It's been a long time since the animated version of Scooby-Doo and his pals ran on the Saturday morning cartoon circuit. Many things are still the same. This live action remake has lots of scary creatures hiding behind African masks, suits of amour that shuffle spontaneously and creepy paintings with eyes that move. Shaggy and Scooby maintain a knack for truly disgusting food combinations and the group continues to gets around in the Mystery Machine. Unfortunately, the biggest change is the inclusion of some content issues the cartoon version didn't have.
Mr. Mondavarious (Rowan Atkinson) summons Fred (Freddy Prinze Jr.), Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Velma (Linda Cardellini), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and Scooby-Doo (voice by Scott Innes) to Spooky Island, a hot spot for university students on their spring break. As the carnival's owner, he wants the mystery solving team to figure out what is causing a transformation amongst his guests.
However, the gang has been on a crime-fighting hiatus, and is a little rusty on working together. So instead of co-operating, they each set out to collect evidence on their own. It's not long before they realize a creepy castle, voodoo rituals and eerie island inhabitants are too much for one person to handle. Putting their clues together, they close in on the suspect behind an evil ploy to take over the world.
It's not like we haven't seen this plot before, but the antics of this party-happy college throng seem aimed at a different audience than the cartoon crowd. Some rude bathroom language and humor (including a drawn out scene of burping and flatulence) is hardly the kind of thing a parent wants reenacted at home. Monsters jumping through windows, snatching bodies and whacking people around may also be a concern.
With so much pre-release marketing aimed at children, it's a sure thing this movie will be high on their want-to-see list. But despite Shaggy and Scooby's barefaced endorsement of trust and teamwork, families may want to paws before giving in to the lure of this canine adventure.