Scooby-Doo (also known as Scooby-Doo: The Movie) is a 2002 American comedy horror mystery film. Based on the long-running Hanna-Barbera BTSW, the film was directed by Raja Gosnell, written by James Gunn and stars Freddie Prinze, Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini, Matthew Lillard and Rowan Atkinson. It is the first installment in the Scooby-Doo live-action film series.
It got mixed-to-negative reviews from critics, but later gained a cult following from fans of the show. It was filmed on Queensland, Australia and Warner Roadshow Studios, and later after the film released, the roller-coaster named Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster was opened at Warner Bros. Movie World on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, later the ride has been upgraded as Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster: Next Generation with new storyline, theme and special effects in December 2018.
An full CGI-animated film Scoob! will be released in May 15, 2020 and become the first segment of Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe with Dynomutt, Dog Wonder, Captain Caveman and Dick Dastardly as the main villain.
The Mystery Inc. gang have gone their separate ways and have been apart for two years, until they each receive an invitation to Spooky Island. Not knowing that the others have also been invited, they show up and discover an amusement park that affects young visitors in very strange ways. Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby soon realize that they cannot solve this mystery without help from each other.
Why It Sucks
- The main characters have been changed from their original personalities in the TV series and come off as very unlikable throughout the film. Fred, Daphne, and Velma spend the majority of the film just arguing with each other, Shaggy in one scene suggets to just leave Fred and Velma to die while he, Daphne, and Scooby escape Spooky Island, and the flashback with Scrappy-Doo shows Mystery inc. just abandoning him in the middle of nowhere, especially since Scooby is technically Scrappy's caretaker.
- Daphne’s outfit is wrong. She never wore go-go boots in the cartoon.
- Rather poor grasp of the source material.
- Badly done acting, except Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, whose performance was praised from both critics and fans. Lillard reprised his role in the sequel and later replaced Casey Kasem as the official voice of Shaggy after the latter's retirement in 2009.
- Numerous errors, like Daphne's handbag being teleported to Fred (with Daphne's soul).
- Poorly executed humor, which mostly consists of fart and burp jokes, none of which was even in the original cartoon series to begin with.
- Speaking of humor, after Fred's soul is transferred to Daphne, he says "I can look at myself naked!", which is very uncomfortable for some fans, and very inappropriate for a PG film.
- A somewhat mean-spirited scene where Fred flicks Scooby in the nose to keep him quiet, only for Scooby to... punch Fred in the face.
- Very confusing plot.
- The movie can't decide whether if it wants to be for kids or teens. Some scenes are too scary for kids while teens may be annoyed by the movie's constant childish crude humor and some adult humor that kids won't understand, so it miserably fails to appeal to both audiences. The fact that the movie was originally going to be rated PG-13 (which actually happened to be rated R by the MPAA) before Warner Bros. toned it down to PG doesn't help matters.
- In the climax, there was no need for a trap in the first place. When Shaggy finds a well of souls that the demons captured, he only frees Fred, Daphne and Velma's souls instead of saving everyone's souls (especially since it's still daytime and it's established that the demons dissolve in sunlight). As if it was the icing on the cake, Daphne successfully beats Zarkos and kicks him down the roof where the well of souls is and manages to knock it over, freeing everyone's souls in the process, making you wonder why Shaggy didn't do it earlier.
- The "jump-the-shark" moment is when Scrappy-Doo is made as the main antagonist of the film.
- Even though Scrappy-Doo was kind of an obnoxious character to begin with, he still had plenty of redeeming qualities and became a lot better portrayed once Don Messick took over the role. This movie on the other hand drastically flanderizes Scrappy as it just goes out of its way to make him obnoxious and unlikable with no redeeming qualities, thus officially ruining Scrappy-Doo's character, and Warner Brothers, along with writer James Gunn (who literally despises Scrappy-Doo with a burning passion) made him this way just because they hate him.
- Some of the scenes were cut from the test audiences to get the film a PG rating, such as an alternate opening sequence done in the original show's distinctive artstyle.
- Bad CGI, especially on Scooby-Doo.
- Decent soundtrack composed by David Newman.
- Matthew Lillard's performance as Shaggy was praised from both critics and fans, and he later became the official voice actor of Shaggy after Casey Kasem's retirement and subsequent death in 2014.
- Even though the trap in the climax was unnecessary, it was impressively well put together.
- The voice acting for Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo is surprisingly good, especially since they were both voiced by Frank Welker, who also voiced them in the original shows and movies.
- The original Scooby-Doo theme was used, which is a nice nod to the original series.
- The Scrappy-Doo jokes are somewhat funny.
- Although the effects are bad for the most part, the Luna-Ghost's effects are surprisingly good.
- The CGI used to remove the cleavage from the female characters is quite stunning as well.
- Frank Welker (the current voice of both Fred and Scooby) played the creatures alongside Jess Harnell.
- The film was the major screenwriting debut of James Gunn.
- The film was originally going to have a PG-13 rating and had a slighter mature tone that poked fun at the original series. Shaggy was going to be a stoner, Velma and Daphne had a side relationship, and there were many marijuana references. James Gunn confirmed in 2017 that the cut actually almost got an R-Rating and they had to use CGI to cut out the female characters' cleavage.
- Shortly after the film was finished, Freddie Prinze Jr. (the actor for Fred in the film) hated having his hair dyed blonde and ended up cutting it all off.