Scooby-Doo 2 offers mindless fun and a few simple lessons here and there. Yes, it’s cartoonishly silly, but it’s also substantially real. Though the inclusion of Batman, Don Knotts or The Harlem Globetrotters would’ve been a nice touch, the film is successfully true both to the letter and to the concepts of the original.

(2004) Film Review

This page was created on April 19, 2004
This page was last updated on May 8, 2004


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CREDITS

Directed by Raja Gosnell
Characters by William Hanna & Joseph Barbera (Hanna-Barbera Productions)
Screenplay by James Gunn

Cast (in credits order)
Freddie Prinze Jr. .... Fred
Sarah Michelle Gellar .... Daphne
Matthew Lillard .... Shaggy
Linda Cardellini .... Velma
Click to enlarge Seth Green .... Patrick
Peter Boyle .... Old Man Wickles
Tim Blake Nelson .... Jacobo
Alicia Silverstone .... Heather
Neil Fanning .... Scooby-Doo (voice)
Pat O'Brien .... Himself
Bill Meilen .... Chauffeur
Zahf Paroo .... Ned

Produced by
James Gunn .... co-producer
Brent O'Connor .... executive producer
Charles Roven .... producer
Kelley Smith-Wait .... executive producer
Richard Suckle .... producer

Original Music by David Newman
Cinematography by Oliver Wood


MPAA: Rated PG for some scary action, rude humor and language.
Runtime: USA:88 min

For rating reasons, go to FILMRATINGS.COM, and MPAA.ORG.
Parents, please refer to PARENTALGUIDE.ORG

TRAILERS AND CLIPS
Trailers, Photos
CD
Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
Various Artists - Soundtrack - 2004

Scooby-Doo 2:Monsters Unleashed goes pop with the soundtrack to the sequel to the 2002 Scooby-Doo summer blockbuster family film.With new songs from punk-pop ’s Scooby-Doo 2:Monsters Unleashed goes pop with the soundtrack to the sequel to the 2002 Scooby-Doo summer blockbuster family film.With new songs from punk-pop ’s Simple Plan and U.K. crew Big Brovaz; a track from 2003 "American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard; previous hits from New Radicals, Apache Indian, neo-ska legend Bad Manners, and more, Scooby-Doo 2 unleashes a soundtrack that is pure pop.
1. Don't Wanna Think About You - Simple Plan
2. You Get What You Give - New Radicals
3. Boom Shack-A-Lack - Apache Indian
4. The Rockafeller Skank - Fatboy Slim
5. Wooly Bully - Bad Manners
6. Shining Star - Ruben Studdard
7. Flagpole Sitta - Harvey Danger
8. Get Ready For This - 2 Unlimited
9. Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry
10. Here We Go - Bowling For Soup
11. Love Shack - B-52's
12. Friends Forever - Puffy AmiYumi
BOOK
Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
by Suzanne Weyn (Author)

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SYNOPSIS
Click to enlargeIn "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed," Scooby and the gang lose their cool - and their stellar reputation - when an anonymous masked villain wreaks mayhem on the city of Coolsville with a monster machine that re-creates classic Mystery Inc. foes like The Pterodactyl Ghost, The Black Knight and The 10,000 Volt Ghost. Under pressure from relentless reporter Heather Jasper-Howe (Silverstone) and the terrified citizens of Coolsville, the gang launches an investigation into the mysterious monster outbreak that leaves Shaggy and Scooby questioning their roles in Mystery Inc. The ever-ravenous duo, determined to prove they're great detectives, don a series of far-out disguises in their search for clues. Meanwhile, brainy Velma (Cardellini) becomes smitten with a key suspect, Coolsville Museum curator Patrick Wisely (Green), as macho leader Fred (Prinze Jr.) and image-conscious Daphne (Gellar) attempt to determine the identity of the Evil Masked Figure who is unleashing the monsters in an attempt to take over Coolsville.
Review by
MARK EZRA STOKES

Mark Ezra Stokes lives in Ludowici – a peaceful, one-redlight town (that's "one traffic light" for those who don't speak Southern) in southeast Georgia – and is a staff reporter, copyeditor and columnist at The Press-Sentinel in Jesup, Ga. He is also a film critic for HIS Voice, a Christian newspaper in central Georgia. Mark is currently pursuing an M.A. in Screenwriting and Film Studies at Hollins University in Roanoke, Va.
Click to enlargeClassic cartoons are effective because they’re amusing diversions from reality. In the shorts, Bugs Bunny always outsmarts and infuriates Elmer Fudd; Jerry always eludes Tom.

Cartoon shorts have no time to explore the inner motives for Yogi Bear’s kleptomania or the reason cartoon ducks always have speech impediments. They just expect us to recognize these stock characters and have fun with them.

Feature-length films, on the other hand, require depth and character growth that isn’t necessary in a 15-minute short. Though many film adaptations of cartoons add a literal third dimension to their characters, the film-makers seem to forget the need for narrative and psychological 3-D. Thus, films such as The Flintstones, Mr. Magoo and Josie and the Pussycats appear painfully shallow.

Click to enlargeThe Scooby-Doo franchise–especially Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed–seems to have transcended this frustrating trend. While the first film included the occultic elements of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo (soul-stealing and real monsters) and the over-the-top caricatures of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo (especially Fred, who was a bumbling moron in Scooby-Doo), the sequel sticks more to the tried-and-true formula of the traditional Scooby-Doo mysteries (a blend of red herrings, unmasked villains, celebrity cameos and necessary cliches).

Click to enlargeBoth films have nearly-flawless portrayals of the Mystery, Inc. gang (Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, Linda Cardellini as Velma, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne and Freddie Prinze Jr. as Fred), and the second one includes a perfectly-cast Peter Boyle as Old Man Wickles, the stereotypical crotchety old villain. The film ventures further into nostalgia with several CGI versions of monsters from the original show.

Scooby-Doo 2 is jam-packed with tight, first-person camera shots (not unlike those of The Passion of the Christ, but with a very different effect). The shots are so in-your-face that one begins to wonder whether 3-D glasses should’ve been provided. This simply adds an original element to the typical Scooby-Doo chases and capitalizes on the fact that so many similar theme-park rides have been successful.

Click to enlarge Though Scooby-Doo 2 maintains the silliness of a cartoon, it counters that with the complexity of plot twists and a bit of character introspection. As in the first film, Scooby and the gang take turns wishing he or she played a different role in the group, spending unnecessary time trying to be something he or she is not (as we Christians are known to do). Even the patrons at The Faux Ghost, a watering hole for villains, are seen as people who aren’t happy with who they are and thus put on masks to become something more powerful and in-control.

Eventually, though, while the crooks remain insecure and self-hating, Mystery, Inc. learns to value both their strengths and their weaknesses as what makes them unique and indispensable.

Click to enlargeAnother moment of enlightenment comes in a formulaic crisis, when Velma is dangling over a chasm. The only way she’ll survive is if she lets go of the railing and gives control to a certain shady character. When asked to trust this person, she–in a wonderful display of human nature– says, “No, I only trust the facts.” Despite Velma’s brilliance, she could draw only on the facts she knew, which weren’t all of the facts. This could have been detrimental to her, but at that point, the other character asks, “What does your heart say?” and helps her make a faith-based decision. Sure, this is cheesy and cliche, but it also reminds me of Proverbs 3:5—“trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.”

Ultimately, Scooby-Doo 2 offers mindless fun and a few simple lessons here and there. Yes, it’s cartoonishly silly, but it’s also substantially real. Though the inclusion of Batman, Don Knotts or The Harlem Globetrotters would’ve been a nice touch, the film is successfully true both to the letter and to the concepts of the original
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