Although this was a lighter year for new Scooby content, quite a bit still happened in 2016 for the Scooby franchise. From two new feature-length DTV films to a new comic book series centered around the Apocalypse, Scooby was taken in several new, interesting directions this year. In this article, I'll break down the top 10 biggest things (in my opinion) that happened in the Scooby franchise this year, and afterwards, list five things I would like to see happen in 2017.
10. Twelve New Scooby-Doo, Where Are You Comics
As per usual, each month, a new Scooby-Doo, Where Are You comic was released, making for a total of twelve comics this year. Comics #65-76 were released this year. If this trend would continue, the series will reach the milestone of its 100th comic in 2018.
9. Cartoon Network Finally Catches Up Airing The Scooby Movies
Although CN has been doing a very pathetic job of airing new episodes of Be Cool Scooby-Doo (more on that, later), they did finally get one thing right this year. Cartoon Network has finally caught up with premiering the DTV movies and specials this year. Currently, every movie and special has premiered on the network and has aired at least once, something that hasn't happened since 2012. The network caught up on November 20, 2016 when they aired the TV premiere of Scooby-Doo and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon. Now, if we can only get them to air the rest of the Be Cool Scooby-Doo season 1 episodes, we'll be set!
8. Scooby-Doo! Team Up Becomes A Monthly Comic
Previously, Team Up was a bi-monthly comic and new issues were only released every two months. Beginning in September, a new comic was released every month, making for a total of 21 issues, 8 of which were released this year. In addition, this year's team ups included Aquaman, The Flash, The Shazam family, Hawkman & Hawkgirl, Wonder Dog, G'Nort, Ace the Bat Hound, Krypto the Superdog, The Space Patrol Canine Agents, Zatanna & Zatara, Space Ghost, The Joker and Harley Quinn.
7. Scrappy-Doo Makes A Return To The Franchise
For the first time in fourteen years (since the 2002 live action movie), Scrappy-Doo made an appearance in the franchise in the comic book series Scooby Apocalypse, and has now appeared in three of the current eight issues. However, the character is still evil as he was in the 2002 film.
6. Scooby-Doo Pop Vinyls & Dorbz
Earlier this year, we got to see Scooby Pop Vinyls and Dorbz being released, which includes figurines of Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, Scooby, The Mystery Machine, The Werewolf Ghost and The Witch Doctor. They are currently for sale in stores.
5. LEGO Scooby-Doo! Haunted Hollywood
Back in May, we got to see Scooby in action as we've never seen him before: in LEGO form! The 75 minute movie featured classic villains, such as the Headless Horseman, the Mummy, the Sea Beast and of course, the Zombie. The movie also made its TV premiere on Cartoon Network on October 22, 2016, serving as a follow-up of sorts to the 1-minute YouTube LEGO Scooby-Doo shorts.
4. Be Cool Scooby-Doo Season 1, Part 1: Spooky Kooky Fun DVD
The recent trend seems to be a new season set every year (last year's being Scooby and Scrappy-Doo Season 1), and this year's set was Be Cool Scooby-Doo Season 1, Part 1, which included the first 13 episodes of the series. The set was released on February 23, 2016.
3. Scooby-Doo & WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon
This year, the follow-up movie to Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery was released on Blu-Ray, DVD and Digital HD on August 9, 2016. Kate Micucci also voiced Velma instead of Mindy Cohn for the first time in the regular animation, which I was somewhat disappointed about. Although I like Kate's voice, I feel it fits better with Be Cool and Mindy should have been used. It made me happy though to see that Mindy posted on Instagram that she would be returning at some point in the future, even if it is only for one movie.
2. Scooby Apocalypse
This series has had very mixed reactions since it first was announced, but I think you can agree even if you dislike the series that it was a pretty darn big leap for the franchise to take. For those who haven't read it, the premise is this: Scooby and the gang are set in an apocalyptic future, where they all must escape dastardly villains attempting to do them harm. This is also the first series rated Teen. I'll admit I've been pretty busy and have only had a chance to read the first issue, and I thought it was pretty good. My only complaint was that they changed Daphne's character too much, her punching people out is NOT what I want to see for her character. So far, eight issues have been released.
1. Be Cool Scooby-Doo: 6 New Episodes
This year, six new episodes of the new show aired on Cartoon Network, including "If You Can't Scooby-Doo The Time, Don't Scooby-Doo The Crime," "Gremlin on a Plane," "Sorcerer Snacks Scare," "Saga of the Swamp Beast," "Be Cold, Scooby-Doo!" and "Giant Problems." iTunes and Amazon users were also treated to a seventh episode, "Eating Crow," which was mistakenly added to both services because CN did not communicate to them that they were not airing the episode.
That about wraps up this year, so here's what I would like to see next year:
1. Three new DTV movies
Luckily for me, this one has been confirmed already, with Shaggy's Showdown releasing on February 14, 2017, and according to TCM, two other movies (one of them another LEGO-animation DTV) will be released sometime next year.
2. More Comic Releases
One of my personal new years resolutions related to Scooby is to read more of the comics! I haven't had a chance to read many lately, and the plotlines seem really good. Ten more comics have already been announced for release in January-April, so I'd say we're definitely going to see an increase in the number released this comic year, especially with the new series Scooby Apocalypse and the now-monthly Team Up.
3. More Be Cool Scooby-Doo
I think I can speak for all of the Scooby fans when I say CN did a pathetic job airing the series this year. While I was happy we got more new episodes, I was very disappointed that more episodes didn't air. I mean, how hard is it to schedule a simple three hours into CN's schedule and just get the episodes aired? Next year, I would like to see at minimum the rest of Season 1 aired, and hopefully some of Season 2.
4. The Return of 13 Spooky Tales
I for one was incredibly disappointed not to see any 13 Spooky Tales this year, in fact the only new non-movie DVD this year was Be Cool Season 1 Part 1. The rest were all re-releases of old episodes and movies. Personally, I loved how the 13 Spooky Tales got some of the unreleased episodes finally available on DVD and gave us a new special, and it was disappointing not to get that this year. I'd like to see at least one new 13 Spooky Tales sets released, but two or more would be even better.
5. Season Sets
I was super happy about the Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo Season 1 DVD being released last year! I'm really hoping that we will get a Season 2 release this year, of either Scooby & Scrappy-Doo or Laff a Lympics, both of which only have Season 1 released.
What are your thoughts on what you'd like to see happen in 2017? Do you agree with my list, or do you think something else should be added? Let me know in the comments!