MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2 1/2

Hanna-Barbera Production’s beloved mystery-solving TV-cartoon dog, a Great Dane named Scooby-Doo, leaps onto the big screen this summer. Scooby and his human friends, Fred (Freddie Prinz, Jr.), Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), and Velma (Linda Cardellini), once close friends, have become disenchanted with each other and the monotonous same-old, same-old mysteries they encounter. After two years apart, the splintered team reconnects after each is invited individually to Spooky Island, a “haunted” amusement park on a remote island. Soon the Mystery Machine group realizes they are captives of an evil force and must resolve their differences to meet their biggest mystery-solving challenge. Young children will be more forgiving than their parents about the unrealistic look of the computer-generated Scooby, the corny monsters and silly plot.

Families looking for the familiar themes of the cartoon may be disappointed. SCOOBY-DOO’s non-stop, cartoon-style action goes way beyond the TV show’s haunted buildings and mildly scary situations. Unlike the cartoon, which usually showed the monsters and ghosts as human tricks, the dark, sinister Spooky Island creates an image of supernatural forces much too frightening for young children. Characters are possessed by demons, and protoplasmic images of disembodied heads emerge from a whirlpool. Shaggy’s image of a “beatnik” or “stoner” is further degraded with jokes and subtle references to marijuana smoking. Scooby’s favorite snacks are laced with a drug that makes him “high” and drugs transform resort guests into zombie-like characters. The drug references are completely inappropriate for the young audience expected. Teenage girls in form-fitting outfits that reveal and emphasize their cleavage, a lengthy segment of Shaggy and Scooby using flatulence to entertain, along with the scary occult phenomena and drug use, make SCOOBY-DOO a summer nightmare for parents. The TV cartoon series, without elaborate special effects or pathetic attempts to attract older viewers, remains a much better choice.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA, 91522

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few times – Moderate (crude term for posterior)

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: Once – Exclamatory (OG)

Violence: Continuous – mostly slap-stick (dog’s tail burned, falls from scaffolding, balconies and windows; crash through windows, haunted castle filled with hideous computer-generated monsters, boy dragged by motorcycle, martial arts fighting)

Sex: None

Nudity: Near Nudity - Several times (teenage girls in low-cut, form-fitting outfits)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (boy transferred temporarily into girl’s body exclaims he gets to see himself naked)

Drugs: Implied (drug-induced zombie state of resort guests; subtle jokes about marijuana smoking, dog fed treats laced with drugs)

Other: Occult phenomena (brainwashing tactics used to change good into evil; pyramid replica has magical powers; bodies possessed by evil monsters; protoplasm images of disembodied heads emerge from whirlpool)

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 10 and older

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