A Ranking of Velma's Portrayals
Over the years, each member of the gang has had so many different voice actors, not to mention the several actors and actresses that have portrayed each member of the gang in the live-action adaptions. In this article, I'm going to be doing a deep dive and ranking every single talent that has voiced or portrayed a member of the gang. I decided to divide it up by character rather than ranking all the voice actors in one list, since while I do like some better than others, once you get towards the top, all the voice actors are good in different ways. I honestly don't think I could choose between Frank Welker, Casey Kasem and Don Messick. Let's start with the member of the gang who has had the most voice actors, none other than Velma!
Velma has been portrayed by more actresses than any of the rest of the gang, totaling an impressive thirteen. We've seen so many different characterizations of Velma, from a more sarcastic, witty Velma with Mindy Cohn, Kate Micucci and Sarah Gilman, to a more polite, down-to-Earth Velma with B.J. Ward. I admittedly liked some iterations of Velma much more than others, and Velma has the only voice actress I really disliked.
13. Marla Frumkin
While I do feel bad for being so negative, I really am not a fan of Marla's Velma voice. It comes off flat and lifeless, and sort of feels like her Velma doesn't have any personality. I know many people say that Fred and Velma didn't really have much personality in the Scrappy series, and while I agree to an extent, I would say this is the peak of Velma not having a personality. While her Velma voice wasn't displeasing to the ears or anything, at least in my opinion, her voice was overly generic and didn't really bring much energy to the character. I give this portrayal an F...for "Frumkin" lol.
12. Ariana Greenblatt
I think this ranking could certainly go up after we've seen Scoob! Holiday Haunt, but Ariana's voice of young Velma in Scoob! is another one that feels pretty generic and unmemorable. In fact, I had to look up the name before typing this because I couldn't remember it. Granted, she is just a kid, so I wouldn't say I dislike her Velma voice like Marla's. Not much to say here, but I hope this ranking goes up when she has a more prominent role in Scoob! Holiday Haunt.
11. Stephanie D'Abruzzo
I liked Stephanie D'Abruzzo's Velma voice in Scooby-Doo Adventures: The Mystery Map, and clearly the director did too, as I read in an interview the other day that Mystery Map was originally supposed to have the gang voiced by their respective puppeteers, but Stephanie was the only one they kept. I'm not really sure if it was because WB was already thinking of pushing Mindy Cohn out at this point, but I think it could be. I have no real quips with Stephanie's voice, other than the same "unmemorable" complaint I had with Ariana.
10. Gina Rodriguez
I know a lot of people complain about the Scoob! voice actors, but I really liked Gina's Velma voice here. It's an unpopular opinion, but I really didn't mind them switching the voice actors for Scoob!. I wouldn't have wanted it to be permanent, but just doing it for the one film felt like a fun novelty thing to do for this film and I had no problem with it. I really don't have much to say about Gina's voice other than I enjoyed it and she did a good job.
9. Hayley Kiyoko
This is where it gets hard. I don't really want to place any of them this low, but I think Hayley Kiyoko has to be my next choice. Her characterization of Velma was super interesting and I liked seeing different interpretation of a witty Velma after we'd just seen that for the first time with Mindy Cohn's Velma. On a semi-related tangent, her cover of "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers popped up for me as a "recommended video" on YouTube the other day. Thus, I decided to check it out. I hadn't listened to much of her music before that, but I was actually really impressed! If you have the chance, I'd definitely recommend checking her Mr. Brightside cover here if you're interested!
8. Sarah Gilman
I really liked Sarah's portrayal of Velma in Daphne & Velma. While both she and Hayley did a great job (and kind of portrayed similar versions of the character in the sense that they are both sarcastic at times), I enjoyed Sarah's portrayal a bit more. I really liked the witty, standoffish (at least at first) energy she brought to Velma's portrayal, because it allowed for Velma to grow as a character in the film. Sarah seems like she really got into the role, and I applaud her for her excellent portrayal.
7. Pat Stevens
This was a difficult one to rank. I wanted to rank her super high just because of my nostalgia for The Scooby-Doo Show, but when I thought about it a bit more, there isn't really anything particularly special about her Velma voice. If she were to have voiced Velma in a recent series that I wasn't as nostalgic about, I admittedly wouldn't have that same desire to rank her high. Her voice comes off matter-of-fact and doesn't really have a ton of personality, although it does avoid being Marla Frumkin levels of generic. I definitely like Pat Stevens' voice, but I think her remaining voices had a bit more personality to them than she did.
6. Kate Micucci
I thought Kate Micucci was the perfect fit for Be Cool, Scooby-Doo Velma. Her sarcasm and wit really fit well with the somewhat socially awkward version they were going with for that series; however, I don't think Kate's voice is quite as much of a fit for other series. Don't get me wrong, I like her voice, but I don't find it fits quite as well as it did in Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! specifically. That being said, I've seen quite a bit of hate for Kate's voice simply because she replaced Mindy, which I don't think is fair. This was a decision made by Warner Brothers, so regardless of which actress you like better, it's a bit unfair to project that hate onto Kate when she had nothing to do with the decision. While I also like Mindy's voice a bit better, I think voice talents should be judged on their own merits rather than comparing them to somebody else.
5. Christina Lange
Speaking of people whose voice really fits the series, I thought Christina did an amazing job portraying young Velma in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. Her meek and mild mannered personality fit Velma's shy character in this series so well. She was my favorite of the new voice talents in A Pup Named Scooby-Doo.
4. Linda Cardellini
Just like how I found Matthew Lillard to be a good replacement for Casey Kasem, I would feel the same way if for some reason they ever brought Linda back. Of all the live-action voice actresses, she did the best job playing Velma hands down. She really brought a personality to the film that felt extremely natural as Velma, unlike Freddie Prinze Jr. (I'll discuss my thoughts on him in more detail later) where it felt like playing Fred didn't really come naturally to him.
3. B.J. Ward
My third favorite portrayal of Velma is none other than the amazing Betty Jean Ward. Whereas previous versions of Velma had come off as having her intelligence be the most prominent personality trait, I felt B.J.'s portrayal of Velma brought something completely different to the table. Velma felt much more down-to-Earth and sweet in the four revival DTVs, and I have to say, I really liked it. I realize the characterization might not be for everyone, but I thought it worked super well and it's one of my favorite versions of Velma.
2. Nicole Jaffe
I have a ton of nostalgia over Nicole Jaffe's Velma. She's the actress who started it all, and she gets down the role of the "smart girl" perfectly. While this isn't a criticism, I would say her portrayal sometimes gives Velma a know-it-all feeling that none of her other voice actresses really did. While I love Nicole, one actress surprasses her, and that is none other than...
1. Mindy Cohn
Mindy is hands down my favorite version of Velma. She was the actress that started the trend of Velma being witty and sassy, and I think she gets it down the best out of any of the voice actors. She really brings a lot of spunk and personality to Velma, and it's such a shame she was ultimately pushed out without much of a say. She was the most iconic Velma in my opinion, and it would be tough to surpass her.
That about does it for my Velma rankings! With the weekly polls recently, I've been loving how people have shared their rankings in the comments. If anybody wants to share how their own lists differ from mine in the comments, I'd love to see them!
6/14/2022 08:42:31 am
My Top 5 Velmas
6/14/2022 09:14:55 am
Nice rankings! It was tough not putting Nicole Jaffe in first place, but I liked Mindy's voice slightly better. I think you or somebody else has mentioned Patricia Parris to me before, but I haven't heard her Velma voice. I'll have to see if I can find a clip of it online.
6/15/2022 01:52:33 am
Do you have any link to those Patricia Parris recordings? I've never heard her portrayal and I'm intrigued.
6/14/2022 08:48:34 am
I think that I like all versions of Velma except for Pat Stevens. Very bland and one note imo.
6/14/2022 01:57:38 pm
Wait what? i disagree... I thought Pat Stevens did a good job voicing Velma during The Scooby-Doo Show's time.
6/14/2022 02:41:41 pm
I guess the two Jakes could agree to disagree.
6/14/2022 05:00:43 pm
Absolutely agreed. People having different opinions isn't a bad thing in my opinion; in fact, I would say it allows for more interesting discussion through finding out why people have the opinions they do.
6/14/2022 02:55:25 pm
Can’t rank: Sarah Gilman, Stephanie D’abruzzo (remember literally nothing about this movie), Hayley Kiyoko (same with these movies)
6/14/2022 04:56:22 pm
Cool to see so many people agree that Mindy is their favorite, I expected that to be an unpopular opinion since I know Nicole's usually the favorite. Interesting to see you put Pat Stevens so high as well, but I agree even though there's not quite as much personality in her Velma voice in my opinion, I think she was still a good fit for the role during that period. I was surprised to see Marla so high! I personally find her voice to be a bit annoying, but I can definitely understand why you feel her voice is "so bad it's good." I totally agree with everything you said on Kate. I'm looking forward to seeing if my opinion on Ariana's Velma voice changes at all once we get to hear it for a full movie with Holiday Haunt later this year.
6/14/2022 03:13:50 pm
Yay for Mindy Cohn! She's the favorite for me as well, I never understood why they replaced her, even if I really like Kate Micucci, in my opinion Mindy Cohn should have stayed for Be Cool, Guess Who and especially for the DTVs.
6/14/2022 04:51:20 pm
I don't understand why she was replaced either. From what JCB has said, it sounds like they had just intended to have Kate replace Mindy for that series. I also remember Mindy making a post on her social media about how there's "room to share" because she would still voice Velma in all DTVs, then shortly after Kate quietly became the official voice of Velma without any explanation of why Mindy was no longer in the role. It's unfortunate that happened to Mindy, but I think Kate does a decent job in the role.
6/15/2022 12:05:38 am
Interesting take, though could you I guess which series or seasons they were over each roles(or some examples so I can just kinda go "oh yea her" for those that have came back so many times)? I had a bit of trouble remember who was who with some of these. I love the concept, just not as god tier scooby fan that I immediately know who is what season and series.
6/15/2022 10:53:55 am
That's fair; certain ones were pretty forgettable.
6/15/2022 04:17:20 am
13) Marla Frumkin
6/15/2022 08:52:24 am
Comment got cut off for some reason. Apparently went over the word limit lol
6/15/2022 08:53:44 am
Oh, almost forgot Jaffe voiced Velma in the 2003 movies too!
6/15/2022 11:02:32 am
Great rankings! It was fun reading them!
6/15/2022 12:19:40 pm
Our rankings ended up being quite similar. Differences of like one or, at most, two spots.
6/17/2022 01:46:45 am
Love Gina 🧡
6/17/2022 10:38:19 pm
Mindy Cohn is definitely my favorite Velma voice! When I think of Velma, I always think of Cohn’s voice. I like Kate Micucci also, but her voice suited Be Cool’s Velma the best. I wondered why they decided to keep Kate and drop Mindy though.
6/18/2022 10:20:39 am
The only thing I can think of is that Mindy had announced she was going through some health issues at the time, but that would be a very sad reason to just drop her.
6/18/2022 11:33:17 am
Any thoughts on Dayeanne Hutton as Velma?
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