So recently, during one of my many MSA weekends of movie watching and socialization boycotting, I revisited one of the films that I held dear in my childhood. In all honesty, I had completely forgotten that this comfort film even existed until now, but now that I’ve remembered it, I could never hope to forget it again. Or, shall I say them, since I did watch the original and it’s sequel. The movies I’m speaking of are none other than the live action Scooby Doo movies.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: easily some of the worst movies in cinematic history. And I’ll readily agree; if you’re looking for cinematic quality, good writing, or even an accurate adaptation of the original animated series, you won’t find anything but disappointment. However, I was looking for none of those things. I was looking for goofy, self aware comedy and pointless fun and comfort, and these movies delivered. So, now that we’ve addressed and established that these particular films are not the best made pieces in cinematic history, let’s continue to why it is that I love them so much.
Also, side note: If you really need an explanation on what Scooby Doo and it’s signature plot are…come on. Just come on.
First things first, the costuming. This movie may not be able to boast much in the world of professional cinema productions, but no one can rival this franchise for consistent costuming design. From perpetual color schemes, to actual outfit design, to stylistic consistency, these costumes truly have it all. I’m a particular fan of Daphne’s outfits, first and foremost, particularly the signature purple leather boots. I’m also partial to Velma’s consistent orange aesthetic, and the stylistic choices they made with that are actually very nice, too. There’s even something to be said about the consistent simplicity of Shaggy’s “green shirt brown pants” dynamic; I see it as a homage to the original series. Fred is…well, he’s dressed, I guess, but let’s face it: there never was much to say about Fred.
Secondly, I think it’s nice that they actually held true to the mystery solving plot. Even in the first movie, when they were introducing the discord dynamic amongst the team, they held consistent to the mystery solving dynamic and the fact that it held them together, and I really appreciate that. It was nice to know that, cliche and overdone though they may be, the moral of hopefulness to the story is still there. Besides, it was nice to see them working together so well and mystery itself is a genre that never gets old.
Last but absolutely not least, is my personal favorite thing about these entire films. Comedic animations of fleeing from Shaggy and Scooby aside, marks of intelligence from Velma noted, decent plot writing and fantastic costume work accounted for, my all time favorite part about this entire franchise is the Daphne fight scenes. It was so, so amazing to me how the writers, for whatever reason, completely subverted her “Damsel in Distress” stereotype. Not only that, they turned her into an absolute beast while they were at it. Watching the girl who just opened a fingerprint lock with blush and some tape, solved a mystery with brains rivaled only by Velma’s, and followed clues with precision that makes Fred cry absolutely beat the daylights out of a Luchador Wrestler in HEELS is something that I will never, ever get enough of. By far the best thing about these movies.
All in all, there are definitely some nice pros to outweigh the cons of these particular gems of 2000’s cinema, if you know where to look. They may not be the best written, and watching them might make me cringe more than can be considered healthy, but I’ll definitely keep watching them because, against all odds, these movies have definitely carved out a special place in my heart. What? They prey on nostalgia; it’s everyone’s weakness, if they’ll admit it.
Until next time, folks.
Sincerely, someone who still wonders what in the world a Scooby Snack tastes like.
P.S. I would literally kill for half of Daphne’s costume wardrobe 🙂