Projections - Movie Reviews



I wish I could deny wasting MANY hours watching Scooby-Doo as I grew up and REALLY wish I could deny that I at times find myself watching them to this day.  Remembering with fondness the joys of youth associated with this odd assortment of characters, I anxiously awaited the release of this film.

Perhaps I expected too much; perhaps the youth today is so much more sophisticated than I was, oh, say 30 years ago (or was it just yesterday).  The skimpy story line is still there as is the usual cast of characters: Fred (Freddie Prince, Jr.) , Velma (Linda Cardellini),  Daphne (Sara Michelle Geller), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and of course Scooby-Doo in a roughly animated form.

As the film opens we see that Mystery, Inc. has solved yet another mystery and that tensions among the group have gown as have the egos.  Fast forward a bit and we see Velma owning a book store, Daphne being a reporter, Fred a model and Shag and Scooby being just that - Shag and Scooby.

The story really begins when all members of Mystery, Inc. are invited to solve a dilemma at a new "theme" park.  All jump at the chance to prove they are the real leaders and brains of the group and of course Shaggy and Scooby are just there for the food and the fun.

The "gang" looks like an updated version of the original with Geller turning in a valley girl approach to Daphne, Cardellini delivering a sexier (what cleavage!) Velma, Prince offering up a bit more butch Freddie and Lillard just hammering out the perfect Shaggy.  At times you forget that Shaggy is a character as Lillard has the voice, inflections and mannerisms down to a science.  Scooby leaves you a bit flat as the animation is fair at best and his lines are weak, but what is really missing is the soul of the cartoon - the great chase scenes and associated music.

As usual this pack of pesky kids solve the mystery and in the process gross you out with bizarre food combinations and body humor.  Remember this is an update to the classic cartoon, not a remake.  Adults may find the 87 minutes a bit too long, but younger children will enjoy it all and, in particular, the surprise ending.

I might have given a better grade had the story been better and the animation been worthy of this magnificent hound called Scooby-Doo.

Remember to keep the popcorn warm, the soda cold and look for me the in back row, three seats in.


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