The previews make you think that Scooby-Doo is spoofing the cartoon series. With many people thinking that “Scooby Doo, Where Are You!” (TV) was influenced a great deal by the drugs of the 70’s, it seemed shocking that someone had waited this long to spoof the show.
After seeing the movie, however, this was not the case. That probably would have made the movie quite a bit funnier.
Matthew Lillard was perfect as Shaggy. Everything you remember about Shaggy from the cartoon show, from the voice to the way he walked, Lillard played it to a T.
Freddy Prinze, Jr. and Linda Cardellini were a bit odd as Fred and Velma, respectively, but still managed to stick with their characters. Sarah Michelle Gellar (of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (TV) fame) was the only major miscast of the group. She didn’t even really look like Daphne, and although acted well, did not act as Daphne used to.
Having Rowan Atkinson (“Mr. Bean” (TV)) as the host of Spooky Island was a little strange as well.
The animation in Scooby-Doo was okay. Scooby himself was totally computer animated and seemed realistic enough. The ghosts and other monsters were also animated very well, and the actors were cued well (most of the time) as to where they were supposed to be looking – but when they were off, they ruined the whole scene. Scooby also walked oddly, which became a bit annoying throughout the film.
The plot was a decent one, but was the wrong one to go with for Scooby-Doo. This would have been better as a second movie, not a first. They did not really introduce the characters enough, probably expecting you to know all about them from the cartoon show. It would have been better to introduce the characters a bit more.
Also, there were too many silly parts of the movie, and they do a lot of childish jokes – the Shaggy/Scooby farting scene comes to mind immediately. They seemed to have taken the cartoon show and reduced the humor factor for a younger audience.
All in all, a disappointment. Scooby-Doo was not anything like what I was expecting. If they wanted to spoof the show, they should have gone further down that path. If they wanted to stay true to the cartoon show, they should have gotten rid of the 5-year old humor.
Instead they did more of an update of the show, and reduced the level of humor.
If you’re a fan of the original show, you may go see Scooby-Doo in the cheap seats, but don’t expect to laugh too much, unless you’re 5 or so.