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Film / Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed

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Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed is the 2004 sequel to the 2002 live action movie Scooby-Doo, directed by Raja Gosnell and written by James Gunn.

Mystery Inc. is attending the grand opening of a museum based on their adventures and the monsters they caught. However, the celebration is cut short due to the Pterodactyl ghost attacking and stealing two different costumes. As it turns out, someone is using a machine to reanimate the monster costumes and turn them into real monsters.

The film stars Freddie Prinze Jr. as Fred Jones, Sarah Michelle Gellar as Daphne Blake, Matthew Lillard as Shaggy Rogers, Linda Cardellini as Velma Dinkley, Seth Green as Patrick Wisley, Peter Boyle as Jeremiah "Old Man" Wickles, Tim Blake Nelson as Dr. Jonathan Jacobo and Alicia Silverstone as Heather Jasper Howe.

The film is noticeably more kid-friendly than the first film, and was an even worse failure critically (winning a Razzie for "Worst Remake or Sequel"), and grossed around $180 million, making a profit, but not as much as Warner Bros. had expected. While this did signal the end of the full feature films, Warner would go on to make two live action made-for-TV prequels five years later: Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins and Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster.


This was the final live-action Hanna-Barbera adaptation to be overseen by co-founder Joe Barbera, who died a year later.

See the Shout-Out page here.

Previews: Teaser, Trailer.

Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: Daphne uses Buffyspeak while attacking the 10,000 Volt Ghost. Her actress, Sarah Michelle Gellar, previously portrayed the titular character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Adaptational Badass: Almost all of the classic Scooby-Doo monsters and Mystery Inc. are much more battle competent.
  • Adaptational Comic Relief: The Skeleton Men were originally ominously eerie villains in the cartoon, but in the film they're the Stupid Evil duo who fail at their objectives.
  • Adaptational Intelligence: Dr. Jonathan Jacobo, the original Pterodactyl Ghost, differs from Johnny, his counterpart in The Scooby-Doo Show episode "Hang in There, Scooby-Doo", in several ways, the most notable being that he is a scientist rather than the driver of a catering truck using the Pterodactyl Ghost to assist in music piracy.
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  • Adaptational Villainy: The monsters are much more Ax-Crazy in the film than they were in the cartoon.
  • Advertised Extra: To the extreme. Multiple advertisements and reviews at the time said that the Creeper, one of the franchise's most iconic villains, was one of the monsters appearing in the film. However, the most he gets is that his costume can be seen in the Coolsonian. One can only assume people who were only vaguely familiar with the franchise confused the Creeper with the Zombie.
  • All There in the Manual: The featurette "True Ghoul Hollywood Stories" reveals the Cotton Candy Glob's true first name: Timmy.
  • Ambiguously Gay: While under the guise of Heather Jasper Howe, Jacobo flirted with Fred and was mentioned to have cuddled with Ned. It isn't clarified whether Jacobo truly felt attracted to Ned or was merely pretending to be as part of his disguise.
  • And Starring: Alicia Silverstone gets the honor of an "And Starring" credit.
  • Ax-Crazy: The monsters are actively trying to murder Scooby and the gang as opposed to chasing them away.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: The "Faux Ghost" is a hangout for criminals the gang had unmasked before where they casually make fun of Mystery Inc such as sticking them on a Dartboard of Hate or playing a Wack-A-Mole variant of them.
  • Becoming the Costume: Played with, as it is the costumes themselves that get turned into real monsters, and some of them become far more dangerous that the criminals that wore them.
  • Beware the Silly Ones:
    • Sure Scooby acted silly in unleashing (helping to, that is) some of the monsters, but he was the one who finished them off. After seeing his human friends suffer, that is.
    • Velma considers Chickenstein one of most ridiculous foes they’ve faced, but Shaggy and Scooby recall that he tried to pluck them at one point.
  • Be Yourself: The film has a subplot of Scooby and Shaggy trying to be more like Fred, Daphne, and Velma in hopes that doing so will enable them to solve the mystery on purpose for a change. Velma eventually explains to the two that they don't need to change and are a vital part of the team just the way they are.
  • Big Bad: The Evil Masked Figure, a.k.a. Jonathan Jacobo.
  • Big "NO!": The Evil Masked Figure after Scooby puts the control panel back in the machine and before the monsters start dying.
  • Blade on a Stick: Daphne uses a halberd when dueling the Black Knight. Also qualifies as An Axe to Grind.
  • Blind Without 'Em: Velma, naturally. This time it's somewhat downplayed, as even after she loses them, she's still able to make out Patrick's Stalker Shrine to Jonathan Jacobo, as well as the photograph showing the supposedly dead Jacobo outside the half-finished Coolsonian Museum.
  • Brain Bleach: Ned the cameraman knew who the Evil Masked Figure was. What he doesn't know, however, is that she is a he.
  • Broad Strokes: The film pretty much ignores the events of the 2002 film.
  • Buffyspeak: Also counts as Actor Allusion for Daphne.
    Daphne: Taste the pain, Mr. glow-y, ugly, thing!
  • The Cameo: Scooby drank a potion that turns him into the Tasmanian Devil.
  • Canon Character All Along: The "Evil Masked Figure" is a new identity for Jonathan Jacobo, as is "Heather Jasper-Howe."
  • Canon Foreigner: The Cotton Candy Glob was created for the movie and never appeared in any of the Hanna-Barbera cartoons.
  • Cast as a Mask: Heather Jasper Howe is portrayed by Alicia Silverstone and the Evil Masked Figure is voiced by Scott McNeil. Both turn out to be disguises worn by Dr. Jonathan Jacobo, who is portrayed by Tim Blake Nelson.
  • Central Theme: What makes someone put on a mask, figuratively or literally?
  • Character Development: Shaggy and Scooby are trying to become legitimately competent detectives as opposed to the screw-ups they always thought they were. Naturally, they succeed by the end of the film.
  • Chekhov's Gun: As the gang makes their escape after finding the machine, Fred makes a small hole in the catwalk. Later, Velma falls through the same hole while arguing with Patrick. Then, the Masked Man falls through the hole while trying to escape, enabling the gang to capture him.
  • Chekhov's Skill: A throwaway line from Jeremiah Wickles reveals that while they were in prison, Jonathan Jacobo got the lead role in a production of My Fair Lady. This turns out to be relevant after The Reveal that Heather Jasper-Howe is actually Jacobo in disguise. He really is good at playing women!
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Jeremiah Wickles seems like a typical grumpy old man, but he owns a giant statue of himself in his Black Knight costume, his home security involves trapping trespassers in giant spherical cages, and he seems to think kids will enjoy living like old-timey miners.
  • Co-Dragons: The Pterodactyl Ghost and Black Knight Ghost serve as commanders to the Masked Man. The Tar Monster fills the Black Knight Ghost's spot after his defeat.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: The Coolsonian Criminology Museum has the costumes of several villains from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, The Scooby-Doo Show, and A Pup Named Scooby-Doo on display.
  • Continuity Nod: In the cartoon, Captain Cutler was defeated by having a vehicle crash into him. In the film, he's also defeated by having a vehicle crash into him.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: While Jeremiah Wickles isn't the Big Bad, or even affiliated with him in anyway, he's still a slimy jerkass who is in the process of wooing investors to help him create a summer camp where kids would work nearly 20 hours a day mining for gold. He justifies it by saying the kids would have the time of their life learning about The Gold Rush and living like real miners, while he and the investors will get free labor.
  • Dance Party Ending: The movie ends with the characters dancing to "Shining Star" by Earth, Wind and Fire.
  • Dartboard of Hate: The unmasked villains at the Faux Ghost have dartboards with pictures of Mystery Inc. on them.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Done twice with the Evil Masked Figure, unmasking them as Heather Jasper-Howe, then unmasking Howe as actually being Jonathan Jacobo in disguise.
    • Then immediately subverted:
      Fred: And the real identity of Ned] is—
      [Fred tugs at Ned's hairline; nothing happens]
      Ned: Ow!
      Fred: ...Ned!
  • The Dreaded: The Pterodactyl Ghost, which is easily the most threatening villain in the movie (besides the Masked Man). Daphne even calls it "the dreaded Pterodactyl Ghost" in the opening scene.
    • The Tar Monster comes closer to killing the gang than any other monster in the movie — and arguably, any other monster in the entire history of the franchise.
  • Dropped Glasses: Velma — again — does this towards the climax. She even lampshades it, remarking, "I have got to consider contact lenses." Fortunately for Velma, her glasses are soon picked up by Patrick.
  • Eating the Enemy: Scooby and Shaggy hide in a room to escape some monsters, only to find themselves locked in with a giant Cotton Candy monster. Too bad for the monster, the Big Eater duo take care of it by doing what they do best.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: During the Final Battle, Scooby combats the Tar Monster with a fire extinguisher he finds.
  • Expressive Mask: The Evil Masked Figure's mask. And the Heather Jasper-Howe mask they wear underneath it.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Apart from the opening scene taking place the night before and a following act set inside an old mansion during the daytime after, about two thirds of the film happen over the course of a very long and packed night. Counting the final scene being set the morning after the Big Bad is defeated, the entire conflict spans maybe a day and a half for the gang.
  • Eye Scream: Old Man Wickles, a.k.a. The Black Knight Ghost threatens Shaggy and Scooby that if he he ever caught them and the rest of Mystery Inc., he'd tear out their eyes, and make them eat one, while leaving the other one unharmed so they could watch themselves eating one of their own eyes. Ironically when he threatens them, he doesn't know who they were, and before that has given them advice on leaving the criminal life while they have a chance, because he believes that they are wannabe criminal fanboys, that he has just met at a Bad-Guy Bar called The Faux Ghost, which is a hangout for all of Mystery Inc's defeated and unmasked villains.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: The Cotton Candy Glob's only role is to dramatically appear behind Scooby and Shaggy and threaten them, before realizing too late who he's up against.
  • Failed Dramatic Exit: The Masked Figure's attempted escape after Scooby reverses the monster-making process is cut off at the last hurdle, which leads him to a hole in the catwalk.
  • Fartillery: Scooby and Shaggy take out Miner Forty-Niner by having Scooby break wind in front of his flame.
  • Faking the Dead: The gang actually catches on so quickly that Jonathan Jacobo may be the villain they're after from the clues: he did have designs of a machine that can create real monsters, and it was his alter-ego, the Pterodactyl Ghost, that attacked the museum and set the whole thing in motion. The only reason they brush this aside is because Jacobo is believed dead after attempting to escape prison.
  • Flying Weapon: The Black Knight ghost does this with his sword, smugly quipping "Look, no hands!".
  • Foreshadowing: If you can understand Daphne's "incoherent babble" when she confronts Heather Jasper-Howe, you'll realize she's figured out that Howe is actually the Evil Masked Figure.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: When Shaggy and Scooby go undercover at the Faux Ghost and find Jeremiah Wickles, the Black Knight Ghost. He expresses remorse for his past deeds, but makes it clear he has not forgiven Mystery Inc for unmasking him. It's only till they prove his innocence for being the Evil Masked Figure does he forgive them.
  • Foil: The Faux Ghost to Jonathan Jacobo. While the patrons of The Faux Ghost are still bitter about being unmasked, they also saw the error of their ways and are trying to go straight and turn their lives around (though in Jeremiah Wickles' case, he is still not a good man, as shown by his plan for a gold mining camp). Jonathan Jacobo, however, let his bitterness draw him down an even darker path of revenge, and as a result is probably going to jail for an even longer time than he was originally.
  • Frame-Up: Jacobo tried to frame his old hated cellmate Old Man Wickles by putting the monster-creating manual and the Black Knight Ghost in Wickles' home for Mystery Inc to find.
  • Fright Beside Them: As Scooby and Shaggy barricade a door against the Black Knight Ghost, Shaggy is handed some armor pieces. When he thanks Scooby, assuming it was him, a booming voice replies, "You're welcome", and Shaggy realises it was actually the Black Knight Ghost.
  • Gasshole: Shaggy "pulls Scooby-Doo's finger" (re: tail) on Miner 49er.
  • Genius Serum: Over the course of some potion hijinks that occurs, one of the potions Scooby ends up consuming over the course of undoing a potion that turns him into a monster turns him into a genius smart enough to subsequently brew up a potion capable of turning both himself and Shaggy (who at this point has ended up consuming a potion that has made him far more muscular than normal) back to normal.
  • Ghost Ship: Near the final act, the Evil Masked Figure is riding the Ghost of Redbeard's ghastly pirate ship through Coolsville airspace. Oddly, Redbeard himself makes no appearance in the film.
  • Groin Attack: Velma delivers a kick to the Black Knight Ghost's groin after determining that it is his only weakness.
  • Hate Sink: It's clear the audience is supposed to be against Heather Jasper-Howe AKA Jonathan Jacobo. Her snobbish attitude and her trash-talking of Mystery Inc. make her an unlikable character in this film.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Mystery Inc. becomes scorned by Coolsville courtesy of Heather Jasper-Howe's slander.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: A subplot in the film is how Scooby and Shaggy want to stop being The Load for the rest of Mystery Inc.
  • Improvised Weapon: Scooby uses a fire extinguisher as a weapon against the monsters. It is particularly effective against the Tar Monster.
  • Innocently Insensitive: When watching the news report of the initial attack on the museum Velma, Daphne and Fred all try to take blame, but seem unaware that they are actually blaming Shaggy and Scooby. The fact that they overhear this is what drives their subplot mentioned above.
  • Kinder and Cleaner: Compared to the first movie, the innuendos and profanity are kept to a minimum.
  • Latex Perfection: Jacobo masquerading as Heather. Hilariously subverted immediately afterwards when Fred confronts Jacobo's accomplice:
    Fred: And the real identity of Ned is... [pulls at Ned's hairline]
    Ned: Ow!
    Fred: ...Ned!
  • Legion of Doom: Several famous monsters Mystery Inc. have tackled become lackeys to the Evil Masked Figure.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: When the group arrive at Wickles' mansion, it's Shaggy who says this (as part of his drive to be a better detective).
    Shaggy: Alright, gang! Let's, like, split up, and search for clues.
    [the gang split up]
    Fred: He stole my thing that I say!
  • The Man Behind the Monsters: The Evil Masked Figure is the one bringing the monster costumes to life.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Heather Jasper-Howe manages to start a smear campaign to discredit Mystery Inc. This is because she is actually Jonathan Jacobo doing this out of revenge.
  • Mind over Matter: The Black Knight Ghost now has the ability to move his sword with his mind, which causes some trouble for Daphne after she knocks it out of his hands.
    Black Knight Ghost: Look! No hands!
  • Motorcycle Jousting: Fred rides a motorcycle to duel a knight ghost.
  • Mythology Gag:
  • Near-Villain Victory: The Evil Masked Figure gets very close to offing the Scooby gang, and it is only a stroke of genius on the part of Scooby that saves the day.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Carrying over from the first film, Linda Cardellini as Velma, particularly when she gets a makeover and walks downstairs without glasses and wearing a latex suit. Fred and Patrick's reactions say it all.
  • Never Found the Body: When telling the gang about Jonathan Jacobo's failed prison escape, Velma explains that "his body was lost at sea". Only it turns out Jacobo is Not Quite Dead.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: When Shaggy and Scooby find a control panel, they start fiddling with it. This causes four monsters to be unleashed: a zombie, Captain Cutler, Miner 49er, and the Tar Monster.
  • Not a Mask: After the Evil Masked Figure's accomplice is revealed to be Ned, Fred tries to unmask him only to realise he's not wearing one.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The Cotton Candy Glob is horrified when he realizes that Scooby and Shaggy are NOT afraid of him. On the contrary...
    • The Black Knight Ghost invokes this word for word after Fred and Daphne MacGyver a way to defeat both him and the 10,000 Volt Ghost at the same time.
  • One-Man Army: The Tar Monster is this due to the nature of his powers, especially during the climax when he single-handedly incapacitates all four human members of Mystery Inc.
  • Panty Shot: Velma has one for a couple of frames as she jumps into a ship's air funnel.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Shaggy and Scooby infiltrating the Faux Ghost as "Shizzy McCreepy" and "SD McCrawley" respectively. Astonishingly, it works — right up until Scooby's afro flies off.
  • Psycho Electro: The 10,000 Volt Ghost is an electrical being and a complete psycho.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The Black Knight Ghost invokes this when Fred tries to stall him by Talking the Monster to Death. Fred claims that he's using a brutal façade to hide his true sensitive nature, to which the Black Knight replies, "You've touched my inner child... and he's really MAD!"
  • Ptero Soarer: Double subverted; the Pterodactyl Ghost is obviously not supposed to look like a real pterodactyl. However, Velma analyzes one of its scales to find that it's "a real pterodactyl scale". Real pterosaurs didn't have scales (they had hairlike fibers on their bodies).
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Before Scooby resets the control panel to the machine, he says, "Scooby... Dooby... Doo!!!!!"
  • Quote Mine: Heather Jasper-Howe does this to Fred twice, which helps build onto Mystery Inc.'s bad press.
    Freddie: Hey! You're doing that thing again where you take everything I say out of context. You're trying make it look like I think Coolsville sucks! [realises he's being filmed] N-no, wait! Don't record that!
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The red-eyed Skeleton Man is the smarter and more dangerous of the pair; his green-eyed partner is more goofy and laid-back.
  • Red Herring: There are a couple of misleading suspects to the true identity of the Evil Masked Figure.
    • Velma's Love Interest, Patrick, who has a Stalker Shrine to Jonathan Jacobo located not far from the Evil Masked Figure's lair, and even admits to having admired the latter's work.
    • Also Jeremiah Wickles, who used to be the Black Knight. He is suspected when the gang find a book belonging to Jacobo in his manor, but it turns out to have been planted by the real culprit because Wickles hated Jacobo.
  • Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: Jonathan Jacobo, as revealed when Velma sees a photo of him near the unfinished Coolsonian Museum. He supposedly died before construction began.
  • The Reveal: Dr. Jonathan Jacobo is the Big Bad all along and secretly posing as reporter Heather Jasper-Howe so he can tarnish Mystery Inc.'s reputation.
  • Riddle for the Ages: So how does the machine used to bring monster costumes to life work? We don't know and it's never answered.
  • Sadist: The Evil Masked Figure and his monsters try to make Mystery Inc. suffer before Tar Monster can finish them off.
  • Same Character, but Different: While the Pterodactyl Ghost was a monster the gang encountered in The Scooby-Doo Show, the monster's true identity in this film, Dr. Jonathan Jacobo, is quite different from Johnny, the true identity used in the original cartoon. Aside from having similar names and the same monster disguise, Dr. Jonathan Jacobo and Johnny have very little in common, with Johnny being the handsome owner of a catering truck who used the Pterodactyl Ghost to cover up his music pirating scheme, and Jacobo being a Mad Scientist who used the monster disguise to rob banks to fund his experiments.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Non-lethal example. The Evil Masked Figure ends up captured by tripping on his own catwalk.
  • Shout-Out: The Pterodactyl Ghost getting stuck in the Tar Monster is a reference to what happened to "Turu the Terrible" from said episode of Jonny Quest. The exact same screeching roar was used by Hanna-Barbera for both Turu and the cartoon Pterodactyl Ghost.
  • Sickly Green Glow: Most of the monsters are surrounded by a greenish mist, presumably as part of the monster-making process.
  • Smooch of Victory: Daphne gives one to Scooby for defeating the Evil Masked Figure and his monsters and saving the gang from them.
  • The Stinger: Scooby is playing the Game Boy Advance game based on the movie and shows the viewers a secret code to use in the game. Entering it in the GBA game, among other things, shows the game's true ending, which is similar to the film's. It can be used in other versions as well — using it at the end of the PC game takes the player to a bonus level, which is a five-round dance off with the Evil Masked Figure.
  • Take the Wheel: When the gang is being chased by the Pterodactyl Ghost, Fred tells Shaggy to take the wheel of the Mystery Machine while he tries to shoot it off. Later, Shaggy is called upon to help Velma and leaves the wheel to Scooby. Granted, Scooby is pretty intelligent as far as animals go, but he's not that far up the scale. The Mystery Machine duly spins out of control.
  • Took a Level in Badass: SCOOBY-DOO. He kills all the monsters in the climax himself.
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Happens in the climax with MXPX's cover of the theme song playing.
  • Token Human: The Evil Masked Figure is the only human among the Legion of Doom of former Scooby-Doo monsters.
  • Truer to the Text: Compared to the first film, this one is more faithful to the Hanna-Barbera cartoons.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Heather Jasper-Howe (Alicia Silverstone) is really a man. Her accomplice Ned doesn't take it well.
  • Villain: Exit, Stage Left: The Evil Masked Figure attempts to escape after his scheme falls apart, only to fall through the catwalk.
  • Who Are You?: At the end of the film, the Evil Masked Figure yells "Who do you think you are?!" shortly before Scooby resets the machines control panel.
  • Who Is Driving?: Fred tells Shaggy to drive the Mystery Machine while he and the girls try to fend off the Pterodactyl Ghost chasing them.
    Fred: This is bad!
    Shaggy: No doubt.
    Fred: Shaggy?
    Shaggy: Yeah?
    Fred: Who's driving?
    Shaggy: Uh...
    [the gang looks behind and notices that Scooby is the only one sitting in front]
    Scooby: [completely nonplussed] Hello.


Video Example(s):


Scooby Doo: Monsters Unleashed

Fred calls Heather Jasper-Howe out on doing manipulative editing... and she then proceeds to do just that to the footage of him calling her out on it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (24 votes)

Example of:

Main / ManipulativeEditing

Media sources: