Aloha, Scooby-Doo! (2005)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 7/15/23
Cast: Frank Welker, Casey Kasem, Mindy Cohn, Grey DeLisle, Mario Lopez, Tia Carrere, Adam West, Teri Garr

Fashion designer Daphne Blake (Grey DeLisle) goes to Hanahuna, Hawaii on a business trip and the rest of the Scooby Gang comes along. As soon as they get there, the local surfing community gets attacked by an angry Wiki Tiki god and the champion surfer's girlfriend (Tia Carrere) is kidnapped. It's up to Mystery Inc. to rescue Snooki before she's sacrificed to a volcano, reveal the secret behind the Wiki Tiki curse, and make sure the surfing competition goes ahead as planned.

It's a fun and colorful adventure with a delightful Hawaiian vibe, which is punctuated by music from Don Ho and Dick Dale. Tia Carrere also sings the closing credits song. The animation looks great and the voice acting is superb. Adam West makes a great kooky salesman and Teri Garr is fabulous as the ditzy town mayor. The Scooby Gang voice talent is also at the top of their game, although Casey Kasem's voice is starting to sound a little old and weak by this time.

What's most interesting about this entry is the character evolution. The show is all about Daphne this time, which is great since I'm a huge Daphne fan. However, the tone is all wrong and the attempts to modernize her character go just a little too far. Her newfound alpha female superiority comes at the cost of devaluing the rest of the team, which makes them unnecessary dead weight. "Hey, look at me! I'm young, beautiful, successful, independent, assertive, and resourceful! I'm stronger and more athletic than Fred! I'm smarter and more clever than Velma! I'm fun-loving, flawless, and fearless! And did I mention how hot and sexy I am?" Fred is especially emasculated this time, which in itself doesn't bother me, but as a result, he doesn't have anything to offer. Teamwork is nearly non-existent in this adventure, and while Daphne rescues Fred from danger numerous times, he's never allowed to reciprocate. The one time that he does take charge, he literally shoves Daphne out of the way, which I found distasteful. Velma doesn't have much to do, either, and is essentially just Daphne's supportive gal pal while the boys go off and behave like idiots. Daphne is gratuitously sexed up with a tied crop top and sarong, as well as a hot floral bikini, which gives the whole show a bit of a creepy fetishistic vibe. If you're looking for Daphne fan service, then look no further. Velma also gets a subtle makeover with some beachy geek chic and a sexy update to her classic bob. I find it strange that I had this adverse reaction to Daphne, when by all accounts I should have loved seeing her up front and in charge. Maybe I just didn't like her arrogant attitude and overpowering lipstick.