Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (also referred to as Scooby-Doo 2) is a 2004 American live-action/computer-animated horror comedy film based on the animated television franchise Scooby-Doo. It is the second installment in the Scooby-Doo live-action film series and a sequel to 2002's Scooby-Doo, and was directed by Raja Gosnell, written by James Gunn, and released by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film stars Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini, Matthew Lillard, Seth Green, Tim Blake Nelson, Peter Boyle and Alicia Silverstone, with Neil Fanning reprising his role as the voice of Scooby-Doo.

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
Scooby doo two poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRaja Gosnell
Written byJames Gunn
Based on
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyOliver Wood
Edited byKent Beyda
Music byDavid Newman
Production
companies
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures[1]
Release date
  • March 20, 2004 (2004-03-20) (Hollywood)
  • March 26, 2004 (2004-03-26) (United States)
Running time
92 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States[1]
LanguageEnglish
Budget$25 million[2] or $80 million[3]
Box office$181.2 million[4]

The film was released on March 26, 2004. Like the first film, it received generally negative reviews from critics and grossed $181 million, considerably less than its predecessor. Its poor reception resulted in a third film, set to be written and directed by Gunn, being cancelled.[5]

PlotEdit

Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo attend the opening of an exhibition at the Coolsonian Criminology Museum, which commemorates their past mysteries with displays of each culprit's monster costume. However, the event is interrupted by an individual known as the Evil Masked Figure, who steals two costumes using the reanimated Pterodactyl Ghost. The entire gang is ridiculed by journalist Heather Jasper Howe, who starts a smear campaign against them. Concluding that an old enemy seeking revenge is the mastermind, the gang begin revisiting old cases. Dismissing the former Pterodactyl Ghost, Doctor Jonathan Jacobo, due to his apparent death during a failed prison escape three years ago, they suspect Jeremiah Wickles, the Black Knight Ghost and Jacobo's cellmate who was recently released. Scooby and Shaggy, after overhearing the rest of the gang criticizing their tendency to bungle every operation, and especially their most recent offense in failing to secure the Pterodactyl Ghost at the museum, resolve to better themselves and act like real detectives.

Going to Wickles' mansion, the group fall through a trapdoor and into a cage targeting unwelcome callers, but escape with the aid of Daphne's cosmetics. Inside, the gang find an ancient Celtic text that serves as an instruction manual on how to create monsters through a combination of magic and science. Scooby and Shaggy find a note inviting Wickles to visit the Faux Ghost nightclub and are attacked by the Black Knight Ghost, but escape when Daphne fights him off while Velma discovers its weak spot and disables it. Before fleeing, the rest of the gang had previously discovered through the book found in Wickles' mansion that the key ingredient to creating the monsters was a substance called "randomonium", the byproduct of certain silver mines such as Coolsville's old mining town. Daphne, Velma and Fred go to the museum accompanied by the curator Patrick Wisely, but discover that the rest of the costumes have been stolen. Heather Jasper Howe turns the city against them.

Following the lead from Wickles' note, Scooby and Shaggy don disguises and sneak into the Faux Ghost, only to discover it's a hangout for all the villains Mystery Inc. had unmasked in the past. After speaking to Wickles, they learn that he has abandoned his evil ways. Scooby goes dancing, but his disguise falls off and the two have to escape through a trash chute. On their way out, they spot Patrick uncharacteristically threatening someone who appears to be a member of his staff, ordering him to find out who vandalized his museum. Escaping an awkward interaction with Patrick, Scooby and Shaggy spot Wickles leaving the club and follow him. Daphne, Velma and Fred go to the mines, finding Wickles presenting plans to turn it into a summer camp for children to a group of investors. When they confront Wickles, he states that he and Jacobo hated each other for various petty reasons and that he has no connection to the museum robberies.

The gang then find the Monster Hive, where the costumes are brought to life as real monsters. Shaggy and Scooby play around with the machine's control panel, accidentally bringing several costumes to life, and the gang flees with the panel as the Evil Masked Figure terrorizes the city. Escaping to their old high school clubhouse, the gang realizes that they can reverse the control panel's power by altering its wiring, destroying the monsters in the process. However, Captain Cutler's Ghost emerges from the nearby lake and forces the gang to head back to the mines, encountering the various monsters along the way. When Velma tries to give Scooby and Shaggy the control panel, they refuse to take it, believing that they will once again ruin everything and admit their feelings of inadequacy compared to the rest of the gang. Velma convinces them they are fine just the way they are and that they have both been heroes in their own way all along. After escaping the Skeleton Men, Velma finds a shrine dedicated to Jacobo built by Patrick. Eventually, Patrick finds her and proves his innocence by helping her after a catwalk gives way underneath her, but he is captured by the Pterodactyl Ghost.

The gang finally confronts the Evil Masked Figure as the Tar Monster captures everyone except Scooby, who uses a fire extinguisher to freeze the Tar Monster's body. He reconnects the control panel and activates it, turning the monsters back into costumes. The gang takes the Evil Masked Figure to the authorities, with Velma and Daphne unmasking them as Heather Jaspar Howe. When asked about Heather's reason for committing her crimes, Velma suddenly pulls Heather's face off, revealing her to actually be Jonathan Jacobo in disguise, who had survived his failed prison escape; Velma explains that she realized Jacobo was still alive after finding a newspaper clipping showing him in front of the museum, the construction of which had begun a year after his apparent death. Jacobo is arrested once again alongside his cameraman accomplice, Ned, and Mystery Inc. are praised as heroes once more. The gang celebrates their victory at the Faux Ghost with the reformed criminals.

CastEdit

Live actionEdit

Voice castEdit

CameosEdit

ProductionEdit

In June 2002, at the time of the release of Scooby-Doo, Dan Fellman, the president of Warner Bros., confirmed that a sequel was in the works, and was slated for a 2004 release.[6] In March 2003, it was announced that Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Neil Fanning, Matthew Lillard and Linda Cardellini would reprise their roles in the sequel.[7] In April 2003, the next month, filming for the sequel began in Vancouver, with Seth Green joining the cast.[8]

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed opened March 26, 2004, and grossed $29.4 million (over 3,312 theaters, $8,888 average) during its opening weekend, ranking No. 1.[9] It grossed a total of $84.2 million in North America, and went on to earn $181.5 million worldwide, more than $90 million less than the $275.7 million worldwide Scooby-Doo grossed two years earlier. It was the twenty eighth most successful film of 2004,[10] and ranks as the sixth highest-grossing film featuring a dog as a major character.[11] The film was released in the United Kingdom on April 2, 2004, and topped the country's box office for the next three weekends, before being dethroned by Kill Bill: Volume 2.[12][13][14]

Critical responseEdit

On Rotten Tomatoes, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed holds a rating of 22% based on 119 reviews and an average rating of 4.3/10. The site's consensus reads: "Only the very young will get the most out of this silly trifle."[15] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 34 out of 100 based on 28 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[16] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale, an improvement over the previous film's "B+".[17]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Times gave the film two stars out of four, stating, "This is a silly machine to whirl goofy antics before the eyes of easily distracted audiences, and it is made with undeniable skill."[18] Dave Kehr of The New York Times gave the film a negative review, saying, "In the strictly secular-humanist world of Scooby-Doo, there are no real ghosts, but only humans desperate for attention who disguise themselves as supernatural figures."[19]

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film a two out of five stars, stating, "it's straight down the line family fare, nothing inspired, nothing objectionable: a few funny lines."[20] Nick DeSemlyn of Empire Magazine also gave the film two out of five stars, saying, "This sequel is a step up from the first. Scooby's animation is improved, there are some fun action sequences and a smattering of amusing moments. But the same manic mugging that spoiled the original mars this movie, and the result is a film only a six year-old on a sugar rush could love"[21] Common Sense Media gave the film two out of five stars, saying, "Sequel is milder than original; potty humor, peril, violence."[22]

The film won the Razzie Award for Worst Remake or Sequel.[23]

Home mediaEdit

Warner Home Video released the film on DVD and VHS on September 14, 2004, in both full-screen and widescreen editions. The DVD included deleted scenes from the film's production and other special features, such as two music videos, a "making of" and trailers. On November 9, 2010, Warner Bros. released both the film and its predecessor as a double feature Blu-ray.[24]

Video gamesEdit

Two video games loosely following the plot of the film were released in 2004 to coincide with the film's release; a 3D point and click adventure on the PC and a 2D beat 'em up platformer on the Game Boy Advance. In both games, one ending could only be seen by entering a code displayed at the end of the film after the credits.

SoundtrackEdit

A soundtrack[25] was released on March 23, 2004, on compact disc and cassette tape.

  1. "Don't Wanna Think About You" by Simple Plan (Simple Plan had also performed the titular theme song)
  2. "You Get What You Give" by New Radicals
  3. "Boom Shack-A-Lak" by Apache Indian
  4. "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" by Big Brovaz
  5. "The Rockafeller Skank" by Fatboy Slim
  6. "Wooly Bully" by Bad Manners
  7. "Shining Star" by Ruben Studdard
  8. "Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger
  9. "Get Ready for This" by 2 Unlimited
  10. "Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry
  11. "Here We Go" by Bowling for Soup
  12. "Love Shack" by The B-52's
  13. "Friends Forever" by Puffy AmiYumi
  14. "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" by MxPx

Cancelled theatrical sequelEdit

In October 2002, during the filming of Scooby-Doo 2, Warner Bros. approved production of a third film. Dan Forman and Paul Foley were hired to write the script for Scooby-Doo 3. In August 2004, Matthew Lillard said in an interview that the third Scooby-Doo film was canceled because the second had not done as well as expected, which he attributed to Warner Bros. releasing it at an inappropriate time.[26] In a 2019 interview, James Gunn revealed that he was set to write and direct but the film did not happen due to the financial disappointment of the previous film, stating, "although it did well, it didn't do well enough to warrant a third, so the movie was never made."[27] Gunn tweeted the plot for the canceled film that "The Mystery Inc. gang are hired by a town in Scotland who complain they are being plagued by monsters but we discover throughout the film the monsters are actually the victims. Scooby and Shaggy have to come to terms with their own prejudices and narrow belief systems."[28]

Telefilm PrequelsEdit

In 2009 and 2010, two telefilm prequels, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins and Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster, aired on Cartoon Network.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Archived from the original on September 20, 2015. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  2. ^ "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004)". The Numbers. Archived from the original on August 21, 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  3. ^ "Zac Efron and Amanda Seyfried's Scoob! to Skip Theaters and Head to Digital Like Trolls World Tour". People Magazine. April 22, 2020. Archived from the original on May 10, 2020. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  4. ^ "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on November 7, 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2016.
  5. ^ "Matthew Lillard says no Scooby Doo 3". August 4, 2004. Archived from the original on January 2, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  6. ^ "Scooby Doo 2 in the Works Says WB President". June 17, 2002. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  7. ^ "Original Cast Returning For Scooby-Doo Sequel". March 31, 2003. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  8. ^ "Seth Green Joins 'Scooby-Doo 2' Cast". April 7, 2003. Archived from the original on June 21, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  9. ^ Scooby Doo 2 Archived December 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, Box Office Mojo
  10. ^ 2004 rankings Archived February 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, Box Office Mojo
  11. ^ [1] Archived December 25, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, Box Office Mojo
  12. ^ "Weekend box office 2nd April 2004 – 4th April 2004". 25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  13. ^ "Weekend box office 9th April 2004 – 11th April 2004". 25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  14. ^ "Weekend box office 16th April 2004 – 18th April 2004". 25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  15. ^ "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  16. ^ "Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed". Archived from the original on October 22, 2013. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  17. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. Archived from the original on September 16, 2017. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  18. ^ "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed movie review (2004) | Roger Ebert". Archived from the original on April 25, 2020. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  19. ^ Kehr, Dave (March 26, 2004). "FILM IN REVIEW; 'Scooby-Doo 2' -- 'Monsters Unleashed'". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 7, 2017. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  20. ^ "Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed". April 2, 2004. Archived from the original on September 13, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  21. ^ "Scooby-Doo Too: Monsters Unleashed".
  22. ^ "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed - Movie Review". September 13, 2004. Archived from the original on October 1, 2019. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  23. ^ "2004 RAZZIE® Nominees & "Winners" – The Official RAZZIE® Forum". Razzies.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  24. ^ "'Scooby-Doo/Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed' Announced for Blu-ray | High-Def Digest". Bluray.highdefdigest.com. August 18, 2010. Archived from the original on September 15, 2010. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  25. ^ [2] Archived August 14, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Scooby Doo 2 soundtrack
  26. ^ "Matthew Lillard says no Scooby Doo 3". MovieWeb. August 4, 2004. Archived from the original on January 2, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
  27. ^ "Scooby Doo: James Gunn Says He Was Set to Write and Direct Third Movie". comicbook. March 16, 2019. Archived from the original on April 7, 2020. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 2, 2020. Retrieved April 4, 2020.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit