Scooby Doo! Pirates Ahoy! (2006)

2006’s “Pirates Ahoy!” is one of the more clever animated sequels to come from the aughts when the “Scooby Doo” movie series was pretty much stale. By this time they’d given up fighting real monsters, and reverted back to criminals and goons with fancy costumes and illusions. It’s surprising how much talent these direct to DVD movies always attract, and the cast compliments what is a pretty nifty mystery, altogether.

Scooby, Shaggy and the gang takes a mystery-themed cruise with Freddy’s parents through the Bermuda Triangle, but what starts out as staged hi-jinks soon turns into the real thing. Ghost pirates are prowling the legendary waters of the Triangle, searching for a priceless treasure and someone on board the cruise ship may hold the secret to it’s location. Now Scooby and the rest of gang will have to solve the real mystery behind the mysterious treasure or they may end up walking the plank to sink to the depths of Davy Jone’s Locker.

“Pirates Ahoy!” brings a great cast including Freddie Rodriguez, Arsenio Hall, Dan Castellaneta, Tim Conway, Edie McClurg, Kathy Najimy, and Ron Perlman, respectively. Perlman has a good time in the role as villainous Captain Skunkbeard, who seeks a treasure that he’s convinced Freddy’s dad Skip knows the location of. As with a lot of the latter day films, the writers take the piss out of the series, getting meta with a lot of the set up winking and nodding to the mythology of the series. For once the Mystery Machine gang are a bit too smart for their own good and manage to spoil for everyone else what is supposed to be a fun weekend involving scares.

They get their wish though when apparently real undead pirates storm the cruise ship in search of Rupert Garcia, an Astrocartographer that can help locate the mythic pirate treasure Skunkbeard desires. “Pirates Ahoy!” is short and simple, but high energy and witty enough to garner a few laughs here and there. It also gets considerably meta mid-way which might be a neat gag for fans that love the original series. All in all, “Pirates Ahoy!” is a good time, and a decent mystery. It’s hard to go wrong with ghost pirates.