New 'Scooby-Doo' Drops Drug Subtext 

New 'Scooby-Doo' Drops Drug Subtext 
Posted by CN Staff on June 12, 2002 at 16:07:09 PT
By Anthony Breznican, AP Entertainment Writer 
Source: Associated Press
In the new film "Scooby-Doo," a psychedelically painted van marked "The Mystery Machine" sits beside a beach while smoke wafts through the sunhatch and voices from inside groan, "Primo!" and "Talk about toasted!" That may seem suspicious, but the next shot reveals it's just the talking dog Scooby-Doo and Shaggy, his beatnik human pal, grilling burgers. Never mind that the song from the soundtrack is the pot-smoking reggae anthem "Pass the Dutchie."
"Subtle, right?" laughed director Raja Gosnell, whose film is an adaptation of the long-running 1969 cartoon show "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?"The van scene is one of the film's few references to what many adult fans of the Hanna-Barbera series consider a wink-and-nod subtext to Scooby and Shaggy, whose gangly walk, relentless munchies and dazed manner seem to suggest a marijuana high."I don't know if Hanna-Barbera ever intended it to be so, but maybe the animators did," said Charles Roven, co-producer of the movie.As for the other members of the "Scooby-Doo" gang of cartoon sleuths, fans have long speculated that Velma  the no-nonsense brains of the operation  is a lesbian, and that Fred and Daphne, the respective beefcake and cheesecake of the team, frequently searched for clues together to partake in carnal exploits.The cast and filmmakers said they filmed many joking allusions to those inferences but ultimately decided to keep "Scooby-Doo" an innocent children's film rather than aim for older audiences.The comedy's story features the gang assembling at the fictional "Spooky Island" theme park, which is plagued by strange disappearances, apparent brainwashing and monsters.The film parodies some of the cartoon's more innocent conventions  the cliched unmasking of the villain, the superfluous celebrity cameos  but practically all of the mature double entendres were purged from the final edit."We played on all those things," said actor Matthew Lillard, who portrays creaky-voiced Shaggy. "Is Velma gay? Is Shaggy high? Are (Fred and Daphne) hooking up? All those jokes were in there, but we found at the end of the day it was more important to go the other way ... and that was to be more family oriented."Gosnell believes the few adult references that remain will go well over children's heads."Some of that stuff is in there," he said. "If you look for it, you'll find it. If you don't, you won't.""We touch on it now," Lillard added. "But we used to punch it in the mouth."The original "Scooby-Doo" program borrowed some of the iconography of the 1960s hippie movement, but never overtly featured drug use, free love or homosexuality.That inconclusiveness is part of what tickles people."If it becomes overt, then it sort of ruins what was always fun about the show: You thought you were the only one who figured it out," Gosnell said."In fact, to this day," Lillard said, "if you ask me if Shaggy is a stoner, I'll say no. ... That's what's funny about him: He just seems like that. He acts a little goofy and high, he's lovable and scared  and just happens to have the munchies."Real-life couple Freddie Prinze Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar play Fred and Daphne, with Linda Cardellini, who had a small role in last year's "Legally Blonde," co-starring as bespectacled Velma.The original script featured a scene in which Fred gazed lustfully at Daphne while she leaned over him to load luggage into an airplane's overhead bin. The camera then panned to Velma, who was ogling her too.Later, Velma and Daphne shared a comic kiss, Gosnell said. The filmmakers say they believe those jokes would have hampered the story and could have imperiled the PG rating that the studio wanted and got.When it comes to Velma's backstory, even Cardellini isn't sure how to characterize it."There were a few scenes where Velma comes out of her shell. I wouldn't say she comes out of the closet," the actress said. "I thought more along the lines that maybe her sexuality is a little ambiguous."Screenwriter James Gunn, though, said he's "pretty sure she's gay. So we had a couple little nods to that in the movie and in the end, again, they were things that kind of (detracted from) the scenes."Another deleted scene featured Fred attempting to talk his way into Daphne's hotel room under the pretense of protecting her, Roven said. The ratings board took issue with the fact that he was bringing his toothbrush, which implied plans to spend the night.Those deleted scenes are unlikely to turn up even on the "Scooby-Doo" DVD, a format that frequently showcases unused footage. Warner Bros. would have to alert parents to the presence of PG-13 scenes on a PG home-video release, Roven said, something that could frighten away some family consumers.Lillard acknowledged that older fans may be disappointed by the more wholesome approach."People out there, fans of the cartoons, teen-agers, young men  it's not going to be for everyone," the actor said. "But our movie is for families."On the Net: Nicholas Thimmesch II - Associated PressAuthor: Anthony Breznican, AP Entertainment Writer Published: Wednesday, June 12, 2002 Copyright: 2002 Associated pressCannabisNews Archives:
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Comment #5 posted by E_Johnson on June 15, 2002 at 09:13:29 PT
I ran out of smartass
IT's all so contemptible isn't it?But I'm having a nice day in Canada today so my froth isn't steaming enough to give this cultural cleansing the heap of heaving scorn that it so richly deserves deserves.Some day when this war is over, we can all shake our heads and sigh.But right now...
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Comment #4 posted by Industrial Strength on June 13, 2002 at 01:12:31 PT
I do agree that is more than unlikely, but the thought has crossed my mind more than once. It just made it so easy for Bush and his whole clique to push their agenda. People seem to get disillusioned without being able to project their hatred and fear onto something/someone. But for me, the very fact that Bush uses this tragedy to push his agenda makes him a terrorist by definition.
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Comment #3 posted by Bounce to the Ounce on June 12, 2002 at 20:33:13 PT
Looking too much into it?
Why do I have a feeling that the ones that came up with this story spend the rest of their time folding up 20 dollar bills to look for "9/11 prophesies"? I could understand Shaggy being a stoner (though I don't think this was Hanna-Barbara's original intent), but the other stuff is just stupid.
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Comment #2 posted by Number 7 on June 12, 2002 at 18:39:36 PT
Ministry of Propaganda
This is almost in the same league as changing "The Sum of All Fears" to erase the original story line that arabs were behind the bombing in the book version. Everyone knows that Shaggy was a class A stoner. Like DUHHH!!! But as the government's attemts to use all media become more and more encompasing, this is what we must expect. Control over not only what is publicly viewed but even that which is viewed in the privicy of one's home. 
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on June 12, 2002 at 18:02:33 PT
Video Of Bush In Classroom On 911: STRANGE was Bush's reaction on being told of the second impact by Andy Card. There was none. Bush simply went on visiting with the school children and reading a story to them. For twenty minutes. 
But far more telling than Bush's reaction is that of Mr. Card himself who steps in to inform Bush of the second impact, then immediately steps back without waiting for a reply. Bush's job is to make decisions. How does Mr. Card know that Bush will not make one then and there?
What damns the Bush administration is not what is in this video, but what SHOULD be in the video and is not. Ostensibly, Bush and Card are reacting to a surprise attack, but Bush does not act surprised, and Andy Card does not act like a man delivering an unexpected piece of news but instead is merely delivering a progress report to which he already knows Bush will not have an immediate response. Trade Center Widows Lobby for Independent Inquiry:
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