Australian Council on Children and the Media

Scooby Doo

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Short takes

Not recommended under 5, PG to 13 ( Scary Scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Scooby Doo
  • a review of Scooby Doo completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 10 July 2002.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended to children under five.
Children aged 5-7 Might be able to view this with parental guidance
Children over the age of 8 Could see this with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Scooby Doo
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: Some scenes may scare very young children
Length 86 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Mystery Inc disbands due to petty squabbles and jealousies but is reunited two years later when each of the team receives an invitation from Mr. Mondavarious to solve the mystery on Spooky Island. The group arrives to find a haunted amusement park where vacationing, rowdy punks are being turned into zombies resembling well behaved college students. There are plenty of monsters and evil villains on this island who perform all manner of horrific and supernatural deeds such as voodoo rituals and breathing out green vapour which renders the victim unconscious. The five heroes, Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby Doo decide it is better to work as a team to uncover the plot. Together they meet all kinds of dangerous situations which they tackle head on. There is much fighting and cartoon type violence where a lot of people get hit but are apparently unhurt. Daphne performs a major martial arts sequence in which she defeats a burly guard twice her size.

The team discover that the evil villain is stealing peoples’ “protoplasm” or soul which is then placed in a large swirling pool. The villain manages to take Fred, Daphne and Velma but Shaggy lifts their protoplasms out of the pool and returns them to their bodies. It takes some time for the protoplasms to find the right body with the consequence that Daphne is speaking in Fred’s voice and Fred is speaking in Daphne’s etc. until they get sorted out. By pulling off his face they discover that the evil villain in the body of Mr. Mondavarious is in fact Scrappy Doo who wants to take his revenge on the team for abandoning him when he was a puppy. We then see Scrappy Doo transform into a huge dog monster intent on taking over the world. The Mystery Inc team solve the day however and everyone is returned to their normal selves and Scrappy Doo is taken away.

Fred and Daphne get each other, Shaggy gets a girlfriend called Mary Jane and Velma meets a new boyfriend.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

  • Violence is often performed by the heroes, particularly Fred and Daphne, and is successful.
  • It has few real life consequences—it is unlikely Daphne could defeat a burly guard twice her size with all her martial arts expertise. Also no-one seems to get hurt or stays unconscious for long.
  • The movie is set in a comic context which includes the violent episodes—there is an element of unreality about the violence as in a cartoon, but younger children would not discern this.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.


For children under seven there are many images and visuals that they may find scary:

  • Ghosts
  • Monsters
  • Grotesque creatures
  • Evil looking real dwarves
  • Haunted amusement park
  • Haunted castle where objects come to life
  • Velma and Fred narrowly miss being chopped in half by huge swinging blades
  • Monsters breathing out green vapour
  • Monsters roaring loudly
  • Ghost trying to set Scooby Doo on fire
  • Monster totem pole that speaks
  • Talking skeleton
  • Loud drums
  • Man performing voodoo ritual on a dead chicken with a large knife
  • Mary Jane’s face turns really evil and then she stretches it back to normal
  • Mary Jane speaks in a man’s voice
  • When protoplasms are re-entering bodies, the bodies writhe and expel the monster from within, which then disintegrates
  • Scrappy Doo transforms into huge evil dog monster
  • Daphne talking in Fred’s voice

For school aged children, much of the violence is unrealistic, which at this age they would be able to discern. However the Mystery Inc team are threatened by violent men which could be perceived as real. Scooby Doo is also threatened by monsters and with having to be a “pure sacrifice” for Scrappy Doo to achieve his ends. Some in the younger end of this age bracket could be scared by this.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

None of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

None of concern

Sexual references

There are a few sexual references and innuendo in this film. The girls, particularly Daphne, wear skimpy clothes and reveal much cleavage. When Fred is inside Daphne’s body he says he can see himself (Daphne) naked.

Use of substances

There is innuendo of drug use by Shaggy. He is shown in his van with smoke drifting out of the top only to see that it is meat cooking. Also his girlfriend’s name is Mary Jane which is often a colloquialism for marijuana. When Mary Jane at one time breathes ‘green stuff’ on him he says “like wow”.

There is drinking of alcohol on the plane and on the island. Velma is given a drink “on the house” which is spiked and she appears drunk.

In a nutshell

The main take-home message of this movie is that it is okay to use violence if it beats the bad guy.

Values shown in the movie parents may wish to encourage are friendship, teamwork and equal gender roles.

Values shown in the movie that parents may wish to discourage are that violence is a way to solve conflict, attractive people are usually not bright, intelligent people wear thick rimmed glasses and well behaved college students are zombies.

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