Western Animation / Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright
Scooby-Doo! Stage Fright
is the 20th title in the made-for-video Scooby-Doo
series. It was due out August 20, 2013, but had its television debut on Cartoon Network
on August 10, 2013.
Fred and Daphne are finalists on a show called "Talent Star", which is being telecast from an opera house haunted by a vengeful phantom. The suspects include a pint-sized singer with over-pushy stage parents, a magician, and a garish diva.
- All Love Is Unrequited / Unresolved Sexual Tension: Daphne confides to Velma that the time spent with Fred preparing and rehearsing their song for the talent show has made her fall in love with him, but she doesn't have the nerve to tell him up front, at which point Velma advises her to do something about it. This culminates in a gag during the end credits where it's revealed Fred has been confiding reciprocal feelings to Shaggy and Scooby.
- The Artifact: The gangs iconic clothing ends up getting mocked as being a product of the Disco Age.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Shaggy and Scooby's task to go to the library and research the Opera House is suddenly detoured by... PIZZA!
- Badass Baritone: The Phantom and his magnificent, hooting Evil Laugh.
- Brick Joke: After beating and catching one of the phantoms, an officer offers to drive the gang back to the show, stating he had bet $50 on Fred and Daphne to win. When the two throw the contest and the last phantom is caught, that same officer angrily tells the pair they owe him fifty bucks.
- Busman's Holiday: Once again, the gang is trying to do something totally unrelated to mysteries when a ghost pops up and they have to unmask him. This time, the gang just goes with it - it even gets a lampshade at a few points.
- Car Chase: The gang get into one with the Phantom. It's massive.
- Could Have Avoided This Plot: The original Phantom, who inspired the current Phantom, isolated himself from society and eventually went on his rampage because he believed he was too deformed to be accepted. Turns out he's he only owned a fun house mirror and doesn't really look that bad.
- Darker and Edgier: The film includes a villain trying to knock Fred off a catwalk, kill him with an acetylene torch, and a scene where a body is seen hanging in the shadows, invoking an image of a murder by hanging before the lights reveal that it's just a magician hung up by his harness and still very much alive. Scooby and Shaggy are also chased by the Phantom as he brandishes a meat cleaver.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- Dewey Ottoman's slightly neurotic obsession with cleanliness is on display from the very beginning.
- Lotte's grand entrance into the pizza joint, looking for Shaggy and Scooby. Before getting down to business, she spends a few minutes signing autographs, and by signing them, we mean carving the letters of her name into an old man's tongue.
- Everyone Can See It: Everyone who bothers to notice automatically pins Daphne and Fred as a couple... thing is, Fred doesn't notice.
- The TV show, "Talent Star", is one of NBC's America's Got Talent.
- Lotte, the Rita Repulsa-looking singer is one for La Carlotta—the Phantom even does the "change the throat spray" trick from the 2004 movie. (Her name is actually pronounced "Lotta").
- Fanservice: Nothing too strong, but about as much as this series gets - there's the hotel scene where Daphne is sorta posing on the bed rather cutely with her shoes off. And shortly after there's a scene at night with Daphne and Velma where the latter is wearing nothing but an oversized t-shirt and socks and the former is wearing lingerie.
- Foil: Chrissy, the Spoiled Brat singer with not one but two Stage Parents, and Ema, the sweetheart violinist with folksy folks who are hoping to win the cash prize to save their farm. For such blatant, obvious contrasts, the movie does a good job restraining itself by never actually having really interact (except when Chrissy is briefly caught giving Ema a Death Glare).
- Forehead of Doom: Chrissy.
- The techie in the control booth cries out "He's everywhere!" when asked to report the Phantom's location from the closed-circuit cameras. There are four costumed Phantoms, plus a fifth who manifests only via the AV equipment.
- Also, Velma casually mentions the Soap Diamond in the first scene after the Cold Open. Likewise, during the Phantom's night-time appearance Dewey runs into the Phantom and displays none of his prior fear of him (being more concerned about touching a dog than anything), then even takes it upon himself to clean up the evidence - all of the Phantoms work to his advantage and any of them getting caught hurts his plan.
- Neat Freak Dewey Ottomon expresses so much fear of the Phantom that the mere mention of his name causes him to have a fainting spell... except for that one time when he was too busy freaking out over Scooby-Doo and his germs to even bother caring about the Phantom right in front of him.
- Freudian Slip: Daphne does not hide her love for Fred very well.
Daphne (after Fred plays his own song): "How Fred, that's beautiful. I really like you. It. I like it. Not you. I mean, I like you, but... uh... like you song?"
- Gambit Pileup: The Phantom may be causing chaos, but he's not the only one making a profit from the panic. There are four phantoms actively attacking the show at the same time, each with their own criss-crossing objectives and entrance into the plot. It gets a little confusing as to who is doing what and when - and in a stroke of Fridge Brilliance it muddles the plot enough that the audience (expecting one Phantom) doesn't know who to latch their suspicions onto.
- The first and possibly "main" Phantom to appear was Crissy's father, who was out to sabotage the other contestants so that Crissy would win. This is the "CRISSY MUST WIN" Phantom.
- The other main Phantom is Dewey Ottoman, who moonlights as a high-profile thief and is using the whole thing as a cover so he can steal a diamond while the cops are distracted. This is the lemon-scented Phantom.
- Mel Richmond is attempting to burn down the Opera House to collect the insurance and get rid of the drain on his finances. Notably, he only started doing this well after the first two Phantoms began their sprees (if not the very scene he was caught) and was merely using the opportunity to avoid suspicion.
- Brick Pimiento was the last Phantom to be rounded up; he was exploiting the attacks to raise hype for the show and can be presumed to be the cause of the Phantom's command of the cameras. He's guilty of abetting criminals at the very least by exaggerating their effects and hindering the police. Like Mel, he seemed to have been using the opportunity, so he started later.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: The Opera House's security guards literally trip over their own feet, and are so incompetent that they're ultimately forced to bring the police in to deal with it. Exactly as one of the Phantoms planned.
- Honor Before Reason: Fred and Daphne win the contest through number of votes, but they choose to throw the contest on behalf of a sweet little girl who was a contestant, a violin prodigy. Fred and Daphne's score gets drastically reduced when they start telling corny jokes.
- Justified, if Emma, the little girl, won the contest she could save her parents farm with the prize. Fred and Daphne however couldn't think of a reason for needing the money... nor did they think to merely give Emma the money after they won it themselves.
- Kick the Dog: Lotte Lavoie refuses to give a fangirl an autograph because of her poor fashion sense and is remorseless while watching her run off in tears.
Lotte: Yeah, yeah, you better run!
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: After Chrissy rudely pushes Brick out of the way after her act, he coldly tells her her father's been arrested before her mother can break the news to her gently.
- Lampshade Hanging: Shaggy gets a great instance of this when told that there's rumors about the Opera House being haunted.
Shaggy: (casually) Of course it's haunted. When do we ever go anywhere that is not haunted?
Daphne: "Fred, why do ghosts and monsters show up wherever we go? Is it something about us?"
Fred: (as if it's obvious) "No, this happens to everyone."
Fred: "It would just be too much of a coincidence if it just happened to us, so logically everyone must run into ghosts and monsters all the time."
- Legacy Character: The original Phantom bedeviled the Opera House back during it's "disco hall" phase in the 70's. The new one has made a few modifications to the original tuxedo. Though they meet the original Phantom at some point, the slew of Phantoms these days are pulling Copycat Crimes for various reasons.
- Less Embarrassing Term:
Cathy: Ohmigosh, he's adorable!
Waldo: I am not adorable. I am hot.
- Little Miss Snarker: Downplayed with Emma, who has a very subtle strain of snark that you have to pay attention to notice.
Fred: Wow, Emma, you do make better bait than us!
- Minnesota Nice: Emma and her parents, though Emma's accent is more subtle than her parents' accents.
- Nice Girl / The Pollyanna: Emma loves everybody, is extremely kind, very sportsman-like (especially in contrast to the other contestants), makes instant friends with Fred and Daphne and even seem to be rooting for them at some points. She and her folks are such incredibly good people that the viewer seem almost expected to think it's an act and one of them is the Phantom, especially after we find out that they need to win the competition to pay off their debts. It isn't. They really are that good.
- No Name Given: The members of Girl-o-saurus Rex are named Cathy, Nancy, Donna, and Amy... but you'd be forgiven for not knowing that; the only time they're named is when one of the girls gets snippy with Cathy for being too much of a Genki Girl.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Not stupidity per se, but Dewey Ottoman seems to exaggerate his germ obsession and puts forth a frail, neurotic disposition - including fainting several times at the mere mention of the Phantom. As a result, the gang agrees that he's creepy but don't seriously consider him as the Phantom. Boy are they wrong - turns out he's an international thief, and during the final Car Chase though he's still foppish and clean he drops the act almost entirely. He even gets covered with gunk and trash several times and outright ignores it in his pursuit of the Soap Diamond.
- Obvious Trap: Fred and Daphne's original plan to catch the Phantom, where they practically started to sing that they would be "going to sleep in their dressing room". The only real reaction they got was from a nearby janitor, who kindly informed them that no one cared.
- Only Sane Man: Velma among the gang, as usual. Waldo and Emma among the contestants.
- Perky Goth: Cathy, the green haired member of Girl-o-saurus Rex. The other members are pretty perky as well, but are a little bit better at hiding it. Slightly.
Cathy: (high pitched giggle) Omigosh. We are so metal!
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Inverted. There's no real team, but the performers gathering for the talent show are quite the odd group. You have Fred and Daphne, of course; Chrissy, preteen diva and the Phantom's Favorite; and Emma, preteen violinist with just a smidge of attitude. And then you have The Great Pauldini, the bombastic and slightly disorganized magician; Waldo, the ventriloquist who sits on his dummy's lap; and Girl-o-saurus Rex, the
country heavy metal band that tries a little too hard to prove how metal it is.
Velma: A lemon-scented ghost would fit right in with this crowd.
- Red Herring: Played with, as it turns out there are at least four phantoms running around each with their own reason for donning the costume an terrorizing the show, which includes nearly every obvious suspect and one who wasn't so obvious. Only one of them turns out to be harmless (well at least in this decade anyway).
- Running Gag:
- Daphne poorly hides being in love with Fred, at which Velma rolls her eyes. Culminates in an entire scene of Daphne being melodramatic and Velma being a mix of supportive and sarcastic.
- Shaggy and Scooby attempting to wow Brick Pimiento with a lame act. Brick initially makes the mistake of encouraging them, then starts calling security.
- Shaggy and Scooby's inventive ways of sneaking Scooby past the security guard.
- Scary Black Man: The main security guard.
- Scooby-Doo Hoax: Inverted and played straight. Two Phantoms aren't trying to scare people away from the opera house, but are either a) trying to misdirect the police's attention in a Batman Gambit so that they're all watching the Opera House at the time of his diamond heist or b) trying to get publicity for the show and actually attract people. The original Phantom, way back in the 70's, was attempting to do this however (and succeeded).
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Waldo outright walks out on the show after the Phantom attacks one too many times. Girl-o-saurus Rex follow him out when their instruments are sabotaged, and the The Great Pauldini follows suit a few hours later.
- Shout-Out: An opera house haunted by a phantom who wants to hear Christine sing (and win the contest). All to often his presence is accompanied by creepy organ music and one of the many phantoms is convinced that he must wear the mask to hide his face, which he believes to be hideously disfigured.
- Let's face it. The entire thing was filled with Phantom of the Opera references, even having a disco ball as the alleged chandelier.
- Even further, some other parts might as well be Gaston Leroux's other works in Broad Strokes. The most famous Joseph Rouletabille story had a culprit who had multiple identities and disappeared in plain sight.
- All of which make this one a throwback to 80s Scooby Doo, literature references, Ship Teaseing, real criminal chases were common in them.
- Stealth Pun: The Phantom's true identity. More specifically the phantom who wants to steal the Soap Diamond — he's a straight-up Phantom Thief.
- Strange Minds Think Alike: Shaggy and Scooby's advice to Fred regarding the latter's feelings for Daphne is basically the same Velma gave Daphne about Daphne's feelings for Fred.
- Super-Stoic Shopkeeper: The waitress at the pizza joint where Shaggy and Scooby detour.
Waitress: Right this way, sir.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Brick Pimiento concludes his self-introduction with, "...and there's definitely no ghost."
- Terrified of Germs: Mr. Ottoman, the guy in charge of the competition. Turns out to be what gives him away as one of the Phantoms. The lemon scent that Shaggy and Scooby picked up during their encounter with the Phantom was probably his hand sanitizer.
- Took a Level in Badass:
- Shaggy is a downplayed version of this trope. His cowardliness is much less noticeable here than in most other parts of the franchise as he is actually putting himself in danger to help get things done and keep others safe. He's also more competent in this movie as he goes out of the way to do things himself without having to be told or bribed with Scooby snacks. He even figures out the second Phantom's identity and goals on his own.
- Dewey Ottoman is a cowardly germophobe at the beginning of the movie. But later during the car chase, he manages to weave his way in and out of Chicago traffic, always stay one step ahead of the gang, and makes a complete and utter leap of faith from his trashed car before it goes tumbling off the bridge and blows up.
- By association Scooby, as his and Shaggy's fearfulness go hand in hand.
- Troubling Unchild Like Behaviour: The little diva girl Chrissy… and her song, "Homewrecker". She spends the whole movie in a strapless dress and Opera Gloves, and she's not even a teenager.
Velma: For a girl her age, that song seems a little... extremely inappropriate.
Daphne: Very extremely.
- Take That Me / Self-Parody / Self-Deprecation: Arguably the treatment of the whole Daphne×Freddie subplot that has been going on and being reused for as long as anyone can remember got this treatment. Those who noticed were highly amused.
- Tuckerization: The stage magician is called "The Great Pauldini."
- Wolverine Claws: Lotte brandishes her footlong fingernails like weapons and can stab and carve through walls with them. She occasionally uses them to sign her name into others' clothes and flesh.
- Wrestler in All of Us: Fred ends up putting "The Phantom" in a full-nelson as "The Phantom" is unmasked.
- Writing Around Trademarks: Velma uses the "Giggle" search engine to look for information while the gang stays at Chicago's famous "Canard" hotel (in real life, the Drake Hotel).note