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Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost Movie Poster Image
Teen sleuths confront lots of cartoon ghosts and mayhem.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 81 minutes

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

Working as a team is efficient; everyone has his or her place. "If you want a situation to change, you have to take action."

Positive Role Models & Representations

The members of Mystery, Incorporated are resilient, resourceful, and determined to succeed. Daphne becomes the team leader in this entry. As always, villains are greedy.

Violence & Scariness

Traditional Scooby! danger and action: hovering ghosts (with fangs and claws); avalanches; team is chased and menaced by mysterious car; heroes plummet, are captured, search through a spooky mansion with peril at every turn. Frightening images of snakes, demons, eyes peering through darkness.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The 32nd direct-to-DVD Scooby-Doo! adventure. Brand includes toys, programming, licensed merchandise. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost is a feature-length Scooby-Doo! adventure that has lots of cartoon scares, spooky images, and slapstick action. The gang faces raging, fanged-and-clawed ghosts who cackle, menace, and attack. They also must contend with a creepy mansion, a series of avalanches, chases, falls, and danger at every turn. Incredible though it may seem, this movie wraps up the story from The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo!, a 13-episode television series first shown in 1985. It works as a stand-alone movie, but will likely be more resonant for those devoted fans who have seen the earlier episodes (still available for purchase or streaming at the time of this movie's release). With frequent frights and the Mystery, Inc. heroes in near constant danger, this movie isn't for the youngest kids. 

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What's the story?

After making a rather big mistake, the team of Mystery, Incorporated considers retirement in SCOOBY-DOO! AND THE CURSE OF THE 13TH GHOST.  First step -- they reluctantly sell the Mystery Van!  Then the gang is drawn right back into a new adventure when an old friend summons them. Vincent Van Ghoul (voiced by Maurice LeMarche), a renowned magician with eerie powers, is desperate for their help. Years earlier, they worked together to catch 12 of the world's most terrifying ghosts and trap them in a Demon Chest. Now, the ghost that got away -- the 13th and scariest of all -- has come back to threaten the world. How can the gang refuse? With Daphne (Grey Griffin) taking the lead, Fred (Frank Welker) acting as their #1 Cheerleader, along with Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), Scooby (Welker), and the always-skeptical Velma (Kate Micucci) in tow, they depart for the Himalayan Mountains, a spooky mansion, and a series of mishaps to capture that last remaining ghost. 

Is it any good?

Daphne, who at one time was the franchise's dim, pretty girl, uses all her smarts and determination to lead the Scooby gang on another traditionally ghostly, direct-to-DVD adventure (their 32nd). In cartoon world, it's never too late for a sequel, and Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost arrives more than three decades after the original concept was the basis for a 13-episode TV series to resolve all the burning questions left unanswered in 1985. Viewers can expect lots of twists and turns, mistaken identities, multiple villains, and a dizzying plot (literally dizzying, as the mountain roads are ever-treacherous in the Himalayas). There's plenty of animated scares, even more than the usual amount, but everyone -- even those who might appear to have perished -- is restored by the story's end. Typical Scooby fare. Too many scares for little kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the cartoon violence in Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost. How does your family determine which animated movies are appropriate for the kids? Why is it important that they are old enough or mature enough to understand the difference between real and pretend violence when watching a movie like this one?

  • In this movie, what does Fred mean when he says, "If you want a situation to change, you have to take action." Do you agree with him? Think of some instances when the concept was true for you. What action(s) did you take to change the situation?

  • The creators of Scooby-Doo! adventures often parody famous people and incidents in their movies. Vincent Van Ghoul is a character based on the celebrated performer Vincent Price. Price actually voiced the role in the 1985 TV series. Find out more about the actor, and why the filmmakers "honored" him with this character. 

Movie details

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