Scooby-Doo The Movie (Raja Gosnell 2002)

As a kid Scooby Doo was my favourite movie. At the age of 6 I went to the cinema with my parents and younger brother to watch this fantastic movie. I was able to see real life adaptions of my favourite cartoon characters and got to see Buffy play Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar). The childhood love for this film has stretched into my adulthood and I still think it’s one of the best kids films ever made. After stumbling upon my DVD copy hidden away I decided to relive the magic.

After the mystery Gang split up and go their separate ways for a few years, they are all invited to Mystery Island to solve well… the mystery. College kids are being turned into respectable adults (the horror) so of course there is something evil at large. However, as they still don’t get along they split up and search for clues but as this is the Mystery incorporated the feud doesn’t last too long.

The film opens with the case of the Lunar Ghost, where Daphne has been captured by the man in the mask. We are given the unrealistic conventions of the original cartoons, with shaggy (Matthew Lillard) being completely clueless, the pair miraculously surviving death traps and the characters floating in air a few seconds longer than humanly possible. You are thrown into the nostalgia straight away. Once the Lunar Ghost has been captured the fans and Pamela Anderson somehow show up to see the unmasking of Old Man Smithers. We get to hear the great “I would have gotten away with it to, if it weren’t for you rotten kids and your dumb dog…I’ll get you for this”. Yay childhood met. What we don’t usually get to see in the old cartoons though is them arguing at the end of the mission and then quitting the gang and destroying your dreams at the age of 6.

The film then cuts to the very stereotypical few years later because films find the passing of time so hard to portray. We are then given a joke that you defiantly didn’t get as a kid, a delight of re-watching any kid’s film, Shaggy in the van with smoke coming out of the top and the pair laughing like idiots. Yes we 20 year olds have accepted that Shaggy is a stoner but having the film indirectly tell us is a whole different story. When Shaggy ends up falling for a girl named Mary Jane played by Isla Fisher (who is allergic to dogs and loves Scooby snacks) you can’t help but defiantly agree that he smokes weed in his spare time. Another great ruin childhood moment is when shaggy says “you don’t need to know what Voulez-vous coucher avec moi means to love that song”. That’s enough Warner Brothers; this is a kid’s film!

Mystery Island tried to scare the gang but after years of hunting basically serial killers for a living, it’s pretty difficult. Velma (Linda Cardellini) is able to determine all the tricks of the island but when it turns out there is real monsters years of ‘it’s just a man in a mask’ becomes a lie. Even though this film is very good they still manage to taint the original. Daphne is a ninja and Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr.) is shown to be a complete moron. The worst part is the fact that Scrappy Doo is crazy and evil, like why?!

* Scooby walk in dressed as an old lady*

Daphne: “No one is stupid enough to believe that”

Fred: “who’s the ugly broad”.

Luckily they make up for this with immature fart and burp jokes by Shaggy and Scooby having a gas off in front Daphne. If this type of humour isn’t your cup of tea don’t worry because the film is filled with both visual and verbal comedy that is still hilarious now.


As the monsters turn out to be real and aren’t animated like usual, this could be frightening for a 6 year old. To remove the fear they added lots of silly jokes between the monsters and the gang. They also made the monsters fairly stupid, again making this more of a comedy than the usual genre of the cartoons. The only time the monsters are coherent is when they possess people, bringing back the man in the mask idea so they don’t completely ruin the classics. In Shaggy’s attempt to get his friends back to normal he releases their souls. Unfortunately, they go into the wrong bodies. Daphne is in Fred’s and Fred is In Daphne’s, this again calls for some inappropriate humour whilst simultaneously being the best part of the film.

*Fred in Daphne’s body* “Hey, I can look at myself naked” *looks down bra*

The kids’ part is also removed by the clothing of the characters, I’m not one to judge but I never imagine Velma in a crop top and mini skirt. This film was certainly made with both the children and the parents in mind.


The film ends with the conventional saving of the day and the unmasking of the villain. But unlike the usual the villain is a dog … dogs aren’t evil this film is wrong! Fred and Daphne kiss and everything is ok again because kids’ films aren’t allowed to have an unhappy ending. Overall, the film is silly and hilarious for both kids and adults. However, if you have seen this film as both, you may be surprised at to what you will see. I really advice re-watching your childhood favourites because trust me there is a lot you didn’t notice.

How have you not seen this? – Deathbyapril- April Ely.


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