A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Promotes friendship and teamwork.
Positive Role Models
Central character learns to rely on herself and trust her judgment. Daphne and Velma are smart and honest and try to do the right thing. Adult characters tend to be dim-witted and/or caricatures; primary father is overprotective and bumbling. Diversity. One of the two heroines is biracial.
Violence & Scariness
Spooky, cartoonish suspense and action. Sound effects, shadowy figures, eerie music, and amateurish special effects provide the mystery and danger. False jeopardy in numerous scenes. Characters disappear, then return in a zombie-like state, and are trapped. A mother is in danger. Chases and sequences shot in dark passageways. Robot spiders threaten the heroines.
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Products & Purchases
A live-action DVD entry in the popular, decades-old Scooby-Doo franchise. Visuals or references to Ramune soda and Driftwood milk products.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Daphne & Velma is a live-action movie that shows how the two female members of Mystery, Inc. (the organization at the center of the Scooby-Doo franchise) met and became friends. Velma, a brainiac who always tries to prove that every paranormal experience can be explained by science, is a high schooler who doesn't quite fit in. Daphne is a child of global-hopping parents who's never been able to settle in one place. This movie recounts their initial "investigation" into a strange occurrence at their high school during their first days together. Cartoon action includes some peril (i.e., cackling robot spiders who attack with lasers, characters held hostage, falls, chases, a scary secret passage), enhanced by eerie music, spooky sound effects, and shadowy ghost-like figures. It's all comic in tone, and no one is injured or killed. Adult characters are either exaggeratedly overprotective or clueless. Racial diversity is played throughout. It's OK for kids who aren't bothered by pretend violence. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The Two Sarahs (Jeffery and Gilman) as Daphne and Velma give it their all as their early friendship is introduced, but a routine story, cheesy effects, and subpar writing let them down. Daphne's character has had some updates from the version Scooby-Doo fans are used to, and the story isn't as goofy without Shaggy and Scooby's comic relief. As with many franchises, film companies and toy manufacturers are hoping to increase their fan base with as many platforms as possible. Thus Daphne & Velma is intended for fans of high school hijinks. Unless the minds behind the plan can come up with fresher material and richer leading characters that are truly inspired by their cartoon spirits, it's doubtful that this concept is going to work. It's OK, but the original Scooby tales are better.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.