Scoob! is new version of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon Scooby-Doo. The movie begins by going back in time to explain how lonely, young Shaggy (voice of Iain Armitage) befriends a talking street dog and names him Scooby Dooby-Do (voice of Frank Welker).
Shaggy and Scooby become the best of friends and go everywhere together. One Halloween they go trick or treating with other kids from the neighbourhood – Velma Dinkley (voice of Gina Rodriguez), Fred Jones (voice of Zac Efron) and Daphne Blake (voice of Amanda Seyfried). The gang ends up solving a spooky mystery together and form a mystery-solving gang, Mystery Inc.
Fast-forward 10 years into the future and Mystery Inc.is seeking investment to expand their brand. They look to famous talent scout and entrepreneur Simon Cowell (voice of Simon Cowell), but he’ll invest in them only if they ditch Shaggy (adult voiced by Will Forte) and Scooby. Cowell thinks that Shaggy and Scooby are worthless to the gang. Shaggy and Scooby leave them to it, but they’re very sad to be cast aside.
To cheer themselves up, Shaggy and Scooby go to their favourite bowling alley. Things become strange when the bowling balls all transform into crazy little killing scorpion robots, which chase the pair out into an alley. As Scooby and Shaggy try to outrun the robots, they’re beamed up in a blue light tunnel to the aircraft of superhero Blue Falcon (voice of Mark Wahlberg). Also on the aircraft are Blue Falcon’s sidekick Dynomutt (voice of Ken Jeong) and Dee Dee Skyes (voice of Kiersey Clemons), the brains behind Blue Falcon and pilot of the ship. It turns out that wicked villain Dick Dastardly (voice of Jason Isaacs) wants to capture Scooby.
An epic adventure follows. Scooby and Shaggy travel with the Blue Falcon gang, and Daphne, Velma and Fred hurry to find them so that together they can foil Dick Dastardly’s evil plans.
Friendship; exclusion; mystery and supernatural events; heroes and villains; good versus evil
Scoob! has some violence. For example:
- Fred throws an axe at a ghostly villain to stop it from attacking Daphne.
- Dick Dastardly picks up one of his little robot pets, strokes it on the stomach like a cat, then rips its head off and throws it into the fire.
- Shaggy and Scooby hit the robots over the head with mallets.
- Blue Falcon says, ‘I can totally pound the crap out of this guy … it’s going to be my superhero moment’.
- Dick Dastardly has a laser weapon that looks like a gun. He points it at people and threatens them.
- Dick Dastardly hits his beloved pet over the head violently.
Scoob! has some sexual references. For example:
- A woman is described as ‘hot’.
- Fred is pulled over by a female police officer. She’s thin and blonde and wears an unrealistically tight police uniform. Fred is stunned by her attractiveness. The scene slows down, sexy music starts playing, and the police officer shakes her hair from side to side. Fred sees love hearts all around her.
- Someone says to Blue Falcon, ‘You thought Tinder was an app that delivered firewood!’
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Nudity and sexual activity
The following products are displayed or used in Scoob!: Netflix, Ikea and Tinder.
Scoob! has some coarse language and insults, including ‘dimwit’, ‘imbeciles’, ‘morons’, ‘pinhead’, ‘boot-licking suck-up’, ‘flatulent fleabag’, ‘crap’, ‘dipstick’ and ‘pipsqueak’.
There’s also a scene in which Dick Dastardly is frustrated when Scooby can’t pronounce his name. He starts shouting ‘Dick’ repeatedly and loudly. It’s supposed to be funny because of the double entendre.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Scoob! is a fast-paced animation with a confusing plot and some cheesy humour. It might appeal to fans of the original Scooby-Doo cartoons or other Hanna-Barbera productions.
Although the target audience is children aged 6-10 years, the movie has too much violence and crude language and too many scary characters for children under 8 years. There’s also some adult humour, but it’s fairly crude and might lead to questions about things like Tinder. On a positive note, the movie has some nice messages about friendship and loyalty, and Scooby is as goofy and adorable as ever.
The main messages from this movie are that friendships are worth fighting for and that there’s strength in numbers.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include being loyal to friends and valuing friends, even when they’re different from us.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life questions like the following:
- Scooby and Shaggy feel really bad when they’re excluded from the Mystery Inc gang – do you think that it’s right that they’re kicked out? Can you imagine how it might feel to be excluded and left out from your group of friends?
- Blue Falcon says he is going to be a hero by ‘pounding the crap’ out of someone smaller than himself. Do you think that makes him more of a hero? Do you think that superheroes need to use violence?