Plot: Shaggy and Scooby-Doo have some downtime between mysteries and in an effort to make ends meet, the duo accepts a position at an all-girls school. Shaggy will be the school’s new gym teacher and since he knows little about physical education, Scrappy has tagged along to provide his expertise. Once the group arrives, they learn this is no ordinary school for girls, as the hallways are packed with monsters, ghosts, witches, and creatures. There’s no mystery to solve however, as these are the students and they’re on the brink of an important school event. A volleyball game against their rivals from an all boys boarding school is just around the corner, but can Shaggy, Scooby, and Scrappy manage to lead the girls to victory?
Entertainment Value: Ghoul School is one of the strangest entries in the Scooby-Doo animated feature series, as it veers so much from the well established formula and makes some odd choices. While Shaggy and Scooby are present, the rest of the usual gang is nowhere to be seen, though the movie tosses in Scrappy to help compensate for the smaller roster. The ensemble is an important part of the Scooby-Doo formula, as our comic relief starts to wear thin after a while. The movie also abandons the mystery aspect of the Scooby-Doo experience, tasking our heroes to instead coach a volleyball game and while hilariously bizarre, that’s not an ideal choice. The movie does stack up tons of colorful smaller characters, including the little dragon that steals a lot of scenes, but it just doesn’t feel like a Scooby-Doo adventure. The story is minimal even by cartoon standards, with an emphasis on constant puns instead of twists or fun characters to make us laugh. So while the odd touches add some unintended humor, overall Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School is a misfire that pulls too hard from the well established, beloved formula.
The voice cast is fine here, but the material is so thin, even talented voice actors can only do so much. The script is just one awful pun after another, which I love puns and all, but there’s no break whatsoever, so it starts to grate at a certain point. Not to mention that several of the puns are repeated over and over, to the extent you will want to choke someone if you hear “fang-tastic” one more time. The cast includes Casey Kasem, Don Messick, Franke Welker, and Susan Blu in prominent roles and again while solid, the script just lets them down. Remy Auberjonois has an unexpected role here as well, which might draw in some viewers. The animation is rough, but this was an 80s production, so to expect fluid, cutting edge animation is unrealistic. The visuals are in line with the television series, so fans shouldn’t be too let down. I wanted to like Ghoul School, as I am a fan of these animated features from the Scooby-Doo realm, but this one just didn’t win me over.