Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Scooby-Doo Movie Poster Image
Too scary for most kids, too dumb for most teens.
  • PG
  • 2002
  • 86 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 25 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 56 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Friendship and teamwork are less important here than in other Scooby-Doo features, as the gang tries to salvage their team dynamic; but their efforts are overshadowed by strange zombies and a madman's attempt at mind control. The action takes place on an island alongside partying college kids. These peers are more serious partiers than seen in any previous Scooby-Doo features -- and Velma getting drunk raises a big flag.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Since most of the characters in this movie are college age, expect activities like drinking, partying, the cruising of "chicks," and said chicks wearing tight clothes. Also watch out for a prolonged scene where Scooby and Shaggy have a belching and farting contest. Fred is painted as a womanizer, Daphne as materialistic.


Lots of toothsome, scary faces, zombies, evil men in charge of teens on an island. Lizard monsters and zombies chasing the gang, even inhabiting the bodies of Velma, Fred, and Daphne.


Fred is transferred into Daphne's body and says, "Hey! Now I can look at myself in the mirror!" Fred and Daphne kiss. Plenty of short skirts and tight tops that don't leave much to the imagination. Fred fashions himself as a womanizer and includes Pamela Anderson as one of his admirers -- though he does admit to Velma that "I'm a man of substance; dork chicks like you turn me on, too."


Besides "zoinks" and "jinkies," there are little slips, like "beeatch," booty, "your mom eats cat poop," and for the French speakers out there: "Voulez-vous couchez avec moi, c'est soir."


The consumption of food is the devoted past time of Shaggy and Scooby. Daphne is materialistic, carrying seven matching bags onto the plane. Telemundo is mentioned, so is NASA.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

It is obvious that Shaggy is into pot, by the way the song "Pass the Dutchie on the Left Hand Side" plays while smoke rises from his van. But wait, they are just grilling some eggplant burgers in there. Sure. And Shaggy's love interest is named Mary Jane. "Mary Jane is my favorite name," he says dreamily. Velma gets drunk at a bar on a tiki drink.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has more intense, scary special effects than you'll find in the cartoon Scooby-Doo features. The characters are in frequent peril, though no one gets hurt. There is some drug humor (as "Pass the Dutchie" plays on the soundtrack, what appears to be marijuana smoke turns out to be something else) and some vulgar jokes and graphic bathroom humor. The girls wear very skimpy clothes.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byViolet_Rose August 19, 2018


The film itself isn't terribly good, but the casting of Shaggy, Scooby and Velma is pretty much spot on. It's not massively scary, but not recommended... Continue reading
Adult Written bysupermonkey9440 February 17, 2012

Pretty Good!

I loved it! It's not an Oscar winner, but they did a great job casting live versions of the animated characters, and the plot was pretty good. I'm 18,... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old July 9, 2014

Good Movie

Scooby-Doo is a great movie with brief sexual jokes and language such as "freaking" and "naked". It has some scary images and drinking, but... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old May 23, 2014

Scooby-dooby, doo, where are you?

My profile:

This is a good movie don't get me wrong, but there might be some things that are too inten... Continue reading

What's the story?

The Mystery Machine crew has just discovered the secret of the ghost who captured Daphne (it's a man in a mask!), when their egos collide and they decide to go their separate ways. Two years later, they find out that each of them has been hired by Mr. Mondavarious (Rowan Atkinson), whose Spooky Island theme park is a little spookier than he had in mind. Fred, Velma, and Daphne try to solve the mystery on their own, but find that they have to work together to find…well, this time it's not a man in a mask, exactly.

Is it any good?

This movie is somewhere between a live-action cartoon that's much too scary for most kids and a Saturday Night Live sketch that goes on too long for most teens. That's what you get when you try to reach both younger and older audiences.

The young stars have the voices down perfectly and do the best they can to bring the characters to life, but that only emphasizes how sketchy and shallow the cartoon characterization really is. Freddie Prinze, Jr., who will hopefully someday find a movie that will show off his considerable talent, has his best moments when Fred becomes something like a hip-hop zombie. And as Shaggy, Matthew Lillard is at his best anytime he isn't challenging Scooby to a flatulence and burping contest.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why the friends broke up and why they got back together.

  • They might also want to talk about what has made Scooby and his pals so enduringly popular over the years. Which version of the show do you like best?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sleuths and classic TV characters

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate