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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Scoob! is an animated reboot of the Scooby-Doo franchise. It starts out as an origin story and then follows the gang on their adventures as teens. Starring the voices of Zac Efron (Fred), Amanda Seyfried (Daphne), Gina Rodriguez (Velma), Will Forte (Shaggy), and Frank Welker (who's been voicing Scooby since 1969), it's a funny, family-friendly mystery that's more appropriate for younger viewers than the live-action films from the early 2000s. That said, there are several scenes of peril and pursuit, including creepy "ghosts"; a giant, murderous three-headed Cerberus monster; and encounters with a nasty villain and his shape-shifting robot minions. There are also a couple of sad scenes: one in which it seems like a long-lost friend is beyond saving and another in which it appears that one member of the Scooby gang may be permanently separated from his friends. Language includes frequent use of insults like "imbecile," "moron," "stupid," "suck-up," and "pinhead," and there are some comments along the lines of "she's pretty hot." But with its goofy premise; messages of perseverance, courage, and teamwork; and a series of punny/wink-wink jokes for parents, it's an easy pick for families with elementary school-age kids.
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What's the story?
When SCOOB! begins, Shaggy (voiced by Iain Armitage) is a lonely young boy who runs into a mischievous dog that's stolen a skewer of gyro meat. When the police try to snatch the dog, Shaggy pretends the pup is his, and names him Scooby Dooby Doo. And thus starts a beautiful friendship. That same Halloween, the duo meet Fred, Velma, and Daphne and inadvertently solve their first mystery. A decade later, the gang now solves mysteries for a living. But when potential business investor Simon Cowell (himself) suggests that Fred (Zac Efron), Velma (Gina Rodriguez), and Daphne (Amanda Seyfried) break away from their "weak links" Shaggy (now voiced by Will Forte) and Scooby (Frank Welker), a series of unfortunate events sweeps the best friends into a dangerous mystery. It involves superhero Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg) and his sidekick Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) and nefarious villain Dastardly Dick (Jason Isaacs), who's trying to find the last descendant of Alexander the Great's dog, Peritas.
Is it any good?
This animated reboot of the classic cartoon franchise helps bring the goofy Scooby gang to a new generation of kids who will enjoy the shenanigans of these "meddling kids'" and their talking dog. The characters have managed to entertain young viewers for five decades and counting, and kids will definitely still get a kick out of their silly but also dangerous adventures. This time around, Shaggy and Scooby get help from the in-over-his-head Blue Falcon (actually, it's the Blue Falcon's son, Brian, who's dealing with a severe case of imposter syndrome), and his two capable sidekicks, Dynomutt and Dee Dee (Kiersey Clemons), who are far more effective than Brian.
Scoob! has a bunch of jokes clearly aimed at parents that will likely go over kids' heads -- even some meta ones about how Scooby got his name and why Shaggy talks like a middle-aged person's idea of a young California hippie. There's also the requisite bathroom humor, including a moment when a pterodactyl unloads a huge poop while the Scooby gang is running around (just watch). Tracy Morgan also deserves a shout-out for voicing Captain Caveman, a prehistoric man the gang encounters in their quest to defeat Dick Dastardly. It's unclear whether Scoob! will lead to more movies, but it's entertaining enough to teach little kids to appreciate the franchise -- and when to say "Zoinks!"
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why Scooby-Doo remains popular after multiple decades. What's so relatable about the premise of Scoob!?
Discuss the movie's scary/violent scenes. Is the violence appropriate for the target audience?
How does this movie compare to other Scooby-Doo shows and movies? What's similar? What's different?
- On DVD or streaming: July 21, 2020
- Cast: Will Forte, Zac Efron, Gina Rodriguez, Frank Welker
- Director: Tony Cervone
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Cats, Dogs, and Mice, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Character strengths: Courage, Perseverance, Teamwork
- Run time: 94 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some action, language and rude/suggestive humor
- Last updated: April 15, 2021
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