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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Scooby-Doo! Shaggy's Showdown finds the Scooby gang solving the mysterious appearance of a gun-toting ghost at a dude ranch. This, the franchise's 28th direct-to-DVD movie, has lots of the expected cartoon action: tumbles down a mountain, a raging waterfall, stampeding bulls, and continuing threats from a spooky-looking, skeletal, steed-riding villain who shoots green fire while chasing and firing at anyone in his path. But for kids who are comfortable with pretend vs. real violence, there are no true scares, and the suspense is minimal. No one is injured or killed. In addition, there are funny send-ups of juvenile internet stars and movie producers and a competitive sister relationship. The story is easy to follow, and each member of the team makes a substantial contribution toward solving the mystery. Featured players are ethnically diverse.
What's the story?
Just how excited is the Scooby gang (voiced by Frank Welker, Grey Griffin, Matthew Lillard, and Kate Micucci) about their visit to a dude ranch in SCOOBY-DOO! SHAGGY'S SHOWDOWN? Very excited! And it's all courtesy of Tawny (Melissa Villasenor), a newly found cousin of Shaggy's, whose ranch offers roping, riding, canoeing, chuck wagon feasts, and even a chance to compete in a rodeo. One hitch, though: Crazy Q Ranch is being haunted by another member of Shaggy's extended family -- the ghost of Dapper Jack, a legendary outlaw who is determined to drive everyone out of the small town of Sorghum City and the ranch. While most of the townspeople are gone, and vacationers have left Crazy Q in droves, only a few stalwarts and the ranch workers have stayed behind. Nothing can scare off the intrepid Mystery Inc. team, however. Using their smarts, courage, and giant appetites for food (Scooby and Shaggy, at least) and adventure, Tawny has just the help she needs to solve the mystery and uncover the real secrets behind the legend of Dapper Jack.
Is it any good?
Shaggy's in top form in this rock 'em, sock 'em cowboy adventure, and the mystery gives the gang a chance to show off the rock 'em, sock 'em skills they've developed just for a moment like this one. Scooby-Doo! Shaggy's Showdown's story is clean and easy to follow and hosts a number of timely and funny secondary characters that enrich what is already a solid tale. And, though predictable in many ways, there are some real surprises by the time the story ends. It's one of the better entries in the Scooby-Doo series and fine for kids who are old enough to understand pretend violence.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what Shaggy learned about himself after his rodeo competition in Scooby-Doo! Shaggy's Showdown. What does his experience tell you about the value of thinking positively? Have you ever had a moment when you were surprised by your own abilities?
Why do you think that land developers and corporations are the villains in so many stories for kids? Do you think these negative portrayals could have a long-term effect on attitudes toward people in the business world?
Scooby-Doo adventures often touch upon/and or parody current cultural phenomena (for example, Buddy G, the internet star). What other elements in this movie could be considered relevant to current times?
- On DVD or streaming: February 14, 2017
- Cast: Frank Welker, Grey Griffin, Matthew Lillard, Kate Micucci
- Director: Matt Peters
- Studio: Warner Bros. Animation
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Horses and Farm Animals, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Character strengths: Teamwork
- Run time: 80 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: March 13, 2020
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