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|
|Box office||$275.7 million|
Scooby-Doo (also known as Scooby-Doo: The Movie) is a 2002 American comedy horror mystery film. Based on the long-running Hanna-Barbera animated television series of the same name, 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.
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 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 2003.
A sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, was released on March 26, 2004, followed by two telefilm prequels: Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins, which first aired on Cartoon Network on September 13, 2009 and Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster, which also aired on Cartoon Network on October 16, 2010.
In a factory, 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 does not go as planned, but ends with Shaggy Rogers (Matthew Lillard) and Scooby-Doo (voiced by Neil Fanning) causing the Ghost to be caught. The gang unmasks the Luna Ghost, who is revealed to be the janitor of the Wow-O-Toy Factory, Old Man Smithers, who wanted revenge against Pamela Anderson after she refused to go out with him. (It is implied that he kidnapped Daphne, mistaking her for Pamela.) After solving the mystery, a heated argument ensues among the members of Mystery Incorporated. Fred Jones (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) is accused of taking credit for Velma Dinkley's (Linda Cardellini) ideas, and Daphne states that she is tired of always getting kidnapped. The gang disbands, and Shaggy and Scooby drive off in the Mystery Machine in sadness.
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 reunite. On the island, the gang meets Emile Mondavarious (Rowan Atkinson), the owner of the theme park, 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 real 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 and is followed by Shaggy, who dives in to save him. Shaggy comes across a vat containing the protoplasmic souls of everyone who was captured, including his friends, and releases the gang's 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 except Scooby 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 revealed to be 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, Velma, and Shaggy discover he is actually a robot, controlled by none other than Scooby's nephew, Scrappy-Doo (voiced by Scott Innes), whom 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 destroys them. Scrappy Rex picks up Scooby and taunts him. 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, while Velma hugs a man she met earlier then playfully punches him in the chest while laughing. When Mystery Incorporated addresses the press, this time Fred lets Velma take the credit she deserves. Mystery Incorporated is then reunited while Scrappy-Doo, N'Goo Tauna, and Zarkos are taken away. As Scrappy is arrested, he says "I would've gotten away with it, too! If not for you meddling sons of —", but the police shut the door of the helicopter before he can finish, while Daphne is talking to the press. As Scooby and the gang reconcile, the helicopter takes Scrappy and his minions away.
At the end during the credits, Scooby and Shaggy are seen at the Spooky Island Hotel enjoying an all-you-can-eat buffet, and eating hot peppers and screaming, causing smoke to come out of the hotel.
- Neil Fanning as the voice of Scooby-Doo: The titular main protagonist. He is Shaggy's best friend, and a member of Mystery Incorporated.
- Matthew Lillard as Shaggy Rogers: The cowardly member of Mystery Incorporated and Scooby's best friend. When asked about watching several cartoons before playing Shaggy, Lillard 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. Jim Carrey was originally attached to play Shaggy. Mike Myers also expressed interest in playing Shaggy.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sam Greco as N'Goo Tuana.
- Steven Grives as Zarkos, Scrappy-Doo's henchmen.
- J. P. Manoux as the voice of Scrappy Rex.
The cast also includes: Sugar Ray as themselves; 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.
Actors Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar, who portray Fred and Daphne and are romantically involved in the film and series, became real-life husband and wife shortly after the film was released.
Producer Charles Roven began developing a live-action treatment of Scooby-Doo in 1994. 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. Jim Carrey, as well as Mike Myers, expressed interest in playing Shaggy.
The movie was filmed on location in and around Queensland, Australia. Production was started on February 12, 2001 at the Warner Bros. Movie World theme park, and wrapped in June 2001. The film was originally set to have an 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, and there were many marijuana references.
Tim Curry, a long term fan of Scooby-Doo, was offered the role of Emile Mondavarious, but turned it down when he heard that Scrappy-Doo, a character he doesn't like, would appear in the film. Curry previously played Ben Ravencroft in Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost (1999). The part eventually went to Rowan Atkinson. Before filming began, Atkinson was lured into making a second movie starring Mr. Bean, with the promise of an Australian adventure.
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.
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 was released on June 4, 2002, by Atlantic Records. It peaked at number 24 on the Billboard 200 and 49 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Shaggy performs the theme song from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, which was retitled "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 number 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.
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 The 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 was nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award (Razzie) for Worst Supporting Actor, but he lost to Hayden Christensen for Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. It was also nominated for another Razzie, Most Flatulent Teen-Targeted Movie, but lost against Jackass: The Movie.
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- Evans, Bradford (17 March 2011). "The Lost Roles of Jim Carrey". Splitsider. Retrieved 10 August 2015.
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- Karger, Dave (June 17, 2002). "Just 'Doo' It". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
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- 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". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 17, 2012.
- "Teen Choice Awards 2002: Complete Winners List". Hollywood.com. 4 August 2002. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
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