Skip to comments.Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
Posted on 06/17/2002 7:25:36 PM PDT by H.R. Gross
June 17, 2002, 9:05 a.m.
By Betsy Hart
In Hollywood "PG," of course, stands for "Parental Guidance" suggested. So, here's some parental guidance. Don't take your kids to see the new Warner Brothers Scooby-Doo movie.
The film, which opened on Friday, was this weekend's top box-office draw. That's probably because a lot of dopey parents (like me) took their little ones too see it the day it opened. After all, my kids had been waiting for it for weeks and the Washington Post review (also dopey) said it was definitely for children because the writers had dropped the drug references the movie had once contained. (I know, I know, there was always the suggestion, even with the cartoon, that Shaggy in particular was involved in recreational pharmaceuticals. But I for one didn't figure that out until watching reruns of it in college.)
Anyway, I grew up with Scooby-Doo. I wanted to see Shaggy and the gang too.
But, this is not your beloved Hanna Barbera cartoon come to life. The movie is entirely cynical, which means it might be just fine for the Gen-X crowd. But Scooby-Doo was targeted to kids "A Must See Family Film" said one Warner Brothers promotion and the theater was filled with 5 to 8-year-olds.
At the opening, the once happy mystery-solving group of handsome Fred, pretty Daphne, smart Velma, and cowardly Shaggy and Scooby are now just vain, sniping morons who break up early in the film. Between that and their successful reunion at the end, we are treated to a smorgasbord of nothing but heavy sarcasm, stupid attempts at humor, flatulence contests, breasts including those of Pamela Anderson and sexual innuendo.
In one scene, Fred and the voluptuous Daphne change bodies (it's complicated) and Fred is pretty happy about it as he starts feeling himself up.
My eight-year-old was upset that the villain turned out to be. . .well, a longtime trusted friend of the group, who puts a new profane twist on the old "and I would have gotten away with it, too, without those meddling youngsters. . ." before his words are muffled and he's stuffed into a police chopper. Now that's cynical.
What's so annoying is that I can't help but compare this film to the Warner Brothers blockbuster, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone which just came out on video (which is why I just saw it for the first time.) Harry Potter is a true children's film which means it's terrific for adults too. It's filled with wonder, fantasy, and clear lines between good and evil. Some folks don't like the witches, of course, but at least Harry and his friends are good wizards and witches.
What's so terrific about this film is that the children are delightful and actually respectful of the adults in their lives. And for once, the adults in a children's film are presented as generally wise, good, and necessary to the well being of their young charges. Harry's stepparents, actually his aunt and uncle, are a pathetic if amusing exception to this rule but evil stepparents at least evil stepmothers are an ancient literary device. And in this case it's necessary to get Harry to leave home and go to the Wizard's academy, Hogwarts. In any event, his deceased real parents are presented as brave, good, and sacrificial on Harry's behalf. And very much loved and admired by Harry.
But the best thing about Harry Potter was the relationship between the three 11-year-old children, Harry, Ron, and Hermione. Or rather, the lack of relationship. These kids, two boys and a girl, are friends. There is no hint whatsoever of any kind of romantic liaison between them. They are 11-year-olds and they are just kids I almost couldn't believe Hollywood made this film. Thankfully, British author J. K. Rowling maintained a great deal of control over the script. Otherwise I can't help but think there would have been some allusions, vague or otherwise, to a love triangle between the three with Hermione dressed like Britney Spears and Backstreet Boys music to set the tone.
Given Warner Brothers grand-slam family-film hit Harry Potter, I more than ever found myself asking. . . good ol' lovable, trusted, sweet, Scooby-Doo. . . where are you?
It's a mystery.
Betsy Hart is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service.
Velma was a Lesbian... doncha just know....Daphne was a blonde bimbo, Fred was also gay, Shaggy and Snoop were stoned on pot.... I just thought as a kid that Velma was a smart chick that was more concerned with books than guys, that Daphne was very cute, Fred was a frat boy and Shaggy and Scooby were laid back kind of lazy guys.... I didn't think about the possible drug and sexual pathology until it was shoved in my face by the Hollywood folk.
In an article posted herelast week, the director and actors were patting themselves on the back because they dropped the drug scenes and lesbian references. 'We decided to make it a family movie', they said.
The fact that they even filmed those scenes made me realize that the movie was not going to be the Scooby-Doo I grew up with. For the director to even experiment with that interpretation was a sign that I wasn't going to appreciate anything he did with the film.
(Sorry, couldn't resist...)
In a world that's crumbling, it occurs to me that Mankind has more important things to do than revel in the antics of a cartoon dog and a gaggle of two-dimensional characters.
Why blame the 'Hollywood folk'? As a kid, I thought Scooby was a simple, good cartoon, but when I grew up, the other nuances (implied lesbianism, pot usage) seemed really obvious.
Point being, I didn't need any 'Hollywood folk' to point out those things for me. Instead of blaming those 'Hollywood folk' for ruining your conception of Scooby-Doo, why not THANK those 'Hollywood folk' for making the cartoon in the first place? Those 'Hollywood folk' made many cartoons that had *adult* asides that no children ever understood (until they grew up). Rocky and Bullwinkle had some pretty adult asides, for one.
I just don't think that 'Hollywood folk' have some grand scheme to shove 'drug and sexual pathology' at you -- at least not in Scooby Doo.
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