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*** Official "SCOOBY-DOO" Review Thread (1 Viewer)

Jason Whyte

Jun 3, 1999

Scooby Doo
Directed by Raja Gosnell
Written by James Gunn, Craig Titley, James Gunn, Andrew Gunn and John August
Theatrical Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Length: 85 minutes
Rating: ** out of ****
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I've always loved the "Scooby Doo" television show. Long before I was aware of its hippy 60's exuberance, its obvious yet subtle takes on marijuana and Casey Kasem, hell, even before I heard of "Woodstock," I grew up with the goofy animated adventures of Fred, Velma, Shaggy, Daphne, and of course the beloved talking dog Scooby, and it taught me valuble lessons about friendship, teamwork, and if you're running away from something, you'll pass the same lamp and table a zillion times.
This live action film brings some of the original comedic flavor from the series to the contemporary age, but not enough. For every bit of cleverness, there's too much of the usual contemporary garbage that seems spawned from the "Austin Powers" sequel. Meaning, gross out gags. A lot of them. Instead of Shaggy yelling "Zoiks" a lot, instead we have him farting in a contest with Scooby for a solid two minutes.
The film has a rather goofy opening that is fairly similar to the last five minutes of any episode. It sets the tone of the movie, where we meet the Gee-Whiz gang trying to capture the ghost at the spooky mansion. It's a pretty solid opening, and it's sad that the film dies off after that. After the case is solved (and the obligatory mask is pulled off the head), the gang, consisting of boyish Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr.), babe magnet Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), brainiac Velma (Linda Cardellini) and scaredy cat Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) part ways after an argument. Cut to two years later, and the gang are brought back together again for a mission at Scary Island, led by Mondavarious (Rowan Atkinson).
Is it too much to ask that the world of Scooby-Doo actually look like a fully breathing, alive place? Director Raja Gosnell and his art directors put so many obvious sets and "We're on a stage!" settings that I kept wondering which stage on the Warner lot they were shooting. And it doesn't help that Scooby Doo has been entirely rendered with computers, and he looks somewhere between a cartoon and, well, a cartoon. He looks far too digital and fake, moving far too quickly, but maybe this is the point. Some won't mind this, and at times I didn't mind since this is such a animated live-action film to begin with. Still, less is more.
The performances are, simply put, half and half. Oddly enough, this may be the very best performance of Matthew Lillard I've seen, who is so funny as Shaggy that he steals the show. His voice and mannerisms echo the original Casey Kasem-voiced Shaggy rather well. Linda Cardellini has some goofy fun as Velma, the thick-glassed quiet type who never gets the credit she deserves. These two disappear into their roles, and yet neither Freddie Prinze Jr. nor Sarah Michelle Gellar do; try as they might, they're both completely unconvincing and dull as Fred and Daphne, respectively.
"Scooby Doo" may not be a good film overall, yet it does have a few laughs and an inspired moment or two (and surprisngly, even for a PG movie, the pot references are still there) that make it slightly more watchable than one might expect. Yet it doesn't break free from the usual studio-movie cliches, or better know as, the typical gross-out gags. I guess it's too much to ask to have a scene where Shaggy and Scooby flee past the same beach hut over and over again in an escape sequence. Maybe in the sequel.


Senior HTF Member
Apr 19, 1999
Real Name
Carl Fink
I have mixed feelings about "Scooby Doo." It was actually tons better than I expected it to be, but that's not saying much (as you know if you've seen the trailers or TV spots).

First of all, it's not very faithful to the original cartoon series. If that sort of thing bothers you, then you're going to hate "Scooby Doo." All the same characters are here, but you won't recognize their personalities. Freddie Prinze, Jr. as Fred and a computer-animated Scrappy Doo are the worst offenders here. Matthew Lillard's Shaggy is the best, though. He's almost brilliant in the role.

The gross-out gags are a bit much, though Shaggy and Scooby's belching & farting contest is better done than I'd have expected. I was also surprised by the language in the film. There's at least one instance of "whoop ass," and an unfortunate twist on the classic "meddling kids" line.

There were, however, a lot of instances of pure silliness, and they just work. "Scooby Doo" is just a fun little goof-fest, and on that level, it mostly works.

Two and a half stars out of four.

Robert Crawford

Senior HTF Member
Dec 9, 1998
Real Name
This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Scooby-Doo". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.
Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!
If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an Official Discussion Thread.

Patrick Sun

Senior HTF Member
Jun 30, 1999
I had a good time with "Scooby Doo". All of the principal actors nailed their parts well enough to make me forget they were actors, but just characters inspired from the zany cartoon.
Matten Lilliard does an amazing impression of Kasey Kasem doing Shaggy. Linda Cardellini was good as Thelma (though I didn't quite remember Thelma as having such a large rack in the cartoons :) ). Sarah Michelle Geller and Freddie Prinze Jr. were actually the weaker players in this film, but not distractingly so.
Now the CGI Scooby Doo was actually pretty entertaining to watch, the mannerisms and the vocal patterns were spot on, and it was good to see him treated in a good fashion in his big screen debut. The only problem with the CGI was that Scooby tended to be a bit on the bright side in the light rendering aspect of the CGI in use (the shading was off in terms of light sources), which made Scooby sort of stick out in some of his scenes, but once you get into the film, and are just enjoying Scooby's interaction with the rest of the cast, and his facial/body expressions (which are a hoot IMHO), those objections quickly fade away.
The plot was a standard plot, but it was serviceable, and will easily lend itself to future sequels because this film will be a hit, and it will have legs at the box office because it's fast-paced, and the characters are pretty much like the characters from the cartoon, and Scooby's pretty funny in the film. There's a good "joyous" vibe to this film that will put a smile on your face.
I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.

Bhagi Katbamna

Supporting Actor
Jun 1, 2000
I felt the same way as Patrick but he said it better. I took my family to see it yesterday and we all had a good time. Matthew Lillard does an amazing job as Shaggy. It was fun.

todd s

Senior HTF Member
Jul 8, 1999
My daughters(age 7 & 4) really enjoyed it. I was expecting the worse. And I was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. I also found the Matthew Lilliard & Linda Cardellini to be right on target with their characters. Freddie Prince didn't really show to much for me. Maybe, because their is not to much mannerisms to Fred for him to work with or that he is not that good. I guess with this movie. You have to take it for what it is. A popcorn kids flick.
ps-Although, Linda Cardellini was hot. Especially, when she was wearing her low cut sweater. ;)

Randy Tennison

Jan 5, 1999
Real Name
I went in with low expectations, and was pleasently surprized. I had a blast. I laughed, I roared, and even "Awwwwwed". It was a fun evening.

Shaggy was amazing. Nailed it.

Velma was hot.

Fred and Daphne were forgetable.

Scooby was a blast. I'm not sure why people complain that he was cartoonish. It is a cartoon. They couldn't have a real dog do what he did. Even adding the face, ala Dogs and Cats would have been horrible. I loved Scooby in this film. Very cute.

I would give it 3.5 stars, out of 5.

Scott Weinberg

Senior HTF Member
Oct 3, 2000
I'm a bit late, but here's my review of Scooby-Doo. In an effort to avoid abuse, I'll apologize in advance to those who enjoyed the movie. ;)
Scooby-Doo :star:1/2 out of 5
Sigh. Here we go again. Well-remembered cartoon gets the big-budget silver screen treatment. Not because the source material screams for a revisit, but because rehashing a name product is infinitely more profitable than creating something new. I'm not saying that Scooby-Doo couldn't have been a good time; I'm saying that the movie these hacks came up with isn't fit to line the litter box of an obese and diahrretic feline. Then again, this pile of flop made 100 million bucks in less than two weeks, so obviously I'm the one who's insane.
When reviewing an 'adaptation' movie, it's best to divulge your knowledge of/interest in the source material. To that end, I'll simply mention that I've always disliked Scooby-Doo. Even as a hyperactive and sensation-addicted child, I knew my time was better spent with Bugs & Daffy, Fred & Barney, Popeye & Bluto, or even Tom & Jerry than yet another carbon-copy Scooby adventure.
When word first got out that WB was planning a big-screen version, I ingested the news with equal parts revulsion and mystical wonder; how in the name of all things not retarded, I wondered, could they turn such a one-dimensional cartoon into a film worthy of my eight bucks. I needn't have racked my brain, becasue - simply put - this movie isn't worth your 50 cents. When cineplexes start accepting postage stamps in exchange for movie tickets, a movie like Scooby-Doo may be worth seeing.
Then there was all the scuttlebutt about who was to be playing whom. When the husband-wife-sidekick team of Prinze/Gellar/Lillard were announced to play Fred, Daphne, and Shaggy...every portion of my body not vomiting immediately shut down from sheer cinematic shock. By the time interesting young actress Linda Cardellini was cast as Velma, I could barely bring myself to blink my eyes in response. Surely this was the stupidest idea in the eternal line of Stupid Hollywood Ideas.
Raja Gosnell was the director awarded the reins to this inevitable eyesore, most likely due to his depressingly profitable work on Martin Lawrence's migraine-inducing Big Momma's House. Gosnell hasn't directed enough movies to be awarded the New Worst Director of All-Time award (awarded bi-weekly), but based on what Scooby-Doo looks like, he's pretty damn close. Imagine the world's dingiest flea market surrounded by tiki torches, fake rocks, and neon carnival rides - Scooby-Doo looks worse than that.
The plot seems like something created in one of those "whisper down the lane" games: The famous Mystery Inc. gang, coming off their latest adventure...has an argument and decides to call it quits...um, then um, 2 years go by...and they're all invited to a haunted island theme park village place!...(pause)...and there's this brainwashing machine that turns all the teenagers into zombies...and...can we stop this game now? This story makes no goddam sense.
And yet that's what Scooby-Doo is about. But let's be honest here; the 'plot' of this film is nothing more than a clothesline on which dangle A) several pop songs to boost soundtrack sales, B) a half-dozen product placements that help defray the production costs by about 25%, C) a whole lot of garish sets, ugly costumes, ridiculously overbaked CGI effects, and D) a handful of performers who think they're actors, when the truth is that they're just some very expensive set markers used to gauge where the CGI should go.
If I seem as if I were gunning for this movie all along, well that's because I definitely have been. But I'm not a liar, and I will admit to two positive aspects: Matthew Lillard as Shaggy is the best thing in the film (for whatever that's worth), and I did laugh during one scene in which a computer-generated dog urinates angrily on Sarah Michelle Gellar's chest. It's stunning that a movie this bad could leave me with something nice to say about the generally infuriating Lillard, but his work here is tenuous proof that - when given an actual character to create - Lillard is willing to jump in with both feet. I've bashed him mercilessly in the past, but the guy gets a tentative pat on the back for his Shaggy bit. It may not be great acting, but it's an entertaining enough impersonation, and in a shitstorm like Scooby-Doo, one should find anything at all worthy of praise and cling to it like a lifejacket stuffed with money.
I'll lay off Gellar because she's given virtually nothing to do until the finale - in which she has a "Buffy joins Charlie's Angels" fight sequence that's as unexciting as it is silly. Cardellini also gets little of substance to do, although she's clearly the best actor of the four. (File THAT under the ultimate "damning of someone with faint praise"!) If there's one massive black hole of suckitude that the entire insipid affair gravitates around, it's the robotic Freddie Prinze Jr. as Fred. To be completely honest, I don't have the words to describe how consistently bad Prinze has been over the past few years. Suffice to say that his performance in Scooby-Doo did nothing to raise my opinion of this obviously talent-free cipher.
Which brings us to the title character. I just never got Scooby. He's a cowardly talking dog with a speech impediment who eats a lot. Hardly the stuff of classic fiction, but apparently the clueless canine struck a chord with a generation of kids too lazy to change the channel and watch Speed Racer instead. The movie version of Scooby, aside from looking very little like the animated incarnation, is a boggle-eyed bore. The CG effects of Scooby go from mildly effective to fairly atrocious at the drop of a hat, while every bit of the doofy dog's mumble-mouthed dialogue needs to be immediately repeated by the nearest available cast member. (Riss Rooree Rucks!)
Nothing I say will keep you away from Scooby-Doo if you really want to see it. Pre-packaged product like this comes with a guaranteed built-in audience, so those who may generally avoid the truly wretched movies will be duped into seeing it. Indeed, the sequel has already been green-lit. Like any other Hollywood cycle, these low-minded, money-grubbing "adaptations" will eventually dry up when moviegoers simply stop feeding the meter.
I'm absolutely certain that those who spearheaded this project were never once interested in making a "good movie". When a film is created SOLELY because it's a marketable product, soulless and ugly-looking movies like Scooby-Doo are the result. Let your silly childhood nostalgia slumber unmolested.

Sam Davatchi

Senior HTF Member
Sep 15, 1999
Real Name
My Review:
This movie was hilarious. Have not seen any of the cartoon series yet and quite enjoyed it. Scooby was the one! I think the animation, mannerism and everything was great about him! I can’t stop thinking about the moment when he says sacrifice, actually “racrifice!” :D
I think Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar were pretty bad, I have no idea if they were faithful to the original or not. I just know I want two other actors to replace them in the next movie. Matthew Lillard and Linda Cardellini were great! With a better story and more care to the direction and intrigue, it could easily become a classic! Let’s hope that for the next one! :emoji_thumbsup:

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