honouring the original film at all, or were just trying so hard to backtrack on ever having real monsters.
This Film Uses The Following Tropes: Adaptational Modesty: Though still fairly attractive, Elvira wears a less revealing outfit, particularly in how there's much less cleavage being exposed.
Animated Outtakes: There are outtakes that appeared at the end of the movie during the credits.
Art-Shifted Sequel: The film uses the same style and animation studio as seen in the recent movies instead of the more Animesque style used by Mook DLE in the original. Flashbacks to the events of the original are also redone in the modern style.
As You Know: Daphne recaps the original movie at one point to the entire gang, who, having experienced everything that happened for themselves, repeatedly remind her that they already know what happened.
Author Filibuster: Seemingly the writers use Velma to express their views about the original movie. Namely, they weren't fans of it and feel the Darker and Edgier and supernatural aspect of it clashed with the mystery aspect of the franchise. So this film is essentially them trying to "correct" that.
Beware the Cute Ones: When a harmless kitten comes out of the bushes, Scooby cowers as Shaggy said there was nothing to worry about. A few seconds later, the kitten roared like a tiger, shedding its cute facade.
Broad Strokes: This film seems to be continuing on from where Curse left off with moving forward that the gang are still teenagers and the events such as Zombie Island took place in the past with the rounding off of problem elements into a new status quo. The original film, and the three films that followed it, heavily implied that the Gang were adults (due to them all having jobs, such as Velma having opened up her own bookstore, and Daphne having made her own talk show with Fred as her cameraman). This film ignores that aspect. While the end of Curse of the 13th Ghost had the gang talking about going back to mystery solving anyway it would appear that however much time passed between films they still hadn't done so yet.
Busman's Holiday: The gang, especially poor Scooby and Shaggy, just wanted a vacation, not a return to that nightmare-filled island.
The Cameo: Elvira, yes, that Elvira, shows up briefly with Shag and Scoob catching her show and she setting the plot into motion by declaring the two won a vacation and allowed to bring guests. It's revealed later Alan contacted her to help fake the contest and lure the gang to the island for his plan.
Clingy Costume: When the Gang dresses up as zombie versions of themselves to capture the fake Cat Creatures, after the humans have removed their latex zombie masks, Scooby-Doo is still struggling to pull his zombie Scooby mask off, and requires some help from Shaggy.
Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: For half of the plot, Shaggy and Scooby make Fred, Daphne and Velma swear not to engage in any mystery solving during their downtime and the vacation in general. The three find themselves seeing potential clues and suspects everywhere during the ban with Velma practically having a withdrawal. It's isn't until the zombies start attacking that Shag and Scoob finally lift the ban.
Continuity Porn: LOTS, from featuring some of the classic Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! monsters in the opening dream sequence, to recalling the events early on in Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost (including the Mystery Machine being sold, much to Fred's chagrin.) Heck there's even a reference to Scooby-Doo! and the Reluctant Werewolf of all things.
Continuity Snarl: Despite the retcon, Velma seems to forget Beau, the undercover cop/gardener, was likewise there during the whole events of the movies. Plus seems to forget that, despite her constantly stating the supernatural isn't real, that werecats used voodoo dolls on Fred, Daphne, Beau and her to subdue them so they could take their life energy more easily. They were nearly melted when the dolls were knocked near a torch. She herself, along with Daphne, used the dolls against the werecats in the climax to stall them.
Cool Car: While the Mystery Machine proper is absent from the film, Alan Smithee arranges a monster truck version to be brought to the island for stunts. Fred eventually gets to drive it.
Flat-Earth Atheist: Velma continuing her new character believes there is a rational explanation for events she believed in within the original film.
Genre Shift: The movie is almost entirely comedy-focused rather than horror-focused with slight hints of comedy.
Genre Throwback: Music-wise this movie doesn't try to replicate the 90s rock music of the original plot relevant lyrics. Instead it actually chose to ape the early 70s Scooby Doo Where Are You season 2 chase songs more than likely in honor of the 50th anniversary.
Get Out!: Upon arriving on Moonscar Island, the gang is immediately told "Get... ouuuuut..." by one of the welcoming hosts. The gang just think it's part of the appeal of the welcoming committee. Hosts: (Shrugs) Tourists
Greater-Scope Villain: The reveal that the black werecat is real means that the unseen cat-god mentioned in passing in the original film becomes this for this film. We don't get any insight to the werecat's intentions or goals, but presumably it gained its powers from being a follower of the same cat-god who turned Simone, Lena, and Jacques into the mass-murderers of the first film, who may or may not want revenge on the gang for defeating Simone's group...
Karma Houdini: Alan Smithee, despite being a self-centered jerk who lured the gang in with a fake vacation for a dumb film and then selfishly stranding the group and his actors there when he burns down the ferry just to keep them from leaving despite being attacked by wild cats and (supposed) cat people, ends up striking it rich when he takes a good chunk of Moonscar's treasure. What's worse is the gang just... lets him walk away without any complaints.
Latex Perfection: Besides the zombie actors and the fake Cat Creatures, the Gang is made up as zombie versions of themselves this way. After revealing themselves, Scooby has a bit of trouble pulling his mask off.
Lighter and Softer: The film is much lighter than the first Zombie Island film. Most notably nobody dies in this one and the villain's plot is standard Scooby Doo fare, namely it's all staged, fake and centered around greed.
Mythology Gag: Velma mentions that besides the Zombie Island case, another case that went unsolved was the Reluctant Werewolf case...
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Alan Smithee got the WHOLE idea for his movie due to Velma maintaining a blog loaded with several cases that are still "unsolved", INCLUDING Zombie Island.
Only in It for the Money: When Alan Smithee finds Morgan Moonscar's treasure he decides to quit movie making revealing it wasn't really his passion, he just wanted to get rich.
Punny Name: Film Director Alan Smithee is a pseudonym for a director who doesn't want his real name on a movie's final product.
Real After All: The black werecat that shows up intermittently is revealed to be unconnected to the main villains, and heavily implied to be real.
Retcon: The original movie was supposed to take place after the Gang's tenure as teen detectives and in their adulthood, but this movie completely ignores it and states that they're still teenagers in high school.
In the original movie, Daphne was the host of her own television show, Coast to Coast with Daphne Blake. Here, it's retconned into Daphne having been working on a project for a TV station.
Weirdly enough, in the last movie Velma seemed pretty proud that the gang had no unsolved cases. Here she maintains a blog loaded with several that are still "unsolved", at least as far as she's concerned (granted, she probably meant with the whole gang together, since Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby had several solo adventures, but it's still pretty odd).
In the original, Velma was the one who came up with a way to supernaturally defeat the antagonists by stalling them with voodoo dolls, and was also the one to explicitly say the zombies were real and that their souls were finally put to rest. Here, she's the one to openly deny any supernatural activities that may have happened in the past.
Sequel Hook: While the three main "cat-monsters" were just villains in masks looking for Morgan Moonscar's missing treasure, the remaining one turns out to be a legitimate monster much like the ones from the first film... And likely will want to still seek revenge against the gang. What's more, after the main plot is resolved, special attention is given to Scooby and Shaggy mentioning the potential of Alan making a trilogy, suggesting that a third Zombie Island film will one day be made, presumably involving the true cat creature.
Somewhere, a Herpetologist Is Crying: Averted. Alligators are properly drawn with overbites, instead of the crocodile-like interlocking teeth in the original film.
Status Quo Is God: Technically, Even though Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island established that it took place in the Gang's adulthood after their teen sleuthing days in Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, this movie instead retcons it back to the Gang still being teenagers like in the original show and the other recent movies. Though it might be just a different continuity.
Stripping Snag: The last outtake has Shaggy's robe being snagged by the doorknob, causing him to be out in the nude.
That One Case: As a part of Velma's current character we learn she refers to the events of cases with actual supernatural elements like of Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island as "the unsolved capers" and maintains a section of them on her blog. Apparently the reason it wasn't "solved" was because they never found Morgan Moonscar's treasure which, in the original film, was thought to be the reason behind the disappearances though was just a Red Herring motive. In this film, it's the main goal of the villains.
Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: While no way in comparison to the original film's villains, who had murdered countless people, the real cat person or the cat god himself that appears throughout the movie is far more violent than any of the "Scooby-Doo" Hoax criminals in it. He even at one point sets fire to curtains inside the mansion.