Review by Michael Jacobson
Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Linda
Cardellini, Rowan Atkinson
Director: Raja Gosnell
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: See Review
Length: 86 Minutes
Release Date: October 11, 2002
get jinky with it!”
a lot of people my age, I grew up with Scooby Doo on television, though
my generation was hardly the last. Thanks
to the Cartoon Network, the misadventures of that loveable scaredy-cat of a dog
and his comrades have continued for more than thirty years now.
A live action movie seemed not only probable, but inevitable as well.
enjoyed that live action movie as a spoof aimed at the die hard fans, which made
fun of not only the cartoon itself, but fans’ perceptions of that cartoon over
the years. We all thought Fred was
basically an inept dumbass, that Daphne was a ditz, that Velma could take over
the group and possibly the world if she wanted to. It didn’t matter if those concepts were true…that’s how
we looked at them. And Scooby
Doo, the movie, does the same thing.
problem is, when you get right down to it, Scooby Doo was amusing, but
not very substantial. It didn’t
leave much to build on for a feature film other than some characters we knew
well and a lot of in jokes. I
laughed at the movie, and I really enjoyed some of the performances, but it’s
impossible to disguise the fact that this film is a magician with nothing up its
sleeve…or anywhere else, for that matter.
most inspired casting choice is the manically funny Matthew Lillard as Shaggy.
He steals the film with his dead-on accurate voice and physical
mannerisms. He gets most of the hard work, too, sharing the majority of
his scenes with the computer generated Scooby.
The dog is a hoot, too, but credit the flesh and blood Lillard for really
melding the two characters into a solid comedy team.
also loved Linda Cardellini as Velma…another perfect physical and vocal
representation! Real life couple
Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. don’t fare quite as well, but it
isn’t their fault. Daphne and
Fred weren’t very interesting in the cartoon, and they simply don’t
translate any better to the big screen (though Ms. Gellar does get a hysterical
fight scene near the end!).
film looks good, with eccentric art direction and set designs that really bring
an instant familiarity to the fans of the cartoon. The problem, as with all of the Scooby cartoons, is
that the plot is clothesline and the mystery ultimately unsatisfying.
Every episode of the television show was pretty much the same…the movie
isn’t a whole lot different. The
story is an excuse for comedy, not much else.
being said, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say fans will get a big kick at who
the villain ultimately turns out to be…a secret I wouldn’t divulge even for
a Scooby Snack!
complaints in the DVD delivery, starting with another flawless anamorphic
transfer from Warner Bros. (full frame version also available). This
is a visually stylistic film that ranges from the bright and colorful to the
dark and moody, and every frame comes across with clarity, natural tones, high
definition and sharpness, and absolutely nothing to mar the effect.
Reference quality all the way!
the 5.1 audio is a slam-bang funfest, which adds to both the physical comedy and
the spookiness! The music
soundtrack comes across with strength, and the .1 channel delivers the bottom
end to both the songs and the action. There
is plenty of frantic panning action, from side to side and front to back…these
effects are smooth, clear and well utilized.
Dynamic range is very good, and dialogue is clean and clear throughout.
A fun listening experience!
a package! For starters, you get
two audio commentaries…the one by the director Raja Gosnell and crew is the
more informative one, for those who want to know the what, where, when, how and
why, while the cast commentary, featuring Prinze Jr., Gellar, Lillard and
Cardellini, is the more fun listen (though occasionally sparse).
Lillard even does his Shaggy voice from time to time!
is also a 22 minute making-of featurette, with cast and crew interviews
(including the man behind the voice of Scooby Doo!), about 15 minutes of deleted
footage with or without director commentary (including the abandoned animated
opening titles and the amusing character flashback scenes), featurettes on the
set design, Daphne’s big fight and the new Mystery Machine van, a trivia game
featuring Lillard’s voice that can be played by one or two players (it leads
to an extra mini-featurette), a music video, seven interactive DVD ROM
challenges, and some Easter eggs (hint: watch
the animated screens for when Scooby drops his snacks!).
animated menus are kind of cool, but a little frustrating, because the choices
are often mixed in with signs and other words that don’t mean anything.
Still, a top notch collection of extras overall!