Scooby-Doo! Frankencreepy was released in the United States on August 19, 2014. The Warner Bros. Animation production was directed by Paul McEvoy and written by James Krieg. This film is an animated adventure that is fun for the whole family and runs for seventy-four minutes. A person should not have any trouble accessing this movie. It can be found on Amazon Video, YouTube, iTunes, etc.
Velma Dinkley and the rest of the gang find out that Velma has inherited her great-great uncle’s castle that is located in Transylvania, Pennsylvania. As any Scooby-Doo movie would go, the gang soon learns that the castle is haunted. Upon leaving the lawyer’s office to head to Transylvania, Fred’s Mystery Van is blown up. Once they are on the train, Velma shares a secret with the gang. Her ancestor is Baron Von Dinkenstein, who created a monster. She tells the gang that this is the reason she solves mysteries. Once they arrive in Transylvania, Inspector Krunch, Mr. Burger, and Iago greet them. Iago leads them to the castle. Velma finds herself in her great-great uncle’s laboratory face-to-face with the deceased monster that the Baron created. She becomes obsessed with bringing the creature back to life, which viewers later learn is because she was hypnotized. While this is taking place, Daphne’s clothes start to become too tight and her looks change. Scooby and Shaggy are oddly brave and not hungry, while Fred is still devastated about the loss of the Mystery Machine. Velma manages to give life to the monster, which as expected, scares everyone. The gang learns that there is natural gas in the castle, which is ignited by the torches in the castle. They manage to escape it before it blows up and return safely back to town. They are able to capture the gypsy, Mr. Burger, Inspector Krunch, and Mrs. Vanders in the train. They learn that these people are in disguise and are seeking revenge. All is well in the end. Fred gets a new Mystery Machine, Velma is not hypnotized anymore, Daphne gets her looks back and goes back to her normal weight, and Scooby and Shaggy are back to their hungry scared selves again.
As far as kids movies go that are adapted from Frankenstein, Scooby Doo! Frankencreepy contains an abundance of facts based on Mary Shelley’s novel. When Velma and the rest of the gang arrive at the castle in Transylvania, they immediately spot the Frankencreep that the Baron, Velma’s great-great uncle, created. She tells them this is the creature that “inspired Mary Shelley’s novel.” Even though that is not completely true, this simple statement reveals to the children watching this a couple of ideas. One, that there is a book called Frankenstein. Secondly, they actually know the author’s name now. One member of the gang says that the creature looks like a Frankenstein. Velma replies with, “Just to clarify, Frankenstein was the doctor not the creature.” This could arguably be the major truth that is revealed to kids. In many adaptations for kids the monster is known as Frankenstein. However, Velma teaches them that this is not the case. As simple as it is, this is one fact that often gets misunderstood. Another concept form the novel that children see while watching this film is how obsessed Velma is with bringing life to the monster. They see how she acts in crazy ways and that she upsets the people she loves the most. Even though hypnotism is the cause of Velma’s actions, kids get a glimpse of how Victor actually acted in the novel. If a person wants to give their child a brief introduction to the novel, Frankenstein, then this is the movie to show them.
Relevance to Other Adaptations
There is a plethora of adaptations of Shelley’s novel, each of them borrowing pieces from earlier ones to create a new one. Animated movies do this as well. Frankencreepy borrows from the 2012 animated film, Hotel Transylvania by having the story unfold in the town of Transylvania. This allows children to have that creepy and eerie feeling one might have while reading the novel, however, it refrains from actually scaring the kids. There is also the burning of the windmill, which appears in the 2012 production of Frankenweenie as well as in Young Frankenstein. The writers even have Velma say, “It’s alive!” during the creation scene, which shows up in almost every adaptation but originated in the 1931 version. One other minor aspect that is borrowed is the famous big hair with the white streak from the 1935 film, The Bride of Frankenstein. When Velma becomes hypnotized and obsessed with her creation she has the same hair.
In many adaptations, Victor has a hunchback assistant named, Igor. Frankencreepy takes this concept and twists it a little. Instead of the character being named Igor, his name is Iago. It could be assumed that the writes of this movie were influenced by Shakespeare’s play, Othello. In this play Iago is supposedly Othello’s best friend, however, he ends up being his biggest enemy. This sounds familiar of Iago’s character in Frankencreepy. Iago is the one that leads the gang to the castle. He is also the one that warns them that the castle is going to explode, making it seem like he is their friend and there to help them out. However, once the movie progresses viewers learn that Iago is actually disguised as the monster and then as the DOD agent, Shimidlap. Even though in the end of the movie Iago ends up being one of the good guys and helping the gang, it says something that he was disguised as the monster.
The overarching moral of Frankencreepy is the importance of friendship. Through out the film each character loses something that viewers are led to believe means the most to them. For Fred it is his van, the Mystery Machine. Daphne appears to have gained weight and loses her beauty. Velma loses her logic and Scooby and Shaggy lose their love for eating. However, Velma adverts the gang’s attention to the fact that even though the characters lost something they truly care about, it was not what was most important to them. It was the gang’s friendship and encouragement that allowed them to fight and escape the monster, and to figure out the true identity of each of the villains. Had it not been for the gang having the support of one another they could not have made it past the monster or out of the castle. It is also important to note that even when Velma was obsessed bringing life to the monster and captured Scooby and Shaggy to get their brains, the gang was still there for her and forgave her. Within learning how valuable friendship is, children are also shown that beauty and good looks are not the most important things in life. Daphne is worried that Fred will view her differently when she gains weight, but he informs her that he did not even notice and continues to still be there for her. This is an especially important lesson for young girls and boys to learn in today’s times.
Scooby Doo! Frankencreepy emphasizes the theme of revenge that appears in Shelley’s novel. In Frankenstein readers see this with the Creature. After the De Lacey family has rejected him he seeks out revenge for Victor. Most readers understand why the monster wants vengeance on Victor. However, this decision only brings more harm to the Creature. He becomes a horrible monster by murdering Victor’s family and friends that the Creature only guarantees he will never obtain what he wants most in life, to be accepted by the human race. In the film, viewers are not exposed to revenge until the end of the movie. The audience learns that Mrs. Vanders, Mr. Burger, Inspector Krunch, and the gypsy are all disguised as people whom the gang has caught breaking the law in the past. These villains admit that they disguised themselves to get revenge on the gang. They also reveal that there are many others who would like to do the same. Unfortunately for these people they only added more detriment to their lives, exactly like the Creature did. The villains only secured a spot for themselves back in jail. By using the Creature and the villains as examples, it is safe to say that attempting to get revenge on someone rarely works out in one’s favor.
Scooby Doo! Frankencreepy was nominated for the BTVA (Behind the Voice Actors) Special/DVD Voice Acting award. Diedrich Bader won the Best Male Vocal Performance in a TV-to-DVD or Theatrical Short Award for the voice of Mrs. Vanders. Both, the nomination and award won were in 2015. IMDB gave it a six point nine out of ten.
Significance of Adaptation
As mentioned before Scooby Doo! Frankencreepy does borrow aspects from different adaptations. The most unique angle this film takes is providing so many different facts from the novel that many, especially ones aimed toward children leave out. Like most of the animated versions, there are underlying messages being sent to children. However, most of them send the message that it is okay to be different and not fit in, whereas this movie emphasizes the value of true friendship. Most of the adaptations that are not directly geared toward kids, and some that are, accentuate that the creature was assembled from different parts of different people. This film portrays this image by giving the Frankencreep one are that resembles that of a crab and the other of an octopus. It is hard to tell what kind of animal his legs are from, but it is obvious that they are both different. His body is furry similar to a gorilla. His head and neck appear to be an extremely creepy turtle with the tongue of a snake. Lastly, viewers can see where the two parts of his tail are stitched together to make one. In the majority of adaptations, one will be able to see the stitches where the creator has sown together the different parts. In Frankenweenie Sparky has patches sown into his skin to illustrate this concept. Therefore, the use of different animal parts is what separates this adaptation from the rest.
It is difficult to say if this film has influenced other adaptations since it is so recent. It seems as if the animated versions will borrow from the regular films but it does not go the other way around. The regular adaptations seem to only take from other regular films. With that being said, there has only been one animated adaptation of Frankenstein released since this one and it is Hotel Transylvania 2.
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Susan J. Wolfson. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's
Frankenstein, Or, The Modern Prometheus. 2nd ed. Pearson Education, 2007. Print.