The sixth direct-to-video installment of the Scooby-Doo franchise, Scooby-Doo and the Monster of Mexico was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and again directed by the guy who brought us Scooby-Doo comics, Scott Jeralds.
Once more the film was done in a retro format resembling the classic Hanna-Barbera 1970s cartoons and this movie was the final time featuring Frank Welker, Casey Kasem, Heather North and Nicole Jaffe from The New Scooby-Doo Movies together, as this was North and Jaffe's final time voicing Daphne and Velma respectively. This was also North's final project before her death in 2017.
The movie begins with Freds Mexican pen-pal inviting him and the rest of the gang to come visit him in Veracruz, Mexico. Freds friend Alejo Otero owns a fancy hotel and offers to let them all stay while vacationing. The gang decides its a good chance to take a break from solving mysteries, only to find theres a new mystery waiting for them when they arrive in Veracruz. The mythical Mexican monster El Chupacabra is supposedly tormenting the residents of the town and chasing away visitors. Of course, the gang begin investigating around the town to see what they can turn up.
- Big Bad: Mr. Smiley and Charlene are behind the hoax as an attempt to get the Otero family to sell their land.
- Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: El Chupacabra is depicted as a Mexican Sasquatch. See Sadly Mythtaken below.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The museum guide, also known as Charlene, is a much crueler person than she seems.
- Dating What Mommy Hates: After Charlene's revealed as one of the culprits, Luis and Alejo's mother reveals that she never really liked Charlene, even calling her as a "bruja" (the Spanish word for "witch").
- Chekhov's Gun: A billboard is seen for Mr. Smiley's theme park in America early on. Later a similar bill board is seen suggesting he wants to build a new one in Mexico. Turns out Mr. Smiley's the culprit. He wanted to steal Alejo's land to build his theme park on.
- Chupacabra: The Monster of the Week. Although the only thing consistent about it is its apparent diet of goats (and even then, it is only mentioned once).
- Damsel in Distress: Daphne gets kidnapped in a tourist attraction mid-film in an attempt to scare away the gang, but she is found outside shortly after.
- Dirty Coward: Luis sees himself as this after hearing his brother calling for help but being too scared to help, being afraid he might lose his brother, so he claims El Chupacabra knocked him out. He's ashamed of it, but Alejo forgives him, claiming that there are worse things than being a coward.
- Eccentric Mentor: Downplayed, but still: The Curandero, a quintessential sage/shaman/wise mentor figure, turns out to have a personal website. When Daphne expresses surprise about this, he replies with a hint of a smile: "As I said: expect the unexpected."
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Mr. Smiley and Charlene mock Alejo for not wanting to break the promise he and the rest of his family made to his and Luis's deceased father about not selling the family business. Lampshaded at the end by Señor Fuente.
- Expressive Mask: Mr. Smiley's rubber skull mask is capable of showing a wide range of emotions and the jaw moving perfectly with his voice.
- Gold Digger: Charlene only wanted Luis' money.
- Gratuitous Spanish: The constant use of the Spanish language is justified since the entire film takes place in Mexico. In fact, the fact the villain doesn't speak Spanish is an important plot point.
- Language Barrier: The threat written in Spanish on the Mystery Machine had a grammar error no real Spanish person would make and the ghost of the Otero patriarch only spoke English. These are hints that the bad guys don't speak Spanish.
- Latex Perfection: Mr. Smiley's skull mask and Charlene's museum guide disguise, which she even wears under the Chupacabra suit.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
- So how much of the things at the pyramids were special effects? And then (most of) the gifts Alejo's family leave at his father's grave vanish...how did that happen? The only gift that was not gone? Charlene's.
- Also, the Curandero (medicine man) gives the gang some cryptic hints, implying that the monster is not real, "the only evil force in this land is greed", and "the answers to all your questions can be found in the past" (which leads the gang to investigate the national museum). His role in the plot is never explained: does he just happen to know something about the goings-on, or does he have some sort of psychic powers?
- My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Fred's attempt to speak Spanish leaves something to be desired.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Mr. Smiley pretends to be the ghost of Alejo and Luis's father telling them to sell their hotel. But Fred pointed out their real father spoke only Spanish. When he's found out, he complains that he doesn't know how to speak Spanish and asks why can't everyone just learn English.
- Reality Ensues:
- When the gang was chased by a mob of angry tourists, they used obvious disguises like they always did in their previous adventures. The angry tourists saw through their disguise immediately.
- Mr. Smiley learned the hard way that if you only speak English in a foreign community, chances are a vast majority of them won't understand what is being said.
- Red Herring: Señor Fuente. He is introduced wanting to buy Alejo's land... but isn't the bad guy. He says at the end that he simply learned to accept and respect that they wouldn't want to go against Señor Otero's wishes.
- Retraux: Produced in the same retro Hanna-Barbera style as Scooby-Doo! and the Legend of the Vampire and later with Krypto the Superdog; all of these being directed (and created in the latter) by Scooby/H-B veteran Scott Jeralds.
- Sadly Mythtaken: The urban legends associated with El Chupacabra describe it as being reptilian and that it sucks the blood of goats, hence the name ("Chupacabra" translates to "goat-sucker"). The Chupacabra in this movie is a Bigfoot-like creature, and characters never mention it drinking blood (it is mentioned eating goats, however). While the Chupacabra is popularly known as the "Mexican Bigfoot", that doesn't mean that it's literally Mexico's version of Bigfoot (the Chupacabra doesn't even come from Mexico, but from Puerto Rico). Though to be fair, they probably would've had trouble using a faithful version of the Chupacabra in a Scooby-Doo movie, anyway, especially one emulating the classic Scooby-Doo cartoons from 1969-1979.
- "Scooby-Doo" Hoax: The Chupacabra is a fake monster used by Mr. Smiley and his associate, Charlene.
- Shout-Out: "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain."
- El Chupacabra's roars are the same as Godzilla in Hanna-Barbera's The Godzilla Power Hour.
- Smelly Skunk: The Gang are forced to stop the Mystery Machine thanks to a skunk, which has Visible Odor coming off it. They take cover on a billboard and the skunk laughs at them.
- Special Effects Failure: In-Universe; the "magical eagle" is very obviously just a machine. However, it's convincing enough to fool the gullible tourists.
- Spot the Thread: Freddy, when reviewing the footage of the vandalized Mystery Machine, deduces that the perpetrator doesn't speak Spanish due to the word manana missing the tilde, the ~ symbol above the first letter "n".