In 1998, Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island came out to scare a whole generation of Cartoon Network kids and also delivered one of the most interesting and compelling installments of the Scooby-Doo franchise. So of course, they had to make a sequel called Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island.
For those that don’t remember, the premise of Zombie Island was that after constantly solving mysteries that turned out to be men in masks, the gang split up. Velma opened a bookshop, Shaggy and Scooby had a series of odd jobs, and Daphne and Fred teamed up together to create Coast to Coast with Daphne Blake, a travel show that becomes a success. They decide to bring the gang back together to try and find an actual mystery, and end up on Moonscar Island, an island haunted by real zombies. Honestly, the movie is very good so if haven’t seen it, I don’t want to spoil it for you, but in addition to being a solid kid horror movie, it does have some interesting mortality play between the zombies and the human inhabitants of the island.
It was an excellent film that really helped relaunch the Scooby-Doo series for a new generation. It was fresh, fun, and well animated. So what is the sequel about? Well, let’s check the synopsis together.
“On Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island, Scooby-Doo and his pals win an all-expense paid vacation and embark on a trip of a lifetime to a tropical paradise. Their destination however, turns out to be Zombie Island. As soon as they arrive, they realize the place looks strangely familiar and is reminiscent of a trip they took years ago, in which they became wrapped up in a mystery involving zombies. The gang soon learns that their trip to paradise comes with a price when the zombies re-emerge and attack their hotel. Will Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang finally solve the mystery behind Zombie Island?”
Now, to be fair, there were sequels to Zombie Island in the sense that they were stories that worked on the premise that there was an actual supernatural presence that the Mystery Inc. gang was going to be in conflict with. There was Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost (1999) which gave us the Hex Girls, Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders (2000), the last time Mary Kay Bergman would voice of Daphne, and finally Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase (2001), which was the last film to feature real supernatural creatures until Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King (2008).
I know that my generation complaining about things being remade gets tiresome, but at the same time, it’s not reboots or sequels that are the problem, its the lack of creativity. Zombie Island is one of the best Scoobs out there and I just don’t see the point of doing another story 10 years later other than a nostalgia cash grab, which is pretty much what everything is now.
Guess it’s time to embrace that I’m the old woman yelling at the cloud now.
(image: Warner Bros. Animation//Hanna-Barbera Cartoons)
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