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Scooby doo ver3.jpg
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: Raja Gosnell
Produced By: Charles Roven
Richard Suckle
Written By: James Gunn
Based On: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears
Starring: Freddie Prinze Jr.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Matthew Lillard
Linda Cardellini
Rowan Atkinson
Scott Innes
Isla Fisher
Cinematography: David Eggby
Distributed By: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: June 14, 2002
Runtime: 86 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Franchise: Scooby-Doo
Sequel: Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed

Scooby-Doo (also known as Scooby-Doo: The Movie) is a 2002 American comedy horror mystery film. Based on the long-running Hanna-Barbera cartoon series Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, 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 received 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; the ride was later upgraded as Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster: Next Generation with a new ride storyline, new themes (still based on the 2002 film) and new special effects in December 2018.

A sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, was released on March 26, 2004, while a fully computer-animated reboot to the live-action film series, Scoob!, was released on May 15, 2020 and became the first installment of the Hanna-Barbera Cinematic Universe with the characters of Dynomutt, Dog Wonder, Captain Caveman and Dick Dastardly as the main villain.


Zoinks! Two years after a clash of egos forced Mystery Inc. to close its doors, Scooby-Doo and his clever crime-solving cohorts Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and Velma (Linda Cardellini) are individually summoned to Spooky Island to investigate a series of paranormal incidents at the ultra-hip Spring Break hot spot.

Bad Qualities

  1. The main problem with this movie is that it has a poor grasp of the source material, with the movie being unable to decide whether if it wants to be a satire or homage to the source material, resulting in a cluttered, unfocused plot that misses the ideas of the original series and what made it work. Although, it should be noted it was meant to be more-or-less a satire, but was forced to make a bunch of changes.
    • The film even makes it seem like Daphne gets kidnapped all the time, even though she rarely gets kidnapped that much in any of the prior shows, though she did have a tendency to wander into traps.
    • Daphne's outfit is wrong. She never wore go-go boots in the cartoon, except in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo! (although they still don't suit her).
  2. The film (at least the beginning) is a rehash of Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, as both films start off with the gang unmasking a suspect, then splitting up, reuniting years later, and then being invited into an island by the island's owner and the owner's partner, on which they encounter monsters that are not merely people in costumes. The differences here being the owner and his partner are men instead of women, and the island is out in the ocean rather than off the coast of Louisiana. Also, in Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, the gang had reunited for Daphne's birthday when they are invited to the island. Here, they are all invited individually, and find themselves reunited once on the island.
  3. There are pointless romantic subplots given to Shaggy and Velma that contribute nothing to the film nor do the characters themselves actually do anything that actually helps the gang either.
  4. The main characters come across as unlikeable throughout the film and barely act like their usual incarnations:
    • Fred goes from being the calm, yet laid-back leader to a narcissistic jock who takes advantage of the team's success, despite not even doing much (if any) of the planning.
    • Daphne goes from being the damsel-in-distress to being a stereotypical popular girl whose sole arc is to not become a damsel with no character development or reason. This may have been the result of Sarah Michelle Gellar of Buffy fame which resulted in Daphne being a Buffy clone.
    • Velma goes from being the sensible voice of reason to being an argumentative know-it-all, also demonstrated by the fact that Fred, Daphne, and Velma spend the majority of the film just arguing with each other.
    • Shaggy goes from being a comedic goofball into an incompetent and unlikable idiot. For example, in one scene, he suggests just leaving Fred and Velma to die while he, Daphne, and Scooby-Doo escape Spooky Island.
    • The flashback with Scrappy-Doo shows Mystery inc. just abandoning him in the middle of nowhere, especially since Scooby is technically Scrappy's caretaker; as a result, the Mystery Inc. comes across as villains rather than heroes.
    • There's also a somewhat mean-spirited scene where Fred flicks Scooby in the nose to keep him quiet, only for the latter to punch Fred in the face.
  5. The kiss between Fred and Daphne at the end of the film is quite unnecessary and out of place since at no time the relationship between them is explored.
  6. Plot holes:
    • By the end of the movie, after the demons are destroyed by the sun, the souls of the students return to their bodies, but what happened to the students who left the island possessed? This is why Mondavarious called the team in the first place.
    • In the climax, there was no need for a trap in the first place. When Shaggy finds a well of souls captured by the demons, he frees only Fred, Daphne, and Velma's souls instead of saving everyone else's souls (especially since it is still daytime and it was established that the demons dissolve in sunlight). Not helping is that 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 the viewer wonder why Shaggy didn't do it earlier.
  7. Overuse of juvenile humor and movie themes.
    • The humor mostly consists of lots fart and burp jokes, none of which were even in the original cartoon series, to begin with.
      • The infamous scene where Scrappy-Doo pees on Daphne's dress.
      • As with most of the humor falling flat, there's even a pointless scene where Scooby-Doo and Shaggy have a burping and farting contest that drags on for longer than a minute and does nothing to contribute to the film other than just for cheap, lazy and childish attempts at comedy and padding.
      • Speaking of humor, after Fred's soul is gets into Daphne's body, he says "Hey, I can look at myself naked!", which is very uncomfortable for some fans and very inappropriate for a PG film.
  8. The movie cannot seem to decide whether if it wants to be for children, for teenagers, or for adults.
  9. There were several scenes that were deleted but that were necessary to understand some parts of the story. Particularly one in which Shaggy witnesses how Daphne's soul is extracted from herself and her body possessed by one of the demons after being captured (which was deleted for being considered quite terrifying) which would have explained why Shaggy looked scared before entering the cave, why Daphne's soul was in the cauldron and why Velma found her possessed in a corridor.
  10. Everything about the movie screams 2000s.
    • Ugly and dated visual effects (even by 2002 standards), especially for the demon creatures and the titular character, who barely resembles his iconic counterpart and sometimes never looks like he is even here.
      • On this topic, both Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo looks nightmare fuel in live action form because they looks like normal Great Danes compared to how they were on the show, which makes them fly straight into the Uncanny Valley.
    • There are pointless pop culture references to The Powerpuff Girls, The Smurfs, Hong Kong Phooey and Fists of Fury, the former show's success of which eventually died out years later.
    • Everyone in the movie has a very 2000s sense of fashion, especially that one guy with spiky hair named Brad.
  11. The "jump-the-shark" moment, where the film officially gets to flip its middle finger to its source material, is when it's revealed that Scrappy-Doo is the main antagonist. Not only is he a weak and poor choice of a villain but why would the creators of this movie choose him to be the main villain knowing how hated this character was in the first place?
    • Even though Scrappy-Doo was a somewhat 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. The film, on the contrary, drastically flanderizes Scrappy to the point of making him very intentionally obnoxious and unlikable without any redeeming qualities whatsoever; as a result, Scrappy's villainous role in the film officially ruined his character as a whole due to Warner Bros. and writer James Gunn (who later admitted that he despised Scrappy-Doo with a burning passion) having had made him this way just to symbolize their hatred of him and axe him from the franchise permanently. He may have initially been annoying, but, never diabolical. Making this out of character for him.
    • In fact, Tim Curry, who was originally going to play Mondavarius (and what would have been his second role in a Scooby-Doo film, behind Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost), decided to leave the project after finding out that Scrappy Doo was in it.
  12. False advertising: The trailers, posters and commercials made it look like the Luna Ghost was going to be the main antagonist of the film, but he only appears briefly in the first act.
  13. With the exception of Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, the acting is mostly lackluster and phoned-in. Such as how Linda Cardellini sounds bored when playing Velma.
  14. Blatant amount of product placement, especially for Sprite and Coca-Cola.

Good Qualities

  1. Good score composed by David Newman, with a good cover of the original Scooby-Doo theme.
  2. Despite the mostly bad acting, the four casting choices for our main characters were all spot on since they all mostly resemble the designs of the original cartoon.
    • Matthew Lillard, especially, is the one who steals the show as he nails the role of Shaggy so well that you feel you're watching the actual cartoon character. His performance was praised from both critics and fans and he later became the official voice actor of Shaggy.
    • In addition, the voice acting for Scooby-Doo, Scrappy-Doo and the Spooky Island Demons is surprisingly good.
  3. Even though the trap in the climax was unnecessary, it was impressively well-put together.
  4. While most of the humour was bad, there were some funny moments:
    • The Scrappy-Doo jokes are somewhat funny, especially when he claims he’s as cute as a Powerpuff girl, despite the pointless pop culture references.
    • The teaser trailer attached to screenings of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone hilariously tricked people into thinking there is a Batman reboot coming up with Scooby-Doo inside a mansion saying "Who, me? Rah-uh!"
    • Melvin Doo is quite a funny minor character who shares the same last name as Scooby but is a human being. The bar owner gets a call for a Mr. Doo. Melvin thought that the call was for him but the bartender explained the call is for Scooby. He gets brought up again after Scrappy wants Scooby-Doo’s soul, with Scooby-Doo saying “Me? Don’t you mean Melvin Doo?”
    • The final scene with the hot peppers was very funny.
  5. Although the effects are bad for the most part, there are some good parts of it:
    • The Luna Ghost's effects are surprisingly good.
    • The CGI used to remove the cleavage from the female characters is quite stunning as well.
    • The production design for Spooky Island is quite unique and many people wished it was real.
  6. Despite being pointless, Mary Jane is quite likable compared to the Mystery Inc. crew.
  7. Despite being wasted and barely in the film, The Luna Ghost in the prologue is a memorable Scooby-Doo villain, complete with Joker/Pennywise mannerisms. It helps that he later appeared in the first episode of Mystery Incorporated.
  8. It had some good foreshadowing for the divisive Scrappy-Doo reveal. For example, the fake Emile Mondavarious is seen inside a mechanical device greeting Mystery Inc. Also, Mondavarious was scratching himself like a dog. And the Wow-O Toy Factory was named after one of Scrappy’s catchphrases.
  9. Most of it was ignored for good in Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, with a more kid-friendly tone and better grasp of the cartoons.
  10. Pretty memorable and funny quotes like "Okay, I will. Your mommy eats cat poop! No, Scooby-Doo, your mom eats cat poop!" and above all "Are you challenging me?".


Scooby-Doo received mixed-to-negative reviews from critics and fans alike, who criticized its script, humor and visual effects; however, Lillard's performance received praise. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 30% based on 145 reviews and an average rating of 4.37/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Though Lillard is uncannily spot-on as Shaggy, Scooby-Doo is a tired live-action update, filled with lame jokes." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 35 out of 100 based on 31 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.


  • 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 infamous fart scene in the film received a cult following as time went on, with fans of this movie and the main Scooby-Doo franchise considering it as one of the most iconic and memorable fart scenes, tied with Blazing Saddles and Extreme Movie.
  • The film was originally going for a more mature tone and a PG-13 rating while poking fun at the original series. Shaggy was going to be a stoner, Velma and Daphne had a side lesbian relationship and there were many marijuana references. In 2017, the 15th anniversary of the release of the film, James Gunn, the film's screenwriter, revealed in a Facebook post that there was an R-rated cut of Scooby-Doo and that CGI was used to remove cleavage of the female cast members due to a missed interpreted joke. The test audience wasn't impressed and was thus forced to cut the film down to a more suitable PG rating.
  • 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 shaving it all off.
  • To help differentiate it with the franchise, fans prefer to call this film "Scooby-Doo: Spooky Island".
  • Jim Carrey was originally attached to play Shaggy, while Mike Myers also expressed interest in the role.
  • Starting in 2010, Matthew Lillard would continue voicing Shaggy in the rest of the Scooby-Doo media; he would also poke fun at this appearance in the following year's Looney Tunes: Back in Action, where an animated Shaggy and Scooby voice their grievances over Lillard's portrayal over a lunch in the Warner Bros. studio cafeteria and threaten him to make him do a better portrayal in the sequel.
  • While still considered a bad film, it has gained a cult following for those who grew up in the early 2000s.
  • This movie reveals Scrappy-Doo's full name to be Scrappy Cornelius Doo.
  • This is the last time William Hanna served as an executive producer before his death on March 22, 2001.


External links


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