A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase is standard Scooby-Doo! fare, a DVD released in 2001 with all the regular members of Mystery, Inc. There's plenty of cartoon action (battles, lasers, monsters, wild rides, explosions, and one central evil, cackling villain). What sets this tale apart from the multitude of others is the gang's interaction with an alternate set of Mystery, Inc. players in the story -- doppelgangers of each one of the heroes -- when Scooby and company are transported into the Scooby-Doo Cyber Chase video game. This results in an effective cross-promotional marketing strategy for both products. Though comic in nature, this movie isn't appropriate for very young or sensitive kids who aren't yet accustomed to real versus pretend violence.
What's the story?
Summoned to a university laboratory by a scientist friend in SCOOBY-DOO AND THE CYBER CHASE, the team finds the lab under siege and its high-tech laser beam compromised by a virtual Phantom Virus who wants nothing less than to steal every computer program in the world. The Phantom has disappeared and the scientists call upon Scooby and company to help find the virtual culprit. When Shabby, Scooby-Doo (both voiced by Scott Innes), Velma (B.J. Ward), Daphne (Grey Delisle), and Fred (Frank Welker) begin their search, they are harassed at every turn. Still, nothing has prepared them for the moment when the laser beam is activated and sends them into cyber space, directly into the lab's newest video game... a game that is based on the adventures of the Mystery, Inc. gang members themselves! Now they're "virtually" trapped with their own video game doubles. Will our heroes be able to battle through the game's ten levels in order to return to reality? Or, will they succumb to one of the many obstacles set in their path -- including, on the final level, a maniacal team of monsters from past Scooby adventures? And, if they do get back, will they be able to discover who in the real world is responsible for the virtual Phantom and his frightening misdeeds?
Is it any good?
A routine Scooby adventure, at least until the heroes meet up with their virtual alter egos in cyber space and are bombarded with a profusion of monsters from past, present, and future. There's some fun to be had when Shaggy meets Shaggy, Velma meets Velma, et al in Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase. But, as often happens in stories like this one, the cartoon action seems endless. Ten levels of adventure is a bit much, even if some of them flash by in an instant. And the few truncated battles are to make room for the "final level" -- the climactic set piece set in a carnival/amusement park that goes on, and on, and on. Released in 2001, the filmmakers have since had the good sense to make the stories shorter. Fine for fans of the franchise, but too much cartoon jeopardy for little kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the meaning of "cross-promotion." How does this Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase DVD help sell the brand's video games, and how do the games help sell this DVD?
Why is it important for kids to understand the difference between cartoon or comic violence and realistic violence? How old were you when you realized that much of what you saw on television and in movie theaters is "pretend?"
Scooby-Doo stories successfully blend comedy with action-adventure; the characters are very likeable, too. Pick one member of the gang and describe what makes him/her special, what makes him/her likeable, AND what makes that character funny.
Themes & Topics
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