by Michelle Erica Green

Grade: B
Production: Warner Bros., 2000
Running Time: 1 hour 21 minutes

Video Summary:

When their van breaks down in the desert, Fred, Velma and Daphne set off in search of help while Scooby and Shaggy stay behind to watch the vehicle. But a jackelope leads them straight to the lair of alien invaders. After a local abductee offers the group shelter for the night, Shaggy and Scooby are snatched from the roof by the alien spacecraft, from which they barely escape. A beautiful photographer and her dog find them in the desert and offer to help them investigate.

Meanwhile, the rest of the gang visits the local observatory, where scientists search for signs of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. Though Velma is suspicious of the mud on the scientists' feet and Freddie doesn't like the look of the local MPs, none of them suspect that a government conspiracy lurks nearby. Meanwhile, Shaggy, Scooby and their new loves Crystal and Amber find treasure in the caves...and a potentially deadly secret about the "aliens" that threatens all of their lives!

Best For Ages:

6-8 - Easily frightened youngsters may be scared by the aggressive villains. Older kids who know aliens aren't real will be amused by Scooby and Shaggy's antics.

9-12 - Because this film has some romance, it should appeal to older kids who have gotten bored with formulaic Scooby TV reruns.

Parental Advisory:

Educational Value: Out to recess. 1970s schlock themes in clothes and music.

Entertainment Value: This millennial release features more detailed animation than the old TV episodes of Scooby-Doo, but the villains are nastier, and the music's more hokey than ever. Older viewers may enjoy the love stories for Shaggy and Scooby, which breaks the series' typical pattern.

Frightening Situations: Aliens chase Scooby and Shaggy on futuristic scooters, then abduct them using giant metal claws and strap them to medical cots. Thugs threaten to drop Velma, Fred and Daphne into a deep pit.

Questionable Behavior: Shaggy and Crystal deliberately trespass onto government property. Shaggy eats dog biscuits.

Violence: Typical cartoon fare. Aliens tie Scooby and Shaggy to cots and wave strange objects in their direction. MPs pull guns when they suspect trespassing. Thugs pursue the gang with mining equipment and ropes.

Gender insensitivity: An old man appears overly interested in Velma and Daphne, giving them the nicest beds in his house and inviting them to squeeze beside him in the front seat of his truck. Shaggy's stereotypical cooking-and-childrearing fantasies about his photographer girlfriend may irk some viewers.


Viewers who grew up on Scooby-Doo cartoons--in which Velma always explained away any supernatural elements--may be disappointed that in the recent films, witches and aliens turn out to be real. SCOOBY-DOO AND THE ALIEN INVADERS offers a fun twist in which the extraterrestrials turn out not to be what they seem, but then Shaggy's new girlfriend turns out not to be what she seems either, which makes a charming romance turn silly. Scooby in love is amusing to watch, but the old-fashioned dating rituals of bringing flowers and trying to defend his girlfriend makes this otherwise contemporary story seem dated.

The animation has improved from the late 1960s, offering more dimensional characters with detailed backgrounds and some neat special effects. Six- and seven-year-old viewers enjoyed the spaceships, though they were a little afraid of the ugly aliens. The pace of the action holds viewer interest with lots of chases, rattlesnake threats, and a segment in which a local shows off his collection of UFO oddities. Fans old enough to recognize the voice of Mark Hamill, STAR WARS' Luke Skywalker, will enjoy his cameo as a villain.

This 2000 Scooby-Doo release offers a cute parody of THE X-FILES, but it lacks the originality and charm of the 1999 video SCOOBY-DOO AND THE WITCH'S GHOST. Though the new scientist villains have unexpected motives, they lack the charisma of Ben Ravencroft, and the songs "Groovy" and "Aliens Are Here" can't compete with the Hex Girls.

Nostalgic fans might prefer SCOOBY-DOO'S CREEPIEST CAPERS, which contains several TV episodes centered around ghosts and haunted houses. Kids who like the alien romance may enjoy SAILOR MOON, while those looking for less-silly extraterrestrials will be intrigued by ESCAPE FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN.

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