New on Blu-ray: Scooby-Doo 1 & 2 Collection Double Feature

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Matthew Lillard in Scooby-Doo (2002) Movie Image

Ah, Scooby-Doo. Why, back in my day, he was just a cartoon in a silly show about kids solving silly mysteries involving fake monsters. Oh, the good old days. Nowadays, Scooby-Doo is a CG dog running around with live-action people, but the movies are still essentially about a talking dog solving silly mysteries involving fake monsters, so really, not that much has changed. Those two “Scooby-Doo” live-action movies, “Scooby-Doo: The Movie” and “Scooby-Doo: Monsters Unleashed” are now available as part of a Family Double Feature Blu-ray from Warner Home Video.

Laughs and scares aplenty are unleashed in two popular live-action/computer-animation romps featuring Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), Velma (Linda Cardellini) and that canine you-know-doo. Mystery Inc. reunites in Scooby-Doo to solve the ghostly goings-on at Spooky Island Resort. In Scooby-Doo 2 Monsters Unleashed, our heroes probe why Coolsville is overrun with monsters the pals defeated years earlier — but now the beastly beings are b-a-a-ack!

Scooby-Doo: The Movie

Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini, Freddie Prinze Jr., and Matthew Lillard in Scooby-Doo (2002) Movie Image

Based on the Hanna-Barbera television cartoon series of the same name, “Scooby-Doo: The Movie” is about Mystery Inc., essentially a mystery-solving group that includes a talking CG dog named Scooby-Doo (voiced by Neil Fanning), and four intrepid kids (including Matthew Lillard as Shaggy, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne, Freddie Prinze, Jr. as Fred, Linda Cardellini as Velma). In a bit of a twist, the movie starts with Mystery Inc. disbanding and going their separate ways when the rest of the gang are sick and tired of Fred always hogging the limelight. But the lads aren’t separated for very long, and are soon pulled to a troubled island amusement park owned by Rowan Atkinson.

Still feeling uncooperative with one another, the former friends go about trying to solve the rumors of demon haunting on the island by themselves. Of course, when demons actually begin possessing innocents, and the danger proves to be too much to handle by themselves, it’s up to the gang to put aside their differences and reunite in order to save the day. Finally, the mastermind is revealed to be someone from their — gasp! — past!

Hey, it’s a movie about a talking CG dog, I don’t really have to justify why you should watch this, right? If nothing else, seeing the mystery-solving sleuths in a live-action movie is kinda a kick for anyone who grew up watching the cartoon TV show. Plus, who could possibly hate Sarah Michelle Gellar and Linda Cardellini (the way hotter of the two ladies, in my opinion) in short skirts? For my money, though, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy steals the show.

“Scooby-Doo” was co-written by James Gunn and directed by Raja Gosnell, and both writer and director would return in their respective roles for the sequel two years later. The film also features an early appearance by Isla Fisher as a damsel in distress.

Bonus Features:

  • Filmmakers Commentary
  • Cast Commentary
  • Behind the Scenes Featurettes
  • Additional Scenes and More!

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed

Matthew Lillard in Scooby-Doo (2002) Movie Image

The gang’s all back for a second go-around, this time with Mystery Inc. forced to confront all the ghosts they’ve captured from cases they’ve solved in the past when, once again, a villain from their past returns for revenge. Hey, if you’re gonna go around solving mysteries and ruining people’s well-laid plans, you gotta expect some payback every now and then, right?

Fans of the TV show should get a real kick out of seeing all the ghosts from past episodes turned into live-action (or, you know, close to it) versions in the sequel. “Monsters Unleashed” also features guest starring roles from Alicia Silverstone as a vindictive reporter (are there any other kind?), “Everybody Loves Raymond’s” Peter Boyle, and Sarah Michelle Gellar’s former “Buffy” buddy Seth Green as a love interest for Velma.

As sequels usually are, “Monsters Unleashed” is bigger and louder but not necessarily better. Of course, the novelty of a talking CG dog has worn out by now, though Matthew Lillard as Shaggy is still pretty funny stuff. Then again, maybe I’m just really amused by the whole stone act of Lillard’s.

It’s worth nothing that the first “Scooby-Doo” movie made over $275 million worldwide, and the sequel did $181 million in worldwide business. Granted, there’s a slip there from the first movie and the sequel, but no doubt the two movies sold plenty of DVDs as well. Which makes you wonder why The Powers That Be haven’t made a sequel yet over six years later. (Note: There was a prequel TV movie that aired on the Cartoon Network called “Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins”.)

Bonus Features:

  • Triple Threat Featurette – Scooby gives an inside look at stunts, sets, visual effects
  • True Ghoul Hollywood Story
  • Dancing Dog – Includes a dance lesson on how to dance like Scooby
  • Music Videos
  • Deleted Scenes and More!

Buy “Scooby-Doo 1 & 2 Collection (Family Double Feature)” on Blu-ray from Warner Home Video.