Daphne and Velma
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Cast: Sarah Jeffery, Sarah Gilman, Vanessa Marano, Arden Myrin, Brooks Forester
Studio: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Extra Feature Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Spoilers: Low
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Daphne and Velma from Scooby Doo fame team up for the first time in this live action prequel that puts a modern spin on the classic animated characters. Sarah Jeffery and Sarah Gilman bring the characters to life as they patrol the halls of their high school in search of answers to one very serious mystery. It’s a campy film that pokes fun at our social media obsessed society while giving new context to Daphne and Velma’s relationship.
In Daphne and Velma, the two girls are online penpals who share an interest in the unexplained when suddenly hey find themselves at the same high school. Since his is a Scooby Doo film it doesn’t take long for a mystery to plant itself right in front of them. When kids at their super school for the super smart start having their minds wiped they try to find the culprits. But soon wealthy philanthropist, school administrators, kooky parents, and strange specters all pop up to get in the way of their finding answers.
It’s a fairly satisfying film that offers some great development for Daphne and Velma – two characters whose primary roles have tended to be ‘girlfriend’ and ‘nerdy comic relief.’ The girls get to come up with cool gadgets, unravel clues, and stick it to the bad guys with an ultimate reveal that feels at least somewhat similar to unmasking the monster at the end of a Scooby Doo episode.
Even without it’s eponymous characters, though, the plot of Daphne and Velma works fairly well. It may be blasphemous to say considering the film’s Warner Bros. origins but it almost feels like a Disney Channel original movie. That’s not a bad thing considering that the film’s primary audience will fall into that same demographic. But it does take away from the impact of this film as a prequel when you realize it would be pretty much the same movie without the well-known names.
The film sets itself up for a sequel if Warner Bros. were so inclined to make one and I bet that anyone who enjoys this movie would be interested in seeing more. Daphne and Velma feels a lot like Gwenda Bond’s Lois Lane book series and considering I loved that series I’d say that’s fairly high praise. Like that series this movie recasts these characters into super smart, capable high school detectives who supersede their more stereotypical origins. And while it’s still campy as all get out it’s a nice way to introduce the characters.
It’s not the best movie in the world and if you don’t ever get a chance to see it I think you can rest soundly at night. But it’s a fun movie for Scooby Doo fans and especially kids who may be moving on from the animated series and into movies more specifically geared towards preteens.
Daphne and Velma doesn’t come with too many special features but the few that are included do add some additional insight to the film. Daphne & Velma: A New Ambition does a really great job of showing the way the characters were modernized and given more agency than they may have previously possessed. An Updated Classic Mystery points out ways that the filmmakers tried to channel the look and feel of an animated Scooby Doo mystery while still grounding the work in a more modern feel. Finally, Iconic Styles of Daphne and Velma Reimagined discuses the wardrobe choices and costume design with it’s clear nod to the old school characters’ classic looks. There’s also a gag reel!
Honestly, I would have included some classic Scooby Doo episodes if any could be found that would be topical. It’s been years since I watched the old Scooby Doo reruns so I don’t know if there are any Daphne and/or Velma-centric ones out there. But if there were they could have included those the same way many of the DC animated films have been including episodes from various related series. It would have helped round this release out!
Daphne and Velma is a campy little film that does a good job of modernizing two well known characters while still keeping things fun.Daphne and Velma leads viewers on a fun little mystery without really doing anything too outrageous. While it certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea it’ll be good for younger Scooby Doo fans who might be growing out of the cartoons but still love the franchise.
You can pick up Daphne and Velma on a blu-ray combo pack (which redeems to Movies Anywhere) or digitally today!