Fun Fact of the Week #438
The announcer for the Globetrotters game in "The Mystery of Haunted Island" (from The New Scooby-Doo Movies) is not just a one-off character created for that episode. He appears in other episodes of the Harlem Globetrotters cartoon from the 1970s. In addition, the Laff-a-Lympics narrator's voice sounds exactly the same as the announcer in this episode, perhaps prompting an in-universe question of if it's the same announcer.
Weekly Poll #163
It's time for our final poll of the Haunted House poll series! Next week, we'll be combining all three winners from today's poll and the previous two weeks, and facing them off against each other to determine the Scooby-Doo episode that does the classic haunted house trope best.
The results for last week's poll were very interesting and kind of all over the map. A majority of the options got three votes or less. "A Fit Night for Bats" and "The Sludge Monster from the Earth's Core" both got zero votes. "Scooby's Roots" got one vote; "The Hand of Horror" and "A Night Louse at the White House" each got two votes; and "Wedding Bell Boos," "A Bicycle Built for Boo!" and "Ghost Who's Coming to Dinner?" got three votes each.
Taking a look at the top 3, "The Were-Doo of Doo Manor" came in third place with seven votes. I was predicting this episode was going to win, but "Scoobygeist" ended up coming in second place with a total of 11 votes. Our winner this week got twice the amount of votes as any other option. "Bravo Dooby Doo" took the win last week, amassing a total of 22 votes!
Velma Episode 5 and 6 Review
I can't believe we're already halfway through the series! I have to admit I didn't dislike these episodes as much as last week's, but the show is still by no means good IMO. More of the jokes landed for me this week, and I particularly liked the joke of somebody crashing headfirst through a window when the police said "intolerance." It was so goofy and ridiculous I'll admit it got a laugh out of me. As an aficionado of dad jokes, I also liked the "you must be this neander-tall to ride" pun haha. The Casey Kasem bit was fun too. I liked the little reference to him and I was happy they did something tasteful, given the show's track record of making everything as inappropriate as possible.
Speaking of which, the plot about Daphne's parents was really interesting. It still felt a bit rushed and could have been developed better than it was, but it was at least engaging unlike the constant shock humor in the last two episodes. I liked how Daphne's parents were dressed up like Captain Caveman, as well as the nod to Fred, Wilma and Pebbles, and the caveman from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?. The Jetsons reference was also interesting. I also noticed the eyes in the dark were drawn in the same style as The New Scooby-Doo Movies, and Shaggy has a poster of Charlie the Funland Robot on his wall. We also get to see Captain Cutler, whom Velma actually captures when fishing with her dad.
While there was a little bit of mystery on Velma's end, the whole marching band plot was initially interesting, but it turned into another "WTF" moment for me. The idea of a marching band sleepover where all the band members are playing their instruments at the party was funny, but it quickly devolved when the marching band started eating Velma's carpets and furniture because they hadn't been fed. I don't necessarily feel it was inappropriate or a bad joke, it was just kinda weird. I also thought the joke with the trombone was a great example of how this show takes what could have been funny and makes it mean-spirited. I thought the guy making the "wah wah" noise when Daphne didn't get what she wanted was funny, but then Daphne kicked the guy in the crotch. I don't like this show's tendency to make the characters cruel like that. The trombone joke was funny on its own, so I don't understand why the writers feel they need to turn the knob from 1 to 100 and make the jokes as in-your-face and antagonistic as possible.
That being said, there were actually a few extreme jokes that made me laugh this time. I liked the police putting out the "only murderers walk the streets at night" sign. The flashback where the mine's owner just randomly says "Mine's closed. Everyone's fired!" as all the lights shut off made me laugh quite a bit, just because it came so out of nowhere lol. That comment about Fred needing his previous actions covered up by an Israeli security firm also made me wonder what he did haha. The last joke I found funny was super quick and many people may have missed it, but I found it funny that the salad bag was marked "Salad!" with an exclamation point haha. I feel that these jokes demonstrate that the writers can actually write good material, so it's a shame they waste it on try-hard edgy stuff like Velma saying "no sweat off my underboobs!" and a cop intentionally running over Velma with his squad car.
Moving to episode 6, I enjoyed this one a little more too. I thought they did a decent job with the mystery elements this time, and I appreciated that we're starting to dive more into the mystery. Out of all the episodes so far, I would say the mystery felt least overshadowed in this episode. It was still overshadowed a bit by the weird stuff with Velma's dad, however, but I liked how the mystery at least didn't feel like an afterthought for a change.
It was really interesting to hear the backstory behind why Velma's mom disappeared. Given we're halfway through the show, I feel like we should have found out at least a few more details about that way before now, but better late than never I suppose haha. It was neat that the general's operation was named "SCOOBI," and how they incorporated masks and meddling kids into the plot. The bit at the end with the serial killer breathing heavily was really creepy, and I would say this is the first time in these three weeks that I've actually felt a little curious to find out what happens next. I felt they still cut corners a bit when it came to the mystery...like the explanation of how Daphne's parents found her felt rushed...but overall, I really appreciated that there was a bit more of a focus on the mystery.
I liked more of the humor than I did in previous episodes, although some of it still fell into the try-hard edgy category. I was surprised to find that a few of the "shock humor" jokes landed for me this time. Fred reading Yas Queens throughout History, only for his father to take it away and hand him a shot glass and loaded rifle was intense haha. Velma's mom and dad singing "just the three of us" as they spray mud all over Velma was similarly so shocking I have to admit I got a little chuckle out of it. One of my favorite jokes of the episode was Velma's father Googling "how to play catch." Let's hope that's not where our increasing reliance on the Internet is taking us lol. I also found it hilarious how Shaggy was acting tough and dressing up in a leather jacket that says "Mr. Bad Bear."
This episode also had the joke that I've probably laughed the hardest at, that being the part where Velma is outraged by her father installing a tracking app on her phone. His reaction of "Sophie installed it so you wouldn't catch us in bed talking smack about you!" was so shocking and random that I found it hilarious. Given how poorly characterized most of the characters are here, I have to admit it was pretty funny to have a meta-joke highlighting what terrible parents Velma has.
I still found some of the humor to be overly raunchy and try-hard edgy, most notably the bit where Velma's dad takes her to a strip club for lunch. One of the strippers being named "Chestiny" was particularly over-the-top. However, the biggest "WTF am I watching?" moment I've had in the episode, and the show thus far, was Velma deciding to do a pole dance because she's angry with her father, as guys shout things such as "Oh yeah baby, keep it all on!" This show certainly has a knack for creating unbearably weird moments to watch lol.
Oh, and we also learn Velma's previous catchphrase to Jinkies was "Keep it frosty!" which was very odd haha.
Overall, these two episodes were definitely an improvement on the last two, and I would say episode 6 might be the best in the show. That being said, "best" is a term to be taken lightly, since I still don't really enjoy for the show due to the poorly written characters, the try-hard edgy humor, and the cutting of corners when it comes to the mystery. However, these two episodes, particularly episode 6, were at least more tolerable and I found some enjoyment in them, whereas episode 3 and 4 were nearly unbearable slogs of nonsensical WTF moments. Perhaps a little bit of it is because I'm getting used to the inane weirdness of the show after seeing a few episodes, but I also did feel there was at least some meaningful mystery development in these episodes, which is definitely an improvement. I hope we continue to see more mystery development in the coming episodes.
1. The Sins of the Fathers and Some of the Mothers
2. Marching Band Sleepover
3. The Candy Man
5. Velma Makes a List
6. Velma Kai
Early Velma Concept Art Released
Some early concept art for Velma has been shared, and it looks completely different than what we ended up getting. Earlier last week, artist Annie Wu posted some pieces of early concept art for the show on Twitter, which was covered in an article by CBR. In my opinion, this early concept art animation actually looks a lot better than what we ended up getting. You can view a few other pictures of concept art in the Twitter thread.
Fun Fact of the Week #437
During the voice recording process for Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island, Frank Welker stated in an interview that he thought he might be replaced due to WB executives claiming his voice had gone down an octave since he last voiced Fred in 1984. Here's a quote from Welker on the matter from an interview with Animation Magazine.
"Coincidentally, when we were doing the direct-to-video movie, Scooby Doo on Zombie Island, I was basically the only one left from the original group. I thought they might replace me because they thought my voice had gone down an octave. I personally feel I can do Freddie right up front. When we were recording it, the director kept saying, 'Higher and higher,' and I kept saying, 'No, no, I don't think so. I did that for a lot of years,' and I went back and looked at some tapes, just to make sure, because I don't want to be doing something that would be wrong for the studio, either. And so they were looking at some old tapes, 'cause they were worried about some of the old voices and matching them. She [the voice director] listened to the Freddie voice and she said, 'I'll be darned. He's absolutely right. He sounds exactly like Freddie.' It's a double-edged sword."
Animation Magazine cited Cartoon Network's speeding up of episodes as a likely reason. To allow time for more commercials, the Where Are You reruns that were so popular in the 1990s had the animation and audio tracks slightly sped-up to make time for more commercials. It was a popular phenomenon at the time for Cartoon Network to time-compress the episodes by playing them at 1.05x or 1.1x speed. As a result, the characters' voices sound slightly higher-pitched than normal, which could potentially be why the WB executives believed Welker's voice had gone down an octave.
Weekly Poll #162
It's time for the exciting second round of our Best Haunted House polls! Let's check in on our winner from part 1. "The Loch Ness Mess," "The Exterminator" and "The Ghoul, The Bat and the Ugly" all came in last place with one vote each. "The Mystery of Haunted Island" and "Nowhere to Hyde" were not too far behind in fifth place with 5 votes each. "Wednesday Is Missing" was our fourth place choice with 7 votes. For third place, we had a surprising tie between "What the Hex Going On?" and "Guess Who's Knott Coming to Dinner?" Each option got 10 votes, and I have to admit I'm excited "Guess Who's Knott Coming to Dinner?" made it so high! "Haunted House Hang-Up" just barely rose above those options to make second place with 11 votes. Our first place option received 28 votes, and wins the weekly poll for the second week in a row! Our winner is "A Night of Fright Is No Delight," which is the first of three episodes to move on to our final Winner's Circle poll on February 5!
The DC HeroClix game has released a team-up version of their game, including Teen Titans Go! and Scooby-Doo. For those that have never heard of the game, HeroClix is a collectible miniatures game where you can engage in head-to-head competitions with miniature action figures of your favorite characters. The game includes figures of all the gang members, including all of the main characters for Teen Titans Go!. Here's the official press back of the box description:
Looks like we have another mystery to solve! Two of the greatest clue-crunching crews make their HeroClix debut in the DC Comics HeroClix: Batman Team-Up Miniatures Game!
For the first time ever, help Mystery Inc. work up an appetite as Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Velma and Daphne go head-to-head with ace detectives Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast-Boy and Cyborg from Teen Titans GO! Pick a team and help them gather clues to come out on top in one of the most exciting crossovers ever to come to HeroClix!
Engage in up to 8 thrilling campaign scenarios for 2 players where the results matter from session to session, or sit down for a head-to-head single match of raw power! Each of the beautiful pre-painted figures comes ready to play with two different modes making this box incredible for both first-time miniatures players and HeroClix veterans!
Putting those sleuthing skills to the test, brand new Mystery Cards will bring an exciting layer of strategy to gameplay as players move around the map to gather clues and earn unique bonuses and rewards!
Complete with thick, double-sided map components and unique Batman Team-Up themed dice, this set contains everything 2 people need to play Heroclix. With so much exciting content in one box, it's no mystery that the Miniatures Game has been a massive hit with retailers and customers!
Included in each miniatures game*:
You can purchase the game at select online retailers, but many of them are out of stock already due to the high demand for the game.
April 2023 Comic Solicitations
Courtesy of GamesRadar+ as always, here are the two Scooby-Doo comic solicitations for April!
SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? #121
Written by JOHN ROZUM
Pencils by WALTER CARZON
Inks by HORACIO OTTOLINI
Cover by WALTER CARZON and HORACIO OTTOLINI
$2.99 US | 32 pages
ON SALE 4/4/23
Mystery Inc. is on the case when a small town is plagued by claims of monster sightings. What could Bigfoot, the Goat Man, the Lizard Man, and the other creatures be up to? And what will it mean for the town if the gang can't find out?
THE BATMAN & SCOOBY-DOO MYSTERIES #7
Written by AMANDA DEIBERT
Art and cover by DARIO BRIZUELA
$2.99 US | 32 pages
ON SALE 4/11/23
Daphne's martial arts hobby takes center stage at a national competition: Gotham's Got Talent! It's all good until her competitors start being talent-napped. Judge Bruce Wayne calls in Batman, who teams up with Mystery Inc. to infiltrate the competition. Can they solve the mystery before front-runner Daphne winds up in real trouble?
Velma Episode 3 and 4 Review
I just finished episodes 3 and 4, and honestly, I thought they were even worse than the first two episodes. I thought the third episode started out surprisingly well with two amusing jokes. The cat taking the hair and nail vitamins and suddenly getting luscious hair gave me a good chuckle. That Russian soldier spying on Velma because he's curious if she's gay was so random that it made me laugh quite a bit.
However, I thought overall, episode 3 showcased what terrible people the characters are, especially Velma and Daphne. The fact that they were fighting each other until blood sprayed out of their bodies was quite the sight, and the fact that a song in which the phrase "Bad Ass Motherf**ker" is repeated was played during the montage was probably one of the most shocking scenes in the franchise. I mentioned in the last review that I thought Velma and Daphne had some redeemable qualities, but after this episode, I don't feel that way anymore. Velma reading Daphne's deepest, darkest secrets from her diary in front of the entire school was really awful, and made me lose what little respect I had for her as a character. The joke where Velma says Daphne punched her so hard that her tubes had to be tied was really gross, and took it too far in my opinion. In general, this kind of sums up the second major issue I had with this episode.
The first two episodes at least had the mystery to diversify the plot a bit, but this episode's plot felt like it was almost entirely just shock value stuff. As with the previous episodes, humor that's clearly intended to be super raunchy just to get people to be shocked and offended isn't up my alley. I felt the joke about Fred saying his mom watches him while he's peeing, and Shaggy sharing that his mom just told him he was an accident, illustrates this really well. I completely understand that some people enjoy this humor, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. If you enjoyed the inappropriate humor, that's great, and I'm glad you liked the episode. For me though, the shock humor felt almost constant in this episode, which greatly took away from my enjoyment. I also felt a lot of the humor got repetitive as if the writers were obsessed with certain jokes, like how they reference Velma putting bean bags in her bra to make her breasts look bigger numerous times throughout the episode. I was able to ignore it easier when they were also juggling the plot with the mystery of Velma's mom's disappearance and the serial killer, but this episode was pretty much no mystery and all shock.
The romance stuff doesn't really interest me at all. I know some people enjoy that, but for me, the romance here is not well written. The Scooby-Doo franchise has had a history of not doing romantic plots well in my opinion, but this show writes it particularly poorly IMO. The "love rectangle" is kind of nonsensical and is not really explored in any depth. It feels like it just feeds into the "shock value" of the show to an extent. I also was not a fan of how they intentionally tried to make certain scenes awkward, like Velma and Daphne trying to decide if their boobs should touch during a hug. The part where Velma narrates and says she knows viewers are wondering if she's "g-g-g-g-gay" was also a bit too much IMO. Again, while there's not anything wrong with it, this show seems to like making things as intense and edgy as possible, and it continues to feel try-hard.
One thing I wanted to note that I found interesting from "Velma Kai" was the backstory of Velma abandoning Daphne as a kid due to an issue with her mother. It seems like they took that from the Daphne & Velma novels, because there's a backstory there of Daphne parting ways with Velma due to an issue with her mother.
Speaking of references, I found the references kind of interesting in general in these two episodes. It was surprising Mayor Janet Nettles from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated appeared in a picture on the wall. I thought that was a neat, obscure little references. Daphne calling a list of Hanna-Barbera characters to find out about her mom, including Mumbly, The Clue Club, Inch-High Private High, Goober and the Ghost Chasers, Snooper and Blabber was also interesting to see. I'm not sure if anyone else noticed, but Daphne also has a poster on the wall that appears to be picture of The Hex Girls, although it says "Teen Angels." It's unclear to me whether that was a mistake, or if it was supposed to be the Teen Angels and they just happened to look a lot like the Hex Girls.
The next episode wasn't quite as bad as "Velma Kai," which I would honestly say would probably make it on my all-time worst list for the franchise. However, it still was not good and I had a lot of the same issues. The plot doesn't really make any logical sense. The police drawing that attention to all the hot girls by having a top 5 list of them does nothing to protect them (in fact, it would just encourage the serial killer). It was painfully clear they only did this plot so they could make a social commentary episode on beauty norms. While that's fine, the fact that the writers could not think of anything better than having the cops stage a beauty contest is bad writing in my opinion. The writers could have better introduced the exact same plot with a lot better writing that didn't randomly and nonsensically throw us into the "hottest girls list" plot.
The "shock value" humor was still very present in this episode, particularly Shaggy saying he remembers breastfeeding, and perhaps most notably, the high school girls acting sexy to distract the cops from watching Velma's stepmom giving birth. I'm positive the writers' motivation behind this scene was to shock and offend people, and make them say "oh my god, I can't believe those girls are being sexual/rubbing on things erotically while a woman is giving birth!" To be honest, I wasn't shocked or offended; I just thought it was dumb how painfully obvious the writers were being about trying to shock people. Although I'm not a fan of shock humor in general, I would argue it could be much better done than this. I feel shock humor should be an occasional thing, rather than constantly shoving it in the audience's face. The fact that the writers are obsessed with constantly needing to shock the audience gets cringey very quickly, and the fact that it's constant honestly makes it less shocking and more annoying. As an aside, Fred's animation for when he's horny is probably the most repulsive thing I've seen in this show lol.
The one thing I did really like about this episode is that the "everyone has different ways of being feminine, and that's okay" message. I thought that was nice and positive message to put out there, and it felt kind of wholesome. It actually surprised me a little bit in a good way that they put a message like this in there, given it was all shock humor and edgy stuff, but I thought it was great that they included this.
Sorry to be so negative in this review, but I honestly really did not enjoy these two episodes. If I were to sum up my issues, I would say it's slightly reminiscent with an issue I have with The Simpsons. For those of you who don't know, I'm a huge fan of The Simpsons. Recently, I feel their episodes have been very hit or miss due to the huge amount of social commentaries and parodies. While The Simpsons doesn't intentionally pander to shock the audience, and I still love the show, I've noticed that the show essentially throws characterization out the window sometimes for the sake of the plot. The characters sometimes behave unlike themselves so that they'll fit the plot of the week, and are essentially empty plot vessels without strong character development. (I actually wrote an entire article on this, which you can read here if you're interested!)
Velma has a kind of similar issue, although to a much worse extent. I watched a review of the show the other day, and I thought this review excellently illustrated that the writers are obsessed with social identity, and the characters are written very two-dimensionally as a result. I agree with this argument, and I'd honestly even take it a little further and argue that the writers are using these "shock value" type jokes to the series' detriment, because there's so much focus on being "edgy" that there isn't much focus on character development, or compelling any advancement of the plot. I realize this is a bit of strong opinion and you're welcome to disagree with me, but this was a realization I came to when watching these two episodes.
All of that being said, even though I really did not like these two episodes, I still plan to see the series through to the end. I look forward to hearing what others thought of the episode, whether you loved it, hated it, or are somewhere in the middle.
1. The Candy Man
3. Velma Makes a List
4. Velma Kai
GLAAD has just announced their award nominations for the 34th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. Over 295 media projects were nominated across 33 categories. According to Deadline, Trick or Treat, Scooby-Doo! has been nominated for the Outstanding Kids and Family Animated Programming category. It will be up against nine other shows and films, including Amphibia, Battle Kitty, Big Nate, Craig of the Creek, Dead End: Paranormal Park, The Dragon Prince, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous, The Owl House and The Proud Family: Loud and Prouder. There will be two ceremonies announcing the winners, the first of which at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on March 30, 2023; and the second in New York City on May 13, 2023.
~ WildwindVampire ~