Scooby-Doo 2:
Monsters Unleashed

Release Date: March 26, 2004

You're supposed to give me a ring, not a triangle.

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Position Staff In Brief
70/92 David Mumpower If your child is 18 months or older, they have outgrown this.

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In the 21st century, it seems Hollywood has become addicted to the sure thing. Films these days appear to increasingly be less about creating something original and intriguing and more about building a franchise cash cow. More and more films are remakes of older films, big-screen adaptations of popular titles from other media, and sequels.

Which brings us to Scooby-Doo. Despite the critical drubbing the first film received, the mere fact that it not only made back its budget the first weekend but was a big hit with the kinder - which, after all, was the film’s true target audience - virtually guaranteed there’d be another film in the series.

The good news here is that the folks behind Scooby-Doo have decided not to rest on their laurels, as it were, but to try and improve the product. It seems a bit odd to talk about character development in the context of a film based on cartoon characters, but there has been some effort put into the script to try and give these characters a bit more to be than just representations of their TV counterparts. There’s also a nod to the series’ roots, with the storyline focusing on the Mystery, Inc. crew trying to find out who’s bringing back some of the unmasked villains from their previous adventures.

The story this time is set in Coolsville, home to Mystery, Inc. Someone is not only reanimating past foes, but making the Mystery, Inc group look very, very bad in the process. As such classic villains as The Creeper, Captain Cutler and The 10,000 Volt Ghost, along with new menaces such as a ghostly pterodactyl, tear apart Coolsville, the Mystery, Inc crew struggle to find out who’s behind the mayhem and to restore their good name and the townspeople’s faith in them.

In addition to the returning cast members from the first movie, Scooby-Doo 2 features Alicia Silverstone, Peter Boyle and Seth Green. We also get a look at the crew’s hometown, inside the Mystery, Inc headquarters, and several other exotic locales that promise quite a bit of a visual spectacle. In addition, effort has been extended to improve the CG nature of Scooby himself, and with the lead actors more experienced in dealing with their post-production-produced co-star, the blending should be a bit more smooth this outing. The classic villain costumes will be receiving quite the high-tech F/X treatment, too, and there should be lots of eye-candy to accompany what sounds like a surprisingly engaging and - dare I say it? - complex character arc for an otherwise-lightweight entertainment.

Given the fact that Scooby-Doo has a built-in audience, not only due to the first film but also from the long-running cartoon series, one would expect there to be at least a decent opening weekend for Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. How well it does after that will depend greatly on critical reception and, even more importantly, word-of-mouth. If Warner Bros has any hopes of expanding the audience beyond the kids and bringing in some of the original series’ fans, it will need to deliver a worthwhile product to the screen. Scooby-Doo 2 has the potential, and Warner will certainly provide all the marketing support possible; time will tell whether the promise of early reports is realized with a decent entertainment appearing in the local googolplex next March. (Stephanie Star Smith/BOP)

Vital statistics for Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
Main Cast Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, Freddie Prinze Jr., Linda Cardellini
Supporting Cast Seth Green, Alicia Silverstone, Peter Boyle, Neil Fanning, Tim Blake Nelson
Director Raja Gosnell
Screenwriter James Gunn, Joseph Barbera (characters) , William Hanna (characters)
Distributor Warner Bros.
Trailer Click Here for Trailer
Official Site
Rating PG
Running Time 93 minutes
Screen Count 3,312
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture

Comparison films for Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
Adjusted Opening
Total BO
Adjusted Total
Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas 11/17/0055.08 61.61 3127 17614.00 18953.8 260.03 290.89 4.72
Scooby-Doo 6/14/0254.16 56.31 3447 15712.00 15712.0 153.29 159.37 2.83
Space Jam 11/15/9627.53 37.55 2650 10389.00 13632.6 90.44 123.38 3.29



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