Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur

 
(i)

 

Funny dinosaur-ghost adventure is too spooky for young kids.
  • Review Date: August 31, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 75 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

This is definitely an entertainment-only movie, but conversations about various dinosaurs and their attributes could be educational for budding paleontologists.

Positive messages

Scooby-Doo and his teen pals are always there to help protect each other. They're unconditional friends who use teamwork to solve mysteries and help strangers.

Positive role models

It may not be obvious, but the four teens represent how very different people can still be great friends, and they're all clever or helpful or brave in their own way.

Violence & scariness

The "phantosaurs" aren't just spooky ghost-like apparitions; they roar and run and cause people to hide. There are also very real-looking dinosaurs running around frightening the locals. In one scene, Shaggy, who's been hypnotized to become a "fearless hero" whenever he hears the word "bad," gets into a tussle at a diner, where he leaves things in disrepair. A group of bikers looks menacing at first but becomes the Mystery gang's allies.

Sexy stuff

Fred says "Nice!" when he sees pictures of women in a bikini in a resort brochure. Velma falls for a nerdy paleontologist, and the two go out to dinner and briefly hold hands.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

No product placement in the movie itself, but the famous Hanna-Barbera characters have a huge merchandise machine based on them, including figurines, stuffed animals, games, DVDs, apparel, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Scooby gets amped up on caffeine when he accidentally drinks it at a diner.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animated Scooby-Doo adventure features potentially frightening sequences of ghost dinosaurs that may be too intense for preschoolers. As in most of the Scooby gang's escapades, there are some moments of tension and peril, but no one is seriously hurt. In this story, Velma flirts with a like-minded young scientist, and the two go out to dinner and even briefly touch hands. But forget fledgling romance: Scooby and his four teen mates are all about crime-solving collaboration. 

What's the story?

Shaggy (voiced by Matthew Lillard) has a hysterical response to fear, so his doctor suggests that he stay away from any Mystery Machine adventures. Daphne (Grey DeLisle) suggests they go to a relative's resort spa in a desert town, so Scooby (Frank Welker) and the gang -- including Velma (Mindy Cohn) and Fred (Welker) -- head there for a relaxing vacation, only to discover the small hamlet is the site of an important paleontological discovery. But it's not the fossilized dinosaurs that the "meddling kids" have to worry about ... it's the appearance of the ghost dinosaurs that keep scaring off the locals.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Sometimes direct-to-video movies will pleasantly surprise you, especially if you have low expectations. SCOOBY DOO! LEGEND OF THE PHANTOSAUR is one of those funnier-than-imagined animated productions that will delight kids (at least those old enough not to be scared off by the roaring phantosaurs) and make parents laugh aloud at the occasionally witty (and sarcastic) dialogue.

The movie features an impressive voice cast; in addition to the five leads, there are some stand-out supporting players (comedic character actor Fred Willard is particularly memorable as a scientist and resort owner, as is daytime soap actress Finola Hughes as a leading paleontologist). The plot line is interesting and delves into ancient Native American legends and the conflict between commerce and science; it even adds a dash of romance for adorably dorky Velma. At the end of the story, the "meddling kids" naturally catch their villains, but along the way there are a couple of twists and turns to keep kids guessing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the gang works together to help solve crimes. How do each of their strengths contribute to figuring out the mystery?

  • How do the animated adventures compare to the live-action movies? Is one type scarier than the other? If so, why? How about the classic cartoons? Which do you prefer?

  • Why do you think Scooby-Doo stories still appeal to audiences? What are some other movies that feature crime-solving kids?

Movie details

DVD release date:September 6, 2011
Cast:Frank Welker, Grey DeLisle, Mindy Cohn
Director:Ethan Spaulding
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Dinosaurs
Run time:75 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur was written by

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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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Parent of a 4 and 6 year old Written byncst October 25, 2011
 

Good for a laugh

Definitely a break from the older style Scooby-Doo movies. This film does not use the old Scooby-Doo intro song I grew up with and the characters are adapted a little more too. My 4 and 6 yr old loved this film and were not scared at all. I appreciated that this film didn't have any unusual paranormal stuff in it like a few of the Scooby-Doo films have had.
Kid, 6 years old September 4, 2013
 

A little too scary

I think this was too scary for younger kids. A good movie for tweens but nothing younger.
Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 September 25, 2012
 

scooby doo legend phantosaur

Families can talk about how the gang works together to help solve crimes. How do each of their strengths contribute to figuring out the mystery? How do the animated adventures compare to the live-action movies? Is one type scarier than the other? If so, why? How about the classic cartoons? Which do you prefer? Why do you think Scooby-Doo stories still appeal to audiences? What are some other movies that feature crime-solving kids?
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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