FAMILY DOUBLE FEATURE: SCOOBY-DOO 1 & 2 COLLECTION
Studio: Warner Bros.
BY KEVIN CARR
In conjunction with the theatrical release of “Yogi Bear,” Warner Bros. has packaged the two theatrical “Scooby Doo” films together in a single case. These are the exact same releases that came out separately on DVD, but they are available in high definition and as a package deal.
These are almost always good buys for people who enjoy the films. Both Blu-rays have their original bonus features, which were extensive for both releases. As a father who is always looking for a good two-for-one deal, I can say you’ll find it here. It’s a better deal than just burns of the movies without the features that were on the original DVDs.
MOVIE: *** (out of 5 stars)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)
The first “Scooby-Doo” movie was a challenge, mainly because a decision had to be made whether to make it for the kids or the kids who have since grown into adults. Warner Bros. made the decision to go for the kids’ movie, and while we are left with a lot fewer pot and sex jokes (though there are some still there if you look for them), we have a film that is safe to show kids.
In this movie, the Mystery Inc. gang has a falling out and go their separate ways. However, they are brought back together with separate stories to take them to a tropical island where spring breakers are getting brainwashed. Scooby and the gang must put their differences aside in order to save the day.
While I mildly enjoyed this movie when I originally saw it on DVD, I really enjoyed watching it with my kids. There were nods to the jokes about the original cartoon (like Shaggy getting a girlfriend named Mary Jane), but it wasn’t pervasive, and if you get the joke, you’re already corrupt.
Like other cartoons-turned-movies (e.g., “The Flintstones”), this is one long television episode with grander special effects. The casting was pretty great, with spotlights on Matthew Lillard as Shaggy and Linda Cardellini as Velma. Everyone got into the spirit of the movie (no pun intended) and made a cute film. And for anyone who grew up watching the many incarnations of “Scooby-Doo,” you should appreciate the final reveal of the villain in this film.
There are deleted scenes (including a nice look at Velma in a bikini), cast and filmmakers commentaries, the theatrical trailer, a catchy Outkast music video and several featurettes: “Unmasking the Mystery Behind Scooby-Doo,” “Scary Places” (production design featurette), “The Mystery Van,” “Daphne Fight Scene” and “Rain on the Set.”
SCOOBY-DOO 2: MONSTERS UNLEASHED
MOVIE: *** (out of 5 stars)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5 stars)
When this film came out half a decade ago, I hated it. The only redeeming value to this movie was the fact that I could take my then-three-year-old son to a film that had a dinosaur in it. However, as a reviewer, I couldn’t stand the movie.
Well, time has passed, and I’ve calmed down from that kid-crowded, early-morning screening. And while I don’t think “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” was a fantastic film, it falls about at the level of the first movie. Bringing back the cast and crew, it’s a very similar film, and it also gets points for continuing to have real monsters in it.
The Mystery Inc. gang gets in trouble when “monsters” they put away long ago return in real life. Villains from the original cartoons make cameos while the gang tries to uncover the mystery of who is behind bringing real monsters to life.
It’s rare for a sequel to be so similar to the original, and “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” manages to do that, for better or for worse. It plays better at home than at the premium price of the movie theater, and the kids do love it.
Plus it’s got a dinosaur in it, and I’m told that’s kind of a big deal.
While not as loaded as “Scooby-Doo,” this Blu-ray has a nice selection of bonus material, including deleted scenes, music videos, plus featurettes: “Triple Threat” (Scooby-Doo tour), “Dancing Dog” (including behind-the-scenes effects and dance instructions) and “True Ghoul Hollywood Story.”