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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 13 June 2005
This film cam in for a rare old mauling from the critics when it was released and looking at some of the other reviews here, it would seem that it didn't go down that well with the cinema going public. I think that's a real shame as all in all the film isn't that bad and although it's not brilliant by any stretch of the imagination, it's still entertaining and the kids will love it.
As with most of the bringing cartoons to life films, the plot is secondary to the actual fact of getting the previously 2 dimensional characters into real figures and certainly in this film the plot is a little suspect at times.
As for the actual characters themselves you have three outstanding performances in Matthew Lillard and Linda Cardellini as Shaggy and Velma respectively, who capture perfectly not only the actions of their characters but display two of the finest vocal impressions ever. The other outstanding performance is the CGI Scooby who is beautifully animated and fitted with the real life action. Sarah Michelle Gellar is limp and added for purely visual reasons, yes Daphne was the girly heroine of the gang, but she was never that wimpy! Worse of the bunch by a huge mile is Freddie Prinze Jnr who is simply awful as Fred. Not only has he recreated Fred's character into a posturing vain empty head, he doesn't even do it very well.
All in all this is a good fun film, and funnily enough all my children, who were never brought up on a Saturday morning TV diet of Scooby Doo as I was, love it immensely and return to it again and again.
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VINE VOICEon 18 January 2004
For me I would have preferred that the storyline followed the old tried and tested formula of the cartoons. Yet the contrived way they break up onl to be brought back togther agian is quite neat.
Rowan Atkinson is in fine form and the gang do their best to bring the characters to 'life'. The animation of Scoob himself is really good, also
The gags as they are are also very good, whether they be the site gags or via the dialogue. (The sight of Scoob dressed is an old aunt is just laugh out loud hilarious!)
Matthew Lillard steals the show with his sound-a-like take on Shaggy. He plays really well against empty space where Scooby would later be inserted.
All in all not too bad at all. The denouement is brilliant for all us older Scooby fans and it's just the right appetizer for the up and coming second film in the summer.
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on 19 November 2002
I wish there was an option for giving 3.5 stars for a review on Amazon. I wouldn't quite say that this film deserves 4 stars. But I don't think it's bad enough for 3 either. Like many people my age (early 30s) I was a big fan of Scooby Doo cartoons as a kid. So it was with some trepidation that I approached this movie, after so many disappointing attempts by Hollywood to cash in on cartoon nostalgia (e.g. the Flintstones). However I was pleasantly surprised.
I liked the way that the movie starts towards the end of a typical Scooby Doo mystery. So right at the beginning you get to see all the classic stuff like the unmasking and the "if it wasn't for you pesky kids!" A key part of the movie, the computer graphics special effects (such as Scooby Himself) were very well done. One constant reminder of the original cartoons is Shaggy’s voice, imitated excellently by his real-life counterpart. And Sarah Michelle Gellar's Daphne looks and acts great for the guys...
By a rather non-Scooby-Doo-ish sequence of events, the whole team end up on a spooky island amusement park owned by Rowan Atkinson's amusing character. The island turns out to be overrun by what I assume are "invading monsters from another dimension". But the precise details don't matter. Suffice to say the team is lead through a set of events which give the movie the opportunity to re-live some of the old Scooby-type scenes, including a "flash-back" appearance by Scrappy Doo. This appearance leads us rather neatly on to the movie's ending (to understand why it is "neatly", you'd have to see the movie). I won't tell you the end, because it's so stupid, so silly, so absolutely ridiculous, that you have to see it for yourself. Ex-Scooby fans will either be horrified or choke with laughter on their popcorn. I did the latter - it felt like the script was playing a massive joke on itself. It may be a case that the ending is "so bad it's good", but I still enjoyed it.
Overall I would recommend old Scooby fans see this movie. I have to say though, I don't know if I would watch it again. It's got some nice cartoonish sets (a little like the cool sets for the Addams Family films) but the script is not that involving and the characters are just...cartoony... (doh!) But seriously, perhaps this movie is a 3.5 star on first viewing an a 3 on second viewing. Rent it for fun? Yes. Buy it? No.
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on 27 May 2005
This film could have been SO much better...
Think of how sharp, witty and watchable Monsters, Inc. was; why didn't the writers read the same script- writing guide as those guys? There are many jokes, they are just of the make- you- chuckle- once type, instead of raising a laugh again and again. The writers have gone for quantity of gags rather than quality. However, being of a childish bent I did laugh heartily at the farting contest. Probably because I'm British though...
Like many other reviewers, I agree that Matthew Lillard was seemingly born for the role as Shaggy, and is just voice- perfect. All of the main characters make an OK job of their parts, but I couldn't help thinking that Freddie Prinze Jr. just didn't sit right as the original idea of Fred from the cartoons.
My main problem is with Scooby; with the whole world of CGI at their fingertips, they came up with a rather amateurish- looking creation which didn't charm me at all. I was particularly irritated that the animators gave him 'pricked' ears; it made him look less lovable than the cartoon Scooby and this barbaric ear cutting practice is illegal in Britain. I know it's a cartoon dog but it just looked wrong and the thought that Scooby himself had been given 'pricked' ears made me rather sad! Anyway, I digress; if you have kids they'll love it, though if they are of a delicate constitution they might find the monsters a bit scary. My daughter adores both Scooby- Doo films; but hey, she IS three.
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on 30 April 2006
As a big fan of Scooby-Doo cartoons when I was a kid I was interested to find out how this live action film would turn out. It did help that Sarah Michelle-Gellar was in it too as Daphne! There seems to be a small trend of doing films of cult cartoon characters using cgi, Garfield for one. So I'd thought I'd watch it to see how it compares to the old cartoons.

In many ways it stays very faithful to the cartoons. The costumes of the characters are the same, although at one point Velma goes from orange roll-neck top to a skimpy low-neck top. Daphne as well wears revealing tops, seems they decided to spice it up a little, but no complaints! The Mystery machine van is identical as well, and generally the film has the same sense of humor as the cartoons. The only real difference is the decision to make Fred some sort of playboy airhead?!? Also the plot involves the group falling out at the start and going their separate ways, but at least it is a good change and makes the film have more of a plot. The acting is great especially Matthew Lillard as Shaggy and Linda Cardellini as Velma as they get the voices from the cartoons spot on, so much so I thought it may be dubbed!!! There is Rowan Atkinson perfectly cast as a comedy eccentric and a cameo from Pamela Anderson, another one!!

Overall if you take the film in the right context, it is a comedy mainly aimed at kids it is good and mildly funny for the bigger kids among us and Scooby fans from years ago. If you want to relive part of your childhood but brought up to date for todays generation this is perfect for you and your kids! 7/10
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on 6 January 2003
To tell you the truth I always hated the Scooby Doo cartoon series so when my kids insisted that I invest a hard earned 11 quid for the DVD I bargained on them at least washing the car a couple of times. The presence of the charming Sarah Michelle Geller in pink platform boots and a skimpy dress swayed the arguement in favour of the kids so investment was made. I've now seen it, with the kids of course, at least 4 or 5 times and i'm still enjoying it. The plot of course is thin but the introduction of some more interesting interplay between the characters away from the main storyline beefs up the film so it's not just a 15 minute cartoon extended to try to fill a 90 minute movie timescale.
All the best moments involve Shaggy and Scooby. Shaggy is brilliantly played and interacts pretty much seemlessly with the CGI Scooby and there are numerous scenes that appeal to adult and child alike. Scooby getting checked in at the airport, hanging out in the van in california, farting contests and quad bike chases are all very funny and nicely placed in the story sequence to give you just the right balance between the utterly ridiculous plot and some comic interludes.
Whenever things slow down, which tends to be when Shaggy and Scooby aren't involved, the likelyhood is that SMG will be on the scene for interest value for male audience members - unfortunately i doubt if Fred has the same effect for the female viewers. The only thing that really irritated me was Rowan Atkinson - he plays the boss of the amusement park and he tries too hard to be funny. all the other cast members play along with the cartoon's deadpan delivery and cardboard cutout characterisations and this largely works very well. RA tries to overcomplicate the character and, for me, this just made my teeth grind.
The picture quality is good and the sound quality is very good indeed making full use of the dolby 5.1 potential. The extras are OK and my only comment would be that I was surprised that some of the deleted scenes were not included in the main film. I'd love to see the version complete with these scenes as I'm sure it would make for a more enjoyable movie.
In conclusion this is far from being an oscar winning film but if you switch off your brain and sit down with the kids you'll find it hard not to be entertained.
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on 26 February 2014
I bought this as my son wanted some new films as there is never a film on tv with no swearing in it.I was suprised,i normally hate these but this is a good film.Worth buying i would say for your kids as my son loves it.Already watched it twice and i enjoyed it twice.
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I have a confession to make. I didn't grow up watching cartoons. As a result, I've only seen a handful of episodes of this show in my entire life. Yet, I was curious about the live action version, so I finally sat down and watched it.

The Mystery Inc. Gang is in the middle of another exciting case. Yet when they've captured the ghost, something strange happens. A microphone is trust into Fred's face (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) and suddenly the gang starts fighting. Velma (Linda Cardellini) is tired of Fred taking all the credit. And Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is absolutely sick of always being the damsel in distress. Only Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and Scooby-Doo are interested in staying together. And so the gang breaks up.

Some time later, they are brought back together by Mandavarious (Rowan Atkinson). He owns Spooky Island, a hip college resort. Unfortunately, his guests are arriving as normal college students and leaving as zombies. Will the Mystery Inc. Gang be able to reconcile to solve the case?

The problem with taking a half hour program and making it a full length movie is the added time. The writers tried to deal with that my adding the conflict within the group. However, so little time is spent on it that it feels like an after thought. Instead, the movie spends most of its time focusing on the story, which makes sense for the most part. There's a twist at the end that I thought was just plain weird, but maybe that's just me. Matthew Lillard is the standout member of the cast. His Shaggy perfectly brought the cartoon character to life. And the computer animated Scooby, while looking like a cartoon was believable.

There are some parts that might frighten small children, but most will be ok with it. It's a mixed bag, at least for this non-fan of the series.
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on 4 July 2013
Bought this for my son who is Scooby mad and I remember watching this when it was first released so thought he might like it. I was not wrong, he loves and watches it all the time along with Scooby Doo 2.
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on 2 January 2013
It's surprising that you can still get something like this in this format. My daughter received a PSP from her cousin as a gift and was really happy to be able to watch this on it. Although she is tending to move on to her ipad and apps, this has a place in her memories. Thank you.
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