|Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed|
|Directed by||Raja Gosnell|
|Written by||James Gunn|
|Edited by||Kent Beyda|
|Music by||David Newman|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
|Box office||$181.2 million|
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (also referred to as Scooby-Doo 2) is a 2004 American adventure comedy film based on the animated franchise Scooby-Doo. It is the second installment in the Scooby-Doo live-action film series and the 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.
The film was released on March 26, 2004. Like the first film, it received mostly negative reviews from critics. While profitable, the film grossed less at the box office than its predecessor, resulting in a third film, set to be written and directed by Gunn, being cancelled. A telefilm reboot featuring a new cast, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins, aired on Cartoon Network in 2009.
Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby-Doo attend the opening of an exhibition at the Coolsonian Criminology Museum commemorating their past solved cases with monster costumes on display. However, the celebrations are interrupted by a masked man known as the "Evil Masked Figure" who steals two costumes using the reanimated Pterodactyl Ghost. The gang are then ridiculed by journalist Heather Jasper Howe for failing to stop the attack, and she starts a smear campaign against them. Shaggy and Scooby, after overhearing the rest of the gang criticizing their tendency to bumble every operation, and especially their most recent offense in failing to secure the Pterodactyl Ghost at the museum, resolve to better themselves and become real detectives. Concluding an old enemy is the mastermind, the gang revisit old cases. They dismiss the former Pterodactyl Ghost, Jonathan Jacobo, as the culprit due to his apparent death during a failed prison escape. They guess that Jeremiah Wickles, the Black Knight Ghost's portrayer and Jacobo's cell mate in prison, is the culprit.
Going to Wickles' manor, the group find a book that serves as an instruction manual on how to create monsters. Shaggy and Scooby-Doo find a note inviting Wickles to visit the "Faux Ghost" nightclub. They are then 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 discover through the book that the key ingredient to creating the monsters is "randomonium", a substance that can be found at the old silver 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. In the midst of all this, Heather Jasper Howe's smear campaign against Mystery Inc. grows stronger, turning the city of Coolsville against them.
Shaggy and Scooby-Doo decide to follow the lead from Wickles' note, their first clue ever, and sneak into the Faux Ghost, where the criminals whom the gang had unmasked hang out. Wearing disguises to try and solve the mystery, they speak to Wickles and hear how he has mended his evil ways. Scooby causes a scene and his disguise falls off, and the two are thrown out by the criminals through a trash chute. On their way out, they spot Patrick uncharacteristically assaulting someone who appears to be a member of his staff, ordering him to find answers to who vandalized his museum. Shaggy and Scooby-Doo then spot Wickles leaving the club and follow him. Fred, Velma, and Daphne go to the mines, finding Wickles' plans to turn it into an amusement park. They confront Wickles, who states that he and Jacobo were cell mates that hated each other and denies having any connection to the museum robberies, thus leaving Mystery Inc. no choice but to dismiss him as the culprit.
The gang then find the Monster Hive, a hideout inside the mines where the various 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 along with the Tar Monster. Escaping to their old high school clubhouse, the gang realizes they can reverse the control panel's power by altering its wiring. Meanwhile, Shaggy and Scooby encounter Captain Cutler's Ghost emerging from the bayou, forcing the gang to retreat back to the monster-infested mines, where they plan to reinstall the control panel and activate it, thus destroying all the monsters. In the mines, Velma finds a shrine dedicated to Jacobo built by Patrick, leading her to believe Patrick is the Evil Masked Figure. However, Patrick proves his innocence by helping Velma after a catwalk unexpectedly gives way under her.
The gang gather in the Monster Hive, where they confront the Evil Masked Figure. Suddenly, the Tar Monster emerges and captures each member of the gang aside from Scooby-Doo, who uses a fire extinguisher to freeze the Tar Monster's body, freeing each of his friends in the process. He reactivates the control panel, turning the monsters back into costumes. The gang take the Evil Masked Figure to the authorities, and unmask him, revealing Heather Jasper Howe. Velma then peels Heather's face mask off, revealing she is actually Jacobo in disguise. Velma explained that Jacobo had actually survived the fall from the prison wall, and sought to get revenge on the sleuths by discrediting them and turning the press against them, and that Jacobo had also framed Wickles by putting the instruction manual and the Black Knight Ghost in his mansion. His cameraman Ned is also arrested as an accomplice.
The sleuths are praised as heroes in Coolsville. In the Faux Ghost, they celebrate their victory with the reformed criminals.
- Freddie Prinze Jr. as Fred Jones
- Ryan Vrba as Young Fred
- Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne Blake
- Emily Tennant as Young Daphne
- Matthew Lillard as Shaggy Rogers
- Cascy Beddow as Young Shaggy
- Nazanin Afshin-Jam as Shaggy Chick
- Linda Cardellini as Velma Dinkley
- Lauren Kennedy as Young Velma
- Seth Green as Patrick Wisely
- Peter Boyle as Jeremiah Wickles
- Tim Blake Nelson as Dr. Jonathan Jacobo
- Alicia Silverstone as Heather Jasper Howe
- Karin Konoval as Aggie Wilkins
- Joe MacLeod as Skater Dude No. 1
- Brandon Jay McLaren as Skater Dude No. 2
- Rasmus Nøhr as Skater Dude No. 3
- Calum Worthy as Kid on Bike
- Stephen E. Miller as C.L. Magnus
- Zahf Paroo as Ned
- Christopher R. Sumpton as Zombie
- C. Ernst Harth as Miner 49er
- Kevin Durand as Black Knight Ghost
- Neil Fanning as Scooby-Doo and Tasmanian Devil
- J. P. Manoux as Scooby Brainiac
- Scott McNeil as Evil Masked Figure
- Dee Bradley Baker as the voice of Pterodactyl Ghost, Zombie, and Red-Eyed Skeleton
- Bob Papenbrook as the voice of Black Knight Ghost
- Michael Sorich as the voice of Tar Monster and Cotton Candy Glob
- Terrence Stone/Dee Bradley Baker as the voice of 10,000 Volt Ghost
- Wally Wingert as the voice of Green-Eyed Skeleton
- Pat O'Brien
- Neil Fanning
- Tasmanian Devil
- Ruben Studdard
- Kester Moorhouse
- Big Brovaz
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. 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. Filming for the sequel began on April 14, 2003 in Vancouver, with Seth Green and Alicia Silverstone joining the cast.
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. 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-ninth highest-grossing film of 2004, and ranks as the sixth highest-grossing movie of all time featuring a dog (animated or otherwise) as a major character.
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." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 34 out of 100 based on 28 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". 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+".
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." 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."
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." 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." Common Sense Media gave the film two out of five stars, saying, "Sequel is milder than original; potty humor, peril, violence."
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.
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.
- "Don't Wanna Think About You" by Simple Plan (Simple Plan had also performed the titular theme song)
- "You Get What You Give" by New Radicals
- "Boom Shack-A-Lak" by Apache Indian
- "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" by Big Brovaz
- "The Rockafeller Skank" by Fatboy Slim
- "Wooly Bully" by Bad Manners
- "Shining Star" by Ruben Studdard
- "Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger
- "Get Ready for This" by 2 Unlimited
- "Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry
- "Here We Go" by Bowling for Soup
- "Love Shack" by The B-52's
- "Friends Forever" by Puffy AmiYumi
- "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?" by MxPx
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. 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." Gunn tweeted the plot for the canceled film was 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."
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- James Gunn [@JamesGunn] (April 1, 2020). "The Mystery Ink gang are hired by a town in Scotland who complain they're being plagued by monsters but we discover throughout the film the monsters are actually the victims & Scooby & Shaggy have to come to terms with their own prejudices & narrow belief systems. (Yes, Really!)" (Tweet). Archived from the original on April 2, 2020. Retrieved April 4, 2020 – via Twitter.