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Scooby-Doo:The Movie
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Length:1h 26mins
Cast:Raja Gosnell, Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard

One of the biggest summer hits of 2002, Scooby-Doo: The Movie would seem to have hit the sweet spots of both young fans and nostalgic adults who grew up with the cowardly canine's TV adventures. Here they are in the flesh: self-promoting golden boy Fred (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), damsel in distress Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), brainy Velma (Linda Cardellini of the late, lamented Freaks and Geeks), snack-scarfing slacker Shaggy (an uncanny Matthew Lillard), and, of course, Scooby (albeit computer generated). The film's prologue has self-referential fun with those cartoons of yore, as the gang unmask an evildoer in time-honored slapstick fashion. But Fred's arrogant credit grabbing at last gets the best of the gang, and they disband. Two years later, they reluctantly reunite to investigate the mysterious goings-on at Spooky Island, an amusement park run by Emile Mondavarious. It would seem that Mondavarious, portrayed by the brilliant clown Rowan Atkinson, is behind a scheme that's turning party-hearty college kids into zombie-like Stepford youths. Scooby-Doo playfully spoofs its own iconography and mocks the already well known jokes that have arisen from it. At one point, suspicious smoke wafts from the Mystery mobile, while Shaggy enjoys some "primo stuff." Not to worry, he is only barbecuing veggie burgers. From '60s and '70s slapstick to a blockbuster hit, this bumbling Great Dane has come along way. Donald Liebenson

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