Both rated PG for scary images and possibly inappropriate material for 1 year olds
Halloween is almost here. If you have visited Disneyland you know it arrived in mid-September. Instead of, or in addition to, candy this year, give the little ones an introduction to mystery, spooks, ghosts and a very human-acting dog.
Scooby Doo and the gang have been around since 1969. Mostly animated, in 2002 and 2004 the team made it to the big screen. Now available in Blu-Ray and DVD, you can enjoy both these films and watch the kids shriek in terror for less than 10 bucks. About the same price as a couple of bags of Halloween candy.
The first film takes place on Spooky Island. It’s a theme park owned by the mysterious Mondavarious (Rowan Atkinson, aka Mr. Bean). After a big opening spook scene, the Mystery Inc. team splits up for a couple of years only to find themselves all on the same plane to Spooky Island. Lots of monsters, spooks and mystery await them. Expect shenanigans galore as the ever-hungry Scooby teams up with Shaggy (they make up the Abbott and Costello members of the group). The sets and colors are spectacular. The acting is as cornball as you would expect – not that acting means as much to the 5- to 12-year-old audience. The pratfalls and humor are fast-paced and there is lots of family fun for all.
The sequel came out in 2004 with the original cast coming back to repeat the fun and games in Coolsville, where they all reside. The story is basically the same as the first film. Kids, and maybe a few adults, will love it.
Both DVD versions contain lots of extras, deleted scenes, and music videos as well as commentary by the filmmakers.
The casts include Freddie Prinze, Jr. as Fred, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy and Linda Cardellini as Velma. While all of their careers have since had various degrees of success, Matthew Lillard has gone on to act in the Oscar nominated film The Descendents in 2011 and is currently in the Clint Eastwood film Trouble with the Curve. He is currently filming Nim’s Island 2 assuming the role Gerard Butler had in the 2008 Nim’s Island.
Besides Rowan Atkinson in SD1, the sequel includes Seth Green, Peter Boyle and Alicia Silverstone. Scooby Doo is, of course, animated and computer-generated into his scenes. The barking is provided by a real dog. Stuntman and voice man Neil Fanning provides the Scooby voice. Part one was filmed along the Sunshine Coast of Australia, just south of Brisbane, using sets at Warner Bros. Movie World Theme Park (which has a great Batman ride). Part two was done in Canada. Together they have more ghosts and spooks than both Ghostbusters films put together.
So for under $10, and in case of heavy rain, this Halloween you can treat the kiddies to live action fun of Scooby Doo. Most of the Scooby Doo animated films are also available on DVD.
Rated 2.9 out of 4.0 for both films. Add ¾ points for kids 5 to 12. Bring your own Scooby snacks.