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Suzi Yoonessi
Sarah Jeffery, Sarah Gilman, Vanessa Marano
Writing Credits:
Kyle Mack, Caitlin Meares

The female future members of Mystery Inc. investigate strange goings-on in their school.

Rated G

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 75 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 5/22/2018

• “A New Ambition” Featurette
• “An Updated Classic Mystery” Featurette
• “Iconic Styles” Featurette
• Gag Reel
• Previews
• DVD Copy


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Daphne & Velma [Blu-Ray] (2018)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 17, 2018)

A prequel to the Scooby-Doo franchise, 2018’s direct-to-video Daphne & Velma focuses on the series’ female leads in their high school days. Daphne Blake (Sarah Jeffery) becomes the new girl at Ridge Valley High School, but she already enjoys an online friendship with Velma Dinkley (Sarah Gilman).

When they meet in real life, though, Velma and Daphne find it more difficult to connect. They need to overcome any personal differences to contend with a threat that plagues their school, as students mysteriously change into weird, inept versions of themselves.

2002’s Scooby-Doo launched the live-action franchise with a bang, as it became a pretty decent hit. However, the sequel – 2004’s Monsters Unleashed - made barely half of its predecessor’s gross and seemed to doom the series.

Nothing ever dies, though, so the live-action domain “rebooted” with 2009’s origin story The Mystery Begins. 2011’s Curse of the Lake Monster offered a sequel to that effort, but I guess these two must not have done well since we went seven years between live-action films.

Does Daphne exist as an attempt to re-reboot the series? Will we get Fred & Shaggy next year? I don’t know, but I think the basic concept of Daphne comes with merit, as a glimpse of the ladies pre-Mystery Inc. sounds fun.

And Daphne occasionally musters a bit of charm, though not a ton. While cute in theory, the execution seems a little less than engaging.

On the positive side, the lead actors do well enough in their parts. Gilpin doesn’t make me forget the stellar performance Linda Cardellini created as Velma in the 2002 film, but she seems more than fine, and Jeffery appears at least as good as Sarah Michelle Gellar.

It’s also kind of fun to see the female characters without the guys involved, especially because Shaggy and Scooby suck so much oxygen out of the series’ room. Velma and Daphne tended to get the fuzzy side of the lollipop, so I appreciate the attempt to let them shine.

I just wish the end product created more satisfaction, as Daphne winds up as a spotty tale. While it comes with occasional glimmers of wit and creativity, it lacks consistency.

A lot of this relates to the overriding plot, one that comes and goes in fits and starts. The narrative fails to create a consistent through-line – the movie engages the tale when it wants but ignores the story too often.

The occasional nugget of silly fun doesn’t offer enough to sustain a full film – at least in a consistently satisfying manner. Daphne throws out enough innocuous charm to make it a watchable family flick but it could’ve been better.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

Daphne & Velma appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an appealing image.

Sharpness looked terrific from start to finish. Virtually no softness materialized, so the movie remained tight and accurate.

No signs of jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. The presentation also lacked print flaws.

To suit the cartoon themes, Daphne went with a candy-colored palette that excelled. This meant the hues looked vivid and dynamic throughout the movie.

Blacks seemed dense and dark, while low-light shots appeared smooth and clear. I felt pleased with this strong image.

Though not as impressive, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack worked fine. Music played a significant role, as the film came with an active score, and occasional effects elements broadened horizons as well.

Most of the film concentrated on general atmosphere, but the track opened up when necessary. Much of this came from spooky moments, and a few action beats used the various channels in a vivid way as well.

Audio quality satisfied, with music that sounded lively and full. Speech came across as natural and concise, without any intelligibility issues.

Effects offered accurate tones that contributed nice accuracy and clarity. Low-end showed full range as well. This turned into a more than competent soundtrack.

A handful of extras fill out the disc, and we find three featurettes. Daphne & Velma: A New Ambition goes for four minutes, 58 seconds and offers comments from producer/director Suzi Yoonessi, producers Jennifer Tisdale and Ashley Tisdale, and actors Sarah Jeffery, Sarah Gilman, Brian Stepanek, Vanessa Marano, and Arden Myrin.

“Ambition” looks at story/characters and the movie’s themes. It offers a self-congratulatory view of the project without much substance.

An Updated Classic Mystery runs five minutes, 22 seconds and features Gilman, Marano, Jeffery, Yoonessi, Myrin, Ashley Tisdale, Jennifer Tisdale, and producer Amy Kim.

“Classic” discusses ways the film modernizes various Scooby-Doo tropes. It comes with a few nuggets but largely seems forgettable.

Lastly, the six-minute, 11-second Iconic Styles of Daphne & Velma Reimagined includes notes from Ashley Tisdale, Yoonessi, Jennifer Tisdale, Jeffery, Gilman, and costume designer Kara Saun. As expected, this one discusses the lead characters’ various costumes. It’s the most informative of the three featurettes.

A Gag Reel occupies five minutes, 39 seconds. It shows the usual goofs and giggles, so don’t expect much from it.

The disc opens with ads for Lego DC SuperHero Girls: Super-Villain High, Scooby-Doo & Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Dirt and Alex & Me. No trailer for Daphne appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Daphne. It includes the same extras as the Blu-ray.

A prequel that focuses on the Scooby-Doo series’ females, Daphne & Velma works better than one might expect, as it comes with occasional mirth and life. However, it lacks consistency and can seem too scattershot. The Blu-ray delivers excellent visuals as well as pretty good audio and minor supplements. This is a watchable but erratic flick.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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