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When I first heard about Scooby Doo being turned into a movie, I will
confess to being rather reticent about seeing it. I am just old enough to
remember the original Scooby Doo cartoons on rerun, and was at the high
of the right target age group when Scrappy Doo hit the scene, and of
remembered Scooby Doo with a certain love. Of course, the cartoon was
actually pretty terrible; the writing was bad, the cliches came in at a
of knots, and the animation was second rate... but that's what we all
expected of Hanna-Barbara cartoons.
I digress: I had heard about SD the movie on the Internet quite early in production and let out a groan; my childhood was being raped again for a buck in Hollywood. Why? Why bother??? Then when I heard Scooby was going to be CGI I actually groaned again. Of course, there is no other way you could have pulled Scoob off on-screen without CGI, at least not realistically... but CGI... that's just so passe any more! I still enjoy the artistry in modern CGI, but to me it felt like SD was going to be done just to prove that it COULD be done with modern technology... not to tell a story.
So it came, I read a few online reviews that panned it and failed to be surprised. I caught the trailers and failed to be inspired. I steadfastly avoided the movie theatres and just didn't go see it.
Fast forward to July of 2003; SD is playing on Cinemax (I think) and I've got some time to kill. Aw, what the hell... could be good for background noise if nothing else...
So having sat through SD the Movie, what do I think? Well, as much as I wanted to hate it because it was Hollywood raping my childhood, I just couldn't. I'm not going to say I loved it because that wouldn't be true, but I'll be darned if I can't admit that it was a whole hell of a lot better than I expected. Let me fill you in;
The cast is incredible. They have a real on-screen chemistry that really makes the movie for me. Especially Matthew Lillard as Shaggy... if he hasn't just completely NAILED the character as perfectly as you could in live action, then I'm the queen of France. There's the romantic attraction between Daphne and Fred that comes out on-screen pretty much throughout, and of course the distant attraction Velma had for Fred is right there too. But do I detect a little bit of an attraction to Shaggy? Don't remember that in the cartoon... but I can accept that.
The story? Well, it's a hell of a lot better written than the cartoons! Yes, it borrows heavily from them (and borrows from some of the SD animated movies that have been made in the interim), but still it's an interesting story with a nice twist at the end that had me actually laughing out loud. Not Shakespeare by any stretch of the imagination... but a fun and engaging story that keeps your attention.
So what about the CGI Scoob? Wow is all I can say! I don't know what makes it more, the quality of the CGI or the way in which all the actors really made me believe they were sharing the screen with a 6'5" intelligent dog. The interactions were believable, and not once did I catch anyone making the mistake of looking in the wrong place on-screen (which is clearly evident in many instances where CGI characters are used). The personality is captured perfectly and translates Scooby from the two-color animation of my youth to a perfect rendition of how I envisaged him in my minds eye.
I'm sure many have heard about them already, but there are plenty of in-jokes that pepper the movie for those willing to pay attention. I won't say they're all laugh-out-loud funny, but they are amusing... and it was obvious pretty early on that the film-makers didn't like Scrappy Doo either (I know I didn't... I didn't even like him as a kid), but rather than pretend he never happened (*cough* Galactica 1980 *cough*) they actually bring him to life in this movie too... and actually he has one of the lines that made me laugh out loud (to those who have seen it, it's the line he never finishes saying...)
So did I love it as much as I loved Scooby as a kid? No. The movie was definitely not without flaws, and it did depart from the cartoons in some pretty major ways; for example one of the nice things about the cartoon (looking at it now from an adult's perspective) was that at the end of every episode it was reiterated however lightly that there are no such things as monsters, ghosts, ghouls etc. and that we as people are always responsible for these things. This is something I picked up on as a kid but didn't understand until I was an adult; and kids should be given that reassurance early in life that there are no monsters. The movie departed from that part of the formula... so personally I couldn't recommend the movie to younger (under about 8 or 9) children. However, even with these kids, recommend that a parent watch it with them... but of course there's plenty of adult-type humor in there too that will completely pass the kids by. To me that's the mark of a great kids movie these days; the ability to appeal to all ages.
Overall, I'd say a 7 out of 10.
This movie works because it tries to mimic the cartoon in many ways. Even the first shot looks like the first shot of the cartoon with the fog and the creepy old house. I had originally thought that the CGI Scooby would bother me during the movie, but I was completely wrong. I only really thought about that the first time Scooby is shown. After that the dog was Scooby to me because the things he says and the way he says them are accurate to the cartoon. The movie is pure cheese, but so was the cartoon. "Scooby-Doo" has maybe the most effective farting scene since "Blazing Saddles." Most fart scenes just come off as gross and not very funny, but in the world of Scooby a fart scene works. One interesting aspect of the film was seeing Rowan Atkinson in a role where he actually talks...a lot! I hope he gets more chances at dialogue-heavy roles here in the States. Fred, Daphne, Velma and Shaggy all feel like their cartoon counterparts adding to the effectiveness of the movie. Lillard is amazing as Shaggy because he gets his voice to sound like a carbon-copy of the cartoon Shaggy. This is a fun movie to watch because you can turn your brain off and just enjoy the show.
I watched Scooby Doo, the cartoon, only with medium level interest as a child, so I went (with my wife and kids) mostly as a kick. Matthew Lillard is brilliant as Shaggy (how is that possible? His impersonation skills were flawless!). The cartoonimation of Scooby and Scrappy Doo were interesting but were so 3-D rendered that they did not match the original 2-D versions very well. The plot was reasonably interesting and twisted. No mere disgruntled janitor in a spooky disguise-- there's some evil genius at work. There were some minor plot issues with Velma, Fred, and Daphne having much greater insecurity issues than in the cartoons, but experimenting with such ideas is very cartoon-like. The set and cast worked very well. There's some biological humor with Shaggy and Scooby that I did not expect, but the last bit that they did helped. If you're prudish about gas-passing and belching, there are about 4 minutes you can do without, but they seem very much in character.
I've always been a big fan of horror films and when I was too young to
watch them, SCOOBY was my favourite cartoon because it had cool heroes and
could see all sorts of monsters in it. Even now that I'm an adult, I still
find a lot of pleasure in watching an episode. Just to say that I wasn't
very excited at the perspective of seeing my cult cartoon turned into an
unnamable stuff as the first pictures in the magazines announced a
ridiculous movie with probably (like most of the other TV series
adaptations) a boring and incoherent script.
When I left the theater, I was in love with this movie. It's a Scooby fan's dream come true.The film's never ridiculous: a colourfull and coherent universe was built around the visual of the cartoon. It's a very rare thing but this time, an exact transposition of a cartoon is perfect and doesn't breed an example in visual bad taste.
The script intelligently breaks several rules of the cartoon in order to bring more deepness to the characters. For example, Daphne's tired to be the eternal "stupid" beauty in danger and Velma can't stand Fred's attitude anymore as he always acts as if he had solved the mysteries alone. But these efforts would have been vain if a "dream team" of actors hadn't been gathered around the hilarious Scooby. Even if the team's composed of five characters, they're all treated with the same importance, and that's rare enough to be underscored.
Matthew LILLARD IS Shaggy: he reproduces perfectly the attitude of the animated character and his capacity to make you believe in the virtual Scooby is very impressive: when he's with him, you feel like if the dog was really on the set. The duo's perfect.
Sarah Michelle GELLAR and Freddie PRINZE Jr have a very communicative energy. It's obvious that they had a very good time playing the two "beautiful and quite stupid" characters of the team. Even if the role of Daphne was written with "Buffy" references, Sarah Michelle GELLAR succeeds in preserving the essence of the character: I never thought about Buffy when I saw her as Daphne.
And the last but not the least, Linda CARDELLINI delivers an outstanding performance as Velma. She took the animated character and managed to make her more human, funnier and even touching by bringing all sorts of irresistible details and mimics as for example in the way she laughs or says that she's the most clever of the team. Great job for a great actress.
I hope that no sequel will ever reach the screen if any of them is missing from the cast.
The story's quite simple but very well paced and entertaining. There are lots of cool dialogues and "private jokes" for the series' fans. All the gags are in the tone of the cartoon and always effective. I wasn't in favor of the use of martial arts through the character of Daphne but finally, kung fu fits in the universe of SCOOBY DOO as it's used with parsimony to bring a few more good gags.
As a conclusion, I would say that SCOOBY DOO's a terrific movie: it's fun, fast and very well acted.I found in it everything that made me love the cartoon and even more. Don't miss it if you're a SCOOBY fan: you won't regret it!
This might be a disappointment to die hard Scooby Doo cartoon fans, but I enjoyed it. I thought the gags were hilarious, and since I never cared for Scrappy Doo, I was especially fond of the end. I think Matthew Lillard should get an academy award for the way he interacted to a character that wasn't even there. In my mind, every time I see a Scooby Doo cartoon, I will picture him as Shaggy. It also brought the characters even more alive for me when the "human" sides of their personalities came out. It's really reaching to think that a group of people would be able to spend that much time together and not have individual jealousies and get on each other's nerves. I can't wait to see the sequel.
I really think that this movie was pretty good. Some parts in the movie were really funny. This casting was also good, the actors played the characters pretty well. I also think it was funny because in cases they made fun of the cartoon. Although, I didn't really like the villians. I could think of some better villians for the movie, but it just made it more interesting in the end. Over all - my rating: 8.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Scooby-Doo is a worthy live action film to a brilliant original T.V.
Plot: The Mystery Inc. gang have split up and are each off on their own, only Scooby-Doo (Voice of Neil Fanning) and Shaggy (Matthew Lilard) remain together and they own the Mystery Machine. They are called back into action when a strange man shows up and invites them to Spooky Island to solve a mystery. They are convinced when he mentions an all you can eat buffet and are on their way to the airport. There they run into the rest of the gang, Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Velma (Linda Cardellini), and Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar). Still resenting each other they refuse contact and once on the island they meet the owner, Emile Mondavariours (Rowan Atkinson) who informs them of the problem. He believes that somebody is casting a spell on the visitors who come to his resort. Starting off on looking for clues by themselves the gang realizes after a attack that they need to put their differences aside and team up if they ever want to solve the mystery.
The Good News: This being the motion picture film to a T.V. series that spawned thousands of imitators it had a lot to live up to and it delivers. Since it was released people have bashed this film to pieces, but if you take a minutes and look at it closely it is a pretty underrated film. The actors all do an outstanding job at bringing the gang to life. At first glance Freddie Prinze Jr. may seem like the wrong choice, but he fills Fred's shoes amazingly well with adequate skill. Linda Cardellini portrays the brainy smart Velma we all know, but Linda plays her with a sensitive side which is new and a a nice choice. Sharah Michelle Gellar is the shining light here bringing warmth and believability to her character as Daphne, everyones favorite danger prone female who proves she is tougher than most think in one of the film's best scenes. Matthew Lillard plays Shaggy well and plays off of Scooby-Doo well even though there was nothing there during filming. Lillard's acting is a key success to the film. It doesn't matter how well the CGI Scooby is made Lillard really has to bring it to life by make believing that Scooby is actually there. The whole thing could have gone completely wrong, but luckily this escapes that. Now the question that most people are asking. How does Scooby-Doo stack up? Neil Fanning's has to be the best since the original and the CGI Scooby looks pretty convincing. The action is a big part of this film as it plays a huge part. There are plenty of action scenes to keep you interested. My favorite one probably has to be the castle scene, a ten minute romp where the gang uncovers clues and it all ends in a big bang, but there are many more to more than fulfill your attention. The screenplay keeps thing's nice and simple and so is the direction. Constant and flashy cuts would've gotten in the way here so the direction they took works the best. The film all ends with more action scenes, big bangs, and many great twists. This could've been a lot worse.
The Bad News: The could've taken out the crude humor, but that's my only complaint
Conclusion: See this at any cost if you are a hardcore Scooby-Doo fan and others will all so want to check this out. Recommend
Scooby and the gang investigate a mystery on Spooky Island.
OK...this is NOT a good movie. The jokes are very obvious and the PG rating keeps things very clean and family friendly. Still, I was laughing a lot. Maybe it was my mood, but I kept giggling over all the jokes. It works mostly because the entire cast plays it straight.
Sarah Michelle Gellar looks nothing like Daphne in the cartoon, but she is good. Likewise, Freddie Prinze Jr. looks nothing like Fred either, but he's OK. Matthew Lillard, however, is letter perfect as Shaggy. Also the woman playing Velma is right on target. And the CGI Scooby was just great...his expressions and body language provided lots of laughs. Great special effect and the movie moves quickly.
My only real complaint--did we really need a burping/breaking wind contest between Scooby and Shaggy?
A very good family movie--I liked it a lot. A very guilty favorite all the way.
Hanna and Barbera are probably rolling in their graves. First of all,
let me say that I'm a 25 year old guy (with bad taste) who's been a fan
of Scooby Doo since I was born. I've anxiously been awaiting this film
since Mike Myers began working on scripts for it years back. I wanna
know what the hell happened to his scripts. Although I can't see him as
Shaggy (Matt Lillard was perfect in the role), perhaps if they had
stuck to Myers' script, the film would have been good instead of the
PoS it turned out to be. I promised my sisters' kids I would take them
to see it, but after some of the stuff I had heard, I wanted to preview
it before taking them (I figured I'd wanna see it again anyway - boy
was I wrong!). Turns out it was no worse than the kids' endless
viewings of "Dumb and Dumber" on TBS, so I had to sit through this
piece of crap twice....what a waste of 3 hours of my life.
First of all, the good things about the film. Matthew Lillard was phenomenal as Shaggy - the movie's only saving grace. The woman who played Velma was also well-cast, though she didn't quite command the same presence Lillard has. Rowan Atkins also gives a good, but small, performance as the owner of the amusement park. The special FX ranged from excellent to abysmally computerized, though Scooby was better animated than I initially expected. And the scene in the castle was beautifully filmed, with a roller-coaster ride of good effects (and one of the only jokes I found amusing - about drinking out of the toilet). The only other joke that I found great amusement in (which flies over the heads of children) is a reference early on to Shaggy being the stoner that everyone's always assumed he is. That's about it for the good qualities, so on to the bad (which I could write a book about).
I could say that Gellar and Prinze were miscast, but after two viewings, I don't think that was the problem. The problem was that they were both badly written/directed. Prinze's Freddy went from being the self-assured leader he was in the show to an ego-maniacal buffoon. Gellar's Daphne became far whinier and self-involved than the character ever was (with the exception of "A Pup Named SD"), which made her far less sympathetic than she should have been. The addition of Scrappy to the cast was a forced and unfunny cop-out. The fact that he's probably the most hated cartoon character of all-time didn't justify using him the way they did (and I'm among his haters).
The script is awful. Bad jokes sporadically thrown throughout the film, which were vulgar and tasteless, made me consider walking out the first time I saw it - and I've never considered walking out on any film I've seen, no matter how bad it was. The farting/belching/peeing scenes were what both audiences laughed most at, though for the life of me, I can't understand why. For them to go to such juvenile lengths to draw laughs, it should prove how bad the script was. And it's a sad commentary on America's sense of humor...the majority of people in both audiences appeared to be around my age.
And then there was the profanity. Daphne utters a line about opening "a can of whoop-ass." Freddy says something about a "byotch." And the villain says he would've gotten away with it "if it weren't for you meddling sons of..." (at which point he's cut off). I use profanity every day of my life so I wasn't offended, but it had no place in this film (and the kids left reciting Daphne's line).
The music is atrocious. With the exception of the David Newman score and around three songs (Simple Plan's "Grow Up," Allstars' "Bump in the Night," and MXPX's "SD, Where Are You?" cover) plus a clever cameo by Sugar Ray (who are far underused), the majority of the songs are insufferable rap songs. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against rap when you can understand what they're saying. But the rap songs here are garbled garbage. Where's Will Smith when you need him (doing the deplorable, almost-as-bad-as-this MIB II...)? Even the clever lyrics of Outkast's "Land of a Million Drums" (which plays over the end credits) can't justify the intolerable rapping. It also seems odd with their appearance in the film that Sugar Ray didn't write an original song, instead recycling a song off of a 9 month old album (though the song was probably new when they began filming, but still...).
It's really sad that a generation of kids are being exposed to THIS variation of Scooby, rather than any of the classic cartoons - even Scooby and Scrappy-Doo (the most deplorable of all the series) was better than this. And it's sad that such a talented cast was wasted. It's sad that as a hardcore SD fan, I'd give this a two out of ten score (solely based on Shaggy and Velma's performances, otherwise it would be none out of ten). But the saddest thing of all is that they'll probably go on to do more sequels of this caliber...
Okay, this film is rather sophmoric, but some of the jokes actually were effective, the special effects were very good (except for scooby-doo himself, who looked like something made on a home computer), and the creature designs were very creative. The cast is also quite good. So, if you can over-look scooby-doo himself, just appreciate it for what it is: a enjoyable remake of the TV series.
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