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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
be CGI I actually groaned again. Of course, there is no other way you
have pulled Scoob off on-screen without CGI, at least not
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
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,
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
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,
of course the distant attraction Velma had for Fred is right there too.
do I detect a little bit of an attraction to Shaggy? Don't remember that
the cartoon... but I can accept that.
The story? Well, it's a hell of a lot better written than the cartoons!
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
Not Shakespeare by any stretch of the imagination... but a fun and
story that keeps your attention.
So what about the CGI Scoob? Wow is all I can say! I don't know what
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
mistake of looking in the wrong place on-screen (which is clearly evident
many instances where CGI characters are used). The personality is
perfectly and translates Scooby from the two-color animation of my youth
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
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
(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
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
episode it was reiterated however lightly that there are no such things
monsters, ghosts, ghouls etc. and that we as people are always
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
early in life that there are no monsters. The movie departed from that
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
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
mark of a great kids movie these days; the ability to appeal to all
Overall, I'd say a 7 out of 10.
Tags for Scooby-Doo Full Movie
Freddie Prinze Jr.
, Linda Cardellini
, Matthew Lillard
, Sarah Michelle Gellar
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