If you’re a child of the 1970s or 1980s, you’ll probably remember the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercials where two people run into each other and then exclaim, “You got your chocolate in my peanut butter” and “You got your peanut butter in my chocolate.” They would then go on to take a bite of the “odd” mixture and love it.
Hanna-Barbera has brought together two worlds that could be compared to the above scenario, yet seems like a perfect concept from the get-go. Two of my all-time favorite entertainment institutes meet again for “Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery.” If you’re as huge a fan of either Scooby-Doo or KISS, then you know they’ve met before in 2003’s “A Scooby-Doo Halloween,” which was an episode of “What’s New Scooby-Doo?”
The iconic rock group didn’t do much in that particular episode besides blow the roof off a country town’s All Hallow’s Eve shindig. In “Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery,” they not only bring the power of music with them, but they’re individual ones as well. Just like in their first 1978 TV-movie, “KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park,” the four members each possess supernatural gifts which fit their different personas and help bring down the bad guys. Each band member gets their chance to shine and be a hero.
In “Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery,” The Mystery Inc. gang and the rock legends investigate a haunting at the group’s amusement park. They discover the Crimson Witch has returned to summon The Destroyer from the Kissteria dimension.
You can completely tell that the animators, writers, and producers of the movie are KISS fans in every aspect of their individual work. The opening credits sequence uses the band’s iconic album covers to create an animated homage which is blended with other imagery fans will recognize. There are also friendly jabs at the group’s fondness for putting their brand name on anything and selling it.
The entire adventure is filled with little nuggets of KISS trivia which fans will smile and giggle at throughout the entire viewing experience. Everything from the name of an ancient artifact to the name of the different characters is based on a song title or reference from the group’s rich history.
The Blu-ray version of “Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery” includes some fun extras. Two bonus cartoons from “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” are found. They are “To Switch a Witch” and “The Diabolical Disc Demon.” The latter features a villain who obviously was patterned after Gene Simmons’ makeup. “Are You a Scooby or a Shaggy?” goes behind the scenes of the movie and asks the members of KISS and other cast members the proposed question. “KISS Cut-Ups” is a blooper reel from what appears to be a commercial shoot for the film.
If KISS was looking to redeem themselves for “Phantom of the Park,” then they successfully did it here. Not that they needed redemption in any way as far as I’m concerned. As a seven-year-old boy and even now, I love their first movie in all its 1970s glitz, glamor, and tasty cheese. I just know how the band feels about it, and “Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery” more than “makes up” for what they consider a misfire. It gives fans old and new something to laugh at and rock along to at the same time.
“Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery” is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and as a Digital Download.