Summer Scares: Scooby-Doo and The Cyber Chase


“Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase” is among the weirdest in Scooby-Doo’s direct-to-video catalog. Being the last of the Mook animation Scooby-Doo Films and William Hanna’s (of Hanna Barbera) last production before his death in 2001 the film marks an end of an era. What made the Mook Animation era of Scooby-Doo direct to video feature films was the distinct art style, the voice cast, and its experimentations with the Scooby-Doo formula. Even directly after this film’s release, Scooby-Doo films were not the same and the distinct charm of the original four films slowly faded away. “Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase” was a polarizing project for fans. While it can be seen as an homage to the Scooby-Doo franchise (predating the Raja Gosnell and James Gunn live-action Scooby films), the film loses itself with a weak structure, with the film’s standout moments being mostly in the third act.

Professor Kaufman, Eric, and Bill

The film starts on a college campus where Mystery Inc have been invited to see their friend Eric’s new video game project. However, things go awry when they are confronted by a Phantom Virus who seemingly escaped from the game due to the lab having a machine that can bring digital items into the real world or vice versa. Eventually, Mystery Inc decides to go into the game and stop the Phantom Virus, who threatens to ruin all of Eric’s work. While the film is set up with an interesting premise it misses the mark hard. 

Throughout the film, the gang has to beat levels to make it to the end; however, most of these levels before the last are seen through a montage and what we do see doesn’t fit in with the film’s conclusion. “Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase” is among the first in an era of callbacks, cameos, and references, with digital versions of the original Mystery Inc and former Scooby-Doo show villains making an appearance in the film. 

This is the best feature the film has to offer, sadly. However, we only get this in the third act. The film suffers from stuffing all these great components into the last part of the film, and it is a real shame as the art design for the last level in the movie is exquisite as it represents a renewed aesthetic found in Scooby-Doo projects of the past like “Scooby-Doo Where Are You.” The Tar Monster, Gator Ghoul, and Old Iron Face, who all made appearances here, made their debut in the Scooby-Doo Show, while Creeper – who also made an appearance – made his debut all the way back in the Scooby-Doo Where Are You original run of the character. While it is certainly an elicitor of nostalgia, these fleeting moments don’t make up for the shortcomings of the film overall. While this film did have some great components, it is a far cry from the effective storytelling and revitalization the previous Mook Animation films did for the franchise. 

In conclusion, “Scooby-Doo and The Cyber Chase” is a film that falls a bit short in comparison to its predecessors. While it holds a special place in my heart and the hearts of many fans of the Scooby-Doo series from the early 2000s, for nostalgia’s sake, it does not hold up in terms of its structure or its use of its characters. While it has some excellent art design and voice acting, most of its strengths only shine at the end of the film, which make the middle of the film feel like a drag. If this film were to be revisited today in the fashion of 2019’s “Return to Zombie Island” or in a straight-up remake, it could be more effective as a Scooby-Doo film.

While I have major nostalgia for this film, I must sadly give it a 6/10 for its structure and pacing.