Tons of things have happened this year in the Scooby-Doo franchise. We've gotten three new series, 20 new films, 7 new specials, plus three new comics and much, much more! In this post, I wanted to highlight my top 5 best and top 5 worst things that happened in this decade.
Let's start with the good stuff!
5. Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra Doo
To many fans, these films had a dark feel that was reminiscent of the likes of Zombie Island, Witch's Ghost, and Alien Invaders. I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment, and moreover, I think that this film just had a great plot in general with some well-developed characters and a solid grasp on a genuinely spooky tone. I loved the two villains as well, the gryphon is such a unique choice that has never been used in the franchise. The banshee also had some super cool lore behind her, and her design (both of them) was immaculate! I really enjoyed how she could change from a beautiful woman into a shrieking nightmare. This is the type of DTV I'd like to see from Scooby, and in my opinion, it feels like the quality hasn't been quite as high as this film was in some of the recent DTVs. I'd like to give Camp Scare and Shaggy's Showdown honorable mentions, however, as those two were really enjoyable films for me.
4. Daphne & Velma
I know this will be a very controversial placing, but I really loved this film. The casting for this film was perfect, and everyone portrayed their characters in a very believable and interesting way without anything feel stilted. The tone of it is fun and silly, but in my opinion, sometimes you just need films like that. This is the type of film, IMO, that you might watch on a particularly stressful day and just turn your brain off to. The message in it is a very positive and empowering one, and the feminist undertones are in no way overpowering to the plot. I'm really hoping they make a Daphne & Velma 2, because this was truly a wonderful film and in my opinion, the fourth best thing the decade had to offer for Scooby.
Scoobynatural adapted a fan favorite episode, "A Night of Fright is No Delight," and made into a more adult version. I thought they did a great job referencing the old episode, while having more of a mature twist to it. Even not having watched Supernatural before seeing the episode for the first time, I still felt very at home with the characters and I wasn't confused in any way, which I thought was super cool. I also liked how pure they made the gang, it was so cute! They did an amazing job getting down the dark tone, and I thought it still stayed true to the franchise overall very well.
2. Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!
It still makes me a little sad sometimes, even though I do understand, that people completely boycott this series because of the designs alone. Jon Colton Barry, who has become a dear friend of mine over this past decade, did an ingenious job of getting all the character personalities down, and the absurdist humor of the series is right up my alley. Even if this didn't have an overarching plot like SDMI did, there was still the general plot in the background of the gang's friendship. The gang felt very three-dimensional as characters, and none felt stiff at all. The comedic angle the series took really allowed the gang to shine, and I think purely because of the amazing writing and comedy, everybody should see this series.
1. Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
It was really hard to pick between BCSD and this one, because they were both amazing in very different ways, but SDMI edged this one out just slightly. SDMI felt like a fanfiction come to life, and really fleshed the characters out as well as brought us a more mature take on the gang. While I absolutely hated the romance plots, which felt forced and poorly done, the overarching plot of the series and dark undertones grounded in ancient lore was so cool. The gang felt very three-dimensional, and the stakes felt genuinely high in the series. The villains were super creepy, and I loved the way the plot pieced together in that classic mystery format through the episode-to-episode mysteries. This is truly the best the decade has to offer.
Now that we've covered the best, let's get to the worst:
5. Scooby-Doo! Music of the Vampire
For a Scooby-Doo DTV, this one was pretty bad. While a musical could have maybe worked, I felt the musical numbers were forced in and didn't fit with the plot whatsoever. The plot was pretty thin in general, and would have worked better as a 22-minute special in my opinion.
4. Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? comics
When I've heard Scooby fans talk about comics, I've never once heard someone say that the Where Are You comics were their favorites. While not atrocious, the plots in general have been declining throughout the decade, and worst of all, WB has chosen to reuse the same stock art over and over instead of just hiring an artist for the comics. Stories are also republished pretty often, which gets quite old and irritating. I've stopped reading Where Are You comics because of this, and this earns them their spot at #4 on the worst list.
3. Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island
While this could have worked as a standalone DTV, the sequel to Zombie Island did not live up to the original even slightly. The tone felt very Where Are You-ish, which simply does not work with the tone of the original Zombie Island. I would have been fine if this were a standalone DTV, but making this a sequel to the original Zombie Island was a very poor move, especially for the 50th anniversary. Numerous continuity errors were made, and Velma was made so off character that she became irritating and genuinely difficult to watch.
2. Scooby-Doo and the Curse of the 13th Ghost
This one has pretty much the same gripes as last time, except adding on the fact that there were far more continuity errors in this one, and making the 13th ghost fake and essentially saying the whole 13 Ghosts series never happened felt insulting. Velma was even more irritating in this one, and almost seemed in denial.
1. LEGO Scooby-Doo: Blowout Beach Bash
I wouldn't recommend this film to my worst enemy. The "Blowout Beach Bingo Bash" song at the beginning was painful to listen to, especially since it was just those four words repeated over and over for five full minutes. The plot felt incredibly thin and was just poorly written in general. The writers seemed like they totally just phoned in the plot five minutes before it was released, because it felt like it had no substance whatsoever and was just a complete waste of time to watch. I enjoyed Haunted Hollywood, but this one was very difficult to sit through and felt like a quick cash grab with little to no effort put in.
Well folks, that's the list! I would love to hear other people's lists as well, if you want to share in the comments!