The classic “let’s split up and look for clues” must be known by everyone in my opinion. All the infamous “jinkies” and calls for “Scooby Doo where are youuuuuu?” in all childhoods. Well, you can probably tell, it was definitely in mine.
From the great children’s programme, Scooby Doo and the gang are back in this 2002 film. As it links from the long-running TV programme, there had to be a film and it wasn’t a let-down. The actors are truly well chosen, all of them perfectly fitting in with the well-known TV programme. Of course, each character still has their own colour-coded outfits; but turned from cartoon to real life, except from Scooby. Green Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), orange Velma (Linda Cardellini), purple Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and blue Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr); similar and cleverly done, so familiar for all those who have previously watched the programmes.
The film throws you straight into a Mystery Incorporated mission, where their plan goes astray but they still manage to unmask the Luna Ghost. The audience figures out there seems to be tension within the detectives, as Velma quits the group, Daphne and Fred following after. Shaggy and Scooby left behind, two years passes and the true plot begins. An invitation sent to all the group but unknowingly, they all collide and meet up again at an airport, all travelling to Spooky Island. Which of course is somewhere where a problem needs solving and who better to ask than Mystery Inc, even if they have broken up. The dysfunctional gang try and solve clues in order to save the world from whatever evil is upon Spooky Island, but many things start to go wrong when they don’t work as a team and appreciate each person in the group; for example, Daphne is not always the damsel in distress and Fred needs to stop taking all the glory for Velma’s plans as she feels taken for granted.
New characters are introduced to this movie, Emile Mondavarious and Mary Jane, both well-known actors, who I think should be appreciated in the film; these two played by the brilliant Rowan Atkinson and Isla Fisher. These two add to the plot; Isla Fisher plays Shaggy’s crush in the film, someone who gets in-between Shaggy and Scooby, but not purposely, and Rowan Atkinson playing the owner of Spooky Island and the man who brought Mystery Inc back together.
Some technological aspects of the film seem a bit fake, this is because it is a 2002 film. However I don’t think it affects the film at all, the effects are just not as good as they would be if they were done today, which is pretty obvious anyway. Although, for a 2002 film, Scooby, who is animated, is done well, the actors have worked round it significantly well, so you don’t watch the film focussing on that Scooby is not real; obviously you know he is, as he talks, can walk on his legs and it is animated, but it’s not badly done.
I found it difficult whether to put this film as a mystery or as a comedy. I chose mystery in the end because it is primarily the Scooby Doo gang trying to solve the mystery on Spooky Island. However, the film is full of comic elements, for children to laugh at throughout the whole film. I have to say, even though I’m above 18, I still do laugh at this film, just the ridiculous elements, for example the introduction of Emile Mondavarious, where he does a brilliant little growl to try and be spooky, so ridiculous and weird it’s just funny. There are also sarcastic comments, quite a few from Velma that are excellent. And also there is the ‘boyish’ children’s humour, most predominantly the burping and farting competition between Shaggy and Scooby.
This film is primarily a children’s film, well definitely is a children’s film. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good film! And because it is a children’s film, there is definitely a moral to the story. For starters, “friends don’t give up on each other”, this is shown through Shaggy and Scooby as they are best friends of all. Also, there is the moral for children to not only never give up on each other, but to work as a team and every player is important in achieving the goal.
Overall, this is a classic children’s film that should be watched by all children. I think many would love it, I surely did when I was younger, still do now. So join the gang and search for clues, because it wouldn’t have been discovered it is “wasn’t for those meddling kids and their dumb dog”.
Happily, there is also the 2004 ‘Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed’.