Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Raja Gosnell|
|Produced by||Charles Roven
|Screenplay by||James Gunn|
|Story by||James Gunn
|Based on||Scooby-Doo created
by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears
|Starring||Freddie Prinze, Jr.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
|Music by||David Newman|
|Edited by||Kent Beyda|
Mosaic Media Group
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Running time||86 minutes|
|Box office||$275.7 million|
Scooby-Doo is a 2002 American fantasy comedy horror film. Based on the long-running Hanna-Barbera animated television series Scooby-Doo, 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. The plot revolves around Mystery Incorporated, a group of four young adults and a dog who solve mysteries. After a two-year disbandment, the group reunites to investigate a mystery on a popular horror resort. Filming took place in and around Queensland on an estimated budget of $84 million.
The film was released on June 14, 2002, and though it received generally negative reviews, it grossed $275 million worldwide. Reggae artist Shaggy and rock group MXPX performed different versions of the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! theme song. The Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster, a ride based on the film, was built in Warner Bros. Movie World in Gold Coast, Australia in 2002. A sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, was released on March 26, 2004, followed by a telefilm prequel, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins, which first aired on Cartoon Network on September 13, 2009.
In a warehouse, the Mystery, Inc. gang illustrates a plan to catch the Luna Ghost who has kidnapped Daphne Blake (Sarah Michelle Gellar), flying around with her bound and gagged which goes astray but ends with Shaggy Rogers, (Matthew Lillard) and Scooby-Doo, (voiced by Neil Fanning) causing the Ghost to be caught. After solving the mystery, constant arguments among the members of Mystery Incorporated about Fred Jones (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) taking credit for Velma Dinkley's (Linda Cardellini) ideas cause the gang to go their separate ways, much to the sadness of Shaggy and Scooby. Two years later, Shaggy and Scooby are approached to solve the mystery of the popular horror resort Spooky Island, reuniting with Fred, Daphne and Velma, although none of the latter are thrilled to see each other, except for Shaggy and Scooby, who still want Mystery Incorporated to re-unite. On the island, the gang meets Emile Mondavarious (Rowan Atkinson), the park's owner, who explains his theory that visitors are being cursed. Shaggy falls in love with a girl named Mary Jane (Isla Fisher), while Scooby is mysteriously targeted by demonic creatures. Velma meets a man named N'Goo Tuana and his henchman, the famous luchador Zarkos, who explains that demons once ruled the island.
The gang visits the island's abandoned ghost castle, where Daphne finds a pyramid-shaped artifact called the Daemon Ritus and Velma and Fred find a strange room with videos designed to address non-humans. When the gang returns to the hotel, they are attacked by the island demons, who kidnap numerous tourists including Fred, Velma and Mondavarious. The next day, Daphne is captured by Zarkos, while Shaggy and Scooby discover Fred, Velma and the tourists are now possessed by the demons. The two flee with Mary Jane, until Scooby realizes she is possessed as well. In the midst of an argument between Scooby and Shaggy, Scooby falls down a hole, followed by Shaggy, who dives in to save him. Shaggy comes across a vat containing the protoplasmic souls of everyone who was captured, including the rest of the gang, and releases the gangs' souls to their bodies. Velma discovers that the demons are destroyed in sunlight just like vampires, while Daphne and Fred's souls end up in the wrong bodies.
Shaggy steals the Daemon Ritus and reunites with the gang after their souls correct themselves. Coming across Voodoo Maestro, the gang learns that if the leader of the demons absorbs a pure soul through the Daemon Ritus, then the demons shall rule the world for the next 10,000 years. The pure soul belongs to Scooby, while the demons' leader is Mondavarious. Shaggy convinces the gang to put their differences aside and finally work together to save Scooby. They form a plan but it fails and Scooby's soul is extracted. Scooby is saved by Shaggy, wounding Mondavarious in the attempt. Fred and Velma discover he is actually a robot, controlled by none other than Scooby's nephew, Scrappy-Doo (voiced by Scott Innes), who the gang abandoned years ago due to his egotism. Now vengeful, Scrappy transforms into a giant demon called Scrappy Rex (voiced by J. P. Manoux) to destroy the gang and rule the world using the tourists' souls he absorbed.
Daphne fights Zarkos above the island's caves, knocking him through the roof, which exposes the demons to sunlight and kills them. Shaggy confronts Scrappy and rips the Daemon Ritus from his chest, freeing the souls and reverting Scrappy to his original self. Shaggy finds the real Mondavarious trapped in a hole and frees him. Scrappy and his minions are arrested. Daphne and Fred kiss, Shaggy and Mary-Jane hug along with Scooby, and Velma hugs a man she met earlier then punched him while laughing. When Mystery Incorporated addresses the press, Velma thinks that Fred will take credit for her ideas again, however Fred lets Velma take the credit she deserves after feeling bad for her. Mystery Incorporated is then re-united after Scrappy-Doo and Zarkos are arrested.
At the end, Scooby and Shaggy are eating food at the Spooky Island hotel. They both eat hot peppers and scream as smoke comes out of the hotel.
- Freddie Prinze, Jr. as Fred Jones: The self-proclaimed leader of Mystery Incorporated. Prinze said of his character, "[He] always showed more arrogance than everyone else. So in the movie, I took the opportunity to make him as narcissistic and self-loving as possible."
- Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne Blake: The danger prone member and the glamor enthusiast of Mystery Incorporated.
- Matthew Lillard as Shaggy Rogers: The cowardly member of Mystery Incorporated. When asked about watching several cartoons before playing Shaggy, Lilllard responded, "Everything I could get my hands on. If I ever have to see another episode of "Scooby-Doo," it will be way too soon." Lillard would continue voicing Shaggy in the rest of the Scooby-Doo media, even inspite of what Shaggy said to him when they made their cameos in Looney Tunes: Back In Action.
- Linda Cardellini as Velma Dinkley: The intelligent member of Mystery Incorporated. Cardellini was also a fan of the Scooby-Doo series.
- Rowan Atkinson as Emile Mondavarious: The owner of Spooky Island. Originally, Tim Curry was approached for the role, and as a huge Scooby-Doo fan, he accepted, but dropped out after he discovered that Scrappy-Doo, a character that he hated, was in the film.
- Neil Fanning as the voice of Scooby Doo: Shaggy's best friend, and a member of Mystery Incorporated.
- Isla Fisher as Mary Jane, Shaggy's girlfriend. Fisher grew up watching Scooby-Doo in Australia, and said that the "best part of making this movie was being part of an institution, something that has been in people's childhoods and is something that means a lot to a lot of people."
- Scott Innes as the voice of Scrappy-Doo: Scooby's nephew.
- Miguel A. Núñez, Jr. as Voodoo Maestro.
- J. P. Manoux as the voice of Scrappy Rex.
The cast also includes: Sugar Ray as themselves; Sam Greco and Steven Grives as N'Goo Tuanna and Zarkos, Scrappy-Doo's henchmen; Nicholas Hope as Old Man Smithers, a criminal involved in the Luna Ghost mystery; Michala Banas as Carol, a college student; Kristian Schmid as Brad, Carol's friend; Martin Broome as Melvin Doo; Jonathan Coffey as Fitzgibbon, a security guard; Jess Harnell and Frank Welker as the creatures who kidnap and possess humans. Pamela Anderson also makes an uncredited guest appearance in the beginning of the movie as herself.
Producer Charles Roven began developing a live-action treatment of Scooby-Doo in 1994. Actor Mike Myers also expressed interest in playing Shaggy. By the end of the decade, the combined popularity of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, along with the addition of the script and updated digital animation led Warner Bros. to fast track production of the film.
The film was originally set to have a much darker tone, essentially poking fun at the original series, much like The Brady Bunch Movie and was set for a PG-13 rating. Shaggy was set to be a stoner, Velma and Daphne had a side relationship, and there were many marijuana references. Several rumors about these aspects in the original cartoon series were passed around by fans of the original and were to be incorporated into the live action film. One marijuana reference that was retained was the use of "Mary Jane" as the name of Shaggy's love interest, and another drug joke is made when we hear Shaggy and Scooby exclaiming excitedly as we see the mystery machine outside with smoke coming out of it, however, it is revealed that inside they were just cooking hamburgers on a mini-grill.
According to actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, after the cast had signed on there was a change and the film became more family-friendly. Some of the original adult jokes are still in the film. They are also included in deleted scenes on the home media releases. Gellar also said her character and Linda Cardellini's shared an onscreen kiss that did not make the final film. "It wasn't just, like, for fun," she said, explaining it took place in the body-switching scene. "Initially in the soul-swapping scene Velma and Daphne couldn't seem to get their souls back together in the woods. And so the way they found was to kiss and the souls went back into proper alignment."
The film's score was composed by David Newman. A soundtrack containing hip hop, reggae and alternative rock was released on June 4, 2002, by Atlantic Records. It peaked at #24 on the Billboard 200 and #49 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums as singer, Shaggy performs the theme song from Scooby-Doo, Where are You? but instead was entitled, "Shaggy, Where are You?".
A video game based upon the film was released for Game Boy Advance shortly before the film was released. The game is played in third-person point of view and has multiple puzzle games and mini-games. The game's structure was similar to a board game. The game was panned by critics and was a poor seller.
The film was released on VHS and DVD on October 11, 2002. The release included deleted scenes, among them an alternate opening animated in the style of the original TV series. It was later released as a double feature with its sequel on Blu-ray on November 9, 2010.
Scooby-Doo debuted with $19,204,859 on its opening day and $54,155,312 over the weekend from 3,447 theaters, averaging about $15,711 per venue and ranked #1 at the box office. The film closed on October 31, 2002, with a final gross of $153 million in the United States. It made an additional $122 million in other territories, bringing the total worldwide gross to $275,650,703, making it the 15th most successful film worldwide of 2002.
Scooby-Doo was met with mostly negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 30% approval rating, based on 143 reviews, with an average rating of 4.4/10. The site's consensus reads, "Though Lillard is uncannily spot-on as Shaggy, Scooby Doo is a tired live-action update, filled with lame jokes." Metacritic gave the film a score of 35 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film one out of four stars, stating that the film "exists in a closed universe, and the rest of us are aliens. The Internet was invented so that you can find someone else's review of Scooby-Doo. Start surfing." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone said, "Get out your pooper-scoopers. Doo happens June 14th, warn the ads for Scooby-Doo. And they say there's no truth in Hollywood." Robin Rauzi of the Los Angeles Times called the film "entertainment more disposable than Hanna-Barbera's half-hour cartoons ever were." Although Jay Boyar of the Orlando Sentinel said that children who liked the animated version of Scooby-Doo will "probably like" the film, he urged parents to "know that the violence is a bit harder-edged than in the cartoon version". He would later go on to say that adults who remember the cartoon version "may get caught up in what Scooby would call the 'rostalgia'", but said that "adults who do not fondly recall the Scooby-Doo cartoons are strongly advised to steer clear."
Conversely, Hank Struever of Washington Post gave the film a positive review, stating that "You don't want to love this, but you will. Although Scooby-Doo falls far short of becoming the Blazing Saddles of Generations X, Y and Z, it is hard to resist in its moronic charms."
Gellar won Choice Movie Actress: Comedy at the Teen Choice Awards. Prinze Jr. was nominated for a Razzie for Worst Supporting Actor, but he lost the award to Hayden Christensen for Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones . It was also nominated for another Golden Raspberry Award, which is Most Flatulent Teen-Targeted Movie, but lost against Jackass: The Movie.
- Dayna Van Buskirk, Reg Seeton (2004-03-01). "Unleashing Monsters & Zombies". UGO. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
- Murray, Rebecca. ""Scooby-Doo" Movie Premiere — Quotes From the Red Carpet". About.com. The New York Times Company. p. 3. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- Murray, Rebecca. ""Scooby-Doo" Movie Premiere — Quotes From the Red Carpet". About.com. The New York Times Company. p. 1. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- Murray, Rebecca. ""Scooby-Doo" Movie Premiere — Quotes From the Red Carpet". About.com. The New York Times Company. p. 2. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- "Creator: Tim Curry". tvropes.
- Mallory, Mike (May 5, 2002). "What Will Scooby Do?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- Warner Bros. (March 5, 2001). "Production underway on live-action 'Scooby Doo', Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar and Rowan Atkinson for Warner Bros. Pictures" (Press release). Burbank, California: Time Warner. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- Entertainment Weekly, 636/637 - Jan 25th Issue. Page 38
- Sigesmund, B.J. "The Inside Dope." Newsweek. June 14, 2002. Available at Lexis-Nexis.
- "Sarah Michelle: The Buffy Slayer". Marie Claire, November 2006. Vol. 13, Issue 11. Page 100.
- "Gellar Smooched In Scooby". Sci Fi Wire, (Sci Fi Channel). June 7, 2002. Archived from the original on August 8, 2002.
- "'Scooby-Doo/Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed' Announced for Blu-ray". High-Def Digest. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
- Karger, Dave (June 17, 2002). "Just 'Doo' It". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- "2002 Worldwide Grosses". Box Office Mojo.
- "Scooby-Doo". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
- "Scooby-Doo". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- Ebert, Roger (June 14, 2012). "Scooby-Doo". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- Travers, Peter (December 5, 2012). "Scooby-Doo". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- Rauzi, Robin (June 14, 2002). "'Scooby-Doo,' Where Are You?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- Boyar, Jay (June 14, 2002). "Live-action 'Scooby-doo' - That Dog Just Won't Hunt". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- Struever, Hank (June 14, 2002). "'Scooby-Doo': There's Nothing to Do but Dig It". Washington Post. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
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- Scooby-Doo at the Internet Movie Database
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- Scooby-Doo at Box Office Mojo
- Scooby-Doo at Rotten Tomatoes
- Scooby-Doo at Metacritic