Hanna-Barberas original Scooby Doo, Where Are You? (1969-72), before being followed by several revivals and an enormous number of tv specials, was a popular hit. The series was essentially a light-hearted take on teen mysteries with ghosts added to the mix sort of a Nancy Drews Haunted House Ride. Scooby Doo was an inanely trivial series the plots were banally simplistic and the exercise only got by on its good-natured amiability. This film at least accurately captures the look of the characters, the light knockabout shenanigans and the slim, unchallenging plots.
Alas, Scooby-Doo is not very good. It plays out in a way that seems determined to not engage on any intellectual level whatsoever. There is nothing to it beyond much running around and slapstick antics with a big, dumb CGI dog. The low point of the film is surely a farting/belching competition between Shaggy and Scooby Doo. The characters have little depth beyond one-word descriptions Shaggy is a stoner, Fred is dense, Daphne is vain, Velma is brainy. Matthew Lillard at least performs Shaggy with great enthusiasm, although the best performance is actually from the least known cast member Linda Cardellini, who makes a pertly sexy Velma. The others only look like contemporary teen idols uncomfortably trying to act out the parts of cartoon characters, especially so in the case of an unconvincingly blonde Freddie Prinze Jr. Conducted as two-dimensional animation in Hanna-Barberas characteristically limited style, this would have sufficed as a kiddie pleaser, up on the screen being enacted by adults it looks very forced all it is is a one-dimensional, no-brain film trying to look like a one-dimensional, no-brain cartoon.
The sequel was Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004), reuniting director Raja Gosnell and the rest of the cast. There was a further film in live-action with the origin story prequel Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins (2009) with a different cast and director.
Director Raja Gosnell subsequently went onto make the talking animals film Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008) and another cartoon in live-action with The Smurfs (2011) and The Smurfs 2 (2013). Elsewhere, Raja Gosnell has made mainstream comedies such as Home Alone 3 (1997), Never Been Kissed (1997), Big Mommas House (2000) and Yours, Mine and Ours (2005). Co-writer James Gunn later went onto direct the likes of Slither (2006), Super (2010) and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
(No. 10 on the SF, Horror & Fantasy Box-Office Top 10 of 2002 list).