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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- On DVD or streaming: February 5, 2019
- Cast: Frank Welker, Grey Griffin, Matthew Lillard, Kate Micucci
- Director: Cecilia Aranovich
- Studio: Warner Bros. Animation
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Character strengths: Teamwork
- Run time: 81 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: January 30, 2020
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