Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword

  • Review Date: March 14, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 75 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Scooby's Japanese adventure is fun but a little violent.
  • Review Date: March 14, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 75 minutes

Age(i)

2
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5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
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14
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids might pick up a little about Asian culture, but overall the movie's goal is to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

"The Gang" is very cooperative, and they strive to help people solve mysteries. The way the movie presents Asian culture is a mixed bag -- some of the stereotypes are a little off-putting (everyone in Japan is always taking photos, Manga-style female violence, etc.), while others are fine (the role of honor in society). There are also themes related to a "master" and a "servant" role.

Positive role models

Velma and Daphne are strong female characters whose skills help with problem solving.

Violence & scariness

A decent amount of violent imagery. Nothing bloody, but there are brutal scenes where sword fighting, martial arts confrontations, and ninja attacks are highlighted. Some threatening phrases and references to violence. "The Sword of Doom shall be your destroyer," yells the Black Samurai, for example.

 

Sexy stuff

Girls and teens are shown wearing short skirts and curve-revealing outfits. Nothing new about this. When Daphne and Miyumi engage in martial arts conflict, Shaggy says: "Like, meow. Talk about a kung fu cat fight!"

Language

Polynesian natives speak in Ooga-booga language, which could be perceived as demeaning.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are many fight scenes in this straight-to-DVD Scooby-Doo movie -- "samurai" and "sword" are part of the title, after all. Some of the images of the Black Samurai are frightening: He has blazing eyes and sharp fangs, and his presence is larger than life. Themes of master and apprentice take on a master and servant tone, which might be a little off-putting to some parents.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Scooby and the gang fly to Japan for Daphne's (voiced by Mindy Cohn) martial arts exhibition and land smack in the middle of a mystery. It appears that the Black Samurai has suddenly arisen from the dead; finding the Sword of Fate is the only way to fight his larger-than-life presence. Daphne's skills as a martial artist are put to the test, while her friends' loyalty is questioned. As the mystery intensifies, so do the challenges that face our unlikely heroes. Can they, like, master their own skills and save the day? Watch and see, young samurai.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Definitely compelling -- but also focused on fighting -- SCOOBY-DOO AND THE SAMURAI SWORD attempts to bring a little bit of Japanese culture to the mystery at hand. With dragons and ghostly samurais, the feature succeeds in creating an entertaining addition to the Scooby-Doo empire. But the fighting and violence between opponents isn't always appropriate for the youngest viewers. The Black Samurai also cuts a pretty scary figure.

Still, there are jokes and antics and chase scenes galore, which will engage kids. Fans of Scooby and Shaggy will definitely get their fill of zany fun.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it means to be a true master. Is it someone who controls other people, or someone who teaches others? Do you have mastery in any particular field? How can you gain mastery? Does it take practice, or does it happen magically?

  • How does this movie compare to other Scooby-Doo movies or TV series you've seen?

Movie details

DVD release date:April 7, 2009
Cast:Casey Kasem, Frank Welker, Mindy Cohn
Director:Christopher Berkeley
Studio:Warner Home Video
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:75 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Scooby-Doo and the Samurai Sword was written by

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

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byJR01 August 25, 2010
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Not for fans of the series

Scooby Doo has always been cheesy fun, but it had an important core message: seemingly supernatural occurrences have rational (if campy) explanations. It's critical to note that the Gang never solves the mystery in this movie— supernatural elements remain unexplained in the end. In contrast with the Scooby Doo tradition; dragons, ghosts, and "spirits" are presented as real. Definitely not for fans of Scooby Doo.
Kid, 9 years old October 24, 2009
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

O.K.

I thought it was pretty good, except it got boring around the middle. Great for kids!
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 13 years old Written byLord of Sushi May 1, 2009
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Decent

This movie is a decent movie that uses the same formula as all the other lame direct-to-dvd Scooby Doo movies. Hoewver, this one is more violent than the other ones as there is actual swords used. I only rated this 3-stars as there's more violence, but no blood or gore.

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