It’s hard to imagine growing in a world that didn’t have some form of Scooby-Doo in it. The original cartoon premiered back in 1969 is still being re-ran, and it’s hard to count the number of spin-offs that have followed. There were subsequent direct-to-video animated films, like “Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island” (1998). You could easily argue the film helped reinvigorate the franchise, and ultimately led to 2002’s live-action “Scooby-Doo” feature film.
It was later followed up with “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” in 2004. Maybe you have fond memories of these films, maybe you never watched them before. Either way, you’ll get your chance to because they’re coming to Netflix!
Each of the films features strong casting for the four main human characters. Freddie Prinze Jr. plays Fred Jones, Sarah Michelle Gellar portrays Daphne Blake, Linda Cardellini, takes on the role of Velma Dinkley, and Matthew Lillard is Norville, “Shaggy” Rogers. Much to Lillard’s credit, his performance of Shaggy was so fitting that he would subsequently become the primary voice for the character in other animated appearances. He is the second longest running voice for the character next to the original Shaggy, the late Casey Kasem.
One of the other noteworthy things about the films is that they’re both written by James Gunn. Yes, the same James Gunn that would later bring us “Guardians of the Galaxy“ in addition to other gems like “Super” and the criminally underrated “Slither.” In fact, 2002’s “Scooby-Doo” was his first truly high profile credit. So without these movies, who knows where Gunn’s career would’ve taken him. So if anything, it’s nice to go back to these and see how Gunn’s writing has evolved over time.
No one’s going to go out and declare either of these to be highbrow cinema, but they *are* a welcome and appreciated part of the greater Scooby-Doo collection. They’re family friendly enough for kids to be able to watch while still playing to adults who grew up with the original show, and know the various tropes and urban legends about Shaggy being a stoner and such. There’s definitely a sense of self-awareness in the films that plays very well to long-time fans.
Both movies will be available on Netflix just in time for spooky season to begin on October 1st. That will give you enough time to “split up, gang,” find your glasses, grab your favorite ascot, find some Scooby Snacks, and chase those meddling kids off your property! Unless you are those meddling kids, in which case you’re probably under arrest for trespassing.