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Scooby-Doo Begins is a 2017 American mystery comedy horror film based on the long-running Saturday morning cartoon Scooby-Doo. It is a prequel to the films Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? and Scooby-Doo Returns and explores the origins of Mystery Inc. It stars Samuel L. Jackson, Michal Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Emma Stone and Ellen Page as well as David Koechner and Stacy Keach. Like the previous films, Brad Bird directed and Danny Elfman composed the soundtrack. A chronological follow-up, the video game Scooby-Doo Gets a Clue, was released to tie in with the film.

Plot

The film begins by introducing the main characters; Norville "Shaggy" Rogers, a nerdy outcast, Fred Jones, a star quarterback, Daphne Blake, an aspiring actress, and science geek Velma Dinkley. The school year is just beginning, and all four attend Crystal Cove High School. After a bad first day, Shaggy walks home alone, when he happens upon a talking Great Dane, who identifies himself as Scooby-Doo. Shaggy realises that Scooby is a stray and decides to adopt him.

The following morning, however, Shaggy and Scooby find themselves unable to part so Shaggy tries to smuggle the dog into school. While on the school bus, Shaggy ends up sitting with Velma, Fred and Daphne. When Scooby's presence becomes known, the four get into a fight which distracts the bus driver. As such, the bus hits a flag which subsequently shatters the windscreen of the car of the school's vice principal, Grimes. Grimes then puts the quartet in detention as punishment.

While in detention, the group begin to bond, noting a shared interest in mysteries, although they also continue to annoy each other. One day after detention, the group are getting ready to leave the library when suddenly all of the lights go out and a Spectre appears. The Spectre then chases them into the school hall, where an assembly is taking place. The Spectre tells everyone to leave the school and promises to destroy anyone who stays. The stamp collecting Principal Deedle subsequently announces his decision to close the school in the wake of the incident.

Taking an interest in the case, the gang decide to investigate and go to the local cemetery, where they note that many of the people buried there died on the same day; the day of the Crystal Cove flood. Velma explains that many years ago, the Eerie Dam burst and washed Crystal Cove away, and a new town was built on top of it. They take note of the names of the deceased and later meet up at Shaggy's place. Here, they learn about one of the dead; a man named Ezekial Gallows. He was the person who was just about to open the school by burying a commerative time capsule on the day the dam burst. They come to the conclusion that his ghost has come back.

The gang then decide to break into the school to find out more, only to encounter the Spectre of Ezekial Gallows, who chases them through the school. They wind up trapped in the freezer in the cafeteria, where they are found by Grimes and the police. Grimes has them expelled from school and warns that while he isn't pressing charges this time, he will have them arrested if he catches them again.

The gang become increasingly suspicious of Grimes and think he may the culprit. They go to his house to investigate, only to once again encounter the Spectre. The Spectre manages to capture both the gang and Grimes, and takes them to the school. Here, the Spectre forces them to dig for the time capsule. With help from Grimes, they manage to escape, but the Spectre gets the capsule. A final chase ensues across the school, which culminates in Scooby subduing the Spectre. The police arrive, along with a crowd of onlookers alerted to the incident by the police presence. The Spectre is publicly unmasked to be Principal Deedle. Deedle reveals that he learned about a rare stamp misprint which had been placed in the time capsule, and that it would have been worth a fortune. 

Grimes, now the principal, congratulates the gang and welcomes them back to school with open arms. Then, they finally and properly rebury the capsule, and decide not to remove the stamp so as to respect the memory of the dead. With the mystery over, the gang find that they have nothing to do and begin to drift apart again. However, Velma then summons them and reveals that strange things have been happening at a local museum. The gang reunite and decide to continue solving mysteries under the name Mystery Incorporated.

Cast

  • Samuel L. Jackson - Scooby-Doo (Voice)
  • Michael Cera - Norville "Shaggy" Rogers
  • Chris Zylka - Frederick "Fred" Jones Jr.
  • Emma Stone - Daphne Blake
  • Ellen Page - Velma Dinkley
  • David Koechner - Principal Deedle
  • Stacey Keach - Vice Principal Grimes/Voice of the Spectre
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