I was really excited when I first saw the preview for this movie. For some reason, even though I had been a bit disappointed by the first film and never saw the second, I felt that there was something great about this new one. I just purchased and watched it, and boy was that feeling right! I honestly don't think I've enjoyed a Scooby film more since 'Zombie Island'. It really captures the spirit of the old show, without being a slave to every detail from the old continuity. The director, writers, and actors all seem to have done their homework studying the Scooby mythos, because they all have come together to make a film worthy of the greatest of the Scooby movies.
The new timeframe and younger characters are really refreshing, and are like a breath of fresh air after the slew of movies with an older Mystery Five (Zombie Island and the following movies, the first two live-action movies), and the actors are really well-selected; they made me care about the characters, embodying them perfectly and adding new layers to them.
Daphne being an actor was great, and worked really well, although the idea of the rich girl being obsessed with the stage was in a decidedly post-High School Musical vein. In fact, the film was definitely identifiably post-HSM, but it worked really well, and it should no doubt draw in the younger crowds. Daphne's chemistry with Fred was great in this movie, and I found myself really hoping for them to become a couple for real (next movie, perhaps!).
Shaggy was spot-on, and made me feel bad for him in the first parts of the film. I had never really considered a pre-Mystery Inc. Shaggy in high school before (probably because I had the Pup Named Scooby Doo continuity in my head and assumed everyone was friends from forever), and I think he was really shown as he should be. His crush on Velma was great, but I would love to see her really fall for him, perhaps with the introduction of Googie as a romantic rival in the next film (I'm dreaming, but it could happen)!
Velma was great, and the actor did a really wonderful job making her interesting enough that the audience doesn't get annoyed by her nerdiness. Her wardrobe was great too, with the updated hoodie instead of a turtleneck. In fact, all of the wardrobes were amazing in this film for the main characters; good job to that department!
Fred was awesome. People caring about the hair thing should consider that, in the first two movies, it is obviously dyed. And they should watch the video time capsule on the special features. This actor was awesome, portraying the character perfectly as a believable jock, not overly dumb-jocky, but with a kind heart and a love for mysteries. He possibly stood out to me more than anyone else in the cast as doing a wonderful job.
Scooby was good, but not there all that much; perhaps in the next film he could interact more with the gang. And it's wonderful to have the original Scooby voice back, but something about it didn't quite phase well with the rest of the characters; he seemed all on his own, as though his voice weren't really interacting with the others. That's probably always a struggle in a film where one voice is dubbed and the others are recorded on the set, but I hope it's better next time around.
In conclusion, it was wonderful, and I highly recommend it to everyone, Scooby fan or not. To those overly concerned with CDs, continuity with other series, etc., get over it, please. It's a new continuity, and that's what it should be seen as. The mystery machine was a van in some of the series, like Monster Island, if I remember correctly, and the first live action movie, and 'Ghoul School' (of course, that was just a red van, but still...). I think this movie was the perfect encapsulation of the spirit of Scooby Doo, and I only hope that there will be many more in the same spirit to come, hopefully with these same great actors! May it receive the success it deserves!!!
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