Scooby Doo! The Mystery Begins

Like, Zonks! Thi movie is....okay.

Like, Zonks! Thi movie is….okay.

Hello, Spongey here.

Well guys, October is upon us once again. This will be my first time doing Halloween/Horror reviews all month. Last year, I only did a few but this year I’ll make sure all 8 reviews are Halloween themed somehow.

I was gonna start with a certain film but I thought it was a better idea to do something else. Then the file for that one glitched out so I decided to wait for the TV airing I know it will have. So with that I went to my 3rd choice….a scooby doo movie.

If you recall, in March of 2012 I reviewed the live action Scooby doo film for Toon’d out month. It was flawed but did keep the characters intact and it was a rare faithful live action adaptation, for the most part. Then in April of this year, I did the sequel for Toon’d out month 2.

I thought it was even better, as it was faithful without sacrificing anything else like the first film could do. It has it’s own flaws, but I still enjoyed. They both made tons of money but sadly they had to go a different route for the next film.

They went direct to video and replaced the entire cast. Of course there are tons of DTV Scooby Doo flicks, but they are all animated. But now we have an offical prequel to the whole series that is live action. And since it’s DTV, it won’t have a big budget or anything.

I’ve heard mixed feelings on this one, even more so than the other live action movies. Given how I enjoyed the other 2, I’m not the best guy to judge it fairly. But we’re here, so I might as well.

For this one, they got the brilliant director of The Spy Next door, Christmas story 2, and Jingle all the way. With credits like that, how can this not be the best movie ever made? Without further ado, let’s jump in.

This, is Scooby Doo! The Mystery Begins

The movies opens in Coolsvile, where we see some teens getting on their high school bus. It’s here we meet a slightly younger Shaggy, played by Nick Palatas. His Shaggy voice isn’t nearly as good as Matthew Lillard’s, but he seems fine so far.

Shaggy is a high school loser so of course the bully picks on him, and no one wants to sit with him. Well, except for Velma, played by by that Asian chick from Lemonade Mouth. She talks about science crap which makes Shaggy move to another seat. Jinkies, even Shaggy wants to avoid her.

So instead he sits next to Daphne, played by some unknown. They all look like the cosplay versions of the actors from the other 2 films. Though they still look a bit like the characters and I certainty can’t complain so far.

Shaggy’s…well shaggy ness makes her move to another seat. They all arrive at school and right away, Shaggy has the worst luck. Infact, he pratfalls into a trash can and somehow ends up at the office of the principal.

He tells Shaggy that he seriously needs some friends. Don’t worry, he’s not a dick. He’s just really pathetic as he found joy in stamp collecting without friends. He assures Shaggy that they are friends out there for him.

On that note, we cut to later at the Coolsvile pet adoption fair. A family is being shown the pet of the day, who is vof course, Scooby himself.

scooby 1

People complained about how crappy Scooby’s CG was in the first couples films, but I didn’t think it was that bad. Here? It’s lame, like they didn’t even try. I know it’s direct to video but why use CGI if it’s just gonna suck?

By the way, his original name is Scoobert and he’s voiced by voice acting legend, Frank Welker. I’ve always questioned why a dog like Scooby exists in a (mostly) realistic world. No other dog can “talk” or anything like that. Can they understand, or what?

Anyway, no one wants to adopt CGI, so he’s all alone. A little girl, however shows up with her dad wanting to adopt him. Happy, Scooby jumps on him. This sadly scares them and gets him back in his cage. I guess the licking didn’t clue him in that he’s a good dog.

But whatever is contrived, I mean convenient for the plot. So he is taken back to the truck but during the ride his cage falls out. So now he’s all alone since chasing is out of the question for some reason.

That night he ends at a Cemetery where he sees some CG ghosts. They scare the crap out of him so he runs into he somehow stumbles into Shaggy’s house where he bumps into Shaggy. This movie is chock full of conveniences so far.

This doesn’t phase Shaggy too much so he lets him sleep here as he’s clearly scared. Also ,for the first time someone doesn’t understand his whole r thing, as “Roasts!” is confused for…yeah. Anyway, Shaggy checks his tag.

Scoobert doo…i wonder is people call you scooby”

And the rest as they say, is history. Wait, we’re only 10 minutes in, so there’s more to the history. Scooby tells him he’s all alone so Shaggy lets him stay. This of course leads to a friendship montage.

The next morning, Shaggy takes Scooby in the bus in a big hoodie that makes his disguise in the first film seem clever. It’s where we meet that bully’s friend, who is Fred. You know what’s funny? This actor was in an episode of How I Met your mother, as a one off Robin boyfriend who acted a lot like dog. The characters name? Scooby.

That ep aired in 2011, after this movie. So that was an actual actor allusion. Nice.

Also, Fred is the guy who is friends with a bully and even asks him to cut out, questioning why he was friends with a bully in the first place. Scooby pisses him off so a bunch of stuff ensues. All of this distracts the bus driver, making him crash the bus into a flagpole, which lands on the Vice principal’s (Gary Chalk) car.

Wah Wah.

He is of course pissed, and the all the kids on the bus point to Shaggy, Fred, Vlema, Daphnee and Scooby since they all joined in on fighting the bully during that scene. Like any cliché school, they don’t listen when they say one known jerk started this and the kids get 6 weeks detention.

This does not please the kids as Fred is on the football team, Daphne is in the drama club and Velma is enteritis the science far and this we set them back on all of those things. Had no idea the former 2 were into those things but I guess prequels can reveal anything.

Grimes here doesn’t care cuz he’s a movie Principal. Right now, Shaggy and Velma are the closets in personality and have the best actors showing that off. The rest aren’t too bad on their own, especially Daphne but we’ll see how it all plays out.

Of course this is the point where they all met for the first time. Fred apologies for bumping into Daphne and Velma is pissed cuz he didn’t apologize to her for ruining her science project. He says it wasn’t his fault and then the subject turns to how he is friends with a bully.

Now everyone is starting to argue. So Fred does the biggest dick move he can do…he spoils the book that Daphne is reading, and that Velma was gonna read next. THAT ASSHOLE, KILL HIM!

Suddenly storm clouds father outside, the lights turn off and it gets really cold. Things go out of control as the books fly off the shelves until things suddenly stop. Then the two ghosts from earlier pop up.

This sight scares them so they run away and end up at the school pep rally which is going on at that time. The ghosts follow. Hey, for once Ghosts show up in public in this type of story instead of making us watch a “you gotta believe me” story. Good on them!

Then a dude in a robe pops up and tells everyone to leave this place, now. They all run out, and the gym teacher suggest canceling classes tomorrow. But Grimes says no cuz it’s all just a prank. This is a world where someone can use the most insane of tech to make fake monsters and crap. So you know what, I buy that.

And of course, he blames our heroes. He says since they were not at the pep rally, they had the chance on top of motive. Only Shaggy has the motive, the rest aren’t angry enough. Also, how the hell could do they make all this while in detention?

So they are all suspended. Shaggy remembers how Scooby said Roast and realizes he meant roast. So he tells his new friends that he will help clear their names. Yeah, cuz grimes will listen to a freaking dog.

Scooby doo, where are you?”

At least you only waited 22 minutes to say it.

So the other guys decide to go with Shaggy and Scooby that night to sniff out the ghosts. While they do think it’s dumb that they are using a dog to find a ghosts, they go with it cuz the plot wants them to do so.

Canine’s have been known to be Highly sensitive to Paranormal Activity”

Could Scooby stop a door closing demon?

So they end at the graveyard. Velma tells everyone that most graves are from on the day of the Coolsvile flood, where the Eerie dam burs, which caused Coolsvile to be washed away, and a new town was built on top of the old one.

After she says that, Scooby finds the graves of the ghosts, and they are named Prudence Pruffrock and Ezekial Gallows Velma says the names sound familiar. Now, this is interesting. Now it’s starting to feel like, you know, Scooby doo, instead of some cliché mystery/high school movie.

So they pack it in for then night, but Velma figures out who the ghosts are the next day. They are the founding fathers of Coolsilve academy. They were all set to open the doors to their new school when that flood struck and they were killed. A little Dark but this is a movie about ghosts, so it’s a given.

So now they know more about the ghosts, but they need to find out about the hooded guy. So they plan to sneak into the school at night to scoop out the scene of the crime. So they do so that night.

Since this is a Scooby doo movie, Fred suggests they split up. Fred tries to pick the teams but they point out that it they can pick their own damn teams. They argue so Fred lets them all go together.

Whoa, they are subverting an old Scooby tropes? Even the first couple films didn’t mess with this trope. So they search the gym and find ghost goo. Make your own dirty joke here.

And then the ghosts pop up to give them a scare. This of course leads to a fun chase scene, and Fred even kicks one ghost’s ass. At least no one got hit in the round tables this time.

Hey, we haven’t had a huge “Shaggy wants the munchies” joke in awhile. Let’s fix that as Shaggy and Scooby end up up in the cafeteria. Like also, Shaggy does his “like” thing and the other ghost pops up to give him a grammar lesson.

Man, even Ghosts are grammar nazis. Fred, Daphne, and Velma escape but the ghost traps Shaggy and Scooby in the big freezer room thingy. The three meet up the next day cuz they never bothered to find out if Shaggy escaped.

Daphne says she was gonna call Fred but she didn’t know his last name. You’d think it would come up. Also, you worried about that but not where shaggy is? Great friends, they are. Also, ROMANCE YAY?

And as you would guess, Shaggy and Scooby did get trapped in the freezer all night. Grimes finds them there that morning. The rest of the gang shows up at school to see the ghosts hit it big time. Guess no one heard all that noise coming from the school.

Also, there is nothing written on the school in one shot, but it cuts to the gang, and then when it gets back to the school, the ghosts have written “BEWARE” on it. My god, did I just go Cinema sins on this movie?

Velma looked at the ghost goo and found it could be linked to the big ghosts smoke screen. They figure that guy was a dude in a costume. See, NOW this is a Scooby doo movie.

They even use classic Scooby doo bullishit to explains why he could fly and stuff. They talk to the principal who seems to buy that these are ghosts who want them to leave. So why does the vice Principal have authority over this kind of thing? You think a big claim like he did would need to pass the big guy first.

Speaking of, Grimes shows up with Shaggy and Scooby. He still thinks they did all of this, but both me and the Principal point out that this is a lot of damage for a few kids. Also, Grims is in charge of discipline , but my point still stands.

The principal walks away cuz screw standing up for your students. Shaggy does the standing up and says it was only he and Scooby who here at school that night. D’aww. But then the others say that they were there too. So now they are truly becoming friends and all that. That’s nice.

But with no real evidence, they are expelled. Okay, that makes even less but I don’t care. Nonetheless, Shaggy thanks them for going down with him. Then shaggy sees the janior and reminds that earlier, he said he hates this school.

Then he remembers the librarian chick from detention and how she was pissed at everyone too. That’s right,, Shaggy figures out the suspects. If anything, the movie gives Shaggy a level in badass.

Shaggy tells this to them but now they must find a way to investigate them. So Daphne will use makeup to transform them so they can go back in the school to check it out. Daphne does it on Vlema first and of course they subject turns to being prettier, and boys.

Before that can get old, Fred and Shaggy bond as they learn more about each other. Then Daphne brings out the new Vlema.

scooby 2

Yeah, that’s why they got an unexpected chick to play Velma. So she can be her normal self in this scene. Also, didn’t they do this in the last one? Don’t you hate it when prequels recycle stuff?


You can say that again”

So we cut to the next day, as we see their disguises. Vlema is hot, Daphne is goth, Fred is Vanilla Ice’s bitch, and Shaggy and Scooby are trashcans. Sure, why not?

So the latter two spy on the Janitor and the others …also spy on him. I never thought I would want them to split up but this barley counts. All the Janitor does is film an audition for “America’s next dancing star”. Well, each Scooby movie needs one lame extended joke.

The kids run off at that point to check out the librarian chick. She gets a letter from a college library saying she is now on their staff. So as she goes off to party Velma looks at the stuff she dropped.

Then she is caught but she just pretends to be a Russian exchange student. Okay. They do the gag where Velma tries russian and says something dumb by accident. In Soviet russia, old gag makes you!

  1. am so sorry.

Velma runs out after that with those mysterious dropped books in tow. They all arrive home and while Vlema says the Librarian chick is innocent, one of the dropped books is a library directory of books people have checked out.

One of which is a book on raising the dead for your own evil reasons. That’s oddly specific. Who checked it out? Grimes. DUN DUN DUN!

Now we have an explanation for why he’s a dick even if that opens whole new questions. So they figure out where he lives…on top of Coolsilve mountain. And they can’t get up there on a bike.

But Shaggy says he has his drivers licenses…because he’s older and he got held back. Making Shaggy the oldest is weird but getting held back? Not shocking at all. He doesn’t have a car but Daphne…’s dad does.

Only it’s actually a van. I don’t think we needed an explanation for the mystery van, but eh whatever. So that night while her parents are asleep they sneak in to get the van. So they head out and the others talk for a bit.

scooby 3

Velma says she thought Daphne would be a …well spoiled bitch, but through this she’s learned she certainty isn’t. Daphne also admits that Velma is a bit different from what she thought she would be. Same goes for Fred. As for shaggy…

I don’t think any of us have figured you out yet, Shaggy.”

He’s a deadbeat stoner who eats dog biscuits. Whats to figure out?

So anyway, they make it up to Grimes’ house. It’s a creepy old house with the door open. So of course they go in and Scooby doo antics happens. Which means now they split up. They accept this time.

They look around and they do that gag where a ghost pops up for for a sec, Shaggy thinks it’s Scooby and tells hm to stop breathing on him. While Shaggy faces that ghost, the others find that dead raising book that grimes checked out. So they have all the evidence they need to prove Grimes did all of that.

But why is he doing all of this? Well, they also find that article about the ghosts from earlier and he has circled a bit about a time capsule that they were going to bury on the school’s opening day. But that capsule must be buried 200 feet under the new school by now.

We’ll find out why he wants the capsule later, but I assume he needed the ghosts to get everyone out so the school can be shut down and he can dig. But that’s only my guess which brings out so many questions.

Speaking of the ghosts, they pop up along with Shaggy which leads to another chase scene. Also, Scobby shouts SCOOBY DOO WHERE ARE YOU AGAIN twice for good measure. They run out but the big ghost guy pops up and uses some spray to put them to sleep.

They wake up inside the gym. The big ghost guy who gloats like a hammy bastard. He demands that they go down and find him that time capsule. Okay, there must have been tons of other ways to go get it other than having ghosts blow it up or whatever.

They refuse but he capture Scooby so now they kind of have to. But there is one bit the gang got wrong…this guy isn’t Grimes. But he has captured grime. So that gets rid of my earlier questions.

Like a good dumb villain, he leaves them to go down when he should keep an eye on them. They don’t know if they should do it, but of course Shaggy is the one to make them-

Wait, what?

Scooby is my dog, and I’d do anything to save him”

Let’s forget he’s only known Scooby for about a week and hasn’t had many big scenes with him. This is still kind of sweet. So with that, they all head down the hole.Once they reach bottom, they start looking for the time capsule.

Velma says that even if they do find it, the big guy may still pin the whole thing on them. But Fred has a plan, which he tells them by using the ‘”huddled whisper” cliche. So a bit later, Shaggy tells the big guy they found it. But it’s heavy and they need his help.

Ugh, never work with children or animals”

He heads down there. Proving himself to be dumb Scooby villain #1, he is quickly captured by Fred’s very first trap. But a flood of water from who knew where ends up putting him next to the time capsule, which happened to be there.

So he gets up and thanks them by having his ghosts get rid of them. Well, not everyone gets it right on their first try, eh fred? During the chase scene, they get out that book from earlier and try out a spell to get rid of the dude’s control of the ghosts.

Only Shaggy says the wrong spell and they bring out even more ghosts. You know, this prequel’s use of real ghosts explains why the gang ALWAYS assumes they are dealing with a real ghost even though it’s ALWAYS a dude in a mask.

Anyway ,the ghosts are unleashed all across town. But then Shaggy says the right spell, getting rid of all the ghosts. But that doesn’t stop the big guy as he plans to blow up the place with dynamite he got….from his ass? I don’t know.

But then Scooby, having escaped, pounces on him. He then ties him up, stopping him for good. I’m glad Scooby actually got to do something. Seriously, he’s always the supporting character in his own franchise!

Now, let’s see who this clown really is”

And it’s….the main Principal guy!


This doesn’t make any sense”

I agree. What the hell is in the capsule that he wants so badly? He wanted to close his own school for this! Wait, if he was the principal and he had a bunch of ghosts….then there are so many reasons his plan should have been a LOT easier.

What’s in the time capsule? A bunch of letters. …Huh? Shaggy points out that one of the letters has a misprinted stamp.

The most valuable misprint in the entire world”

…He did all of this…for a stamp? He went to the trouble of getting ghosts and making up a plan that makes no sense…for stamps? When he could have…you know, asked a hgiher up if they could get the time capsule, which is an important part of their town history?

…Did he go to the Dr Doofenshmirtz School of evil?!

It would have been all mine, if it weren’t for you meddling kids and your dog”

You had to get that line out of the way. And that’s all he has to say, as we cut to the next day as Grimes is holding a big thingy to congratulate the gang on solving the mystery. He even says sorry for accusing them.

Doesn’t make up for his weird douche-ness but okay. The gang admits they all had a part in solving the mystery. Fred’s leadership, Velma’s smarts, Shaggy’s awesomeness, Scooby’s ass kicking, and Daphne’s…um…daphne-ness.

And they will officially bury the time capsule. The gang starts to dig, but Shaggy’s shovel fliesu p and hits Grimes’ car. Wah wah. But Grimes siimply says accidents happen. So he turned good…like that? Whatever, we’re almost done.

scooby doo 4

So later on they talk about how they solved a real mystery. They have no idea what to do next, and they all seem to walk away. But then Velma tells them she heard about some odd stuff at the Coolsvile museum.

Sounds like another mystery, I’m in!”

Everyone is in…except Scooby. That makes no sense, but it turns out to be an excuse to fit this in.

Will you do it for a Scooby snack?’

Shaggy explains that Scooby has been loving these random dog biscuits, so he names them Scooby snacks. Ah, so that explains something i’ve been wondering since I was a kid.

It wouldn’t be the same without you, Scooby”

Scooby Dooby doo!”

Thus, we get the What’s New Scooby Doo theme as we see a montage of them fully creating mystery inc (Would have loved to see more of that) but ah well and general Scooby hijinks.

And thus, that’s the end. It’s a direct to video movie, so I expect a rushed ending.

Final Thoughts:

This one was alright. It is a certainty mixed bag, but let’s cover the good stuff first. It’s at it’s best when it is doing the classic scooby doo gags and tropes. They don’t have a whole new with it, which is a problem, but they do it well enough.

There are plenty of amusing moments I skipped since I had to move this thing along. The actors do a decent job at bringing these characters to life, with the ones for Shaggy and Velma being the standouts. I don’t like them as much as Matthew and Linda but they are good replacements.

Fred and Daphne, are, in my opinion, better than Freddie and Sarah. While they did look more like the characters, I think this guys fits the characters more. While Fred isn’t as good as he is the latest series, and he doesn’t that small hint of personality from the other live action movies, his actor makes him a bit more fun than the dull Fred he know and only tolerate.

Daphne is a bit different from the other ones but in the moments I didn’t show, she proves to be fun and a b it better than the old Daphne who’s personality trait was…being female. This Mystery Gang is fun and I enjoy them. There aren’t as many sweet moments as I expected, but seeing them meet each other was cool.

I think Scooby doo 2 had a better mix of old and new stuff, this does do the job fine. The plot is nothing new as far as Scooby stuff goes but it does serve as a decent first mystery. My problems?

Well, like I said, Fred isn’t much and some changes felt weird and pointless. Also, the plot is filled with holes and the villain’s plan is one of the dumbest I’ve ever seen. He is a first boss but come on, even Doof had better plans than this.

Sometimes the plot makes too little sense for it’s own good. As a prequel, it’s all right. I relaly wish they emphasized that aspect so we could find out more about the characters. But like some parts of the other live action movies, they can’t seem to find the perfect mix of interesting characters, and the Scooby doo stuff. So sometimes they have as much depth as normal, and other times they hint at much.

This is why Scooby Doo Mysteries Incorporated is easily the best Scooby series as everything is updated and it pays homage to Scooby doo, while also changing it and mocking it. It’s the perfect Scooby doo show ,and it really puts everything before it to shame.

But hey, as a normal Scooby doo movie, it’s fun. But don’t try to connect it to the other movies, or you may explode. I think it’s as good as the other live action films in my mind, even if it does certain things better or worse. It’s flawed but…tolerable.

But come on. As a prequel, it doesn’t even hold a candle to A pup named Scooby doo.

Grade: B

With that half heartedly positive review, we begin the Halloween season. Join us next time, as join the world we know I love diving into. Viewer beware…you’re in for a-

Okay, next one is Mostly Ghostly.

See ya!


About Spongey444

I'm 20 and I'm a slightly below average man who can barely spell. I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why i ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things.
This entry was posted in Halloween/Horror Reviews, Live Action Movies Based on Cartoon Reviews, Scene by Scene Reviews, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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