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Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed Movie Poster Image
Sequel is milder than original; potty humor, peril, violence
  • PG
  • 2004
  • 89 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 30 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

An abundance of potty humor. No diversity in the cast, but there are some strong female characters. Value of teamwork. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

No positive role models. 

Violence & Scariness

Comic peril that may be too intense for younger viewers. The ghosts and monsters are ghoulish looking, and some kids may find them more scary than silly. Car chases. Monster harpoons The Mystery Machine. One of the bad guys hits Fred in the groin with a dart.

Sexy Stuff

Kissing. When trying to impress her love interest, Velma, with Daphne's help, changes her look, and starts wearing a skintight purple outfit. 

Language

Infrequent mild profanity: "crap," "sucks." 

Consumerism

Product placement for Burger King.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Shaggy smells marijuana in one scene. Beer drinking in a bar. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed is a 2004 movie based on the popular 1970s and '80s cartoon series. Aside from really bad CGI, expect many of the gags, tropes, pratfalls, cartoon violence, and demonic monsters that defined the original cartoon. The demonic-looking monsters might be too much for younger kids. Some iffy humor, such as Shaggy smelling marijuana, and Scooby passing gas. Beer drinking in a bar. One of the bad guys hits Fred in the groin with a dart. Infrequent mild profanity ("crap," "sucks"). There's a particularly annoying product placement for Burger King. When trying to impress her love interest, Velma, with Daphne's help, changes her look, and starts wearing a skintight purple outfit. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 year old Written byCwf1997 January 6, 2019

An outstanding kid-friendly live-action Scooby-Doo movie!

The movie is quite relevant in a post-Trump era where news can make people feel bad and encourages kids to be themselves and eventually do acts of kindness desp... Continue reading
Parent Written byKaylee C. March 7, 2017

Parent approved!

This is a harmless movie my 10-month-old sits here and watch it at bedtime and she's not scared of the monsters yes there are some references but what... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old July 20, 2011

My little sister is a Scooby-Doo fan.

Well, I have sister named Regan that is 4 and she's turning 5 and she is a fan of Scooby-Doo. And I don't think this movie is appropriate for her.
Kid, 10 years old July 19, 2009

ON

Infants might get scared.

What's the story?

The Mystery Inc. ghostbusters -- Fred (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Velma (Linda Cardellini), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), and Scooby-Doo -- are being feted at the gala opening of an exhibit devoted to their adventures at the Coolsonian Museum. But a replica of The Pterodactyl Ghost turns out to be the ghost itself, all of the exhibit costumes are stolen, and TV reporter Heather (Alicia Silverstone) is out to ruin the gang's reputation. Each member of the gang feels responsible, and it will take all their courage, loyalty, and skill to vaporize the ghosts and un-mask the culprit. Is it Old Man Wickles (Peter Boyle), or his former cellmate Jacobo (Tim Blake Nelson)? Or could it be museum curator Patrick (Seth Green)?

Is it any good?

Only Scooby fans will enjoy this affectionate live-action tribute to the unquenchably popular cartoon series. MONSTERS UNLEASHED abandons the first live-action Scooby-Doo movie's wobbly attempt to appeal both to kids -- with silly scares -- and older teens -- with self-aware irony and double entendres. Instead, this one is a straight-on re-enactment of the cartoon classic, with some of the series' most memorable bad guys uniting in a sort of all-star reunion of a scarefest.

The special effects are fun, especially a silly disco dance number starring Scooby in a huge Afro wig to a cover a Sly Stone song, and the action sequences have energy and humor. But the characters are, well, cartoonish, and for anyone but hard-core fans, who will recognize every reference to each of Scooby's many cartoon incarnations, any charm in seeing them played by actors on the big screen wore off sometime ten minutes into the first one.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it means to use a comment "out of context." What did Heather do to make Fred's statements seem as though they meant something other than what he intended? 

  • How did the movie use the jokes and style of the original cartoon series, and how did they update it for more contemporary audience?

  • One of the subplots of the movie is an opportunistic reporter who goes out of her way to edit her reports to make Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby look as bad as possible. How does this satire anticipate the current media climate? 

Movie details

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