As a Hanna Barbera geek, I have to say “Mask of the Blue Falcon” hit all the right notes. I didn’t just have a good time with the surprisingly clever vehicle for the Mystery Inc. crew, but I also had so much fun pointing out all of the Easter Eggs. And yes, every single Easter Egg within “Mask of the Blue Falcon” is a reference to a Hanna Barbera cartoon from the sixties and seventies. I’m just disappointed we didn’t see anything referencing “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids.” What? It’s an obscenely underrated Scooby Doo wannabe, darnit!
The Mystery Inc. gang head to the annual Mega Mondo Pop Cartoon-a-Con to attend the premiere of a brand new blockbuster superhero movie, the dark reboot of the cartoon “The Adventures of The Blue Falcon.” Shaggy and Scooby Doo happen to be big fans of The Blue Falcon and his trusty caped dog hero Dynomutt and are anxious to see the bold new vision. But things go awry when the Convention is interrupted by the return of the villainous Mr. Hyde, a bad guy from the original Blue Falcon series who begins wreaking havoc on convention goers. With the help of a fellow Blue Falcon fanatic, Scooby, Shaggy and the gang have to figure out who is trying to disrupt the premiere of “The Blue Falcon” movie before the city is destroyed and someone is seriously hurt. Could the masked Hyde be former disgruntled Blue Falcon actor Owen Garrison? “Blue Falcon” actor Brad Adams? Explosion happy filmmaker Jennifer Severin? Or Maybe Hank Prince, a collector/seller making a ton of money off of Hyde’s terrorism?
I’m not usually a fan of the newer “Scooby Doo” movies, but I had some fun with “Mask of the Blue Falcon” which has a great time with some satire. The writers and animators have a ball satirizing modern superhero movies, reboots, and fan boys, while also poking fun at classic Hanna Barbera. Every shot has some reference to a cartoon from the company, and laughed quite often as I couldn’t help pointing out some of the better ones. There are a ton of nods to “Frankenstein Jr,” “The Impossibles,” “Mightor,” and “Birdman,” right down to “The Jetsons.” I can only imagine the animators and background artists making a game out of trying to squeeze in as many references to classic shows from the studio as humanly possible.
The mystery itself is a lot of fun as the Hyde is an inventive villain whose identity could literally be anyone in the convention. Sadly, once the halfway mark hits, it becomes very obvious who is Hyde, and it then becomes a matter of when the reveal will take place. That said, the journey is still fun at a breezy seventy five minutes in length. There’s a fun side plot with Daphne rabidly collecting furry collectibles at the convention, and the voice cast is as top notch as always. We get the usual A list like Diedrich Bader, Dee Bradley Baker, John DiMaggio, Grey DeLisle, Frank Welker, and even new Shaggy Matthew Lillard. Kevin Michael Richardson is also hilarious as the city’s inept mayor. “Mask of the Blue Falcon” is a solid vehicle for the “Scooby Doo” series that older animation and pop culture fans might even get a kick out of. It’s nice to see Hanna Barbera be meta whenever they get the chance.