Plot: As mysteries have been slow of late, Shaggy has been out on the race circuit with his girlfriend, Googie. The two are having a blast on the tracks, but the latest race could prove to be their last! A monster of a race is just ahead, as in one with all kinds of monsters behind the wheel and gunning for the checkered flag. But Shaggy soon runs into some bad luck when Dracula transforms him into a werewolf, which means Scooby and Scrappy will need to pitch in. At least there is a glimmer of hope, as Dracula has offered to lift the curse, if Shaggy can win the big monster race. But with a crowded field of wild, even haunted racers at the starting line, can Shaggy claim first place or will be a fuzzball forever?
Entertainment Value: This is another oddball Scooby-Doo animated feature from the 80s and much like Ghoul School, the mystery premise is dropped in favor of puns and a focus on the comic relief. Which would be fine, but the material is thin and the movie clocks in at over 90 minutes, so to call most of the script filler would be beyond an understatement. Scooby and Shaggy are passable here, but without the other regulars around, their shtick grows stale at times. Perhaps it was felt the series needed a fresh approach, but I think dropping the Mystery Machine peeps and mystery elements take a toll on this one. A race with monsters sounds cool, but isn’t enough to fill over half an hour, which is what happens here. The humor is bad jokes and puns, which is fine, but not when they’re repeated over and again, with no breaks or variety to the barrage of groan inducing humor. At times, that special Scooby-Doo magic is present, but it is sparse at best.
The voice talent here has a lot of Scooby-Doo regulars, with Casey Kasem, Don Messick, B.J. Ward, Hamilton Camp, Jim Cummings, and of course, the ever present legend of voice overs, Frank Welker. The performances are fine and in line with what you’d expect from the characters, but the material just doesn’t give these talented folks much to work with, which is a shame. The show is known for puns and bad jokes, but some effort is usually made to keep things a little fresh or allow the humor to breathe, which never happens here. The animation is rough, but is passable. Some of the monster designs look good, while others are simplistic and forgettable. I do like the color scope used here, as it leads to some interesting visual results. I love Scooby-Doo, but this Reluctant Werewolf installment is a lame duck.