A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie’s live-action style makes all of the content more realistic than kids will be used to from the cartoons, so the multiple monster scenes and frequent perilous situations ensure it’s not for the very young. What’s more, the relationships developing among the characters prompt some discussions about dating that are more suitable for teens than kids, though the movie’s overall silliness makes it a hard sell for these older viewers. That said, those aficionados who can take this latest addition to the Scooby franchise will enjoy the actors’ efforts to bring these characters to life almost as much as they’ll like the humorous references to the original cartoons themselves.
What's the story?
SCOOBY DOO! CURSE OF THE LAKE MONSTER follows Fred (Robbie Amell), Daphne (Kate Melton), Velma (Hayley Kiyoko), Shaggy (Nick Palatas), and Scooby (voiced by Frank Welker) to their summer jobs at the Erie Pointe Country Club, where their arrival coincides with the reappearance of the area’s legendary lake monster. Not only is the monster terrorizing the locals, he’s also threatening the patrons of the country club itself, much to the dismay of the club’s owner, Daphne’s uncle Thornton Blake V (Ted McGinley). Not surprisingly, the gang jumps at the chance to unravel the secrets behind the mystery, but this time the clues point a little closer to home than they’re used to.
Is it any good?
CGI truly is a modern marvel to make movies like this a possibility, seamlessly blending live and generated images into a nearly believable visual experience. Unfortunately for this movie, though, this conjured reality makes for much scarier content throughout, so despite its ties to cartoons young kids might be watching, it’s not a good option for them.
What’s more, the subplot revolving around budding love between Fred and Daphne and Shaggy and Velma raises some content that’s not really suitable even for young tweens. Fred and Daphne are misled about each other’s commitment to their relationship, and their uncertainty confuses Shaggy, who turns to them for guidance about his own feelings for Velma. All is not lost, however, since the friends take a mature approach to the inevitable resolution at the show’s end and prove that they value their friendship above everything else.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about mysteries. How are mysteries solved in real life? What kinds of experts play a role in unraveling clues? In what ways does this movie oversimplify that process?
Tweens: What did you think about the relationships that were depicted in the story? Did the characters’ worries resonate with you? How have your experiences with boys or girls compared to what they went through? To whom can you turn for guidance on issues like these?
How well did the characters transfer from animation to the live-action and CGI style of this movie? What, if anything, was lost in the change? Was anything about this movie improved over the cartoon series? Have you seen any other movies that brought animated characters to life? What did you think about them?
- On DVD or streaming: March 1, 2011
- Cast: Frank Welker, Hayley Kiyoko, Nick Palatas
- Director: Brian Levant
- Studio: Warner Home Video
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 85 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some mild scary action.
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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