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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2009
First, I want everyone to know that I love the first two Scooby-Doo live action films. I thought the casting was done well, the stories were fine, and they looked good. I thought the second one was a little cooler because it had a lot of the "monsters" from the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? series coming to life.

With that being said, I was a little concerned with this third entry in the series. Usually a movie with this many red flags spells absolute disaster and almost guarantees a turd of a film. Let's spell out the red flags: its direct-to-DVD, it's a prequel, it's totally recast, and it's got a new director. Wow. That's a lot to have going against a movie. Interestingly enough, it didn't prove to be true for this flick.

Scooby-Doo: The Mystery Begins somehow rises up above the crowded direct-to-DVD sequel / prequel cesspool and actually is successful at being entertaining and not completely cheap-looking. You can tell that director Brian Levant really wanted to escape the stereotype that these types of movies get and show that he was serious about the subject matter and franchise. Warner definitely played it smart with Levant, being that he is responsible for bringing to the big screen some very successful family movies and iconic animated TV shows like Beethoven, The Flintstones feature films, Jingle All The Way, and Are We There Yet?

The casting was done pretty well. All the actors fit the parts, although not without a few minor problems. Robbie Arnell would have completely been convincing in the part of Fred, except that for some reason he wasn't made to bleach his hair blond for the film. What was the reasoning behind that? I mean, he did take the part of an iconic blond character. The least he could have done is bleach his hair out to put the finishing touches on the role. My only other problem was with Nick Palatas' performance as Shaggy. He was really good and definitely looked the part. It just seemed like he was going a little overboard with the cracking squeaky voice sometimes. It seemed a little forced at times. I thought it was cool that they kept Frank Welker as the voice of Scooby-Doo, as he has been doing the character for the past seven years in different series and movies.

Even the special effects were done well. The ghosts all looked just as good as any of the ones in the two movies they released in the theaters. I have to say, though, that there were scenes of the Scooby gang that were missing Scooby-Doo that felt kind of awkward. It almost seemed like they cut him out of the scenes to save money on their CGI budget. There were some parts with Scooby that looked a little less than stellar and where it looked like the actor in the shot with him was having trouble interacting with an invisible dog. They were all minor problems, though. It shouldn't take away from your viewing pleasure.

Overall, I have to say that I was pretty impressed with this movie. It was kind of fun to see the gang paint The Mystery Machine, meet each other, and solve their first crime together. If you're a Scooby-Doo fan, I'm pretty sure this movie will live up to your standards.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2009
I really liked this movie! It tells the story of how Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby met and how they formed Mystery Inc. After a misunderstanding on the bus, they all receive detention and get to know each other. Soon, some ghosts pop up and ruin the school pep rally and the gang are accused of doing it, so they are expelled. They try to disguise themselves and go back into school to figure out who is behind bringing the ghosts to life. (I think Daphne looks incredibly hot disguised as a goth girl!) When they figure out what the ghost is after, he kidnaps Scooby and forces the gang to look for a time capsule. I highly recommend SCOOBY DOO: THE MYSTERY BEGINS!!!
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2009
Scooby Doo: The Mystery Begins has it's cheesy moments, yet it's surprisingly much better than the other 2 live action films. Matthew Lillard and Linda Cardellini were the only good casting as Shaggy and Velma in those movies. While here Nick Palatas and Hayley Kiyoko are also good as Shaggy and Velma. But Robbie Amell at least is a much better Fred than Freddie Prinze Jr. who over-acted and tried too hard to look cool when he just came off dorky. While I liked how Kate Melton doesn't act as dimwitted as Daphne as Sarah Michelle Gellar. Her Daphne is actually pretty smart and uses her brain just as much as Velma.

They all bond Breakfast Club style in detention while reading mystery novels. I doubt Sarah Michelle Gellar's Daphne could even read. Daphne isn't meant to be stupid, while Fred was simply just played awful by Freddie Prinze Jr. This movie took a much better approach that's more like the show, well the way the characters act anyway. It didn't really need the scene where Shaggy is testing a gas mask by having Scooby fart lol. I still actually found the movie to be fun and I think they should make a live action show with this cast.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2009
First, I want everyone to know that I love the first two Scooby-Doo live action films. I thought the casting was done well, the stories were fine, and they looked good. I thought the second one was a little cooler because it had a lot of the "monsters" from the original Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? series coming to life.

With that being said, I was a little concerned with this third entry in the series. Usually a movie with this many red flags spells absolute disaster and almost guarantees a turd of a film. Let's spell out the red flags: its direct-to-DVD, it's a prequel, it's totally recast, and it's got a new director. Wow. That's a lot to have going against a movie. Interestingly enough, it didn't prove to be true for this flick.

Scooby-Doo: The Mystery Begins somehow rises up above the crowded direct-to-DVD sequel / prequel cesspool and actually is successful at being entertaining and not completely cheap-looking. You can tell that director Brian Levant really wanted to escape the stereotype that these types of movies get and show that he was serious about the subject matter and franchise. Warner definitely played it smart with Levant, being that he is responsible for bringing to the big screen some very successful family movies and iconic animated TV shows like Beethoven, The Flintstones feature films, Jingle All The Way, and Are We There Yet?

The casting was done pretty well. All the actors fit the parts, although not without a few minor problems. Robbie Arnell would have completely been convincing in the part of Fred, except that for some reason he wasn't made to bleach his hair blond for the film. What was the reasoning behind that? I mean, he did take the part of an iconic blond character. The least he could have done is bleach his hair out to put the finishing touches on the role. My only other problem was with Nick Palatas' performance as Shaggy. He was really good and definitely looked the part. It just seemed like he was going a little overboard with the cracking squeaky voice sometimes. It seemed a little forced at times. I thought it was cool that they kept Frank Welker as the voice of Scooby-Doo, as he has been doing the character for the past seven years in different series and movies.

Even the special effects were done well. The ghosts all looked just as good as any of the ones in the two movies they released in the theaters. I have to say, though, that there were scenes of the Scooby gang that were missing Scooby-Doo that felt kind of awkward. It almost seemed like they cut him out of the scenes to save money on their CGI budget. There were some parts with Scooby that looked a little less than stellar and where it looked like the actor in the shot with him was having trouble interacting with an invisible dog. They were all minor problems, though. It shouldn't take away from your viewing pleasure.

Overall, I have to say that I was pretty impressed with this movie. It was kind of fun to see the gang paint The Mystery Machine, meet each other, and solve their first crime together. If you're a Scooby-Doo fan, I'm pretty sure this movie will live up to your standards.Scooby-Doo: The Mystery Begins (Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2009
This movie has a great cast--pretty much unknown actors but they're good... I even like Shaggy a lot--he pulls that special laugh of his pretty well...

The plot is nice, it's interesting how they got together.

I'm practicing my German, my Spanish and my French, so this is wonderful, this one CD has all those languages to choose from along with the subtitles.

So, I've watched it in English and German so far and it's funny! Cute! Scooby 'ist wunderbar!'

Highly recommended to those who love Scooby--it's a must! (I'm crossing my fingers that they'll make more :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2009
I love this movie! Not only does my son want to watch it over and over again, it harkened back to the old scooby doo for me. I've had so much fun watching it with my son.

Although there are many elements of the old cartoons, it's so great to watch an updated, modern version. It's hip, funny and incredibly fast-paced. The casting works really well and the story line of how Scooby, shaggy and the gang met keeps you engaged the whole time.

I highly recommend this movie for the entire family.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2009
Ever wonder how the gang got together? Such a group of investigators just didn't answer a help wanted ad. "Mystery Hunters wanted. Apply at the haunted house on Wilkinson Lane". Don't think so?

What about a discipline hungry vice principal who thinks four 'trouble' makers who ruined his 09 Mustang should get detention for a month? Yeah, that's how Shaggy, Velma, Daphnie, and Fred met, then realized when a ghost appears during their 'time' that something was up. Common interest in mysteries, and a insatiable need to find out WHY! Coolsville High School will never be the same once the secret behind the hauntings is uncovered.

As with any of the live action Scooby films, we have the Mystery Machine fresh from Dapnhie's garage, Shaggy's basement pad, and the secret behind Scooby snacks. Lots of 'The story of' in this one. There is enough action, enough traditional Scooby Doo elements to keep any fan happy.

[...]

I look forward to the next Levant production.

Tim Lasiuta
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2009
We watched this the other night on Cartoon Network, and for a made for TV movie this was a riot! The kiddos loved it, and of course us grown folk did too. This will become part of our library once it's released.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2009
This movie rocks!!!!!!. It was made with good director, actors and story line. I love scooby doo!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2012
I am sure this is very entertaining for a child, but not for me. I loved Scooby Doo (the cartoon) growing up, but I found this a tad bit annoying. The guy who played Shaggy did a good job doing his voice, but I guess listening to a live human speaking that way makes it annoying, but it isn't annoying as a cartoon. I will still watch the other Scooby Doo movies, but probably would not watch this one again.
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