Freddie Prinze, Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard,
Many of my generation (and those to follow) grew up watching
the cartoons about the kids of Mystery Inc. and their talking
dog, who just manage to solve a variety of mysteries in which
the villians tend to dress up as monsters to scare people
away. While the script and plot of the cartoons were never
all that deep, or even well thought out, they did manage to
provide some laughs and a good time for kids. So much so that
Scooby Doo has become a cartoon icon, much like Mickey, Bugs
Bunny and Mighty Mouse.
The story starts out some years ago when after a case, the
Mystery Inc. team breaks up due to personal differences, leaving
Scooby and Shaggy in the lurch. Now, in the present, each
of the members is given an offer to come to Spooky Island,
a themepark resort that's supposedly haunted, to solve a mystery.
Little do they know they're being brought there to "reunite"
for certain, unrevealed reasons. Considering the nature of
their breakup, Fred, Daphne and Thelma enter a challenge to
solve the mystery first, while Shaggy and Scooby are just
glad to have the gang back together. Once on the island, they
find a series of odd events that direct the sleuths to a conspiracy
in which they have to reunite to solve.
First and foremost, Lillard is perfect as the partially brain-dead
hippy Shaggy. Both in manner and speech, he replicates Scooby's
best pal. Gellar's Daphne actually comes across with more
personality anmd depth in the movie than she ever had in the
shows and Cardellini is pretty good as the braintrust Thelma.
Prinze's rendition of Fred is fairly stale, but considering
how one dimensional the character has always been, the part
is expected. The computer-generated Scooby Doo is real enough
to be believable as a dog, by cartoony enough to capture the
humor from the cartoon. In fact, I found the CG Scooby to
be quite funny. He plays a good parternship with Lillard's
Shaggy. The two have a number of funny sequences just to themselves.
What really sells the Scooby Doo movie is the sense
of humor, which mostly plays to the low brow crowd, and especially
children. There are a number of lines and events that are
just funny enough to make you laugh out loud. Also, older
fans will get the occasional joke and one-liner lobbed their
way. The Scrappy Doo flashback is alone worth the price of
If you went into this movie expecting a script that made
much common sense, you obviously never watched the television
shows. While it doesn't stick with the more traditional (haunted
houses and guys dressed up like ghosts) Scooby Doo, the movie
does manage to capture the cartoon characters on the big screen
and is a fairly good translation from a cartoon written by
people on way too many recreational drugs. If you were a fan
of the television shows or have children, you will enjoy this
movie. It's filled with laughs and lines that only the fans
will get. For those who were never big on Scooby Doo,
you might want to skip it. For everyone else, go see it when
you have the chance.