‘Daphne & Velma’ Blu-ray Review
Scooby Doo and the Gang has withstood the test of the time. Countless of times the cartoon has been rebooted with success, keeping both kids and adults entertained. While the team encounters these journeys, much like other long running successful series, the studio does its best to adapt the material to the big screen. And, also like other long running successful series, the studios continue to fail. Don’t get me wrong, the first Scooby Doo movie had it’s moments and value, but the sequel is easily forgotten. But even with very mixed results, the studio has continued on with creating, starting with a prequel featuring the two women of the group, Daphne and Velma.
Daphne & Velma stars Sarah Jeffery (Descendants) as Daphne Blake and Sarah Gilman (I didn’t Do It) as Velma Dinkley from a time long before they ran into any trouble making dog and a few awkward fellows. Much like other Scooby Doo stories, the heroines find themselves in the middle of a mystery, as many high school students go missing and the two newly connected characters must work together to solve the mystery.
There’s plenty of stereotypical Scooby Doo action happening in Daphne & Velma, unfortunately it’s without three fifths of the gang. Not that a story focused on these two is a bad suggestion, just why remove the namesake of the franchise when we all know we’ve watched the cartoon and films for Scooby.
Daphne & Velma is targeting a younger audience with the clear budget and feel of a direct-to-video film. Jeffery and Gilman are quality actresses that capture the characters well. Although Gilman looks more the Velma part, it’s Jeffery who puts up a very strong portrayal of Daphne. The two go through a film of what you’d expect with these two, especially with one being a popular alpha type character and the other the stereotypical quiet nerd.
It feels at time though that the dynamic of the two could have worked better, I don’t know, maybe with the addition of a few more characters. The comedic value of the film is very much forced and the stupid low-wit humor that works with Scooby and Shaggy is misused here with these two.
As much as I could easily flame this movie, I realize that I am not the target audience. Because of that, I made sure to include my daughter in the viewing. Her thoughts on the film definitely differed from mine, as she found it much more enjoyable and was happy to even pay Daphne & Velma a visit a second time.
Essentially, it’s fairly easy to state what Daphne & Velma is. It’s everything you were expecting. A lower budget, straight to home video release, featuring an origin story of only part of the team leaving the audience feeling slightly underwhelmed. But then again, put a seven-year old in front of the screen and the movie accomplishes everything it set out to do.
Shot digitally, using a 1080p AVC codec, Daphne & Velma has a good look to it on Blu-ray. Warner Brothers did a great job considering the intent of this release. Color is deep and true to reality. Detail is prevalent throughout the entire feature. And the movie has a good amount of depth and value to it. At this point in the game, I feel like you’re not trying if you mess up a 1080p presentation, and it’s clear that Daphne & Velma had effort put into it.
Daphne & Velma’s lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack lets you know how good it is right from the beginning, and never lets off the gas to the end. The movie overall is a strong release, but it really shines with the audio presentation. The lossless track is full of life and detail with a great full use of all speakers. Music fills up the room, dialogue is clear and crisp through the center channel, and sound effects (even the exaggerated ones) are properly placed and leveled. Warner Brothers did a great job with this track, far better than I expected going in.
Daphne & Velma is not heavy on the extra features. Daphne & Velma: A New Ambition is an entertaining enough featurette, An Updated Classic Mystery gives you a look behind the scenes, Iconic Styles of Daphne & Velman Reimagined features interviews and a look at the movie to give the audience more insight into the entire feature, the Gag Reel will make the kids laugh, and at the beginning of the disc is a standard set of trailers.
Daphne & Velma doesn’t pretend to be anything other than what it really is; a fan service direct to home video prequel working a little too hard to get the younger female demographic back into the Scooby Doo fandom. But it does work, as my daughter was entertained with the film and I was impressed with a strong video and audio presentation on the disc. If you have little ones that love Scooby Doo at home, this is something that might be worth checking out.