This article is about the film. For the DVD, see Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island (DVD).

Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island is the thirtieth in a series of direct-to-video films based upon Hanna-Barbera's Scooby-Doo Saturday morning cartoons. It had its world premiere on July 21 at the San Diego Comic Con International 2019,[1] followed by Digital HD on September 3, 2019, and DVD on October 1, 2019.

It is a quasi-sequel to Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, the original direct-to-video film in the series. Notably, it was released during the 50th anniversary year of the Scooby-Doo franchise, making the film somewhat of an acknowledgement of that milestone, along with the previous DTV release, Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost.


The gang gets a tropical-themed vacation, which turns out to be on none other than Moonscar Island, where the gang run into more zombies and cat creatures. Could the gang have left the mystery unresolved all along? Velma seems to think so.


The gang lure a werewolf in a trap and catch the culprit: Young Man Withers. Soon after cleaning the Mystery Machine, the gang capture more monsters, including the Snow Ghost, the Creeper, and the Spooky Space Kook, who are the entire Withers family. But, as the gang congratulate themselves, the Mystery Machine goes backwards, prompting Fred to give chase before discovering that it was just a dream. As it turns out, Fred sold the Mystery Machine, and they are retired from mystery solving, thanks to the Sheriff from the 13th Ghost incident. Fred decides to come out of retirement after seeing a news report, though Shaggy and Scooby refuse, saying that they've been taken for granted in all their mysteries. The pair make Fred, Daphne, and Velma promise never to solve another mystery. The gang decide to have a vacation and soon see a TV program featuring Elvira, who announces that Shaggy Rogers is the winner of a tropical vacation, much to the gang's confusion and Shaggy and Scooby's delight.

On the way to the island via ferry, Fred, Daphne, and Velma try to keep their promise as Shaggy and Scooby relax. After arriving, two greeters frightfully tell the gang to "Get Out" but get humorously ignored by the gang as they go in a van to the resort, with the two greeters saying "Tourists…" in a annoyed tone. On the way, a clawed figure slashes a palm tree causing it to block the road. forcing the gang to go to the resort by foot while the van driver stays to repair his van. Arriving at Moonstar Island Resort, they are reminded of Moonscar Island, where they solved a mystery involving the zombies and Cat Creatures. Inside the resort, they meet the Hotel Manager, Alan, and the hotel staff, composed of Mona, Linda, Jack, and Bugbite Stubbs, who resemble the people the gang previously encountered on Moonscar. While enjoying the accommodations, a few zombies surprise Scooby and Shaggy, who make a run for it and hide in a cabinet, which ultimately leads to a cavern, complete with cat statues and monuments.

Soon, Shaggy and Scooby return to the hotel and barricade the door, as a group of zombies approach the hotel. Shaggy and Scooby give their OK to the others to solve mysteries again and the gang set a trap for the zombies. But, the black Were-Cat knocks over a candelabra, setting fire to a curtain, which the causes the sprinkler system to douse the fire and melt the zombies' faces to reveal that they were the hotel staff in disguise. The gang discover that they actually are on Moonscar Island, which is doubling as a filming location! Alan confesses to the gang that he's a film director known as Alan Smithee, who wanted to make a scary movie after looking into Velma's unsolved mysteries blog. He also revealed that he sponsored the vacation for Shaggy to win, but states that he had no knowledge of the black werecat. Despite everything that happened, the gang offer to help Alan finish the movie. As filming continues, the gang meet Seaver, a stunt double for Fred, who has a monster truck version of the Mystery Machine. As the sun goes down, Velma heads into the forest wearing night-vision goggles but runs away when she sees a cluster of cats' eyes.

After Velma tells the others to make a run for their lives, they see a harmless-looking beige kitten coming out of the bushes, startling Scooby. Just as Shaggy assures Scooby that there's nothing to worry about, the kitten (fully grown in an instant) turns feral and roars like a tiger, scaring Shaggy as more cats attack. After the movie crew (except Alan and Seaver) hide, three were-cats appear. As the gang and Seaver run for the ferry, Alan crazily burns it. Fred, acting on impulse, rescues the Mystery Machine from being burned with the Ferry. Fred tells the others to get in, but one of the cat creatures tries to grab Smithee's medallion, which is Simone's pendant. The gang save Alan and the pendant and the cats and cat creatures pursue them back to the resort. After a wild chase, the gang hide in the cabinet Shaggy and Scooby hid in, leading them to the cavern where the were-cats tried to drain the gang's life force. They notice that there are a lot of holes in the cave. which gives Velma an idea. The three cat creatures enter the cavern, find the medallion, and place it on the pedestal in the light of the harvest moon. The light is reflected to specific spot on the ground where the cat creatures dig until they find a chest that appears to be filled with gold coins, though its contents turn out to be Scooby snacks covered in gold foil. The cats are attacked by the gang, disguised to resemble zombies, causing them to become scared and hide in one of the cave's holes. The gang unmask the creatures, revealing them to be the greeters and the ferry captain. The trio intended to find Moonscar's treasure, using cat whistles to control the island cats to deter anyone who were getting too close. The fourth werecat (the one who attacked the van and tried to set fire in the mansion) remains at large. After the police take the culprits away, Alan despairs that his movie doesn't have a finale.

Soon, the cats, now docile, enter the cave and dig a spot in the ground with Scooby's help, revealing another treasure chest. Alan opens it and sees real gold inside, and declares that he's done with movie business and is retiring with all the gold. The gang declare that they'll continue solving mysteries. Though the sheriff arrives and berates the gang for solving mysteries again, he relents, allowing Mystery Inc. to return. Shaggy and Scooby, along with the six cats who dug up Moonscar's treasure, eat the gold foiled Scooby snacks.

Elvira tells the viewers about the movie, Zombie Teenagers and the Island of Doom, including a trailer and outtakes.


Main characters:

Supporting characters:


Other characters:





Suspect Motive/Reason
Suspect Motive/Reason


Culprit Motive/Reason
Ferry captain and two accomplices as the cat creatures To find Morgan Moonscar's treasure.


Frank Welker Scooby-Doo
Fred Jones
Matthew Lillard Shaggy Rogers
Grey Griffin Daphne Blake
Kate Micucci Velma Dinkley
David Herman Sheriff
Janell Cox Sister Withers
Cat person
John Michael Higgins Alan Smithee
Dave B. Mitchell Driver
Ferry captain
Roger Rose Lead cat person
Cassandra Peterson Elvira
Travis Willingham Seaver



  • The first malt shop waitress's model is reused from Faith's from the DTV Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur.
  • Though Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island was produced using traditional hand-drawn animation, the flashbacks seen in Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island were recreated using computer animation to resemble the original sequences.
  • According to the ratings by the fans, this movie received low reception of it being a ruin to the original film while the creators either didn't know or just tried to ignore it.

Cultural references

  • Cassandra Peterson/Elvira makes her first Scoobyverse appearance, hosting a similar program as she does in the real-world. Peterson also played a similar parody of herself called Drella Diabolique in the DTV LEGO Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood. Numerous Scoobyverse productions in the 1980s had guest characters with Elvira-like qualities, such as Sibella in Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf.
  • The film Elvira was going to show after announcing the vacation winner, was called Predator Jones. While not specified, it may be a mashup of Predator (as in Alien versus Predator) and Indiana Jones.
  • The director's name, "Allan Smithee," is an inside joke to Hollywood directors who use that pseudonym to disavow their work/association with it.


Animation mistakes and/or technical glitches

  • During the intro, when Jacques was chasing Mystery Inc, his tail was missing.
  • In one of the flashback scenes, the Mystery Machine is not the news van that was used in the original.
  • While Alan was videotaping the cats attacking the crew, the cat before attacking him was brown, but was gray when doing it.
  • When the police comes to arrest the culprits, the female culprit's cat-hands/gloves are missing, showing her regular hands. But the very next scene shows her being handcuffed WITH the gloves on.
  • When the six cats enter the cavern, there were two orange cats, but not a brown one to be seen until the cats were gathering at the spot where Moonscar's treasure is buried. But, in the next scene, the Black cat switched places with the blueish one. Then, after Velma explained that the Cats were guardians of Moonscar's treasure, the Black, Blue, and Gray Cats were in different spots.
  • At the final scene where Scooby victoriously eat Scooby Snacks, the orange cat who was nuzzling Shaggy's knee in the previous scene, traded places with a blueish cat, who is sleeping.

Inconsistencies/continuity errors and/or goofs/oddities

  • In Fred's dream of the "good old days," he and the gang are much more menacing than they are in "real life." Not only do they seem to get a perverse pleasure out of chasing down bad guys, but some of the culprits look like they actually fear the gang.
  • The ending of Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost strongly implied that the gang would go back and regain their reputation to prove the Sheriff wrong, all of which is ignored in this film.
  • The Sheriff says they should treat themselves to a vacation, which they do almost 100% of the time anyway.
  • It's unknown if Elvira knew the anonymous sponsor and was keeping it hidden to her audience, or her show actually accepts and provides vacations from people without making a background check on them.
    • It's never revealed what type of contest Shaggy was supposed to have entered, nor does he show any memory of having entered one. It seems like it just comes up out of the blue. The gang are also surprised by being brought back to Moonscar Island/Moonscar Mansion, as if they were given no previous insight to where they were heading. They just put their lives in the hands of some contest they just happened to see on TV.
  • In Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, Simone Lenoir's mansion wasn't a hotel open to the public, therefore didn't require a guestbook, but this film dictates the opposite, and that Alan Smithee reused it at Moonstar Island Resort, just with the pages having been ripped out, to further fool the gang into thinking they're not at the same mansion.
    • However, Simone might have run the estate like a bed and breakfast in order to lure victims to her, in which case an (off-screen) guestbook would suit the facade.
  • Flashbacks are shown of the gang's previous time on the island, but Velma regularly rants about not believing everything she saw and attributes the experience to hallucinations brought on by swamp gas. Moreover, this would mean that what they faced previously resulted in an unresolved/unsolved mystery. While she acted similarly in Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost, Velma's defiant ignorance is somewhat justified in that context as she did not witness the events that led to the hunt for the 13th Ghost. In this case, though, Velma was originally a witness to the events and this movie relies on flashbacks of Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island. This makes her appear overly irrational just for the sake of not wanting to face the facts of what really happened, which could've been used as character development in acceptance.
    • This timeline is further muddled by the Sheriff's references to Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost. Velma and Fred said the 13 ghost case was their first "real monsters" case, and here the gang remembers the events of Zombie Island. Yet Fred appears to have always accept the reality of the Island monsters.
  • During the flashback, Morgan Moonscar never had a scar around his left eye, and when the Were-Cats died, they disintegrated into green dust instead of gray dust.
  • Because the gang have regressed from adults back to teenagers over the course of other direct-to-video releases since Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, several plot elements in the original film must be retconned, including some fairly unconvincing changes. For example, Daphne being the host of her own show is changed to her being on a school project, which for some reason gained interest from Chris, the talk show host.
  • There was a real black cat person among the fake ones which was left a mystery, as if to leave it open ended for the audience to make up their own minds if the cat people are real or not. However, it was clearly established in the original film that the cat people were real, thus making the addition of a mystery cat person both redundant and somewhat out of step with the prior film's events.
  • Beau Neville does not appear in flashbacks or have an actor counterpart, making him the only character from the original movie not to be in this movie in some way.

In other languages

Language Name Meaning
French Scooby-Doo ! Retour sur l'île aux zombies Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island

Home media

  • US.png Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island DVD (Walmart exclusive) released by Warner Home Video on September 3, 2019.
  • UK.png Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island DVD released by Warner Home Video on September 9, 2019.
  • FR.png Scooby-Doo! Retour sur l'île aux zombies (Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island) DVD released by Warner Home Video on September 11, 2019.
  • AUS.png Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island DVD released Warner Home Video on September 18, 2019.
  • US.png Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island DVD released by Warner Home Video on October 1, 2019.






External links

  • Buy from Amazon Video (US)