Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Deleted Scenes-+/- commentary
Music Video-The Land Of A Million Drums-Outkast
Featurette-The Mystery Van
Featurette-Daphne Fight Scene
|Year Of Production||2002|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (44:39)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Raja Gosnell|
Warner Home Video
Freddie Prinze Jr.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, Immediately|
How does the film shape up? Not very well. While there is nothing offensive throughout the picture, there really is not anything to get excited about either. There are some massive plot holes, portions of the story that seem completely washed over, key portions of the film missing and story lines that go nowhere....but it is still harmless enough to make it watchable - the first time.
Some aspects of the film are first-rate, like the set design and the look of the film itself. The massive array of colours on show and intricate sets and building are something to be proud of. In both commentary tracks on this DVD, special mention is continuously made of these designs, and rightly so. Along with the fantastic and original look of the film, the performance of Matthew Lillard is outstanding as Shaggy. He completely nails the voice, inflections, pitch and tone of the character perfectly. Why does this guy continuously hook up with second rate talent like Freddie Prinze, Jr instead of using some of his natural talent and charisma for good, and not evil?
For every good thing about Scooby-Doo, there are a few negatives to go with it. Firstly, Scooby-Doo himself. A fully CGI character, he does not look enough like the original cartoon for me to think of him as the same character. While I do recognise that the filmmakers would not want the character to look exactly like the original, I felt as if Mystery Inc. had a new Scooby snack munchin', hamburger huntin' friend instead of someone who should be the main attraction to this film. The lighting on Scooby often looks too bright and he has a very computer generated look about him which does not help to sell the idea of a walking, talking dog very well.
The script itself seems very congested, as if too many key scenes have been cut out. A good example of this is shown in the deleted scenes featured on this DVD. In the director's commentary, it is pointed out that the scene was cut to preserve a certain rating on the film, yet it serves to delete a major plot point in the film! In my mind, decisions like this have made the film appear 'slapped together' and uneven, which may be the reason why it did not get received too well by older audiences. Nevertheless, the kids loved it, and the sequel will perform as well.
The basic plot involves the Mystery, Inc. gang - Fred (Freddie Prinze, Jr), Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Velma (Linda Cardellini) and Shaggy (Matthew Lillard), plus Scooby being invited to 'Spooky Island' by its owner Emile Mondavarious (Rowan Atkinson) to solve another mystery. After getting past their personal differences with each other, the team must work together to unravel the mystery behind what is terrorizing the island's visitors.
Scooby-Doo has some good points, but they are outweighed by its bad ones. The script is weak, the plot is muddled but the casting is good and the production values are excellent. It is a film that could have been a load of fun, like Charlie's Angels was, but instead is more like Batman & Robin.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
Sharpness is not a problem with this transfer with no instances worth a mention here. There is some grain to be seen, particularly in the dark scenes throughout the film, mainly noticeable at 3:40, 20:18, 20:55, 27:27, 27:31, 29:25, and 36:48. There was some edge enhancement that appeared from time to time, most noticeably at 11:19, 16:26, 35:42, and 55:44. These artefacts are never overbearing and they only stood out because I was looking for them. Shadow detail is of a decent quality throughout the film, and there were no problems with low level noise.
The colours in this film are very bright and vibrant throughout the feature. The palette used has a very wide range and there are plenty of bright greens, blues, purples, oranges and reds on show. There are no colour-related artefacts to be found. A very bright film, this is the most appealing part of this transfer for mine.
There were no MPEG artefacts, and only some very minor examples of aliasing to be found at 4:32, 6:29, 19:16, and 44:08. There were virtually no film artefacts to be found, except a large spot in the sky at 38:42.
I watched about 15 minutes of the English subtitles and found them to accurate to the spoken word.
This is an RSDL disc with the layer change occurring at 44:39. It is horribly placed and happens during a scene when the music, effects and camera move are all interrupted.
There are five audio tracks recorded here. I listened to the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack at 384 kb/s and then to both audio commentary tracks. There are also Italian and French soundtracks available.
The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times, and there were no problems with audio synch.
The musical score in this film is by David Newman. It is fairly uneventful, but it serves its purpose. There are a lot of other musical cues to be found here from contemporary rap artists that are featured on the film's soundtrack. The music emanates from the left and right channels and is a major part of the film.
The surrounds are where this soundtrack is let down. As stated above, the budget, and production of this film should have allowed for more action to be coming from the surround channels, but sadly, they are used sparingly when they have to be. There is no moment in the film when I can remember being impressed with them.
Like the surrounds, the subwoofer does not get used too much. At moments when it is used, it is effective, but these are few and far between.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
Widescreen Review reports that the Region 1 disc offers a very punchy and impressive soundtrack. While I cannot assume that the extra 64 kb/s is going to make that much of a difference, it might be a different transfer. I would still give the nod to the Region 4 release due to its superior PAL transfer of the video.
The video transfer is fine, but with a few flaws.
The audio transfer is underwhelming.
The extras are informative and add a lot to the film.
|DVD||Sony DVP-S525, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos (81cm) 16:9. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS797- THX Select|
|Speakers||Jamo X550 Left and Right, Jamo X5CEN Centre, Jamo X510 Surround|