- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Two powerful entertainment franchises team up to help the save the world in Scooby-Doo! & KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery (Warner Home Video, not rated, $24.98), a new, full-length cartoon available in Blu-ray.

A 79-minute tale finds the Mystery Inc. gang (Fred, Velma, Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby Doo) sneaking into a KISS theme park and ending up helping the management stop the Crimson Witch before she ruins a Halloween night concert.

Of course, a certain, super-powered rock band also arrives to help thwart the evil witch’s plans that also involve summoning an evil being called The Destroyer from the alternate dimension of Kissteria.

What results is a fairly entertaining effort that will impress the die-hard KISS army as well as pop-culture connoisseurs.

While I was not thrilled by the traditional animation of the characters, something magical happened when the group visited the Kissteria’s cosmic realm.

Whoever designed this wonderland was obviously a huge fan of legendary sequential-artist Jack Kirby as the entire location looked plucked from a 1970s “New Gods” comic book.

Also, the Destroyer looks just like a cross between Mr. Kirby’s designs for Superman’s foe Darkseid and Captain America’s super villain MODOK.

And, writer Kevin Shinick has no problem mocking the KISS myth down to their outrageous merchandising schemes. The band’s manager, Chip McGhoo, often holds up the action to sell KISS-branded items such as smelling salts, a flashlight, binoculars, handcuffs and cakes with Spaceman sprinkles.

More entertaining is the pop-culture powerhouse voice-over cast that propel the silliness.

Not only do viewers hear from original KISS members Gene Simmons (often growling) and Paul Stanley but Frank (“Optimus Prime”) Welker as Scooby Doo, Jennifer (“Dexter”) Carpenter as a crazed psychic, Darius (Hootie and the Blowfish) Rucker as the Destroyer, Pauley (“NCIS”) Perrette as the witch and Kevin (“Mallrats”) Smith as a park worker.

Better yet, Penny (“Laverne and Shirley”) Marshall voices the cranky Kissteria elder complete with nasally New York accent and famed director Garry Marshall is park manager Manny Goldman.

The digital transfer keeps the animation super sharp with vibrant colors sure to mesmerize the kiddies while a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio mix allows viewers to appreciate a selection of classic KISS sings including “Detroit Rock City,” “Shout It Out Loud,” “Rock and Roll All Nite,” and “I Was Made For Loving You” along with a new tune called “Don’t Touch My Ascot.”

Extras will also keep the Mystery Inc. fans happy with a pair of 1978 episodes from “The Scooby Doo Show” (“To Switch a Witch” and “The Diabolical Disc Demon”) and a short feature interviewing the voice-over cast about whether they would want to be Scooby or Shaggy.

• Joseph Szadkowski can be reached at jszadkowski@washingtontimes.com.

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